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The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to know about the Pfizer vaccine announcement

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--> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*

*Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.

 

The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden delivers health care remarks at 2 p.m. | 4 reasons to feel hopeful about Pfizer vaccine announcement | Fauci calls the development ‘a big deal’ | Barr authorizes looking into any ‘substantial allegations’ of voter fraud | DOJ official quits | Most Republicans avoid challenging Trump on election | Exit polls explain how Biden won | How SNL recreated Harris’s outfit in 85 minutes

 

LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS

OK, tell me EVERYTHING I need to know about this Pfizer announcement:

 

 

Pfizer announced yesterday that early analysis of a COVID-19 vaccine has shown it is more than 90 percent effective, sending a shockwave wave of good news through the world that is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The official announcement from Pfizer, if you missed it:  https://bit.ly/36muzYK

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Via The Hill’s Peter Sullivanhttps://bit.ly/2Idtqen 

  1. “The results are better than expected.”
  2. “It won’t be available right away.”
  3. “It’s still important to take precautions.”
  4. “There’s political maneuvering over the credit.”
  5. “Distribution is still a challenge.”

Reasons for eachhttps://bit.ly/2Idtqen

FOUR REASONS TO FEEL OPTIMISTIC BY THE ANNOUNCEMENT:

Via Stat News, which I suggest you follow for coronavirus vaccine updates! https://bit.ly/3peldHp 

  1. “We are likely to have multiple successful Covid-19 vaccines.”
  2. “This is terrific news for mRNA vaccines.”
  3. “We may be able to expect more from Covid-19 vaccines than we thought. That could help persuade people to be vaccinated.”
  4. “Pfizer’s vaccine’s long-term prospects now look better.”

Explanations for the fourhttps://bit.ly/3peldHp

WHAT HAPPENS TO OTHER VACCINES ALSO IN DEVELOPMENT:

Bloomberg’s Faye Flam explains. https://bloom.bg/3pfTBl5

WHAT Anthony FauciAnthony FauciNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Underfunding classics and humanities is dangerous MORE SAYS ABOUT THIS DEVELOPMENT:

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, called the Pfizer announcement “really a big deal.” https://on.mktw.net/2Uftw7E 

Keep talking, Tony. This music to my ears: “Again, you have to go through the hoops of making sure all of the Is are dotted and the Ts are crossed about the safety and the regulatory aspects of it, but we would be giving vaccine to people very likely before the end of this year. That is good news.” 

Timing: “We may have doses that we are able to give to people by the end of November, the beginning of December, probably well into December.”

‘DON’T GET TOO EXCITED ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS VACCINE’:

Here’s a New York Times op-ed from Aaron E. Carroll and Nicholas Bagley on the realistic expectations to have about the vaccine: https://nyti.ms/2IlcwtZ

THE NUMBERS:

Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 10,110,552 

U.S. death toll: 238,251 

Breakdown of the numbershttps://cnn.it/2UAgW3y

It’s Tuesday — Election Day was a week ago today. I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to cmartel@thehill.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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LATEST WITH THE BIDEN TRANSITION

Should we order a round of lawsuits for the table??:

Via Reuters’s Simon Lewis and Tim Reid, “President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team is considering legal action over a federal agency’s delay in recognizing the Democrat’s victory over President Donald Trump in last week’s election, a Biden official said on Monday.” https://reut.rs/2UcWLYv

The gist: “The General Services Administration (GSA) normally recognizes a presidential candidate when it becomes clear who has won an election so that a transition of power can begin. That has not yet happened despite U.S. television and news networks declaring Biden the winner … The law does not clearly spell out when the GSA must act, but Biden transition officials say their victory is clear and a delay is not justified, even as Trump refuses to concede defeat.”

New reporting — How the transition could get ugly:

Via The Washington Post’s Lisa Rein, Matt Viser, Greg Miller and Josh Dawsey, “The Trump White House on Monday instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, escalating a standoff that threatens to impede the transfer of power and prompting the Biden team to consider legal action.” The full reporthttps://wapo.st/3llGbl6

HAPPENING AT 2 P.M. EST:

President-elect BidenJoe BidenNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors Biden celebrates vaccine approval but warns 'current improvement could reverse' MORE will deliver remarks on the Affordable Care Act. Livestream from C-SPANhttps://cs.pn/36ozXuy

MEANWHILE IN THE TRUMP WHITE HOUSE

What the president has been tweeting:

At 8:43 a.m. EST: “WE ARE MAKING BIG PROGRESS. RESULTS START TO COME IN NEXT WEEK. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” https://bit.ly/2Ufr9Si 

At 8:44 a.m. EST: “WE WILL WIN!” https://bit.ly/3klWtt0

At 10:33 a.m. EST: “WATCH FOR MASSIVE BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE AND, JUST LIKE THE EARLY VACCINE, REMEMBER I TOLD YOU SO!” https://bit.ly/3kh0gI9

At 10:33 a.m. EST: “BALLOT COUNTING ABUSE!” https://bit.ly/3eOSe87

Bill Barr: I’ll allow it.:

Via The Associated Press’s Michael Balsamo, Attorney General William BarrBill BarrMajority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Justice Department renews investigation into George Floyd's death: report MORE has authorized the Justice Department to look into any "substantial allegations" of voter fraud in the presidential election. https://bit.ly/38qA5wl

Barr said in a memo: Investigations “may be conducted if there are clear and apparently-credible allegations of irregularities that, if true, could potentially impact the outcome of a federal election in an individual State.”  

But for smaller allegations: “[Barr] said any allegations that would ‘clearly not impact the outcome of a federal election’ should be delayed until after those elections are certified and prosecutors should likely open so-called preliminary inquiries, which would allow investigators and prosecutors to see if there is evidence that would allow them to take further investigative measures.”

