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Biden announces Uber, Lyft rides amid July 4 vaccine push

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is highlighting new programs from ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to and from vaccination sites, as the pace of shots nationally declines and he looks to meet his July Fourth inoculation targets.

The partnership with the ride-sharing companies marks the latest in a series of government-encouraged efforts to increase access to shots. It comes as Biden plans to meet virtually with a bipartisan group of governors Tuesday to share best practices for encouraging Americans to get vaccinated.

The White House said Biden also will announce new funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for . . .

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Reversing Trump, US restores transgender protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will protect gay and transgender people against sex discrimination in health care, the Biden administration announced Monday, reversing a Trump-era policy that sought to narrow the scope of legal rights in sensitive situations involving medical care.

The action by the Department of Health and Human Services affirms that federal laws forbidding sex discrimination in health care also protect . . .

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Biden Approval Buoyed by His Pandemic Response

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is plunging into the next phase of his administration with the steady approval of a majority of Americans, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey shows Biden is buoyed in particular by the public’s broad backing for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

In the fourth month of his presidency, Biden’s overall approval rating sits at 63%. When it comes to the new Democratic president’s handling of the pandemic, 71% of Americans approve, including 47% of Republicans.

The AP-NORC poll also shows an uptick in Americans’ overall optimism about the state of the country. Fifty-four percent say the country is on the right track, higher than at any . . .

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New White House panel aims to separate science, politics

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eager to the turn the page on the Trump years, the Biden White House is launching an effort to unearth past problems with the politicization of science within government and to tighten scientific integrity rules for the future.

A new 46-person federal scientific integrity task force with members from more than two dozen government agencies will meet for the first time on Friday. Its mission is to look back through 2009 for areas where partisanship interfered with what were supposed to . . .

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What to expect from the star-studded Vax Live fundraiser

LOS ANGELES (AP) — President Joe Biden, Prince Harry and Jennifer Lopez are among the big names advocating the importance of vaccine equity during the Global Citizen fundraising concert airing Saturday.

The pre-taped event brought together celebrities and political leaders at “Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World,” which was recorded May 2. ABC, ABC News Live, CBS, YouTube and iHeartMedia radio stations will broadcast the concert staged at SoFi Stadium in . . .

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Weak jobs report spurs new arguments over big fed spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden insists an unexpected slowdown in companies’ hiring is clear new proof the U.S. needs the multitrillion-dollar federal boost he’s pushing. But his sales effort is challenged by critics who say Friday’s jobless figures show his earlier aid legislation — successfully rushed through Congress — is actually doing more harm than good.

Biden’s promised economic comeback hardly stalled on Friday. But it seemed to sputter a bit with a report that found merely modest April job gains of 266,000 and complicated his . . .

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