UK's Boris Johnson demands China release early COVID-19 data

Tanya Simon
February 15, 2021

Mr. Biden has said he wants to strengthen ties with USA allies after years of friction under former President Trump, arguing that doing so will help the country better combat the pandemic and face the challenge of a rising China.

The Biden administration also announced today that the USA government will begin processing asylum cases next week in Mexico that are forced to wait as part of a controversial plan established by Trump.

President Joe Biden on day one in office reversed the Migrant Protection Protocols programme, enacted in 2019, that deterred would-be asylum seekers from coming to the US.

"As President Biden has made clear, the USA government is committed to rebuilding a safe, orderly, and humane immigration system", DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

"This latest action is another step in our commitment to reform immigration policies that do not align with our nation's values", DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement.

It said there are approximately 25,000 active cases still.

"The confrontation between China and the United States will be a disaster for both sides and the world", said leader of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping.

Pfizer doses just days away from arriving in Australia
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will receive the Pfizer vaccine early in the rollout in a bid to boost public confidence in the jab. Health care, aged care and quarantine workers will be among the first to be vaccinated from February 22.

Administration officials have said that since the pandemic struck in March 2020, a vast majority of people who cross the border illegally are quickly expelled under a public health order in place.

Asylum seekers will be tested for COVID-19 before entering the United States, according to local media reports.

On Biden's first day in office, the DHS announced that it would suspend the MPP program for new enrollments as of January 21.

Earlier, Biden anticipated the USA rivalry with China will take the form of "extreme competition" rather than conflict between the two world powers.

During his 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly said that Mexico would pay for it, but then he asked the US Congress for funding for the project.

The program was part of Trump's hard-line policies to stop illegal immigration that was known to his administration, and included efforts to build a border wall, and measures that led to the separation of children from thousands of immigrant families. During the first full month of implementing COVID-19 restrictions on asylum at the border in April, the government sent back at least 5,493 migrants to Mexico under the MPP.

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