The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Alibaba - Next steps for the Pfizer vaccine


Presented by Alibaba


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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: FDA could authorize COVID-19 vaccine on Saturday | FDA panel votes in favor of vaccine | Panelist who voted ‘no’ explains reasoning | Threat of brief shutdown grows | Multiple senators delay bills | Biden’s insider White House team | Plans to disinfect before move-in | Hunter Biden probe breathes new life | Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears drop collab together



One small step for the FDA panel, one big leap for Americans:



A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted yesterday in favor of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will now head to the FDA for emergency authorization. https://wapo.st/2KgQhX3


The FDA says it “will rapidly work toward” authorization. https://wapo.st/2KgQhX3 

According to The New York Times’s Eric Nagourney and Noah Weiland, “Barring last-minute snags, the F.D.A. is expected to issue an emergency authorization on Saturday.” https://nyti.ms/37PIMOO


Monday or Tuesday, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azarhttps://bit.ly/3mbtd9a

Azar said on ABC — assuming the vaccine is authorized in time: “We will work with Pfizer to get that shipped out and so we could see people getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday of next week.”  

Watch Azar’s full analysishttps://bit.ly/3m3s1Vu


The question the committee voted on: "Based on the totality of scientific evidence available, do the benefits of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine outweigh its risk for use in individuals 16 years of age and older?"   

The vote: 17-4, plus one abstention

Why several members voted against the vaccine: Because the emergency authorization would include 16- and 17-year-olds, a group with limited trial evidence. https://fxn.ws/3aeDRdh 

One panel member who voted ‘no’ told CNN’s Erin Burnett: “I want to make it very clear that I am fully supportive of the emergency use authorization of this vaccine for use in adults 18 years and older,” said Archana Chatterjee, Dean of the Chicago Medical School. “The issue I had was with regard to the data … in those younger patients excusing those younger participants, where I felt like the data were limited. And since they are not a high risk category, at this point in time they're not high priority for vaccination.” https://bit.ly/2LvMkyp 

Watch her full reasoning on CNNhttps://bit.ly/37XXlQe




REACTION FROM President TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats, activists blast reported Trump DOJ effort to get journalists' phone records Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit Trump admin got phone records of WaPo reporters covering Russia probe: report MORE:

President Trump pressured the FDA to approve the vaccine: The president tweeted this morning, “While my pushing the money drenched but heavily bureaucratic @US_FDA saved five years in the approval of NUMEROUS great new vaccines, it is still a big, old, slow turtle. Get the dam vaccines out NOW, Dr. Hahn @SteveFDA. Stop playing games and start saving lives!!!” https://bit.ly/3m9fb84


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 15,632,336 

U.S. death toll: 292,382 

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

Op-ed: https://bit.ly/3a2hMOI

Happy Friday! 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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Are you guys kidding?:

There is a growing threat of a short government shutdown as multiple senators delay the bills that were expected to pass yesterday. https://bit.ly/3n8zaVK 

What Senate leadership expected to pass yesterday: A one-week government funding bill and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). 

The deadline: Midnight

What’s holding up the bills?: “Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls Sherrod Brown calls Rand Paul 'kind of a lunatic' for not wearing mask Overnight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna MORE (R-Ky.) is slow walking the NDAA because it reins in President Trump’s ability to pull troops from Afghanistan; Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersGOP is consumed by Trump conspiracy theories Manchin on collision course with Warren, Sanders Sanders on Cheney drama: GOP is an 'anti-democratic cult' MORE (I-Vt.) is using the continuing resolution (CR) to try to get a vote on a stimulus checks proposal; and in an ironic twist, a group of senators wants a vote on a bill to prevent future government shutdowns.” 

^The last one is a bit ironic, huh? 

What happens if all senators don’t cooperate: “Without cooperation from all senators, the earliest the Senate could take an initial vote on the $740 billion defense bill is Friday, and after that it could still be subjected to an additional 30 hours of debate.”


Under pressure for a deal, Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamLindsey Graham: GOP can't 'move forward without President Trump' House to advance appropriations bills in June, July The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-S.C.) and Angus KingAngus KingDC mayor admitted to Democratic governors group amid statehood fight Democrats fret over Biden spending Schumer works to balance a divided caucus's demands MORE (I-Maine) are making a last-ditch effort for a COVID-19 relief deal. https://bit.ly/3md8mlU 

What’s happening: Graham and King “are holding conversations on coronavirus liability protections for businesses and other organizations in an attempt to find common ground where other senators have failed.”

The problem, even if they do come to an agreement: “Even if they reach a deal, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will have to be convinced that it should go to the floor for a vote.”


