The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - COVID vaccine developments


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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: Study shows rarity of vaccinated people getting COVID |  Major Biden returns to White House | Boulder, Atlanta shootings bring gun debate back into spotlight | Biden urges Congress to act | AstraZeneca may have used outdated vaccine data | Online harassment routine for women in journalism |  Krispy Kreme offers free doughnuts for vaccinated customers



I’d like to order another round of good news for the table!:

Via Axios’s Marisa Fernandez, “Fully vaccinated people can still get COVID, but it's pretty rare, according to a pair of studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

For example: “One study published Tuesday found that only four out of 8,121 fully vaccinated employees at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas became infected.”

And that’s not just an outlier: “Another study found that seven out of 14,990 vaccinated health care workers at Los Angeles hospitals tested positive.” And of those positive case, some had mild symptoms while others had no symptoms. 

The full story — it will brighten your day

It’s Wednesday! Luuuucy, I’m home! 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.coma — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook

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It's time to update internet regulations



The internet has changed a lot in the 25 years since lawmakers last passed comprehensive internet regulations. It’s time for an update. 

See how we’re making progress on key issues and why we support updated regulations to set clear rules for addressing today’s toughest challenges.


AstraZeneca did what now?!:

Via The New York Times’s Rebecca Robbins, Noah Weiland, Sharon LaFraniere and Benjamin Mueller, “Only hours after AstraZeneca announced encouraging news about the effectiveness of its Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, a group of medical experts charged with monitoring the company’s clinical trial made a highly unusual accusation: AstraZeneca had essentially cherry-picked data to make its vaccine look better.”

What do we mean by ‘cherry-picked data?’: AstraZeneca may have relied on outdated information. 

What we know

The Washington Post’s Dave Jorgenson explains it well:


AstraZeneca Full House




“I was sort of stunned,” Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert said. “The data and safety monitoring board were concerned that the data that went into the press release by AZ was not the most accurate and up-to-date data … In my mind, it’s an unforced error by the company.”


Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 29,923,370 

U.S. death toll: 543,849 

Breakdown of the numbers


Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 128 million shots have been given.

Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 2.50 million doses 

For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million. 

Breakdown of the numbers: 



Cue Major Biden strutting into the White House with a new look, as if nothing had happened:

Via People’s Naledi Ushe, first dog Major Biden has returned to the White House receiving training after his “biting incident.”

Hello, nice to meet you, my name is … Minor. Yup, my name is Minor and this is my first visit to the White House: 



Well, living in the White House is actually kinda nice. And Air Force One? Not a bad way to travel:

Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes, “Joe Biden campaigned on being a ‘transition’ president during a pivotal time in the nation’s history, saying he’d take the reins away from former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE and return the country to normal. But now more than ever, those around him say he’ll make another bid for the presidency.”

What we know


It’s coming down. It’s yelling ‘TIMBER!’:

Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, the outer security fencing around the U.S. Capitol complex has been removed.

That means: Affected roads have been reopened. 

What fencing is still intact: “The Capitol fence is not completely gone, however. There is still a barrier that closely circles the main Capitol building as the Architect of the Capitol continues to make repairs. But the remaining fence does not prevent members of the public from moving about the Capitol Hill neighborhood or impact car traffic as extensively as before.”


The New York Times compiled video and a timeline of what happened:


Those poor, innocent people:

Via CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, “The horror began in the parking lot. A gunman, wearing an armored or tactical vest, had just shot an elderly man outside the King Soopers on Monday afternoon in Boulder, Colorado. Inside the supermarket, staff watched in disbelief as the gunman stood over the man and fired again and again.”

“The gunman turned around and entered the store. More shots rang out. Employees and some shoppers fled and hid -- some to the back, some up the stairs to a room, some inside a pharmacy -- as the suspect roamed aisles, according to witnesses and an affidavit for an arrest warrant.”  

What we know


Compiled by NPR:

Swapping the pan from back burner to the front burner:

The recent shootings in Boulder and Atlanta are throwing the gun control debate back into the national discussion.

President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE urged Congress to act: “Biden in remarks from the White House [yesterday] urged Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and to close loopholes in background checks for firearms.”

