FDA vaccine panel approves Pfizer jabs for kids 5 and up. Dems propose ‘billionaire tax’ for Build Back Better plan. UN: climate pledges aren’t nearly enough.
FDA vaccine panel approves Pfizer jabs for kids 5 and up
The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel is recommending smaller doses of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine for children 5 to 11. The panel gave its opinion that the benefits of vaccinating school aged children outweighed any potential health risks. A pediatric dose is recommended, about 1/3 the size of an adult dose.
The panel’s verdict is a preliminary step towards making the jabs available. Official FDA and CDC emergency use authorization could come as soon as November 2. If that comes to pass, about 25,000 pediatric clinics and children’s hospitals nationwide will receive shipments totaling 15 million pediatric doses.
Democrats propose ‘billionaire tax’ for Build Back Better plan
Congressional Democrats in have been working intently with President Biden in recent days to hammer out the details of the Build Back Better act. A few so-called “moderates” notably Sens. Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin, have opposed some of the plan’s proposed ‘pay-fors’ since the beginning. Manchin, Sinema and others have rejected the initial plan to raise the top tax rates for business and the wealthy. Instead, negotiators have proposed establishing a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% for businesses with over $1 billion in annual profit. This policy would affect maybe 200 U.S. companies.
Yesterday, Democrats also floated the idea of special taxes targeting the assets of billionaires. By some estimates, the U.S. has about 750 people with a net worth over $1 billion. During the pandemic, these billionaires collectively became about $2 trillion richer. Many of these individuals hold assets that are either currently not taxed or are taxed at very low rates.
Critics have pointed out that relying on the assets of such a small number of individuals and organizations to fund the now $2 trillion bill is risky. While these wouldn’t be the only funding sources, this could put funding at risk in the event of an economic downturn. For that matter, billionaires could simply find new ways to shield their wealth.
UN: climate pledges aren’t nearly enough
A new report card from the UN shows that existing carbon-cutting pledges from the world’s nations are not sufficient to achieve the Paris climate goals. In fact, it’s not even close. According to the report, the total pledges will reduce carbon emissions by 7% by the target year of 2030. This is far short of the 55% reduction needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The present pledges would still allow for about 4 degrees of warming.
The difference may seem small, but its impact will substantially increase the frequency of extreme heatwaves, flooding and severe storms.
The U.S. has historically been the world’s biggest polluter. Negotiations in Congress have whittled down President Biden’s ambitious emissions-cutting goals. Other solutions have been proposed, but climate activists and scientists say this won’t be enough to make up the difference.
Other major polluters such as China, Australia and India remain heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and have no clear goals for reducing emissions. Some fossil fuel interests are backing “carbon capture” technology as an alternative to reducing burning fossil fuels. But these technologies are expensive and not proven to work.Australia, billionaire tax, Build Back Better Act, CDC, children, China, climate change, climate pledges, COP26, FDA, fossil fuels, India, international news, Joe Manchin, Kyrsten Sinema, minimum corporate tax rate, national news, New Albany MS, Northeast Mississippi news, Pfizer COVID vaccine, US news, world news