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U.S. to join COVID vaccine push for poor nations, remain WHO member: Fauci


Dr. Anthony Fauci, US President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for COVID-19, announced Thursday that the country will resume its support for the World Health Organization, which was harshly criticized by the Trump administration. Fauci listed new commitments from Washington to combat the coronavirus and other global health problems.

In a videoconference with the WHO board of directors from the United States, where it had not yet dawned, Fauci said that his country will join projects to bring vaccines against COVID-19 to people in need around the world, as well as material to make diagnostic tests and to treat patients. The number of US workers in the group and financial support for WHO will also be restored.

Fauci’s swift engagement with the WHO – which has come under repeated attack from the Trump administration for its management of the crisis – is a drastic and express shift toward a more multilateral strategy to combat the pandemic.

“I am proud to announce that the United States will continue to be a member of the World Health Organization,” Fauci said. Just hours after Biden took office on Wednesday, his administration announced that the United States will revoke the WHO withdrawal program in July, which the Trump administration had announced.

The new government “will end the withdrawal of US personnel assigned to the WHO” and resume the “usual engagement” with the WHO. “The United States also intends to meet its financial obligations to the organization,” he added.

He referred to WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as “my dear friend.”

Other countries and the head of the WHO welcomed the announcements and promised to work with the Biden government.

“This is a good day for the WHO and a good day for global health,” Tedros said, referring to “my brother Tony” in reference to Fauci and congratulating Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. “The role of the United States, its role, the global role, is very, very crucial.”

During the Trump administration, the United States has been the most notorious absence – and the one with the greatest economic means – of the COVAX Mechanism, which has had funding problems and to close contracts with vaccine manufacturers, as well as logistical complications. Both the European Union and China have expressed support for the program.

Netflix crosses the 200 million subscribers mark amid the COVID-19 pandemic


In an exponential growth, the streaming giant Netflix reported a record number of subscribers in 2020, surpassing the mark of 200 million customers amidst the confinement of the pandemic.

The company added nearly 38 million subscribers to its base last year, totaling 203 million subscriptions, with people spending more time at home.

According to executives, in addition to the confinement, the movement of media companies towards streaming also contributed to the good performance of Netflix’s business.

The company’s fourth quarter revenue reached $ 6.64 billion, up from 5.4 billion a year earlier. Profit fell to $ 542 million.

The strong performance of the streaming platform was highlighted by the miniseries “The queen’s gambit” and George Clooney’s film, “Midnight sky”.

It is a fact that, for years, Netflix reigned absolute in the streaming market. However, in recent times, it has faced increasingly fierce competition from giants that are betting on the “ on demand ” model . Those who were not in the business created their own platform, like the retailer Amazon, in addition to Disney, which launched the service last year.

Now, after restrictions imposed by the lockdown, Netflix said it has more than 500 post-production titles ready to be released.

The platform is expected to have one launch per week in 2021, which could attract even more subscribers.

Elon Musk Donates $5 Million to Provide Students Access to Free Education

Elon Musk the richest man in the world

Tesla founder Elon Musk became the richest man in the world earlier this year and asked for help to donate part of his fortune

Tesla executive director Elon Musk donated $ 5 million to the Khan Academy free education platform, according to the CNN website. In a video on YouTube, Khan Academy founder Salman Khan thanked Musk for the donation, made through his foundation.

“Elon, I hope you really feel good about it,” said Khan in the video. “This will allow us to speed up all types of content. Our aspirations are all disciplines – from children to the early stages of college. This will speed up our science content, allow us to learn earlier, allow us to make the software and practice much more engaging. ”

Founded in 2002, the Musk Foundation supports research in renewable energy, human space exploration, pediatrics and science and engineering.

Khan Academy is a non-profit organization that aims to “provide free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere”. Students from all over the world can use Khan Academy videos, which are translated into more than 36 languages, and learn at their own pace.

The resources – videos, hands-on exercises and personalized learning panels – are also used by parents and teachers.

As the coronavirus pandemic forced schools to choose distance learning, many students and parents turned to Khan Academy for help, the organization says.

Although many students don’t know what Khan’s face looks like, millions of them know him by his voice, because of his video tutorials on subjects ranging from photosynthesis and calculus to the American Revolution.

Khan Academy has more than 120 million registered users, with up to 30 million students using the platform every month.

“I see this type of investment in what we are doing as really fundamental to being able to build a multi-generational institution, so that the future Elon Musk of the world can also explore its potential and help us all,” said Khan

Trump’s most enduring legacy could be the historic rise in the national debt


The impact of the pandemic will mark the last year of outgoing President Donald Trump in the White House. The health crisis and subsequent economic debacle closed last year with the worst job destruction since this data is recorded since 1939, while another 140,000 jobs were destroyed in December alone and retail sales fell 0.7% .

To deal with this situation, the massive public outlay, in the form of two stimulus packages, one for just over $ 2 trillion and the other for around $ 900 billion , significantly increased the country’s debt. However, even before the Covid-19 scourge , the Republican Administration had already put the government’s leverage on an upward path.

During Trump’s four years, the national debt has increased by almost $ 7.8 trillion to a total of $ 27.7 trillion .

The increase under his tenure is almost twice what Americans owe on student loans, auto loans, credit cards and any other debt other than mortgages. That is, around $ 23,500 per taxpayer , according to data from the New York Federal Reserve collected by the ProPublica portal.

For its part, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the deficit closed last year at $ 3.3 trillion , about 16% of GDP. At this time, the deficit is expected to decline considerably in the current year but will continue to hover around almost 9% of GDP.

Mind you, these figures still don’t digest the potential $ 1.9 trillion stimulus plan put forward by the Administration of President-elect Democrat Joe Biden. Pending an update, the CBO estimates that by 2023, the deficit will decline to 4.9% as expenditures related to the pandemic decline and the economy improves.

Banks halt business with Trump after U.S. Capitol riots


Deutsche Bank, the main creditor of the Trump Organization, has reportedly decided to cut ties with the US president. After the invasion of the Capitol by his supporters, which resulted in the death of five people, many companies let go of Donald Trump and his relatives.

At the twilight of his reign, Donald Trump appears more and more alone. The violence that took place on Capitol Hill, which he is accused of having provoked, could earn him an impeachment procedure a few days before the end of his mandate. And, once he leaves the White House, the American billionaire’s return to business is not shaping up to be auspicious either.

According to the “New York Times”, the outgoing president, who will probably find the head of the Trump Organization, will lose one of his most important financial backers. Deutsche Bank would indeed have decided to cut the bridges, tired of the negative publicity generated by its links with the company. The blow is all the more severe as the German bank is currently its main creditor, with around 340 million dollars (280 million euros) in outstanding loans, maturing no later than 2024.

Deutsche Bank has not confirmed this information, but the message posted by its manager in North America on the social network LinkedIn seems to point in this direction. “We are proud of our Constitution and support those who seek to enforce it to ensure that the will of the people is respected and that a peaceful transition of power takes place,” Christiana Riley wrote last week.

Also dropped by Signature Bank, close to the Trump family

For Donald Trump, the troubles do not end there. On Monday, Signature Bank decided to close the personal accounts of the US president, who held just over $ 5 million there. Worse: the New York establishment, close to the Trump family for many years – Ivanka Trump, Donald’s daughter, notably sat on its board of directors – called for his resignation.

The tenant of the White House therefore risks paying dearly for the events of the Capitol. In recent days, several American companies have publicly condemned his attitude, some walking the talk. The online sales platform Shopify has closed official pages selling items bearing its image. The Internet payment service Stripe has decided to no longer manage transactions on its campaign site.

In addition, many companies have attacked Donald Trump’s political allies. Amazon, General Electric, AT&T, Dow, Comcast, Verizon, American Express, Airbnb or Mastercard have threatened to hinder fundraising by Republicans, who will soon be deprived of power in the White House and now in the minority in both chambers of the Congress . While JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have, for their part, decided to suspend all political donations, both in favor of Republicans and Democrats.

Most donors cut funds either because the elected officials they were funding opposed the results of the presidential election, or because they went so far as to vote against the confirmation of Joe Biden’s election, as in the case of 22 elected Republicans in the House of Representatives supported by Amex. These large companies fear a degradation of their image both with their disgruntled employees and the general public.

The suspensions vary by company, reports a Financial Times article. Chemist Dow will no longer put in money for an entire electoral cycle, that is, two years for the House of Representatives and six years for the Senate. On the bank side, Citigroup is interrupting financial contributions for three months, JP Morgan Chase for six months and Goldman Sachs… until further notice. The flows will dry up for some time, but the next elections are not until November 2022.

