Trump’s Close Aide Hope Hicks Will Depart White House Next Week

‘Our Vaccine Safety Systems Haven’t Picked Up Any Worrisome Signals:’ CDC

Anaphylaxis cases after administering Covid-19 vaccine are still rare, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Anyone with a history of an immediate allergic reaction to injectable vaccine and people with a history of anaphylaxis due to any cause should be observed for 30 minutes after vaccination. Our vaccine safety systems haven’t picked up any worrisome signals,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.

CDC has urged healthcare providers to be ready to treat rare cases of anaphylaxis following administration of vaccines.

According to CDC, only about one in 100,000 people who received the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine have had severe allergic reactions, thus making the benefits of immunization outweigh the known risks.

CDC documented 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 shots from 14 December to 23 December.

“This averages out to a rate of 11.1 anaphylaxis cases per one million doses administered,” Messonnier said.

“Even at 11 cases per million doses administered it is a very safe vaccine,” she added. “I continue to believe that the risk of Covid, and the risk of poor outcomes, especially in senior citizens, makes it imperative that people go ahead and get vaccinated as soon as it’s available to them.”

Pence Will Break With Trump and Attend Biden-Harris Inauguration

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Vice President Mike Pence will attend the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, breaking ranks with President Donald Trump, who said that he wouldn’t attend.

Pence plans to be at the Jan. 20 event, according to two people familiar with his plans who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations. Trump, in the final tweet before his account was suspended by Twitter on Friday, said that he “will not be going to the Inauguration.”

On Wednesday, the vice president defied Trump’s call to overturn the election and instead fulfilled his ceremonial duty to preside over Congress’s acceptance of the Electoral College results.

During the proceedings, an angry mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol and overtook security, storming into the building and causing lawmakers and others to evacuate. Five people were killed in the melee, including a police officer.

On Friday, Biden, speaking to reporters, said that he agreed that Trump shouldn’t attend the inauguration but that Pence was “welcome,” and that he’d be honored if the vice president were to attend.

“I’d be honored to have him there,” Biden said.

Twenty-Year Bond Auction Attracts Below Average Demand

The Treasury Department announced the results of this month’s auction of $24 billion worth of twenty-year bonds on Wednesday, revealing the sale attracted below average demand.

The twenty-year bond auction drew a high yield of 1.657 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.28.

Last month, the Treasury also sold $24 billion worth of twenty-year bonds, drawing a high yield of 1.470 percent and a bid-to-cover ratio of 2.39.

The bid-to-cover ratio is a measure of demand that indicates the amount of bids for each dollar worth of securities being sold.

Since being reintroduced last May, the eight previous twenty-year bond auctions had an average bid-to-cover ratio of 2.42.

William Burns Named As CIA Director

President-elect Biden nominated former U.S. Ambassador to Russia William J. Burns as the new CIA Director.

64-year-old Burns, who retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after 33-year long diplomatic career, would be the first career diplomat to head the Central Intelligence Agency.

In a statement announcing his nomination, Biden said, “The American people will sleep soundly with him as our next CIA Director.”

He has served in a number of national security positions across five Democratic and Republican presidential administrations.

Burns served as Deputy Secretary of State from 2011 to 2014 under Barack Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry.

He was elevated to that post after serving as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 2008 to 2011, U.S. Ambassador to Russia from 2005 to 2008, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from 2001 to 2005, and U.S. Ambassador to Jordan from 1998 to 2001.

Burns is the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest international affairs think tank in the United States.

He has received three Presidential Distinguished Service Awards and the highest civilian honors from the Pentagon and the U.S. intelligence community.

Herald morning quiz: January 23

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Trump’s Close Aide Hope Hicks Will Depart White House Next Week

One of President Donald Trump’s closest and longest-serving aides, Hope Hicks, will leave the White House next week, according to two people familiar with the matter.

While Hicks is resigning a week before Trump’s term ends, she has told colleagues that it is not because of the attempted insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters on Wednesday.

Two cabinet members and scores of lower-level officials have departed the administration, citing Trump’s incitement of large protests that led to the storming of the Capitol.