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Friday, January 15, 2021

Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot


Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot

Supporters of President Trump mob the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

"Dozens of people on a terrorist watch list were in Washington for pro-Trump events Jan. 6, a day that ended in a chaotic crime rampage when a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol, according to people familiar with evidence gathered in the FBI’s investigation.

The majority of the watch-listed individuals in Washington that day are suspected white supremacists whose past conduct so alarmed investigators that their names had been previously entered into the national Terrorist Screening Database, or TSDB, a massive set of names flagged as potential security risks, these people said. The watch list is larger and separate from the “no-fly” list the government maintains to prevent terrorism suspects from boarding airplanes, and those listed are not automatically barred from any public or commercial spaces, current and former officials said.

The presence of so many watch-listed individuals in one place — without more robust security measures to protect the public — is another example of the intelligence failures preceding last week’s fatal assault that sent lawmakers running for their lives, some current and former law enforcement officials argued. The revelation follows a Washington Post report earlier this week detailing the FBI’s failure to act aggressively on an internal intelligence report of Internet discussions about plans to attack Congress, smash windows, break down doors and “get violent . . . go there ready for war.”

Other current and former officials said the presence of those individuals is an unsurprising consequence of having thousands of fervent Trump supporters gathered for what was billed as a final chance to voice opposition to Joe Biden’s certification as the next president. Still, the revelation underscores the limitations of such watch lists. Although they are meant to improve information-gathering and -sharing among investigative agencies, they are far from a foolproof means of detecting threats ahead of time.

Since its creation, the terrorist watch list, which is maintained by the FBI, has grown to include hundreds of thousands of names. Placing someone’s name on the watch list does not mean they will be watched all of the time, or even much of the time, for reasons of both practicality and fairness, but it can alert different parts of the government, such as border agents or state police, to look more closely at certain individuals they encounter.

Acting U.S. Attorney for D.C., Michael Sherwin, says those who engaged in criminal activity during the Capitol riots "will be found." (The Washington Post)

It’s unclear whether any of the dozens of individuals already arrested for alleged crimes at the Capitol are on the terrorist watch list.

“The U.S. Government is committed to protecting the United States from terrorist threats and attacks and seeks to do this in a manner that protects the freedoms, privacy and civil rights and liberties of U.S. persons and other individuals with rights under U.S. law,” a U.S. official said, adding that because of security concerns, the government has a policy of neither confirming nor denying a person’s watch list status. The official, like others interviewed for this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

The FBI declined to comment.

The riot’s political aftershocks led the House of Representatives on Wednesday to impeach President Trump for allegedly inciting the violence — his second impeachment in a single four-year term — and may have significant consequences within law enforcement and national security agencies.

Inside the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, officials are grappling with thorny questions about race, terrorism and free-speech rights, as some investigators question whether more could have been done to prevent last week’s violence.

While some federal officials think the government should more aggressively investigate domestic terrorism and extremists, others are concerned the FBI, DHS and other agencies may overreact to the recent violence by going too far in surveilling First Amendment activity such as online discussions.

Several law enforcement officials said they are shocked by the backgrounds of some individuals under investigation in connection with the Capitol riot, a pool of suspects that includes current and former law enforcement and military personnel as well as senior business executives and middle-aged business owners.

“I can’t believe some of the people I’m seeing,” one official said.

The TSDB, often referred to within government as simply “the watch list,” is overseen by the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, which was created in the wake of the 9/11 attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. The watch list can be used as both an investigative and early-warning tool, but its primary purpose is to help various government agencies keep abreast of what individuals seen as potential risks are doing and where they travel, according to people familiar with the work.

Often that can be done as a “silent hit,” meaning if someone on the watch list is stopped for speeding, that information is typically entered into the database without the individual or even the officer who wrote the ticket ever knowing, one person said.

After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, for instance, the FBI quickly searched a similar database to see which people on it had recently traveled to that city or raised other suspicions about possible involvement.

Before the Jan. 6 gathering of pro-Trump protesters, FBI agents visited a number of suspected extremists and advised them against traveling to the nation’s capital. Many complied, but according to people familiar with the sprawling investigation, dozens of others whose names appear in the terrorist watch list apparently attended, based on information reviewed by the FBI.

