The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps


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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Pfizer releases final vaccine analysis | 95% effective | Minimal side effects | Plans to seek FDA emergency approval ‘within days’ | Dems nominate Pelosi to keep speakership | Dems vent frustrations to Schumer | Michigan reverses vote, certifies election results unanimously | Trump pays for partial Wis. recount 



Remember when I told you 90%? Well, EVEN BETTER.:



Pfizer announced this morning that its final analysis of its COVID-19 vaccine shows that it is 95 percent effective. 

Why this is especially exciting: Pfizer initially announced last week that their COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90 percent effective. 

What about side effects?: Pfizer reported no major side effects. A few vaccine trial patients experienced headaches or fatigue, though.  

What happens next: Pfizer and BioNTech are planning to ask for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration “within days.”  

Expected quantity of doses: “The companies expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021.”  

Read the announcement from Pfizerhttps://bit.ly/32YOdtg 

Everything we know about this new vaccine, via CNN’s Maggie Fox and Amanda Sealyhttps://cnn.it/36KlyZX 

For perspective: Over the summer, Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge US COVID-19 cases reach past 13 million Fauci: Pandemic likely won't improve by Christmas, New Year's MORE said scientists were hoping for a vaccine that is 75 percent effective but would even take one that is 50 or 60 percent effective. Read the August article of what scientists had expectedhttps://cnb.cx/2IQkyvp


Via The New York Times’s Katie Thomas, “The Vaccines will probably work. Making them fast will be the hard part.” https://nyti.ms/3nNtxwn 

The gist: “Industry analysts and company executives are optimistic that hundreds of millions of doses will be made by next spring. But the companies — backed with billions of dollars in federal money — will have to overcome hurdles they’ve encountered in the early days of making vaccines.”


Why: Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at a very, very cold temperature. That makes distribution challenging. https://bit.ly/38Xl31g


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 11,369,504 

U.S. death toll: 248,824

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

For context: Five months ago today, 2,164,497 Americans had tested positive for the coronavirus and 117,783 had died. https://bit.ly/38VBQSf

It’s Wednesday. 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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What to watch for by 5 p.m.:

Via The Associated Press’s Scott Bauer, “President Donald Trump’s campaign has paid $3 million for a recount of two heavily Democratic Wisconsin counties, saying Wednsday that they were the sight of the “worst irregularities” although no evidence of wrongdoing has been presented and state elections officials have said there was none. Trump paid for the recounts in Milwaukee and Dane counties overnight Tuesday and planned to submit the required paperwork to trigger the recount on Wednesday, the campaign said in a statement.” https://bit.ly/3nE1HCi

Trump’s top cybersecurity official was shown the exit:

Via The Hill’s Maggie Miller and Morgan Chalfant, “President TrumpDonald John TrumpPennsylvania Supreme Court strikes down GOP bid to stop election certification Biden looks to career officials to restore trust, morale in government agencies Sunday shows preview: US health officials brace for post-holiday COVID-19 surge MORE ousted Christopher Krebs, the top U.S. cybersecurity official, on Tuesday evening, disagreeing with Krebs’s statement affirming the security of the 2020 election.”  

What led to Krebs’s firing: The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) “put out a statement Thursday from stakeholders and officials that affirmed that the 2020 election was ‘the most secure in American history’ and dispelled assertions that voting systems were in some way compromised, representing an implicit rebuke of assertions by the president and some of his supporters.” Back story on that statementhttps://bit.ly/35HQB9j


“President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to pull 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq by mid-January, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller announced [yesterday.]” https://bit.ly/35K0GTr


The devil you know, right Dems?:

Via The Hill’s Mike Lillis and Scott Wong, “House Democrats on Wednesday nominated Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiClub for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Governors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight MORE to remain atop the party for another two years, brushing aside some internal grousing about a disappointing election performance in a vote demonstrating an overwhelming confidence in their long-time leader.” https://bit.ly/3pImK8C 

Keep in mind: She ran unopposed for the speakership.  

How the vote happened: “The nomination was secured by voice vote during a process conducted remotely as a health precaution amid a surge in coronavirus cases.” 

Why this is worth noting: “That marks a stark contrast to the secret election of two years ago, when 32 Democrats had opposed Pelosi amid a rebellion from a group of restive moderates ready for a changing of the guard after nearly two decades under Pelosi’s reign.”


“Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerProtect America's houses of worship in year-end appropriations package Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Inequality of student loan debt underscores possible Biden policy shift MORE (D-N.Y.) is in listening mode as colleagues are venting their disappointment over falling short once again of winning back the Senate majority.” https://bit.ly/3lHedkc

Isn’t elbow-bumping the new fist-bump?:

Republican senators congratulated Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden transition adds new members to coronavirus task force Club for Growth to launch ad blitz in Georgia to juice GOP turnout Biden's political position is tougher than Trump's MORE yesterday on the Senate floor. https://bit.ly/38Ucapa

Who specifically: Sens. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottDemocrats lead in diversity in new Congress despite GOP gains The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (R-S.C.), James LankfordJames Paul LankfordEthics experts ask Senate to investigate Graham's probe of mail-in voting The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Capital One - Pfizer unveils detailed analysis of COVID-19 vaccine & next steps GOP senators congratulate Harris on Senate floor MORE (R-Okla.), Mike RoundsMike RoundsDemocrats brush off calls for Biden to play hardball on Cabinet picks Trump keeps tight grip on GOP amid divisions Hillicon Valley: Trump fires top federal cybersecurity official, GOP senators push back | Apple to pay 3 million to resolve fight over batteries | Los Angeles Police ban use of third-party facial recognition software MORE (R-S.D.) and Ben SasseBen SasseTrump transition order follows chorus of GOP criticism The Memo: Trump election loss roils right Whoopi Goldberg blasts Republicans not speaking against Trump: 'This is an attempted coup' MORE (R-Neb.)  

Why this is worth noting: A number of Republicans have not yet publicly acknowledged President-elect Biden’s win. 

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden Let's give thanks to Republican defenders of democracy MORE (R-S.C.) fist-bumped Harris




Graham then told CNN’s Manu Raju about the fist-bump: “Just saying hello — I haven’t a seen in her in a while. If it works out and they make it, I told her I wish her well and try to work where we can. We will know here in a month or so or less.” https://bit.ly/32UYJ4t



Supporting Harlem’s Youth During the Pandemic



While the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem physically closed after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, it quickly pivoted to find new ways to provide equitable access and opportunities for youth to unlock their full potential. 

Learn more about how Capital One helped this nonprofit assist its community through reopening as an emergency food facility and providing families with online learning materials.




Drama in Wayne County, Mich.:

Via Politico’s Kyle Cheney and Zach Montellaro, “Election officials in Michigan’s largest county abruptly reversed course on Tuesday night and certified the presidential election results, with Republican members of the board backtracking after initially blocking the decision.” https://politi.co/3lKzZDp 

What happened: “The two Republicans on the four-member Wayne County board of canvassers — charged with validating the vote count — initially opposed certification and raised questions about mismatches between the totals submitted by local precincts and the final canvass. Less than two hours later, the Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues to unanimously certify the tally from the county, which includes Detroit, and called for Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to audit the mismatched precincts.”

In the midst of the counts, President Trump tweeted: “Wow! Michigan just refused to certify the election results! Having courage is a beautiful thing. The USA stands proud!” https://bit.ly/3kHlpLP 

Trump has been tweeting disputed claims all morning, but here is what he tweeted after the final certification: “Wrong! At first they voted against because there were far more VOTES than PEOPLE (Sad!). Then they were threatened, screamed at and viciously harassed, and were FORCED to change their vote, but then REFUSED, as American patriots, to sign the documents. 71% MESS. Don’t Harass!” https://bit.ly/2ILZbef


Enjoy it, buddy!:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/32YcQ9c 


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

Today: President Trump has no public events scheduled.

TodayPresident-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris meet with transition advisers. 

11 a.m. EST: A roll call vote in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/32WN2KO

2 p.m. EST: Vice President Pence attends a U.S. Space Command basing briefing in the Situation Room. 

5 – 7 p.m. EST: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/36HJey2


12:30 p.m. EST: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) holds a briefing on the House leadership elections. Livestreamhttps://cs.pn/3nAiUNg 

3 p.m. EST: A Senate subcommittee meets to discuss teleworking during the pandemic. Livestream: https://cs.pn/36PHjay


Today is National Vichyssoise Day.

Me! Me! I’m here! I’ll do it!:

Via Washingtonian’s Mimi Montgomery, “There’s a LinkedIn job posting for a White House food taster: We're not totally sure if it's real.” https://bit.ly/2UDlsh1

Keep in mind — it’s controversial whether this is a real position or not: “The whole idea of a presidential food taster is somewhat of an urban legend, with some sources saying it’s a thing and some saying it isn’t. For the record, Washingtonian ran a 2013 article debunking the myth after then-President Obama turned down a lobster salad at a lunch ... But a 2001 New York Times article from the days of George W. Bush mentions ‘the president’s tasters,’ and there’s a 1988 Cox News Service piece also mentioning Ronald Reagan’s food taster.”

And because you made it this far, here are birds taking naps. Nice hat, lil’ guy!!: https://bit.ly/3pCbpai