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Dep HHS Sec: Early COVID-19 Data ‘probably long gone’

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Department of Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan joined “The Sara Carter Show” on Thursday to discuss COVID-19 and Operation Warp Speed. During his interview with host Sara A. Carter, Hargan addressed China’s handling of the virus and said that there’s still so much we don’t know about the origins of its strain.

Hargan explained that although China “did give us the viral sequence in January”, there was still “a lot of dragging of heels on the part of China to be able to allow international observers and researchers to figure out exactly what was going on here.”

“So there’s still there are still a lot of mysteries about the origin of this viral strain, and exactly how it appeared when it appeared,” Hargan said. “And so I think that that’s going to be something that we’re going to be digging into, really, for a long time in the future. But a lot of it, I’m afraid, a lot of the data on the early outbreak is probably long gone.”

The World Health Organization is readying to soon be able to send a team of experts to Wuhan after reportedly months of negotiations with the Chinese government.

Early in the outbreak, many international health experts were barred from entering Wuhan. Additionally, many journalists were also sent out of China and whistleblowers warning about the virus were disappeared.

Despite the Chinese government’s efforts to control information about COVID-19, the Trump administration has been able to successfully move forward with Operation Warp Speed to develop a vaccine. Now, three different vaccines, each with over 90% efficacy, have been approved by the FDA.

With that ongoing success, Hargan predicts that 20 million doses will be given by the end of December, another 30 million by the end of January, and then another 50 million by the end of February. That would mean by February, 100 million Americans will be vaccinated.

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Biden frees Venezuelan President Maduro’s drug dealing relatives in prisoner swap

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Joe Biden

President Biden freed two of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s relatives Saturday in exchange for seven jailed Americans. The two nephews of Maduro’s wife Cilia Flores, had been convicted in the United States for drug dealing and sentenced to 18 years in prison, according to the BBC.

According to the report, the swap was in exchange for five American oil executives. Those Americans were “exchanged for two of Mr Maduro’s wife’s nephews, who were serving 18-year sentences in the US on drug charges,” the officials told the BBC. Maduro’s nephews were convicted under the Trump administration and the Venezuelan government claims that they were “unjustly” jailed in the United States.

In a statement from the White House Saturday, Biden said the American’s were  “wrongfully detained.”  He said the American’s  would soon be reunited with their relatives, according to reports.

“Today, we celebrate that seven families will be whole once more. To all the families who are still suffering and separated from their loved ones who are wrongfully detained – know that we remain dedicated to securing their release,” the Biden statement added.

Meanwhile, 13 Republican members of Congress sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, requesting more information on “the intelligence report” that alleges Maduro is emptying his prisons and allowing them to head to the United States in the caravans that crossing the porous border.

The letter states that the report warns Border Patrol agents to be on the look-out for “violent criminals from Venezuela among the migrant caravans heading towards the U.S.-Mexico border.”

“It has been widely reported that the Venezuelan regime, under the control of Nicolás Maduro Moros, is deliberately releasing violent prisoners early, including inmates convicted of ‘murder, rape, and extortion,’ and pushing them to join caravans heading to the United States,” the letter states.

You can follow Sara A. Carter on Twitter @SaraCarterDC.

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