Former Vice President and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden held his first press conference in 89 days on Tuesday.
Speaking to the public from Wilmington, Deleware, Biden accused the President of mishandling the COVID-19 outbreak and explained a number of corrections he’d make to his policies, including increasing testing and contact tracing capabilities, and “restoring” the country’s relationship with the World Health Organization, recognizing that the organization’s had it’s ‘shortcomings and missteps.’
“We have to immediately restore our relationship with the World Health Organization for all its shortcomings and missteps over COVID-19. This is why WHO was created. It is essential to coordinating a global response during a pandemic. And the United States should be leading that response as we had in the past,” Biden said.
He added, “COVID-19 will likely worsen at the outset of flu season this year, so we need to put in place measures now, now to ensure the seasonal flu vaccine can be ready, available, and administered safely to those who need it under social distancing guidelines, especially for seniors.”
President Donald Trump has been hard on the WHO for its close relationship with China and for its mishandling of the pandemic. Last month, Trump announced that the U.S. will “terminate” its relationship with the group after earlier announcing that he would halt U.S. funding, citing the organization’s “China-centric” ties.
The WHO has on a number of occasions misled the world on the spread of COVID-19. Initially, the WHO said there was no evidence of “human-to-human transmission” of the virus, and, even more recently, said then backtracked that the asymptomatic transmission is “very rare.”
DOJ says FBI informant on Biden had ‘high-level’ contacts with Russian intelligence
In a memorandum filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada to support Alexander Smirnov’s continued pre-trial detention, the Department of Justice(DOJ) wrote that he claimed to have had “contacts with multiple foreign intelligence agencies…[who] could resettle Smirnov outside the United States if he were released.”
Smirnov, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was arrested and charged on Feb. 14 with making false statements to the FBI about Biden’s connections to the Ukrainian energy company Burisma Holdings Limited, which employed his son Hunter Biden as a member of the board with a monthly salary of $50,000 during his term as vice president.
“During his custodial interview on February 14, Smirnov admitted that officials associated with Russian intelligence were involved in passing a story about [Hunter Biden],” wrote special counsel David Weiss in the filing. “Smirnov apparently attended a separate meeting with Russian Official 1, [an] individual who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts.”
The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that Smirnov was a confidential human source who provided information that was used to prepare a report, known as an FD-1023, about Joe Biden’s alleged connections to the Burisma business partners of Hunter Biden. That report has previously served as evidence contradictingJoe Biden’s claim that he knew nothing of his son’s business dealings; a notion at the center of an impeachment inquiry against him.
The FD-1023 detailing Smirnov’s claims was released by Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa on July 20, 2023, after it was provided to him by government whistleblowers. “[The] indictment confirms several points Senator Grassley has made repeatedly. The informant behind the FD-1023 was, indeed, a long-serving, trusted FBI source used by the agency for criminal investigations since the Obama administration. In fact, he was so trusted that the FBI provided him authorization ‘to engage in illegal activity for investigative purposes’,” a spokesperson for Grassley told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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