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Psaki: ‘Even after you’re vaccinated, social distancing and wearing masks will be essential’

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On Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that even after a person has received a vaccine, “social distancing and wearing masks will be essential.”

A reporter had asked Psaki at Thursday’s press briefing what the Biden administration will do to combat people refusing to wear masks beyond urging people to wear them, amid new strains of the coronavirus starting to reach the United States.

Psaki replied saying that the White House is trying to communicate about wearing masks “as frequently as possible” and she went on to say that she and all the reporters were listening to health experts by wearing masks. She also touted President Joe Biden mandating mask-wearing on public lands and airplanes as a step taken in enforcing masks.

“But part of what we are also trying to do is make our health and medical experts available to ensure people understand—and I’ll reiterate it here today—it’s not just a vaccine,” which she called a “medical breakthrough” and said “we want every American to have one”.

“But even after you’re vaccinated,” she added, “social distancing and wearing masks will be essential.”

As of Thursday afternoon, 35 million vaccine doses have been administered to Americans, according to state-by-state data compiled by the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker. While the tracker says that 8.5% of Americans have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 2.1% have received two doses. So far during the pandemic, over 450,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus and 26 million have tested positive, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

RELATED: Michael Bloomberg: Pres. Biden needs to ‘stand up’ to teachers unions

RELATED: CDC Director: Vaccinating teachers ‘not a prerequisite’ for safely reopening schools

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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