Separately, while the FBI is hunting hundreds of rioting suspects who have dispersed back to their hometowns, federal agents are increasingly focused on alleged leaders, members and supporters of the Proud Boys, a male-chauvinist group with ties to white nationalism, these people said.

Proud Boys members participated in last week’s protests, and FBI agents are taking a close look at what roles, if any, the group’s adherents may have had in organizing, directing or carrying out violence, according to people familiar with the matter.

The group’s chairman, Enrique Tarrio, had planned to attend Trump’s Jan. 6 rally but was arrested when he arrived in D.C. and charged with misdemeanor destruction of property in connection with the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a Black church during an earlier protest in Washington. He is also accused of felony possession of two extended gun magazines.

Tarrio told The Post on Wednesday that his group did not organize the Capitol siege.

“If they think we were organizing going into the Capitol, they’re going to be sadly mistaken,” he said. “Our plan was to stay together as a group and just enjoy the day. We weren’t going to do a night march, anything like that. That’s it as far as our day.”

Tarrio said he’s actively discouraging members from attending planned armed marches scheduled Sunday, and the Million Militia March next week when Biden is inaugurated. Proud Boys, he said, are on a “rally freeze and will not be organizing any events for the next month or so.”

It is unclear how many Proud Boys devotees will abide by the freeze, or if such a shutdown might lessen the FBI’s interest in the group. Even before the Jan. 6 riot, federal and local investigators were working to understand the group’s plans, goals and activities. Privately, some federal law enforcement officials have described the group as roughly equivalent to a nascent street gang that has garnered an unusual degree of national attention, in part because Trump mentioned them specifically during one of his televised debates with Biden during the campaign. Other officials have expressed concern that the group may be growing rapidly into something more dangerous and directed.

The FBI has already arrested dozens of accused rioters, and officials have pledged that in cases of the most egregious conduct, they will seek to file tough, rarely used charges such as seditious conspiracy, which carries a potential 20-year prison sentence.

The bureau continues to face blowback over its handling of a Jan. 5 internal report warning of discussions of violence at Congress the next day. Steven M. D’Antuono, the head of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, claimed in the days after the riot that the bureau did not have intelligence ahead of time indicating the rally would be anything other than a peaceful demonstration.

The Jan. 5 FBI report, written by the bureau’s office in Norfolk, and reviewed by The Post, shows that was not the case, and the Justice Department took other steps indicating officials were at least somewhat concerned about possible violence the next day. The Bureau of Prisons sent 100 officers to D.C. to supplement security at the Justice Department building, an unusual move similar to what the department did in June to respond to civil unrest stemming from racial-justice protests.

Mindful of the criticism that law enforcement took a heavy-handed, all-hands-on-deck approach to Black Lives Matters protests in D.C. in the spring and summer, Justice Department officials deferred to the Capitol Police to defend their building and lawmakers. Some former officials have questioned whether the FBI and Justice Department should have done more.

“It would not have been enough for the bureau simply to share information, if it did so, with state and local law enforcement or federal partner agencies,” said David Laufman, a former Justice Department national security official. “It was the bureau’s responsibility to quarterback a coordinated federal response as the crisis was unfolding and in the days thereafter. And it’s presently not clear to what extent the FBI asserted itself in that fashion during the exigencies of January 6 and in the immediate aftermath.”

Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report."

Dozens of people on FBI terrorist watch list came to D.C. the day of Capitol riot

Opinion | ‘Stop the Steal’ Didn’t Start With Trump

‘Stop the Steal’ Didn’t Start With Trump

"Mainstream Republicans and conservative commentators have been pushing the idea that Democrats can only win through fraud for decades.

Jan. 6, 2021.
John Minchillo/Associated Press

To explain the attack on the Capitol, you can’t just turn your focus to Donald Trump and his enablers. You must also look at the individuals and institutions that fanned fears of “voter fraud” to the point of hysteria among conservative voters, long before Trump. Put another way, the difference between a riot seeking to overturn an election and an effort to suppress opposing votes is one of legality, not intent. And it doesn’t take many steps to get from one to the other.

Conservative belief in pervasive Democratic Party voter fraud goes back decades — and rests on racist and nativist tropes that date back to Reconstruction in the South and Tammany Hall in the North — but the modern obsession with fraud dates back to the 2000 election. That year, Republicans blamed Democratic fraud for narrow defeats in New Mexico, which George W. Bush lost by just a few hundred votes, and Missouri, where the incumbent senator, John Ashcroft, lost his re-election battle to a dead man.

