Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: we still have a pandemic to deal with, even if DC reporters are bored

 Elahe Izadi and Paul Farhi/WaPo:

Not a single reporter at Biden’s first presidential news conference asked about the pandemic

Instead, Biden was asked at least 10 times about the surge of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, which has lately dominated news coverage, and been portrayed as a major crisis for his administration. (Some immigration experts say the migration numbers match a seasonal pattern and the coverage is overblown.)

Yesterday’s #PresidentBiden press conference had very few questions on economy, so here is a synopsis on the #BuildBackBetter plan with a focus on #Infrastructure and possible #TaxReform as a way to pay for it

— Robert Wolf (@robertwolf32) March 26, 2021

Joey Garrison and Deborah Barfield Berry/USA Today:

‘It’s sick’: Biden slams Republican efforts in state legislatures to limit voting rights

An impassioned President Joe Biden on Thursday condemned efforts in Republican-led state legislatures to pass bills making access to the ballot box more difficult, calling it “all by design” to suppress voters.

“What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is,” Biden said during his first White House press conference. “It’s sick. It’s sick.”

Biden singled out some of the most draconian of the more than 253 bills introduced in 43 states that would restrict access to voting. The tally is according to the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, which is tracking the legislation.

A study showed voters in predominantly black neighborhoods waited 29 percent longer, on average, than those in white neighborhoods. They were also about 74 percent more likely to wait for more than half an hour. So GA Republicans responded by making it illegal to give them water.

— Brian Schatz (@brianschatz) March 26, 2021

Susan B Glasser/New Yorker:

The Presidential Press Conference in the Biden Era Is as Awful as Ever

Under Trump, we had to listen. But now? There must be a better way.

For weeks, Washington clamored for a Biden press conference. This was, after all, the longest a new President had gone without holding one since the Coolidge Administration. Republicans—and the state-run media in Russia—seized on Biden’s reticence as proof that he was somehow too old or incoherent to face the rigors of extended, unscripted questioning. With his critics having set such a low bar, it should surprise no one that Biden, who did, after all, win a national election by surviving almost a dozen debates with his Democratic-primary rivals and two with Donald Trump, cleared it. Republicans, it could be said, succeeded in one respect with their preshow spin: they wanted Biden to be on the defensive talking about immigration and the border, not the passage of his $1.9 trillion covid-relief package and the success of his vaccine campaign. Reporters, based on the questions, agreed.

Watching news on the Suez crisis in diff languages. The West is all jokes & market speculations. To hear about seafarers stuck after being away for a year, ships not carrying enough provisions, risks to the region due to rising oil & gas prices, you have to watch news in Arabic

— Lexi Alexander الكسندرا ميراي (@Lexialex) March 26, 2021

NY Times:

For Biden, a New Virus Dilemma: How to Handle a Looming Glut of Vaccine

As U.S. manufacturers hit their stride, vaccine scarcity will soon turn to plenty as much of the world goes begging. And vaccine makers need answers now about what to do with the coming surplus.

President Biden has promised enough doses by the end of May to immunize all of the nation’s roughly 260 million adults. But between then and the end of July, the government has locked in commitments from manufacturers for enough vaccine to cover 400 million people — about 70 million more than the nation’s entire population.

Whether to keep, modify or redirect those orders is a question with significant implications, not just for the nation’s efforts to contain the virus but also for how soon the pandemic can be brought to an end. Of the vaccine doses given globally, about three-quarters have gone to only 10 countries. At least 30 countries have not yet injected a single person.

Research shows that ‘closing schools & universities was consistently highly effective at reducing transmission’ ..& so it follows that opening schools increases spread (this is not a reason to close schools, it’s a reason to do more to make schools safer)

— Orla Hegarty (@Orla_Hegarty) March 26, 2021

Lauren Weber/KFF:

How One State’s Public Health Defunding Led to Vaccination Chaos

Missourians have driven hours to find vaccines in rural counties — at least those with cars and the time. Tens of thousands of doses are waiting to be distributed, slowly being rolled out in a federal long-term care program. Waitlists are hundreds of thousands of people long. Black residents are getting left behind.

Missouri’s rocky vaccine rollout places it among the bottom states nationwide, with 23.7% of the population vaccinated with at least one dose as of Thursday, compared with the national average of 26.3%. If Missouri were on par with the national rate, that would be roughly equivalent to more than 162,000 additional people vaccinated, or almost the entire population of the city of Springfield.

Yesterday’s #PresidentBiden press conference had very few questions on economy, so here is a synopsis on the #BuildBackBetter plan with a focus on #Infrastructure and possible #TaxReform as a way to pay for it

— Robert Wolf (@robertwolf32) March 26, 2021

Christopher Ingraham/WaPo:

The richest 1 percent dodge taxes on more than one-fifth of their income, study shows

Those at the very top of the income spectrum deny the U.S. government roughly $175 billion a year in revenue, researchers estimate.

The richest Americans are hiding more than 20 percent of their earnings from the Internal Revenue Service, according to a comprehensive new estimate of tax evasion, with the top 1 percent of earners accounting for more than a third of all unpaid federal taxes.

That’s costing the federal government roughly $175 billion a year in revenue, according to the findings by a team of economists from academia and the IRS.

The data come as Senate Democrats consider raising taxes on the ultrawealthy to reduce inequality and fund their legislative priorities. President Biden, in a sharp reversal from his predecessor, has signaled that he wants to raise taxes on the wealthy, corporations and estates.

The researchers say that years of IRS funding cuts, combined with the increased sophistication of tax evasion tactics available to the rich, have made shirking tax obligations easier than ever. And they say that these estimates probably understate the true extent of tax evasion at the top of the income spectrum.

Daily Beast: Prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia are actively researching whether they can apply “false statement” charges against Rudy Giuliani and other members of Trump’s team for their attempts to meddle with the state’s 2020 election results.

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) March 25, 2021

Greg Sargent/WaPo:

A scorching reply to Georgia’s vile new voting law unmasks a big GOP lie

Turnout was impressively high on Election Day and during the Senate runoffs, especially among African American voters.

That should have been widely cheered. Yet it’s precisely what the state’s Republican officials apparently want to ensure never happens again.

Georgia Republicans just passed a far-reaching voter suppression law that is shockingly blatant in its efforts to restrict voting. It was signed Thursday by Gov. Brian Kemp (R), as one Democratic lawmaker who sought to watch was arrested.

In multiple ways, the measure appears designed to target African American voters, the very voters who drove the 2020 Democratic wins. That complaint is at the core of a new lawsuit filed on Thursday night against the law.

But the lawsuit also exposes — in a fresh way — the appalling dishonesty of Republicans who continue using former president Donald Trump’s lie about the election to justify voter suppression efforts everywhere.

Need a quick reference for COVID testing? Check out this great infographic from @accpchest! And more clinical resources and #foamed here

— Chris Carroll MD (@ChrisCarrollMD) March 24, 2021

From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.

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