An example of the reaction from the right: “During a previously scheduled Senate hearing on reducing gun violence Tuesday, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Advocates see pilot program to address inequalities from highways as crucial first step Ted Cruz ribs Newsom over vacation in Mexico: 'Cancun is much nicer than Cabo' MORE (R-Texas) accused Democrats of ‘ridiculous theater’ as they proposed universal background checks and other measures.” 

I.e.: It’s unclear how the shootings in the past week will change the stalled debate.

What to expect in Congress



Internet regulations need an update



It’s been 25 years since comprehensive internet regulations passed. But a lot has changed since 1996. 

See how we’re taking action and why we support updated regulations to address today’s challenges — protecting privacy, fighting misinformation, reforming Section 230, and more.



This is an infuriating reality for all women in journalism. ... If you could see the emails and messages I regularly get…:

Via The Hill’s Alex Gangitano and Julia Manchester, “Female journalists are speaking out against harassment as it becomes more and more clear just how much more abuse they receive on social media and in direct communications from the public than their male counterparts.”

Yep, this is true: “Female reporters who spoke to The Hill say that being called a c--- is not an uncommon insult. Messages calling women other sexist slurs like whore and slut, remarks about their appearances and emails from men making sexual remarks are harassments that border on the routine.” 

Yep, also true: “When I share some of the notes that I get in my DMs and inboxes with my male colleagues, they are stunned because they cannot imagine somebody going there, somebody attacking you for the way you look or for the vile thoughts they might have about you or for your roles as a wife and as a mother,” said CBS White House correspondent Weijia Jiang.” 

The full story — it is worth your time


I mean, I bet said dog was waving on the inside:


White House balcony



I’m a big fan, Jeni!:


Ice cream delivery




The House is out. The Senate is in. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. 

10 a.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris received the President’s Daily Brief. 

11:30 a.m. EDT: Two cloture votes in the Senate.  

12:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris have lunch together. 

2 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Vice President Harris meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraButtigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Overnight Health Care — Presented by Emergent Biosolutions — Boosters for all The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - House to vote on Biden social spending bill after McCarthy delay MORE, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro MayorkasAlejandro MayorkasButtigieg has high name recognition, favorability rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Meet Ayelet Shaked, Israel's polarizing and powerful Interior minister Watch live: DHS secretary testifies on border security MORE and immigration advisers. 

3:30 p.m. EDT: Vice President Harris hosts a roundtable discussion on Equal Pay Day. 

4:45 p.m. EDT: Two confirmation votes in the Senate. The Senate’s full agenda today 

1 p.m. EDT Thursday: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The COVID-19 Vaccine & the New Era of Manufacturing.” Details and how to RSVP 

12:30 p.m. EDT Monday: The Hill's Future of Defense Summit. Details and how to RSVP


10:30 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID-19 Response Team held a press briefing. Livestream 

12:30 p.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiRussian military buildup puts Washington on edge White House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season Biden: Guilty verdicts in Arbery case 'not enough' MORE, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Cecilia RouseCecilia RouseBlack Caucus pushes for priorities in final deal On The Money: Inflation spike puts Biden on defensive | Senate Democrats hit spending speed bumps | Larry Summers huddles with WH team Larry Summers, White House officials meet to discuss Biden agenda MORE, and Council of Economic Advisers member of the Heather BousheyHeather BousheySpiking inflation weighs on Biden economic agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - COVID vaccine developments Pelosi, White House recognize Equal Pay Day MORE hold a press briefing. Livestream 

1 p.m. EDT: The Hill is hosting a virtual event, “The Loss of Nature: A Global Threat.” Details and livestream

4:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Biden calls in to Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade: 'America's back' MORE host an event with Margaret Purce, Megan Rapinoe and members of the U.S. Women’s National Team for Equal Pay Day. Livestream 

1:15 p.m. EDT ThursdayPresident Biden holds his first news conference of his presidency. Livestream


Today is National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day.

The promo of a lifetime — you know where my priorities lie:

Krispy Kreme is offering a free doughnut a day to any customer who brings in their COVID vaccination card. Details

And to brighten your afternoon, here’s a dog practicing its yoga moves: