US Domestic News Roundup: U.S. buys 600,000 more doses of GSK-Vir's antibody COVID-19 treatment; U.S. offers to dismiss Ghislaine Maxwell perjury case if sex abuse conviction stands and more
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was positive that Monday's talks in Geneva had been held in an open, substantive and direct manner, but Russia was interested only in results. Explainer-U.S. Senate Democrats mull ending filibuster to pass voting rights reform Democrats' razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate has led to them making new calls to change the chamber's longstanding "filibuster" supermajority rule to allow them to pass a voting rights bill that President Joe Biden will urge https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-biden-filibuster-idUSKBN2JK1L8 action on on Tuesday.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. buys 600,000 more doses of GSK-Vir's antibody COVID-19 treatment
British drugmaker GSK and U.S. partner Vir Biotechnology said on Tuesday the United States had agreed to buy 600,000 more doses of their antibody-based COVID-19 treatment, sotrovimab, for an undisclosed amount. The drugmakers said the additional doses would be supplied to the U.S. government for distribution in the first quarter of 2022.
U.S. offers to dismiss Ghislaine Maxwell perjury case if sex abuse conviction stands
The U.S. government is prepared to dismiss two perjury charges against Ghislaine Maxwell if her conviction for aiding Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses is allowed to stand, according to a joint letter from prosecutors and Maxwell's defense team. In the Monday night letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan, prosecutors said dismissing the perjury counts would reflect the victims' "significant interests in bringing closure to this matter and avoiding the trauma of testifying again."
The future of Aduhelm, Biogen Inc's controversial and expensive Alzheimer's drug, may hinge on a decision due this week from the U.S. Medicare program on whether it will pay for the treatment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has been working since July on a national coverage policy for the drug, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last June despite its questionable efficacy against the brain-wasting disease. Only one of Biogen's two pivotal trials showed Aduhelm can slow the rate of cognitive decline for Alzheimer's patients.
U.S. reports 1.35 million COVID-19 cases in a day, shattering global record
The United States reported 1.35 million new coronavirus infections on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, the highest daily total for any country in the world as the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant showed no signs of slowing. The previous record was 1.03 million cases on Jan. 3. A large number of cases are reported each Monday due to many states not reporting over the weekend. The seven-day average for new cases has tripled in two weeks https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR to over 700,000 new infections a day.
Several Democratic U.S. senators said late on Monday, after meeting with Biden administration officials, that they believe sanctions on Russia's Nord Stream 2 pipeline backed by Republican Senator Ted Cruz could harm relations with Germany.
Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and President Joe Biden's global energy security adviser Amos Hochstein met on Monday behind closed doors with about 10 Democratic senators who have been undecided on the Cruz bill.
Biden to champion voting rights in Georgia as clock ticks for reforms
President Joe Biden will travel to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthplace of Atlanta on Tuesday to jumpstart stalled efforts to reform U.S. voting rights after new laws by states that some activists say will deter Black voters from the polls.
His speech, delivered after Vice President Kamala Harris' at historically Black Clark Atlanta University and Morehouse College, comes as Democrats gird themselves for tough 2020 midterm contests that could strip them of a congressional majority and any chance of federal changes to voting laws.
Possible door malfunctions under scrutiny in deadly New York City blaze
New York authorities said on Monday the city was investigating a possible "maintenance issue" with self-closing doors that failed to function properly when a devastating fire erupted in a Bronx apartment building a day earlier, killing 17 people, including eight children. New York City Mayor Eric Adams, just over a week into the job, said at a briefing that the city's medical examiner determined the fire had claimed two fewer lives than the 19 announced on Sunday.
Exclusive-Smart guns finally arriving in U.S., seeking to shake up firearms market
Personalized smart guns, which can be fired only by verified users, may finally become available to U.S. consumers after two decades of questions about reliability and concerns they will usher in a new wave of government regulation. Four-year-old LodeStar Works on Friday unveiled its 9mm smart handgun for shareholders and investors in Boise, Idaho. And a Kansas company, SmartGunz LLC, says law enforcement agents are beta testing its product, a similar but simpler model.
Russia says it's not optimistic on U.S. talks, won't let them drag on
Russia said on Tuesday it was not optimistic after a first round of talks with the United States on the Ukraine crisis and would not allow its demands for security guarantees from the West to become mired in tortuous negotiations. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was positive that Monday's talks in Geneva had been held in an open, substantive and direct manner, but Russia was interested only in results.
Democrats' razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate has led to them making new calls to change the chamber's longstanding "filibuster" supermajority rule to allow them to pass a voting rights bill that President Joe Biden will urge action on on Tuesday. Critics say the "filibuster," which requires 60 of the 100 senators to agree on most legislation, is an anti-democratic hurdle that prevents Washington from addressing pressing problems.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)