Ashcroft’s opponent, Mel Carnahan, was killed three weeks earlier in a plane crash, but his name was still on the ballot, with his wife running in his stead. Shocked Republicans blamed Ashcroft’s defeat on fraud. At Ashcroft’s election-night party, the state’s senior Republican senator, Kit Bond, said, “Democrats in the city of St. Louis are trying to steal this election.”

In 2001, as the newly minted attorney general under President George W. Bush, Ashcroft announced a crackdown on voter fraud. “America has failed too often to uphold the right of every citizen’s vote, once cast, to be counted fairly and equally,” he said at a news conference that March:

Votes have been bought, voters intimidated and ballot boxes stuffed. The polling process has been disrupted or not completed. Voters have been duped into signing absentee ballots believing they were applications for public relief. And the residents of cemeteries have infamously shown up at the polls on Election Day.

The Republican National Committee supported this push, claiming to have evidence that thousands of voters had cast more than one ballot in the same election.

Jamelle Bouie’s Newsletter: Discover overlooked writing from around the internet, and get exclusive thoughts, photos and reading recommendations from Jamelle.

Over the ensuing years, under pressure from the White House ahead of the presidential election in 2004, the Justice Department ramped up its crusade against voter fraud. Of particular interest was ACORN, a now-defunct advocacy organization that was working — as the presidential election got underway — to register hundreds of thousands of low-income voters. Swing-state Republicans accused the group of “manufacturing voters,” and federal prosecutors looked, unsuccessfully, for evidence of wrongdoing. Later, Karl Rove would pressPresident Bush’s second attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, to fire a number of U.S. attorneys for failure to investigate voter fraud allegations, leading to a scandal that eventually led to Gonzales’s resignation in 2007.

ACORN and voter fraud would remain a bête noire for Republicans for the rest of the decade. Conservative advocacy groups and media organizations produced a steady stream of anti-ACORN material and, as the 2008 election campaign heated up, did everything they could to tie Democratic candidates, and Barack Obama in particular, to a group they portrayed as radical and dangerous. ACORN, Rush Limbaugh said in one characteristic segment, has “been training young Black kids to hate, hate, hate this country.”

During his second debate with Obama, a few weeks before the election, the Republican nominee, John McCain, charged that ACORN “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.” And his campaign materials similarly accused Obama, Joe Biden and the Democratic Party of orchestrating a vast conspiracy of fraud. “We’ve always known the Obama-Biden Democrats will do anything to win this November, but we didn’t know how far their allies would go,” read one mailer. “The Obama-supported, far-left group, ACORN, has been accused of voter-registration fraud in a number of battleground states.”

McCain and the Republican Party devoted much of the last weeks of the election to a voter fraud scare campaign with ACORN as the villain. And while, in the wake of the election, these allegations of illegal voting never panned out, the conservative fixation with voter fraud would continue into the Obama years and beyond.

Not that this was a shock. As an accusation, “voter fraud” has been used historically to disparage the participation of Black voters and immigrants — to cast their votes as illegitimate. And Obama came to office on the strength of historic turnout among Black Americans and other nonwhite groups. To the conservative grass roots, Obama’s very presence in the White House was, on its face, evidence that fraud had overtaken American elections.

In 2011, Republicans in Alabama, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin capitalized on their legislative gains to pass new voter restrictions under the guise of election protection. Other states slashed early voting and made it more difficult to run registration drives. One 2013 study found that in states with “unencumbered Republican majorities” and large Black populations, lawmakers were especially likely to pass new voter identification laws and other restrictions on the franchise.

The 2012 election saw more of the same accusations of voter fraud. Donald Trump, who had flirted with running for president that year, called the election a “total sham and a travesty” and claimed that Obama had “lost the popular vote by a lot.” According to one survey taken after the election, 49 percent of Republican voters said they thought ACORN had stolen the election for the president.

ACORN, however, no longer existed. It closed its doors in 2010 after Congress stripped it of federal funding in the aftermath of a scandal stoked by right-wing provocateurs, whose accusations have since been discredited.

