WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a coronavirus aid proposal worth about $908 billion Tuesday in an effort to break a months-long logjam over emergency federal relief for the U.S. economy amid the pandemic. Congress has faced increasing pressure to approve additional economic aid since talks first collapsed over the summer and again in the fall.
The United Kingdom has become the first Western nation to approve a COVID-19 vaccine with doses expected to be rolled out across the country next week. A final analysis of the Phase 3 trial of Pfizer’s vaccine shows it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults.
An independent panel advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Tuesday to recommend that residents and employees of nursing homes and similar facilities be the first people in the U.S. to receive vaccines, along with health care workers who are especially at risk of being exposed. Poor, rural states like Alabama are expecting to see challenges as mass vaccinations are rolled out. Responsibility for inoculation will fall to a public health system maimed by budget cuts and racial inequities.
For the first time, digital ads will account for more than half the year’s U.S. advertising expenditures as the pandemic reshapes ad spending. The push that has concentrated ad spending with several tech giants came largely at the expense of other platforms, including newspapers, local television and magazines.
Tech companies are bracing for a flood of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, a subject that has already been ripe for conspiracy theories. Some are putting policies in place specifically against the misinformation and others are still deciding on the best approach. New research suggests the bigger threat to public trust in a COVID-19 vaccine comes from smaller, better-connected Facebook groups.
Organizations are drawing attention to food insecurity as the issue is exacerbated by the pandemic – 135 million people were food insecure last year compared to 270 million people now. The rise is attributed to higher unemployment numbers and more school closures. In New York City, the boroughs with the highest COVID-19 mortality also have the highest rates of food insecurity, poverty and chronic disease.
An immigrant woman started a food pantry from her living room to serve undocumented families in her community who were ineligible for federal coronavirus assistance. What began as a food basket distribution to 20 families now helps 150 families, many with young children.
Several European countries have suspended access to ski slopes to stop the spread of the coronavirus, though experts suggest the danger comes not from skiing, but from many of the other activities linked to the sport like resorts, ski lifts and places where people come together. In the U.S., people hoping to avoid crowded slopes are opting for backcountry skiing, but experts advise to do so safely – backcountry requires avalanche knowledge or a guide.
Could COVID delirium bring on dementia? – Naure – 12/2/2020
Physicians treating people hospitalized with COVID-19 report that a large number experience delirium, and that the condition disproportionately affects older adults. An April 2020 study in Strasbourg, France, found that 65% of people who were severely ill with coronavirus had acute confusion — a symptom of delirium1.
CDC experts voted: Here’s who should get the first COVID-19 vaccine doses – Ars Technica – 12/2/2020
The very first doses of any approved COVID-19 vaccine should go to both front-line health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities, a committee of expert advisers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended in an emergency meeting Tuesday evening.
COVID-19 exposure notification apps become more widespread — but will they make a difference? – GeekWire – 12/1/2020
Since it launched on Monday, more than 700,000 Washington residents have installed or activated the WA Notify app. The free smartphone tool sends out warnings if people have been potentially exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19. But even as the rate of adoption climbs, will the exposure notification app make a difference?
As COVID Creeps into Schools, Surveillance Tech Follows – The 74 Million – 12/2/2020
As part of a pilot project that the district began to roll out before Thanksgiving, officials distributed roughly 100 badges to high school students and staff that allow administrators to track their every move as they travel throughout the day between the schools’ hallways and classrooms.
How to get the most of Covid-19 vaccines — and not squander our chance – STAT – 12/2/2020
If all goes as planned, sites will start vaccinating health care workers within 24 to 48 hours of FDA decisions, using vaccine shipments that have been pre-positioned. It’s more than a goal, however; it’s a diktat, with federal officials leaving no doubt about their expectations of state officials. States have also been told by the military-led Operation Warp Speed that, over time, their vaccination efforts will be graded and color-coded based on their level of efficiency.
WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING
Nell Henderson @NHendersonWSJ 2 Dec The Small Business Administration released detailed loan information for millions of borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program, amid signs of fraud in the federal government’s signature coronavirus relief effort for small businesses
Oscar Flores @oflores 2 Dec Restaurants that have lost business due to coronavirus health regulations in Los Angeles County, which recently cut off in-person dining due to surging COVID cases, can apply this week to receive up to $30,000 in aid.
Senator Angus King @SenAngusKing 2 Dec I’ll be joining @NewDay in 20 minutes to discuss the bipartisan emergency coronavirus relief proposal that I introduced with my colleagues yesterday. Look forward to discussing it with @JohnBerman — hope you can tune in!
LEX 18 News @LEX18News 2 Dec “It seems that both parties in D.C. believe that it’s critical but just have gotten to a point where they can’t seem to even agree to help people together,” Gov. Beshear said at his COVID-19 briefing Tuesday.
WLOS @WLOS_13 2 Dec The Government Accountability Office warns of “substantial” fraud risk that could jeopardize billions of dollars in coronavirus relief funding.
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