Joe Biden is quite literally fumigating the place:

Via Politico’s Alice Miranda Ollstein and Daniel Lippman, To prevent any further COVID-19 outbreaks at the White House, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden to meet with 6 GOP senators next week Arizona secretary of state gets security detail over death threats surrounding election audit On The Money: Five takeaways on a surprisingly poor jobs report | GOP targets jobless aid after lackluster April gain MORE will have the White House disinfected before settling in. https://politi.co/2W6hf6c

What that means: “A team deployed by the General Services Administration will go over every part of the White House's East and West Wings touched by human hands in the hours after Trump departs and Biden moves in … that includes plans to ‘thoroughly clean and disinfect’ all furniture, doorknobs, handrails and light switches, before Biden and his team move in. Additionally, a private contractor will provide ‘disinfectant misting services’ to clear the air of lingering droplets.”

The gist of Biden’s incoming administration — if it was good enough for Obama, then it’s good enough for me!:

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano, President-elect Biden is forming a team of insiders to run his White House. https://bit.ly/3oUVtir 

Like: A team mostly composed of “Obama-era officials, members of Congress, and people from his inner cycle for his White House.” 

The message that Biden is hoping to send: That Biden “is aiming for stability and expertise as he inherits a recession and public health crisis.”  

A look at Biden’s picks so farhttps://bit.ly/3oUVtir


Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “News that Hunter Biden is facing a Justice Department investigation into his finances has breathed fresh life into a story that seemed to be fading in the waning days of the presidential campaign. It also presents new political challenges for his father, President-elect Joe Biden.” https://bit.ly/3maqX2b 

What this means for the Bidens: “Some Republicans are already calling for the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the matter. It seems unlikely, for now, that [Joe] Biden will accede to that request anytime soon after his Jan. 20 inauguration. But the controversy does, at the least, give conservatives a cause around which to rally from Day One of the Biden presidency.”





Two big wins in one year:

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris says Mexico, US can work together to improve quality of life in Northern Triangle Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says 'it is time to pass the baton on to someone else' Harris's uncle discusses COVID-19 surge in India: 'The conditions are pretty bad' MORE have been named Time’s 2020 Person of the Year.” https://bit.ly/3gEXGeP 

From Time: “The Democratic ticket was an unlikely partnership: forged in conflict and fused over Zoom, divided by generation, race and gender. They come from different coasts, different ideologies, different Americas. But they also have much in common, says Biden: working-class backgrounds, blended families, shared values. ‘We could have been raised by the same mother,’ he says. In an age of tribalism, the union aims to demonstrate that differences don’t have to be divides.” Read the full profilehttps://bit.ly/3gEXGeP

Photo of the coverhttps://bit.ly/3gDgsmF

And because millennials love participation trophies — everyone’s a winner!:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2W80PKx


Getting traction — I love this professor’s initial reaction:




Oh wow, that is quite the mask:



Hyperlink https://bit.ly/2W7SNRU 


The Senate is in. The House is out. President Trump and Vice President Pence are in Washington, D.C. President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris are in Wilmington, Del. 

President Trump has no public events scheduled. 

Vice President Pence has no public events scheduled. 

Today: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris separately receive the President’s Daily Brief.

9:30 a.m. EST: The Senate met and is working on the defense policy bill and a short-term funding bill to keep the government open past midnight tonight. The Senate’s agenda todayhttps://bit.ly/2Kh0Vga


2:30 p.m. EST: President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris introduce key members of the administration. Livestreamhttps://bit.ly/3gCPueV

Sunday morning: Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderThe Republicans' deep dive into nativism Senate GOP faces retirement brain drain The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the National Shooting Sports Foundation - CDC news on gatherings a step toward normality MORE (R-Tenn.) appears exclusively on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Sunday morningBill Gates appears exclusively on CNN’s “State of the Union.”


Today is National Noodle Ring Day. And for weekend planning purposes, tomorrow is National Cocoa Day and Sunday is National Popcorn String Day.

Midnight was a big hour for music last night:

Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys dropped a collaboration. Listen to the new song from the ‘90s powerhouseshttps://bit.ly/2IKHP1S   

Taylor SwiftTaylor Alison SwiftStalker arrested trying to break into Taylor Swift's New York apartment Taylor Swift sends gifts to front-line nurse: 'I am so inspired by your passion for helping' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Supreme Court announces unanimous rulings MORE released a new album last night. Reactions from Billboard: https://bit.ly/3gH5s7R




Hyperlink https://bit.ly/375bM62

And to make you smile, here’s a puppy who finished its work early, with time for a great nap!: https://bit.ly/2KkjsrW