The absence of any evidence for voter fraud was not, for Republicans, evidence of its absence. Freed by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Shelby County v. Holder, which ended federal “preclearance” of election laws in much of the South, Republican lawmakers passed still more voter restrictions, each justified as necessary measures in the war against fraud.

Prominent Republican voices continued to spread the myth. “I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud,” Scott Walker, then the governor of Wisconsin, said in a 2014 interview with The Weekly Standard. “One or two points, potentially.”

Rank-and-file Republicans had already been marinating in 16 years of concentrated propaganda about the prevalence of voter fraud by the time Donald Trump claimed, in 2016, that Hillary Clinton had won the popular vote with millions of illegal ballots. If Republican voters today are quick to believe baroque conspiracy theories about fabricated and stolen votes, then it has quite a lot to do with the words and actions of a generation of mainstream Republican politicians who refused to accept that a Democratic majority was a legitimate majority.

The narrative of fraud and election theft that spurred the mob that stormed the Capitol would be unintelligible without the work of the Republican Party, which inculcated this idée fixe in its voters. “Stop the Steal” wasn’t a Trump innovation as much as it was a new spin on an old product line that, even after the violence on Jan. 6, Republicans are still selling."

Opinion | ‘Stop the Steal’ Didn’t Start With Trump

Susan Collins shockingly reveals her "first thought was that the Iranians" hit the Capitol. How stupid can bigoted can you be? It you think people in Congress are we educated here is the proof they are not. How could you look at the pictures and think the confederate flag bearers are Iranians you ate an idiot.

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Susan Collins shockingly reveals her "first thought was that the Iranians" hit the Capitol

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Report: Some Democrats In Congress Are Worried Their Colleagues Might Ki...

Metro hospitals report overflowing COVID-19 cases, treating patients in hallways and ambulances

Metro hospitals report overflowing COVID-19 cases, treating patients in hallways and ambulances

“ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta hospitals say they are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients this week.

One of those hospitals says half their beds are COVID-19 patients. Another says they are being forced to put beds in hallways.

Grady Memorial Hospital medical director Dr. Robert Jansen told Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray that for months he’s been warning if people did not avoid gatherings dark days were ahead.

Content Continues Below

He says we are now in those darkest days.

In a blunt warning in an email to the community, Jansen said “Grady is full.”

“What that really means is that we have a patient for every bed we have available on the medical and surgical floors,” Jansen said.

And it’s not just Grady.

The White House COVID-19 Task Force report for Georgia this week says with “dramatic increases in hospitalizations, Georgia is in full pandemic resurgence.”

Robert Page is one of those statistics, having to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance.

“I couldn’t get any air into my lungs, you know? I was kind of gasping,” Page said.

At Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Hall County, they told Gray that every ICU bed was full on Thursday. They are at 200% ICU capacity and patients are even being placed in the rehab gym.

“We are having to treat patients in the hallways and also in the ambulances,” said Dr. Deepak Aggarwal with Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Emory University infectious disease director Carlos del Rio said this week is a critical moment in the pandemic.

“The data shows that if 95% of Americans would start wearing a mask today and would do so for the next 100 days, we could stop transmission of the virus before the vaccine kicks in,” del Rio said.

Gray contacted hospitals across metro Atlanta. Emory University Hospital said they have more COVID-19 patients than at any point in the pandemic.

Northside Hospital said it has seen a 350% increase in COVID-19 patients the past two months and that COVID-19 patients account for nearly half the beds in the hospital.

“Is there a number where we can say this is as many as we can handle?” Gray asked Jansen.

The unfortunate thing is you can’t close your doors,” Jansen said.

“We truly are in the darkest days,” Aggarwal said.

The state has set up an overflow facility at Georgia World Congress Center. That site has 60 beds and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency said there are 43 patients currently being treated there.

Seniors find big disconnect scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments across metro.”

