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Need to Know: From Fauci’s emails to Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan, we bring you the most important national and international stories of June 3, 2021.

1. Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails have been leaked and have been a hot topic for the past couple of days. While many of the emails regard Fauci’s hesitancy towards mask-wearing and the real danger of Covid, he is claiming the public has misconstrued the emails. News outlets gained access to thousands of his emails that were sent during the global pandemic. One email consists of a thank you note to Fauci for promoting the idea of a natural origin of the virus rather than an escape from the lab. This is important due to Biden’s initiative to investigate the true origins of the virus and many theories regarding an escape from a Wuhan lab being released. To this, Fauci said, “You can misconstrue it however you want — that email was from a person to me saying ‘thank you for whatever it is he thought I said, and I said that I think the most likely origin is jumping of species. I still do think it is, at the same time as I’m keeping an open mind that it might be a lab leak.” Another email also shows Fauci advising a person not to wear a mask during the early pandemic because they were traveling to a low-risk location. Fauci is asked if he regrets this advice, to which he responds, “Would you do something different if you know what you know now?’ Of course, people would have done that. That’s so obvious.” Further investigation is occurring to understand the true extent of these emails and their implications in the potential new origin of the virus and other Covid-related problems they might have correlated with.

2. President Biden has told a top Republican senator Shelly Moore Capito that he wishes for a $1 trillion budget for improving the infrastructure in the nation. Biden explained his expensive infrastructure plan and how he plans to pay for it by increasing taxes on big corporations. This $1 trillion plan is down from his original $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan, which was rejected by the GOP. Senate Republicans have also dismissed this proposed plan and are fighting against any tax increases. Some are also saying this money should be spent towards Covid relief, not nationwide infrastructure. The GOP has proposed a $928 billion plan which will go towards building and improving our roads, bridges, railroad systems, and more. Biden has rejected this plan and proposes to spend more money to help the infrastructure of America. The bipartisan bill is set to be voted on Friday. Still, no decision and actual budget can be made without a joint proposal from both parties and a fixed amount of money to spend on fixing the nation’s transportation and water systems. 

3. The U.S. has called for a temporary wave of intellectual rights for the Covid-19 Vaccine, which will allow developing countries to produce these vaccines and fight against the disease which is currently hurting them the most. China has also agreed to this, but some of Europe is pushing another proposal towards distributing the vaccine. Countries such as Brussels and Germany have outright rejected this US-backed proposal, saying, “the protection of the intellectual property is a source of innovation and must remain so.” Germany is home to BioNTech, which is the company that has developed many of the coronavirus vaccines. These countries, as well as developers of the vaccine, are claiming that waiving the intellectual property rights will not solve the problem of distributing the vaccines to developing countries and vaccine patient waivers are useless. They claim this will speed up vaccinating individuals, which can lead to a lack of proper tests and examinations of the vaccine to make sure it is safely administered. Whether this is a valid reason or an excuse for the vaccine distributors to make more money is still unknown, but, indeed, these big companies and the countries which house them are not in support of giving up their intellectual property to developing countries to get more people vaccinated and end the global pandemic. 

Anoosha Murtaza

Anoosha Murtaza is a Gen Z Voice at the Pavlovic Today and a rising third-year student at the University of Virginia. Anoosha has a passion for good journalism, strong political views, and social justice.