Biden will call on Congress to forgive $10,000 in student debt for all borrowers

Attention to the issue of student loans was one of Joe Biden's campaign promises.

Once he takes office Joe Biden will ask Congress to immediately cancel $ 10,000 of student debt for all borrowers, in support of the economy that has been affected by Covid-19 , David Kamin of the transition team revealed this Friday .

He commented that Biden will also order the Department of Education to extend the payment pause that is scheduled to expire this month , as well as the interests that affect millions of Americans with federal student loans .

Kamin added that the next administration will improve income-based payment programs, in addition to “fixing and expanding loan forgiveness programs for those with public service jobs .”

No further details were released about the duration of the extension and whether all types of debt collection will be suspended , but it is true that from the first day that President Biden arrives at the White House, he will make decisions in this area, as he promised. in campaign .

The issue is very relevant because the financial aid package approved in December did not include an extension of the payment pause for student loan debtors , in force since March and expiring at the end of the month .

The news is encouraging for many borrowers who have been unable to make their payments . A Pew survey revealed that about 90% of federal student loan applicants have taken advantage of the government’s option to pause their payments during the pandemic and that 6 in 10 borrowers said it would be difficult for them to start paying. your student loan bills again in the next month .

We will have to wait for Biden to assume the presidency to find out how this support is approved, if it is done through Congress or through executive action .

Study: Fifty Years of Tax Cuts for Rich Didn’t Trickle Down


The tax cuts granted to the richest over the past 50 years in the most developed countries have not helped to create jobs or growth, according to a study by two British researchers and published on Wednesday. It thus highlights the limits of the controversial “streaming theory”.

Analyzing tax levies in 18 OECD countries over the past half-century, the two economists, David Hope, of the London School of Economics, and Julian Limberg, of King’s College London, noted that the declines in taxes granted to the rich only benefited them and thus increased inequalities .

This conclusion goes against the “trickle-down theory”, according to which the enrichment of the wealthiest benefits the poorest, because this money would then be reinjected into the economy, via consumption or investment. An idea at the heart of Emmanuel Macron’s policy since his election – even if he denies it -, highlighted by his decision to abolish the ISF (solidarity tax on wealth) in 2018. In the United States United, Donald Trump’s major tax reform in 2017 was also based on this theory.


“Our research suggests that such policies (of tax cuts for the richest, editor’s note) do not produce the runoff that their supporters claim,” David Hope told Bloomberg . Thus, in the midst of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, “political decision-makers should not fear that an increase in taxes for the wealthy, to finance the financial costs of the pandemic, will harm their economies,” he underlines.

What to give grain to grind in France to the supporters of a re-establishment of the ISF to finance the emergency economic measures intended to help the professions most affected by the health crisis. A measure demanded in particular by the left-wing opposition and by the Nobel Prize for economics Esther Duflo, but swept away by the government.

Study: 7.8 million Americans slipped into poverty amid coronavirus pandemic

Americans fell into poverty

The study of the universities of Notre Dame and Chicago reflects an increase in the poverty rate in the US of 2.4% in just six months.

The poverty rate in the United States has risen in the last six months, amid unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of a new government aid package, a study by the universities of Notre Dame and Chicago reported Tuesday. .

According to the report, poverty increased by an average of 2.4% from 9.3% in June to 11.7% in November, and although the level is historically low, the jump has been the fastest in an annual period since that the government started registering it 60 years ago.

The number of Americans who have joined poverty from June to November is 7.8 million.

The report says that poverty had decreased in the first months of the pandemic, in January and February, by 1.5%, from 10.9% to 9.4% in April, May and June, but it skyrocketed afterwards, increasing monthly until reaching the figure of 11.7% in November.

The increase in poverty was more relevant in black citizens, children and people with a high school education level or less. For African Americans, the increase was 3.1 percent from June, the study says.

The document highlights a difference between the poverty rate and the unemployment rate. While poverty increased by 2.4 percent since June, unemployment has decreased by 40% in that period (from 11.1% to 6.7%).

That difference is not surprising, the study notes, because some of the government’s unemployment benefits have expired, unemployment benefits are typically only about half of job income losses, and five million people have left the force. employment in the last year and do not count as unemployed.

Researchers said government stimulus checks of $ 1,200 per person and $ 2,400 for marriages saved the country from further poverty and warn that the next relief that Congress could pass is nearly half of the previous one.

The study expresses concern about a further increase in the poverty rate in the future without more direct help from the government during the pandemic.

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