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VP Harris, Bill Clinton talk about ’empowering women’ despite skeptics

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Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Bill Clinton on Friday held a webcast discussion about “empowering women and girls,” despite criticism of Clinton’s history of alleged sexual misconduct and predatory behavior.

Harris said it was a “true honor” to join Clinton, 74, for the virtual event hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative.

At one point in the talk, Clinton cryptically endorsed Harris’ advice that people should try to “be present” while living their lives — adding that he believes doing so allows you to “forgive yourself” for misdeeds.

Clinton said, “It’s really good advice. Also, if you’re really present, it gives you the gift of memory as you pass through life. If you’re paying attention at each stage of your life, then you can build on it, you can grow. And you can forgive yourself for your mistakes and keep looking for new answers.”

The 22-minute conversation focused in part on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, but also featured small talk about Harris’ mother, the warming spring weather and the role of vice presidents.

Harris gushed to Clinton, “I know you, during the course of your presidency, but your life work, you have always focused on the issue of poverty and what we must do to lift folks out of poverty.”

Alleged Epstein trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre questioned former President Bill Clinton’s past presence on Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous plane and island.
Alleged Epstein trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre questioned former President Bill Clinton’s past presence on Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous plane and island.
Getty Images for TIME 100 Health Summit

The vice president noted that the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act increased a $2,000 annual child tax credit to $3,000, or $3,600 for children under six, which advocates say could sharply reduce poverty.

The event’s billing as a forum on “empowering women and girls” drew sharp criticism from alleged victims of Clinton and his former friend Jeffrey Epstein.

“Is this a f–king joke? This pervert …….. who raped me…is going to talk about empowering women,” tweeted Juanita Broaddrick, who accuses Clinton of raping her in 1978.

Vice President Kamala Harris praised former President Bill Clinton on lifting “folks out of poverty," during his presidency.
Vice President Kamala Harris praised former President Bill Clinton on lifting “folks out of poverty,” during his presidency.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

“Wow!! She’s asking Clinton how to empower women???” tweeted Virginia Giuffre, an alleged Epstein trafficking victim who says Prince Andrew had sex with her when she was 17.

“Wrong person, what she should be asking him is what the hell was Clinton doing on #Epstein island & private jets 27 TIMES!”

In addition to Broaddrick’s allegation, Paula Jones accused Clinton of sexual harassment in 1991, and two other women, Kathleen Willey and Leslie Millwee, accused him of assault.

Former President Bill Clinton claims “If you're paying attention at each stage of your life, then you can build on it, you can grow.”
Former President Bill Clinton claims “If you’re paying attention at each stage of your life, then you can build on it, you can grow.”
Getty Images for TIME 100 Health Summit

Clinton was impeached in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his affair with Monica Lewinsky, who was 21 when she took a White House internship.

During their conversation, Clinton and Harris also discussed her role as a tie-breaker in the evenly divided Senate.

“You know, when Al Gore was vice president, he did a fabulous job. But he had a wonderful saying. He said, ‘Whenever I vote, we win’,” Clinton told Harris.

Vice President Kamala Harris also touted the financial impact of the American Rescue Plan Act during the webcast discussion.
Vice President Kamala Harris also touted the financial impact of the American Rescue Plan Act during the webcast discussion.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Harris replied, “I have adopted that saying. I’ll tell you, the first time I said it, I said, ‘like Al Gore said.’ Then the next time I said it, I said, ‘like someone famous said,’ and then now I just say, ‘Like I always say, when I vote, I win’.”



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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
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Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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NYC school leaders react to Derek Chauvin guilty verdict

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The leaders of the city’s public schools and largest charter network both weighed in on the Derek Chauvin verdict with passionate statements about how there is still a long way to go to reach systemic equality.

Department of Education Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter issued a personal commentary Tuesday night after the murder conviction of former Minnesota cop Chauvin.

“I felt pain and rage, deep in my bones,” she said of her initial reaction to George Floyd’s death. “It wasn’t a new feeling. I have felt that many times in my life, as a Black woman, sister, daughter, and mother to Black children—and as an educator who has served children of color in this city for more than 20 years.”

Ross-Porter said the Department of Education would be issuing guidance for teachers and families to help them process the verdict.

Eva Moskowitz with two students, the CEO and Founder of the Success Academy
Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz issued a statement on the Derek Chauvin verdict.
Brigitte Stelzer

“For our Black and brown children to know that they matter, the accountability this verdict represents is so important,” she stated. “In a world that too often tells them otherwise, accountability in this moment tells the Black and brown children in our schools that their lives matter, and lifts up the importance of their futures.”

Several teachers told The Post on Wednesday morning that they planned to broach the topic with their students to allow them to discuss Floyd’s death and Chauvin’s conviction.

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter said the Department of Education would issue guidance to help teachers and families process the verdict.
Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross-Porter said the Department of Education would issue guidance to help teachers and families process the verdict.
Mark Lennihan/AP

“Because while the individual who took George Floyd’s life will be held accountable, we recognize that systemic racism, and the violence it fuels, is still creating tragedy and inequality across our country every single day,” Ross-Porter said. “We are all part of the work to undo this harm and reach true justice.”

Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz, who oversees the city’s largest charter school network, also issued a statement.

People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.
People react after the verdict was read in the Derek Chauvin trial in Minneapolis.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

“We are grateful that justice has been served and that the judicial process has worked as intended,” she wrote. “We recognize, however, that this verdict does not resolve the systemic inequities that led to Floyd’s death; nor does it heal the anguish we feel witnessing our fellow citizens die at the hands of the public servants tasked with protecting us.”

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