A DOJ OFFICIAL QUITS OVER THIS MOVE:

Via The New York Times’s Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt, Hours after Barr’s announcement, a Justice Department official resigned. https://nyti.ms/2Uc6Jtp 

“[Roger Pilger], a career prosecutor in the department’s Public Integrity Section who oversaw voting-fraud-related investigations, told colleagues he would move to a nonsupervisory role working on corruption prosecutions. ‘Having familiarized myself with the new policy and its ramifications,’ he wrote, ‘I must regretfully resign from my role as director of the Election Crimes Branch.’” https://nyti.ms/2Uc6Jtp

TIMING OF THE PENDING LAWSUITS AND RECOUNTS:

Via AP, “States have until Dec. 8 to resolve election disputes, including recounts and court contests over the results. Members of the Electoral College meet Dec. 14 to finalize the outcome.” https://bit.ly/38qA5wl

MOST REPUBLICANS AVOID CHALLENGING TRUMP ON THE ELECTION RESULTS:

Via The Hill’s Alexander Boltonhttps://bit.ly/3lhkZgl

GETTING TRACTION — FOX NEWS CUT AWAY FROM A WHITE HOUSE PRESS CONFERENCE ALLEGING FRAUD:

Fox News on Monday cut away from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference yesterday. https://bit.ly/3eJPbhy

Why — Fox host Neil Cavuto said on air: “She is charging that the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continuing showing you this.”

IN CONGRESS

Dusting off those ole’ negotiation skills:

Via The Hill’s Jordain Carney, “The Senate is looming as a roadblock for several of President-elect Joe Biden's policy priorities as Democrats start to assemble their 2021 agenda.” https://bit.ly/32ykKG6 

How it started: “Biden and congressional leaders pledged to tackle a bold, aggressive slate of legislation when they felt bullish about their chances for a Democratic trifecta for the first time since 2010 and amid fierce pressure from their base to go big after four years of President TrumpDonald TrumpNoem touts South Dakota coronavirus response, knocks lockdowns in CPAC speech On The Trail: Cuomo and Newsom — a story of two embattled governors McCarthy: 'I would bet my house' GOP takes back lower chamber in 2022 MORE.”

How it’s going: “But in a setback, Biden will at best have a 50-50 Senate majority or, more likely, find his party in the minority by a seat or two, a significant hurdle that will test his ability to cut bipartisan deals while making it difficult if not impossible to pass several Democratic priorities for at least two years.”

News this a.m. — same same:

Late this morning, Republicans and Democrats reelected their party leaders in the Senate. Dems: “Senate Democrats ... reelected Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe bizarre back story of the filibuster Hillicon Valley: Biden signs order on chips | Hearing on media misinformation | Facebook's deal with Australia | CIA nominee on SolarWinds House Rules release new text of COVID-19 relief bill MORE (D-N.Y.) as Senate minority leader along with the rest of his leadership team, including Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinPartisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo Democrats ask FBI for plans to address domestic extremism following Capitol attack MORE (D-Ill.), who will serve another term as Senate minority whip, and Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (D-Wash.) as assistant Democratic leader.” https://bit.ly/36m4hWO

The GOP: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe bizarre back story of the filibuster The Bible's wisdom about addressing our political tribalism Democrats don't trust GOP on 1/6 commission: 'These people are dangerous' MORE (R-Ky.) was elected to his eighth term as GOP leader ... McConnell was reelected unanimously, an aide confirmed. https://bit.ly/2Io4ctF

BREAKING DOWN THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Looking at the exit polls, this is how Joe Biden won:

Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “[As] the dust is beginning to settle on the 2020 election … attention is shifting to how and why Biden won. Exit polls provide the most reliable guide.” https://bit.ly/3lljRIC

Five lessons the exit polls told us

  1. Men moved against Trump just as much as women
  2. Independents shifted heavily toward Biden
  3. Trump, to Democratic dismay, improved with Latinos
  4. White evangelicals stayed solid for Trump
  5. The ‘plague on both your houses’ vote shrank dramatically

Full explanations for eachhttps://bit.ly/3lljRIC

NOTABLE TWEETS:

This feels like decades ago:

Oh, how we’ve aged this year. 

 

 

Hyperlink https://bit.ly/35h7yHJ 

ON TAP:

The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. 

President Trump has no public events on his schedule.

Noon: The Senate met. 

1 p.m. ESTVice President Pence attends the Republican Senate policy lunch. 

2:15 p.m. EST: The Senate votes on a judicial nomination. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/3ki9Nyo

WHAT TO WATCH:

11 a.m. EST: Former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeJohn Durham's endgame: Don't expect criminal charges Carter Page sues over surveillance related to Russia probe McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' MORE is testifying on the review of the Russia investigation. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/36p7pB1

2 p.m. ESTPresident-elect Biden delivers remarks on health care. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/36ozXuy

NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF...:

Today is National Vanilla Cupcake Day.

WOW, I have been wondering!:

Did you notice that just three hours after Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisDwayne 'The Rock' Johnson vs. Donald Trump: A serious comparison Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren To unite America, Biden administration must brace for hate MORE gave her victory remarks, “Saturday Night Live” recreated her look. Popsugar’s Sarah Wasilak spoke with the crew on how exactly that happened.

The gist: A chaotic 85 minutes with a stock room of fabric and a team of talented tailors. The full story is pretty interestinghttps://bit.ly/2IldJkP

And because I love finding new, innovative ways for puppies to escape their playpens, here’s another strategy: https://bit.ly/3lmRHwI 

8/10 effectiveness for puppy no.1

0/10 effectiveness for puppy no. 2 

2/10 for elegance 

12/10 would watch again