GOOD MORNING DC: It Happened Here First  

#GoodMorningDC. Here's the world you are waking up to this Monday morning. 

Good Morning DC with Chief White House Correspondent  Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer

Good Morning DC. Rise and shine it's a Monday morning in our nation’s capital. Due to weather conditions in Washington DC, all public Covid testing sites will be closed today and public schools will be all virtual

A lot happened during the weekend so let’s rewind, shall we?

Spotted: Daily Mail reported on a column MP Andrew Bridgen wrote for The Pavlovic Today.

Over the weekend, Trump lost five of his lawyers. On Sunday evening page-turner, a former president announced a new legal team that will defend him on February 8 in the Senate impeachment trial: Former Roger Stone’s defense lawyer David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor, Jr., a former District Attorney of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.

According to the Office of the Former President, “both Schoen and Castor agree that this impeachment is unconstitutional - a fact 45 Senators voted in agreement with last week.”

It's Trump’s impeachment trial, and he can fire and hire whom he wants to. 

Project Lincoln is on thin ice after the walls closed on their co-founder John Weaver. He is facing 21 accusations of sexual harassment. Will the scorched-earth driven Project Lincoln survive the story that finally broke the media wall? Hardly. No matter how much the mainstream media and big money try to help Lincoln Project distance itself from Weaver, ordinary Americans don't buy into it. 

It's all about a political brand one wants to associate with. The Lincoln Project served its purpose to annihilate Trump. Moving forward, however, a brand of politics straight out of Machiavelli's playbook is unsustainable. 

Over the weekend, President Biden met with advisors to discuss how to approach the winter storm. He also talked about the American Rescue Plan, which will "deliver urgent economic relief to struggling Americans and speed up the rate of vaccinations."

Following the EU’s invocation of Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Brexit protocol to block the Pfitzer vaccines from coming into the UK, a group of prominent MPs urged PM Boris Johnson to look after Ireland. By sending vaccines to the people of Ireland, the UK would signal to the world that it is taking care of their neighbor, as the EU apparently can't. 

"That puts the EU in a very challenging political position. Their government has been a bastard to us during Brexit. What can the EU say now? No, you can't help Ireland?", a UK politician told Good Morning DC. 

But there’s more happening across the pond.

The UK is applying to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the announcement is to be made soon. "We've done a deal," a source told Good Morning DC. "Americans want to go back into TPP, so if we join, we get a free trade deal with the US in that way with no trouble at all," a source added. 

In 2017, President Trump signed an executive order to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and when the United States under the Biden administration re-joins. it will be a win-win scenario for the UK-US alliance. 

In Myanmar, the state of emergency has been declared for one year. The military has taken control of the country as they detained Aung San Suu Kyi and other politicians from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party. 

The Biden administration  "opposes any attempt to alter the outcome of recent elections or impede Myanmar’s democratic transition, and will take action against those responsible if these steps are not reversed," Jen Psaki stated. 

Jim Scuitto asked an excellent question: "What power does the US now have to protest a coup in Myanmar where the plotters falsely claim election fraud to remove the clear winner of the country’s November election?"

It happened here, first. 

In Russia, the crackdown of protesters continues. Over the weekend, police detained more than 5000 people who stormed the streets in support of Navalny. 

Meanwhile in the Senate

Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Ben Sasse issued a letter to Biden’s nominee for U.S. Commerce Secretary, Governor Gina Raimondo, urging her to commit to countering China's 5G ambitions. 

“Huawei has a long track record of economic espionage, supporting human rights abuses in the PRC and elsewhere, and supporting the regime’s capture of foreign political elites. The company has not changed alongside the U.S. presidency,” a letter to Raimondo states. 

Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, and Ben Sasse ask the incoming Commerce Secretary to respond in writing whether she foresees any scenario in which she would remove Huawei, or its subsidiaries or spin-off companies from the Entity List (or expand any related general licenses). Would Gina Raimondo permit any relaxation of the Foreign Direct Product Rule as it relates to 5G technology?

Ten Republican senators sent a letter to president Biden asking him to work together on the American Rescue Plan. "We request the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our proposal in greater detail and how we can work together to meet the needs of the American people during this persistent pandemic," Senators stated in their letter. 

Like Biden's plan, a proposal of Republican senators includes a total of $160 billion to enhance health care providers. Their proposal also includes an additional round of economic impact payments for those families who need assistance the most, including their dependent children and adults. They also want to extend enhanced federal unemployment benefits at the current level and funding for nutrition assistance to help struggling families.

Their letter also states that they share the same goal with Biden to help small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Senator Rick Scott is requesting detailed information about the Biden Administration’s plan to administer 1.5 million shots a day in the coming weeks and give 150 million vaccinations over the next 100 days.

Republican Senator from Florida made his list of questions for the president.

—Can you provide details on what changes you will make at the federal level to speed up vaccine distribution? What specific actions will enable you to meet this 150 million goal?

—Do you need the approval of Janssen Pharmaceutical and AstraZeneca’s vaccine to be able to hit the goal of 150 million vaccinations in 100 days?

—Are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine production lines at capacity? Do you plan to expand their production capacity? If so, how and how long will it be until that happens?

—Are there second dose vaccines held in reserve or have they all been released to the states?

—What is your method for determining vaccine allocations to each state? Will you prioritize allocations based on state population over the age of 65?

—How are you communicating and coordinating with the states so they know exactly how many doses of vaccines to expect week to week so they can properly plan for distribution?

—Do you have lines of communication open to assist local governments with questions on vaccine availability and distribution?

—What pharmaceutical companies have contracts with HHS for vaccines? How many vaccines will HHS purchase from each company, and how many additional vaccines does HHS have the option to purchase from each company? When were the companies supposed to deliver these vaccines per the terms of their contract?

What will Biden do today? This morning at the White House, the President will receive a daily briefing. In the afternoon he and VP Harris will meet with Republican Senators to talk about American Rescue Plan.

And that's a wrap for this Monday morning. One thing is certain. Nothing stays hidden for too long in Washington DC. 

                                                                                               ***

Good Morning DC takes you to the heart of the stories that matter. Get the most important stories of the day through the eyes of Chief White House Correspondent and the Editor-in-Chief, Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer. Delivered to your inbox every morning.  

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