The TAKE with Averi Harper
The nation’s capital is battening down the hatches in anticipation of right-wing protesters who claim those detained in connection to the Jan. 6 attack are being held unfairly.
Fencing is up around the U.S. Capitol and law enforcement agencies are on high alert amid concerns far-right extremists could be among the protesters who show up for the “Justice for J6” rally. Rally organizer Matt Braynard, a former Trump campaign staffer, has said that those coming to commit violent acts aren’t welcome at the rally. Experts tracking far-right chatter online said the tenor of rhetoric around this rally is different than in the days leading up to the attack at the Capitol.
“What we are currently seeing pales in comparison to the scale and intensity of organizing and violent rhetoric we saw before Jan. 6’s Capitol riot,” Jared Holt, a resident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, told ABC News’ Will Steakin.
Sue Dorfman/ZUMA Wire via NewscomU.S. Capitol Police officers look over the integrity of the fence put up to secure the US Capitol and its grounds in advance of 9/18 Justice for J6 rally, Sept. 16, 2021, in Washington, D.C.
Still, it appears that nothing is being left to chance. Every available Capitol Police officer will be on duty Saturday and the Metropolitan Police Department will also be monitoring the crowd.
While Trump’s statement doesn’t directly mention the Saturday protest, it does demonstrate the former commander-in-chief’s continued willingness to peddle his election lie to get people to fight on his behalf.
The RUNDOWN with Alisa Wiersema
On the heels of the federal data reporting the highest daily death toll in nearly seven months, the Food and Drug Administration’s independent advisory committee is set to hold a public hearing on Friday to discuss the possibility of greenlighting booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Biden administration had previously announced a Sept. 20 booster rollout date, but that looming deadline is not yet likely to be on track to include verdicts on Moderna and Johnson & Johnson boosters.
Alisha Jucevic/The New York Times via ReduxA nurse receives a COVID-19 vaccination booster in Portland, Ore., Sept. 3, 2021.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki pushed back Thursday on the notion that Biden’s endorsement of booster shots could be interpreted as tipping the scales in favor of boosters ahead of the FDA making a decision.
“It’s the acting FDA head and eight of our health and medical experts from agencies — not the White House, not the president — who put out this statement initially making this recommendation,” she said.
The president and first lady plan to get boosters and follow the science of the situation depending on the FDA’s decision, according to Psaki.
As reported by ABC News’ Sasha Pezenik, Cheyenne Haslett, Sony Salzman and Eric M. Strauss, although the approval process for the general public is just getting underway, nearly 2 million people in the U.S. have already received boosters. In August, the FDA approved boosters of Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for immunocompromised Americans who did not have an effective enough immune response from their first two rounds of vaccine doses.
The TIP with Quinn Scanlan
Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin didn’t agree on much during the first Virginia gubernatorial debate Thursday evening, but they did agree on the question that every candidate now faces in the aftermath of the baselessly contested 2020 presidential election.
“If the state certifies that you lost this election, even narrowly, will you pledge tonight to recognize (your opponent) as the legitimately elected governor?” moderator Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA TODAY, asked each candidate.
“Absolutely,” both candidates pledged, while also expressing confidence they’ll prevail over the other.
Steve Helber/APDemocratic gubernatorial candidate former Governor Terry McAuliffe, left, and Republican challenger, Glenn Youngkin, prepare for a debate at the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, Va., Sept. 16, 2021.
Throughout the next cycle, this question will come up, likely posed more often to Republicans — and most distinctly to Trump-endorsed or affiliated Republicans who question election integrity.
In the California recall election, a website affiliated with Republican Larry Elder’s campaign to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom claimed that “statistical analyses … detected fraud” before a single vote had been counted Tuesday. That language was inexplicably stripped from the website and Elder conceded that night.
So far, despite pre-election rhetoric and continued obsession with debunked claims of fraud and partisan calls to “audit” what happened in November, none of the big electoral contests so far this year were met with the losing candidate challenging the results. But the question will likely continue to be asked — at least for as long as the “big lie” continues to be spread.
ABC News’ “Start Here” podcast. In Friday morning’s episode, Sony Salzman, coordinating producer for the ABC News Medical Unit, tells us how close we are to having FDA-approved booster shots. Then, Col. Steven Ganyard, an ABC News contributor, explains a new U.S. submarine deal that’s making waves in France. And, a New Jersey bus driver fills us in on why there is a shortage of drivers across the nation. http://apple.co/2HPocUL
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