Metro hospitals report overflowing COVID-19 cases, treating patients in hallways and ambulances

The Democrats owe their new control of the Senate to Black voters in Georgia | Theodore R Johnson

The Democrats owe their new control of the Senate to Black voters in Georgia

“It’s also worth remembering that the success of candidates like Raphael Warnock is a product of years of voter engagement

‘In Georgia, where the number of Black Americans has steadily increased in recent years and presently makes up about a third of the state’s residents, Democrats recognized that a window of opportunity to win statewide contests would open.’
‘In Georgia, where the number of Black Americans has steadily increased in recent years and presently makes up about a third of the state’s residents, Democrats recognized that a window of opportunity to win statewide contests would open.’Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Last modified on Thu 14 Jan 2021 13.47 EST

Last week, Raphael Warnock made history by winning a special senatorial electionin Georgia, becoming the first Black Democrat from the south ever elected to the United States Senate. Warnock, the senior pastor of the same church Martin Luther King Jr once led, pulled off the upset thanks to high turnout among Black voters across the state, in metro and rural areas alike. While his victory may have the feel of an overnight success story to much of the nation, it is the product of voter engagement that’s occurred over the last decade.

The signs that Warnock could pull off an unexpected victory were all there. In 2018, Stacey Abrams came within 1.4 percentage points of becoming Georgia’s first Black governor and the first Black woman to be governor in the nation’s history. Then, last November, Joe Biden carried the state, becoming only the second Democrat to win it in more than three decades. And it happened by the slimmest of margins: Biden bested Donald Trump by just 11,000 votes when more than 5m were cast. After these two statewide contests, Democratic strategists were optimistic that strong turnout among Black Georgians would allow them to win both Senate seats up for grabs. Warnock’s victory is a culmination of that trend and sustained voter engagement work by figures such as Stacey Abrams and years of Democratic organizers.

As has been well-established, Black Americans are the most reliable Democratic voters in the country – for the last five decades, Democratic presidential and congressional candidates win about 90% of Black voters on average. This basically held true in Georgia in 2020, where Biden beat Trump among Black voters 88–11. Strategists understand that increasing Black voter turnout creates lopsided advantages for Democratic candidates for elected office. So in Georgia, where the number of Black Americans has steadily increased in recent years and presently makes up about a third of the state’s residents, Democrats recognized that a window of opportunity to win statewide contests would open.

Stacey Abrams’ gubernatorial campaign leveraged the work of grassroots voter mobilization and civic engagement efforts and directed resources to expand outreach, especially in communities of color. And though she lost that election in an outcome clouded by voter suppression, the playbook for how to increase turnout by educating Georgians about the voting process and getting disengaged citizens to show up on election day was well-established. And it worked.

Warnock beat Senator Kelly Loeffler, who was appointed to the seat in December of 2019, by 75,000 votes in an especially high turnout election where 4.4 million Georgians participated. Black turnout exceeded nearly all projections. Initial analysis from the New York Times shows that turnout in precincts with a supermajority Black population only fell about 7 points from the presidential election whereas turnout in white working-class precincts – traditionally Republican strongholds – fell by 13 points. And Black precincts voted more for Warnock than they did for Biden by about 3 points.

The sustained engagement and mobilization strategies aimed at Black voters never let up after the presidential election; resources continued to flow. Black Georgians – who are disproportionately affected by long wait times to vote, polling station closures, and voter identification requirements – weathered attempts to complicate and discourage their participation. The outcome of these recent elections isn’t the product of a new movement, but rather the result of a long, steady build to increase and maintain Black turnout.

In addition to turnout, Warnock was also aided by his race and gender. Political science scholarship reliably shows that Black Democratic candidates increase both turnout and support for Democrats up and down ballot; it is no surprise that in Georgia’s other senatorial election, featuring two white men, the Democrat Jon Ossoff also outperformed Biden.

And my own research shows that Black men, in particular, are especially motivated by race and gender descriptive representation. That is, the opportunity to help a Black male Democrat make history is alluring to even Black Republicans or disengaged eligible Black male voters. So it makes sense that Warnock outperformed both Biden and Ossoff with Black men. According to exit polls, Biden won 83% of Black men in Georgia to Trump’s 16%, and Ossoff won 88% of them; but Warnock won 90% of this bloc – one in eight of all voters.

In this way, Warnock leveraged the momentum of other Black Democrats in the south running for statewide office, merging the appeal of descriptive representation to turn out and win more Black voters with policies that appeal to white Democrats who have become increasingly liberal over the last several years. Black candidates with progressive agendas in states with a significant Black population may become a winning formula. Warnock’s victory suggests that the close losses by Abrams and Florida’s Andrew Gillum in 2018 governors’ races were not flukes, but harbingers of what may come.

In the end, Black voters in Georgia not only delivered historic victories in last week’s Senate races, but they also completed a flip of the United States Senate back into Democratic control, with Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.

