US vaccine supplies look set to surge as Johnson & Johnson gets nod from panel advising FDA – live

11.04pm GMT

David Smith is back again with another virtual dispatch from CPAC, which Donald Trump Jr renamed “T-PAC” – a reference to his father’s stranglehold on the party.

Donald Trump Jr used his CPAC speech on Friday to draw battle lines in the Republican party, insisting that it should not go back to the era before his father.

“If there’s one thing the Republican party has been really good at over the last two decades, it’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory,” the former president’s son said. “They caved to every special interest, they caved to corporate America, they caved and bowed to the radical left that hates their guts, hates their values and hates their freedom.”

His singled out Liz Cheney, the number three Republican in the House of Representatives, who voted for Trump’s impeachment after the 6 January insurrection. Cheney, daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney, this week also criticised Trump’s appearance at CPAC.

In his remarks, Trump Jr compared her to the Lincoln Project, an anti-Trump group of current and former Republican consultants.

“Lincoln Project Liz, as I like to call her, is the leader of that failed movement, and if we want to go back to losing, if we want to go back to an America last policy, we should be following that,” he said. “But I don’t and I don’t think anyone in this room does either.”

The pugnacious Trump Jr reserved some of his barbs for Joe Biden, telling CPAC: “The first 30 days have been a disaster. The lies the media told you wouldn’t happen are all happening. But hey, at least they have a diverse cabinet!

“It’s very diverse. That’s what we saw, right. What is the policy of the FDA? ‘Well, first and foremost, we appointed a woman.’ Well, that’s wonderful. Is she competent? Because there’s competent women and there’s incompetent women, just like tthere are competent men and incompetent men.

“We’ve seen that. We know that to be a fact. But when you don’t have policy to address the incompetent and think you can get away with it by just talking about diversity blindly, it’s sort of a problem, isn’t it?”

Trump’s own administration was notoriously dominated by white men, many of whom were criticised as incompetent.

His son was cheered as he concluded with a preview of the ex-president’s speech: “So we’re looking forward to Sunday. I imagine it will not be what we call a low energy speech, and I assure you that it will solidify Donald Trump and all of your feelings about the Maga movement as the future of the Republican party.”

11.02pm GMT

House Democrats held a press conference ahead of the vote on Joe Biden’s $1.9tn coronavirus aid bill, which is expected to pass, and found themselves under fire over the $15 minimum wage increase that could not be included in the bill under Senate rules.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a strong response when asked about the issue:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the Senate parliamentarian nixing the $15 wage increase: “As a matter of practice, I don’t get involved with the United States Senate. But as a matter of values, I can just say, we will not rest until we pass the $15 minimum wage.” pic.twitter.com/jRBPdrNZHi

Continue reading… Source: The Guardian: US vaccine supplies look set to surge as Johnson & Johnson gets nod from panel advising FDA – live ———