Day 449: "Fundamental changes."
1/ The Biden administration extended the coronavirus public health emergency for another 90 days, allowing millions of Americans to keep getting free tests, vaccines, and treatments for at least three more months. The CDC, meanwhile, announced that it would extend the federal transportation mask requirement for an additional two weeks. The mask mandate is now extended through May 3. (New York Times / Associated Press / Bloomberg / Reuters)
2/ The U.S. will send an additional $800 million worth of military and other security assistance to Ukraine to help fight against Russia’s invasion. After speaking with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Biden said that the “new package of assistance will contain many of the highly effective weapons systems we have already provided, and new capabilities tailored to the wider assault we expect Russia to launch in eastern Ukraine.” The U.S. will also expand the intelligence it provides to Ukraine’s forces so they can better target Russian military units in Donbas and Crimea. Separately, Finland and Sweden are expected to seek NATO membership as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Finland issued a formal “white paper” on the “fundamental changes in the security environment,” designed to inform parliamentary debate on the issue. Finland’s prime minister said she expects a decision would be made “within weeks.” Sweden’s prime minister, meanwhile, said she sees “no point in delaying this analysis or the process” over whether to join the alliance. (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / CNBC / Bloomberg)
3/ Mark Meadows was removed from North Carolina’s voter rolls as state officials investigate whether he committed voter fraud during the 2020 election. Trump’s White House chief of staff, who promoted baseless claims before and after the 2020 presidential election, was registered to vote in both Virginia and North Carolina. Last month, North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s office asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into Meadows’ voter registration. Meadows reportedly filed his voter registration in September 2020, listing his address as a mobile home in North Carolina that he didn’t own and had never lived at. Meadows voted absentee by mail from that address in the 2020 election. In 2021, however, Meadows registered to vote in Virginia, where he and his wife own a condominium. Property records show that Meadows and his wife bought the unit in July 2017. (Asheville Citizen Times / Washington Post / New York Times / Associated Press / CNN)
4/ Two of Trump’s top White House lawyers met with the Jan. 6 committee. While neither Pat Cipollone and Patrick Philbin were under oath and their interviews were not transcribed, the two could return for formal testimony later. Biden, meanwhile, authorized the National Archives to hand over more of Trump’s White House documents to the Jan. 6 committee. Biden declined to assert executive privilege over the records. (Politico / New York Times / Washington Post)
5/ The State Department is unable to compile a complete list of gifts presented to Trump, his family, Pence, or other U.S. officials by foreign governments in 2020. Under federal law, government departments and agencies are required to submit a list to the State Department of gifts over $415 received from foreign governments to guard against potential conflicts of interest and undue influence over American officials. The department, however, said the Trump administration left office without providing an accounting of gifts. The report comes as House lawmakers investigate the boxes of classified materials Trump took with him to Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. (Associated Press / CNN / New York Times)
poll/ 74% of Americans think the worst of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is yet to come, while 11% think the worst is over. (Quinnipiac)
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