Biden Says Drug Offenders Should Be Treated, Not Jailed
“No one should go to jail for a drug offense. No one should go to jail for the use of a drug, they should go to drug rehabilitation,” President Joe Biden said.
Biden Suggests More Police Funding, No Jail For Drug Offenders
[Biden] also reiterated another campaign promise Tuesday, ending jail sentences for drug use alone. “No one should go to jail for a drug offense. No one should go to jail for the use of a drug, they should go to drug rehabilitation,” he said.
The Washington Examiner:
Biden: 'No One Should Go To Jail For The Use Of A Drug'
The sentencing system should be changed to one that focuses on making sure that there are rehabilitation plans for criminals more generally, Biden said, adding that prison systems should have access to vocational programs that help those behind bars learn the career skills they need to succeed outside of prison. (Halaschak, 2/16)
In other news from the Biden administration —
Former Biden Coronavirus Advisers Push White House To More Widely Recommend Use Of N95 Masks
Several members of President Joe Biden's former coronavirus advisory board are urging his administration to more widely recommend and mandate the use of N95 masks, citing a "pressing and urgent need for action" driven by the threat of new coronavirus variants. In a memo to Biden's top coronavirus advisers obtained by CNN, a dozen health and safety experts -- including four members of Biden's former advisory board -- called on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to "recommend and require the use of respiratory protection, such as N95 FFRs (filtering facepiece respirators), to protect all workers at high risk of exposure and infection." (Diamond, 2/17)
White House Relaunches Snapchat Account With A Covid-Focused Message From Biden And Fauci
The White House is relaunching its official Snapchat account on Tuesday, featuring a message from President Joe Biden focused on Covid-19.In his first official Snapchat story as president, Biden sits in the White House dining room, wearing a face mask. He tells Snapchatters why he is wearing a mask and asks them to do the same. "I'm wearing a mask because people are around me," Biden says in the video. "Please, please, please wear a mask." (Janfaza, 2/16)
Trump's Gone, But China, U.S. Still At Odds Over WHO Covid Report
The World Health Organization hasn't even released its final report exploring the origins of the coronavirus, and yet it's the subject of a new rift between China and the U.S., with the embattled health organization in the middle. ... "It's kind of disappointing that it's come to controversy already — the report is not even out," Peter Daszak, a member of the mission who is president of the EcoHealth Alliance, a New York nonprofit focused on emerging infectious diseases, said Monday. "I hope the politics steps to one side and lets the science speak for once. We've done enough politicking around this pandemic." Over the weekend, the Biden administration questioned not only the actions of the Chinese government, but also the conduct of the WHO team itself. (Frayer and Smith, 2/16)
Prominent Scientists Call On CDC To Better Protect Workers From Covid
A prominent group of academics is pressing the Biden administration to move faster and take stronger action to protect high-risk workers from airborne exposure to the coronavirus, urging enforceable standards to help safeguard risky workplaces including health care, food processing and prisons. The researchers say that even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has acknowledged the virus can spread through tiny airborne particles, it needs to take “strong immediate” action to update its guidance to reduce the risk. (Jewett, 2/17)
Why Biden Has A Chance To Cut Deals With Red State Holdouts On Medicaid
President Joe Biden has an unexpected opening to cut deals with red states to expand Medicaid, raising the prospect that the new administration could extend health protections to millions of uninsured Americans and reach a goal that has eluded Democrats for a decade. The opportunity emerges as the covid-19 pandemic saps state budgets and strains safety nets. That may help break the Medicaid deadlock in some of the 12 states that have rejected federal funding made available by the Affordable Care Act, health officials, patient advocates and political observers say. (Levey, 2/17)