The voter turnout work that began years ago in reliably Republican Georgia overcame efforts to suppress the votes of its Black citizens and managed to elect its first Black senator. Perhaps more importantly, those efforts not only changed the state, but they have the potential to shift the direction of the country after the Trump era.

  • Theodore R Johnson is a senior fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice.”

The Democrats owe their new control of the Senate to Black voters in Georgia | Theodore R Johnson

Biden Outlines $1.9 Trillion Spending Package to Combat Virus and Downturn

Biden Outlines $1.9 Trillion Spending Package to Combat Virus and Downturn

“The president-elect detailed plans for an initial effort to fight the coronavirus and a subsequent one to address economic recovery.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Thursday proposed a $1.9 trillion rescue package to combat the economic downturn and the Covid-19 crisis, outlining the type of sweeping aid that Democrats have demanded for months and signaling the shift in the federal government’s pandemic response as Mr. Biden prepares to take office.

The package includes more than $400 billion to combat the pandemic directly, including money to accelerate vaccine deployment and to safely reopen most schools within 100 days. Another $350 billion would help state and local governments bridge budget shortfalls, while the plan would also include $1,400 direct payments to individuals, more generous unemployment benefits, federally mandated paid leave for workers and large subsidies for child care costs.

“During this pandemic, millions of Americans, through no fault of their own, have lost the dignity and respect that comes with a job and a paycheck,” Mr. Biden said in a speech to the nation. “There is real pain overwhelming the real economy.”

He acknowledged the high price tag but said the nation could not afford to do anything less. “The very health of our nation is at stake,” Mr. Biden said. “We have to act and we have to act now.”

Mr. Biden took swift action, seeking to shape the agenda at a time of national crisis and a day after President Trump’s impeachment in the House. While it reflects the political shift in Washington as Democrats take control of Congress, support for Mr. Biden’s program will immediately run into challenges, starting with the possibility that a Senate trial of Mr. Trump might delay its passage.

It is also unclear how easily Mr. Biden can secure enough votes for a plan of such ambition and expense, especially in the Senate. Democratic victories in two Georgia special elections last week gave Mr. Biden’s party control of the Senate — but only with a 50-50 margin after Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s tiebreaking vote. Mr. Biden will have to compensate for any defecting moderate Democrats with Republican votes at a time of scarce bipartisanship.

Mr. Biden suggested he would reach across party lines to get his package passed. “We need more action, more bipartisanship — and we need to move quickly,” he said.

His speech on Thursday came at an incredibly challenging moment, as virus cases continue to climb, millions of workers remain sidelined and America’s partisan divisions are threatening to tear it apart. A week after a mob stormed the Capitol to disrupt Congress’s certification of Mr. Biden’s win, Washington has come to resemble an armed camp, with steel barricades being erected across the city and armed law enforcement policing the streets.

More than 20,000 National Guardsmen are expected to flood Washington before Mr. Biden’s swearing-in on Jan. 20.

The economic rebound from the pandemic recession has also reeled into reverse amid a winter surge of the virus and new waves of restrictions on economic activity in cities and states.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that 1.15 million Americans filed new unemployment claims in the first full week of the new year, a 25 percent increase from the previous week. Another 284,000 claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency federal program for workers like freelancers who do not normally qualify for jobless benefits. The nation shed 140,000 jobs in December, the department reported last week.

Mr. Biden’s aides say the urgency of the moment had driven the president-elect to propose a significantly larger economic jolt than what the Obama administration pushed through upon taking office amid a recession in 2009. The Biden proposal is more than 50 percent larger than the Obama-Biden stimulus, after adjusting for inflation, and it comes on top of several trillions of dollars of economic aid that Congress approved last year under Mr. Trump.

Biden aides said the package reflected the scope of the challenge facing the economy and the nation’s health system. In a briefing on Thursday, one Biden official added that the existing national planning and infrastructure for mass vaccinations and testing was far less developed than the incoming White House team had anticipated.

Mr. Biden detailed his so-called American Rescue Plan in an evening speech in Delaware, effectively kicking off his presidency and placing him in the brightest spotlight since his nomination acceptance speech last summer at the Democratic National Convention.

