What’s Up With The Vaccine Distribution?
- An intensive care nurse in New York on Monday became the first American to receive a vaccination for COVID-19, offering a bit of hope nearly a year into the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 people in the U.S.
- HHS Secretary Alex Azar said Monday that he expected healthy Americans could begin receiving the vaccination in late February or early March.
- But there are signs that optimistic timeline may not come to pass. The Trump administration’s vaccine distribution plan ends after the President leaves office, leaving the rest of the work to states that lack adequate funding for the massive public health effort.
- And Operation Warp Speed officials poured cold water on Azar’s rosy timeline, saying Thursday that the general population would likely start receiving the vaccine late in the spring or early summer.
- As the vaccine rollout spreads across the country, some pharmacists noticed extra doses in some of the vials of the Pfizer vaccine. The FDA said those extra doses can be administered, expanding the nation’s supply of the vaccine.
- As the week progressed, at least a dozen states said that their initial allocation of vaccine doses has been slashed. The Trump administration has not given an explanation for the sudden change.
Georgia Runoffs Heat Up
- Republicans continue aiming friendly fire at their GOP colleagues, especially Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and Gov. Brian Kemp.
- With the January runoff elections weeks away, President-elect Joe Biden implored Georgians to “turn out the vote so it’s not even close” during a campaign stop on Tuesday.
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said the quiet part out loud on Thursday, telling Fox Business Network that attracting new voters in the Peach State will “affect and change the outcome” of the race — i.e., Republicans may not win.
- Speaking of Georgia voters, a federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Georgia doesn’t need to restore about 200,000 voters to the rolls in time for the runoffs on Jan. 5.
- In a separate ruling Thursday, a federal judge ruled against a GOP effort to curtail the use of drop boxes for absentee ballots in the runoff elections.
Republicans Feign Outrage
- After four years of President Trump’s derogatory tweets and crude comments, Republicans are suddenly up in arms over a Biden aide using … a swear word.
- The faux drama unfolded after Jen O’Malley Dillon, who will serve as Biden’s White House deputy chief of staff, used the word “fuckers” to describe the difficulty in working with Republicans.
- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) tried to cry foul over the use of a swear word, which earned him a swift round of mockery on Twitter.
- In the end, O’Malley Dillon caved to the manufactured outrage on the right. She expressed regret over her choice of words.
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