The Wider World

Another vaccine is on its way

ANOTHER vaccine to fight coronavirus was approved by the FDA on Friday (Flickr/EpicTop10.com).

Vaccines were in the forefront of the news on Friday. Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen were inoculated along with Surgeon General Jerome Adams in a televised event. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got her shot of the coronavirus vaccine at her home. “I didn’t feel a thing,” said the vice president, according to The New York Times. President-elect Joe Biden and wife, Jill, are scheduled to be inoculated on camera on Monday. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband will get their shots after Christmas.

Also, the Food and Drug Administration gave its approval to the Moderna vaccine, giving public health leaders and workers another weapon in the battle against COVID-19, which has killed over 300,000 Americans, and is now peaking at 3,000 fatalities a day.

This is the first emergency authorization for Moderna in the world. According to the Associated Press, this vaccine is as effective as the one developed by Pfizer, and is easier to store and handle, perhaps making it simpler to transport across the U.S.

The News: Government spending measure passes

  • A SPENDING bill was passed by Congress (Pexels photo).

    Congress passed a government spending bill on Friday, keeping the lights on and avoiding a shutdown. However, negotiations continue on a stimulus package expected to cost close to $1 billion. At issue, according to the Associated Press, is a provision to limit the lending powers of the Federal Reserve, which Democrats say would make it more difficult to help the nation’s economy to recover.

  • More delay on an agreement on a stimulus bill sent Wall Street into a bit of a tailspin on Friday. The Dow Jones Average dipped 124.43 points, while the S&P 500 declined by 13.07 points and the Nasdaq dropped by 9.11 points.
  • Computer hacking from Russia is posing a “grave risk” to government and private entities, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The federal government’s departments of State, Homeland Security, Treasury and Commerce may all have been penetrated and an unknown amount of data “lost or compromised.”

The Weather: Warmer but not exactly warm

If you go outside in the West Orange County area now, you’ll find that while temperatures are a bit higher than Thursday’s frost-fest, they aren’t exactly toasty. A high of 71 Friday was mitigated by some 5 mile an hour chilly breezes which reminded us that winter is officially just three days away. Friday’s night’s low will be 44. Saturday will be sunny with a high of 72, according to the National Weather Service, and an overnight low of 46. Sunday looks a bit warmer at 77 (49 overnight), and then temps will start dropping to 75 on Monday and 69 on Tuesday. In the coastal area, highs will be five to seven degrees cooler.

The Sports: No Notre Dame at the Rose Bowl?

What if they gave a playoff game and one of the teams decided not to show up?  Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly has suggested that if the Fighting Irish are in the College Football Playoffs and their venue is the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, they may not participate.

The reason? California, in the grips of a surge in the coronavirus pandemic, is not allowing any fans at its athletic events. “I’m not sure we’ll play in the playoffs if the parents can’t be there,” he said. “Why would we play if you can’t have families at the game?”

One of the semifinal games will be in Pasadena; the other at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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