The sprawling package includes more than $400 billion to combat the pandemic directly, including accelerating vaccine deployment.
Jim Wilson/The New York Times

The Biden “rescue” proposal, which would be financed entirely through increased federal borrowing, flows from the idea that the virus and the recovery are intertwined.

Economists who have pushed for more federal aid for people and businesses said this week that Mr. Biden’s advisers understood that the focus needed to be on vaccine deployment in order to get the virus under control.

“What the economy needs is a successful rollout of the vaccines, and reduction in the risks of social and economic activity,” said Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management who served in the White House Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama and Trump administrations. “That will go a long way toward promoting recovery. It won’t go all the way, but it will go a long way.”

Mr. Biden, who has promised to get “100 million Covid vaccine shots into the arms of the American people” by his 100th day in office, said last week that he intended to release nearly all available coronavirus vaccine vials once he takes office, rather than holding some back as the Trump administration had been doing.

The $20 billion “national vaccine program” he announced on Thursday envisions community vaccination centers around the country. In recent speeches, he has said he would like to see mass vaccination sites in high school gymnasiums, sports stadiums and the like, perhaps staffed by the National Guard or employees of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Mr. Biden also called for a “public health jobs program” that would address his goals of bolstering the economy and the Covid-19 response while also rebuilding the nation’s fragile public health infrastructure. The proposal would fund 100,000 public health workers to engage in vaccine outreach and contact tracing.

At the same time, Mr. Biden is keen on addressing the racial disparities in health that have been so painfully exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately claimed the lives of people of color. He pledged to increase funding for community health centers, and also intends to fund efforts to mitigate the pandemic in prisons and jails, where African-Americans and Latinos are overrepresented.

He also proposed a wide range of efforts to help those who have suffered the most in the economic pullback that has accompanied the resurgence of hospitalizations and deaths from the virus. His plan would provide emergency paid leave to 106 million Americans, regardless of the size of their employer, a proposal that many congressional Republicans worked to pare back in a stimulus bill passed last spring. And it would extend tax credits to many families to offset up to $8,000 in annual child care costs.

It gives billions of dollars in aid to renters struggling to keep up with mounting unpaid liabilities to landlords, and it would give grants to millions of the hardest-hit small businesses. It also temporarily increases the size of two tax credits in a manner that would effectively provide more cash from the government to low-income workers and families. Biden transition officials said an expansion of the earned-income tax credit and child tax credit would halve child poverty at a time when many low-income parents have lost work and are turning to food banks for help.

Mr. Biden also called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, a priority he outlined during his campaign and one that has been championed by many of the officials he has selected for top cabinet posts. And he proposed extending expanded unemployment benefits through the end of September, with an extra $400 weekly supplement.

Stephen Speranza for The New York Times

Some progressive groups called the scale and cost of the package a welcome surprise. “For a president to come out and understand not just the need for fiscal relief but the inequities in the relief we’ve had so far, is really remarkable,” said Elizabeth Pancotti, a policy analyst at the liberal advocacy group Employ America.

Mr. Biden plans to unveil another, larger set of spending proposals in February, which Democrats plan to pay for in part by raising taxes on corporations and the rich. The second package is expected to be centered on job creation and infrastructure, including hundreds of billions of dollars of spending on clean-energy projects like electric vehicle charging stations, along with health care and education spending.

Mr. Biden has said he will work to build Republican support for his plans, and he will need 10 Republican votes in the Senate to overcome a filibuster. But top Democrats in the House and Senate are preparing to pivot quickly to a parliamentary process known as budget reconciliation in the event they can get only a simple majority in the Senate. Republicans used the procedure to bypass a filibuster and approve Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts in 2017.

Republicans’ refusal to consider a stimulus package in excess of $1 trillion held down the size of the last congressional relief bill, passed in December. Mr. Biden’s aides said Thursday that they were confident that the nearly $2 trillion package he had proposed would find wide support among Democrats at a time when interest rates remain low and many economists are urging lawmakers to deficit spend in order to promote economic growth.

Sheryl Gay Stolberg contributed reporting.“

Biden Outlines $1.9 Trillion Spending Package to Combat Virus and Downturn

Dozens On FBI Terrorist Watch List In DC On Day Of Riots | Ayman Mohyeld...

Duh! White Supremacist terrorists were central to the January 6th, 2021 attack on the US Captial. The collaborators from Trump, Congress, and the police must be prosecuted.