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In first press conference, Biden sets new goal of 200 million vaccine doses in first 100 days

President Biden announced a new COVID-19 vaccine goal at his first press conference in office on Thursday: 200 million shots within his first 100 days.

Why it matters ... At the current 7-day average of about 2.5 million doses per day, the U.S. would reach 200 million shots in the days leading up to Biden's 100th day in office: April 30.

  • The U.S. easily surpassed Biden's original goal of 100 million shots in his first 100 days, which some criticized as insufficiently ambitious.
  • The president is now significantly increasing expectations, with the U.S. having administered roughly 115 million doses through his first 64 days, according to Bloomberg.

Between the lines: Since Biden took office, the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine has been authorized for use by the FDA, providing a third option to a national stockpile that already included the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

  • With states having had several few months to work out kinks in their vaccine systems, the U.S. has reached record highs of over 3 million doses administered
  • Biden has ordered all states to make coronavirus vaccines to all adults by May 1, and dozens have already met that eligibility goal.

Yes, but: The massive scale and complexity of the vaccine rollout could bring hurdles that slow the current pace of distribution, such as a drop in demand, logistical issues, or unforeseen supply problems.

The big picture: The president is aiming for Americans to be able to gather safely in small groups by July 4. The Centers for Disease Control has said that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors — without masks — and still be safe.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Gas prices rise in several states as pipeline outage crimps supply

Gas stations in several statesare out of fuel and AAA reports the nationwide average price breached $3-per-gallon for the first time in six years amid the cyberattack-induced shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline.

Driving the news: The ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, the nation's largest refined fuel pipeline that extends from Texas into the Northeast, is creating a scramble as the outage persists into its sixth day.

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Read: What Liz Cheney told the House GOP behind closed doors before her ouster

"If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person, you have plenty of others to choose from," Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) told House Republicans before they voted to remove her as the party's conference chair on Wednesday.

Why it matters: In her address, Cheney promised that she "will be leading the fight to restore our party" and make it "worthy again of being the party of Lincoln," signaling that she doesn’t plan on going anywhere soon and will continue to be a voice of dissent in the party.

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House Republicans remove Liz Cheney from leadership over Trump opposition

House Republicans voted Wednesday to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as conference chair, capping months of growing backlash over her criticisms of former President Trump, according to two sources in the room.

Why it matters: The stunning removal of the No. 3 House Republican over her condemnation of Trump's election lies reflects the influence the former president still retains over the GOP. It's the most significant turning point in an internal party feud that is unlikely to subside any time soon.

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Biden names third slate of judicial nominees

President Biden on Wednesday announced a new slate of nominations for federal judges, with the president now having put forward 20 names to fill judicial vacancies.

Why it matters: The administration described the most recent picks as an embodiment of "the diversity of our nation," and said that Biden is continuing a trend of announcing judicial nominees at a record pace.

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Consumer prices jumped 4.2% in April compared to last year

The latest gauge on inflation released Wednesday morning showed that prices rose 4.2% over last year, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Why it matters: The gains were highest since September 2008. Prices jumped significantly compared to the start of the pandemic last year, when lockdowns drove down demand.

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What China's population woes mean for the rest of the world

China released its censusreport on Tuesday, showing that the number of births in the country last year dropped 18% from 2019. And China isn't alone — populations have been stagnating globally for decades, including in the U.S.

Why it matters: China has long relied on its large population — the biggest in the world — as a core engine for economic growth. The way that it, and officials across the globe, deal with changing demographics will lead to shifts in the economy and geopolitics.

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Inside Liz Cheney's plans to continue fighting for soul of GOP after leadership ouster

As she faces a voteto be thrown out of House Republican leadership, Rep. Liz Cheney has told associates she doesn’t plan on going anywhere — and plans to run for re-election.

What to watch: In the meantime,as she sees it, she will aggressively pursue a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, after an expected vote to strip her of her post as GOP conference chair, the party's No. 3 House post.

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Biden plans to send envoy as Israel and Hamas escalate toward war

Tel Aviv — With Israel and Hamas now engaged in their most destructive fight in seven years, the Biden administration is considering plans to dispatch a State Department official to join the de-escalation efforts, five Israeli officials and Western diplomats tell me.

Driving the news: The fighting intensified overnight, with Hamas and other militants firing a second barrage of over 100 rockets toward Tel Aviv and other nearby cities, and Israel continuing its air campaign in the Gaza Strip by destroying high-rise buildings, Hamas facilities and rocket units.

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