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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.
NEWS THIS MORNING
Stepping into the batter’s box:
^ This felt like a good opportunity to use this gif of Christian Vasquez’s walk-off homerun last night ;)
Pharmaceutical company Merck says it submitted a request for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve its antiviral pill as a treatment for COVID-19. https://bit.ly/3mLnitI
What to know about the drug: According to Merck’s research, its pill can reduce hospitalization by 50 percent.
If it is authorized for emergency use: The U.S. government has already agreed to buy 1.7 million doses.
When it could be approved: Potentially just a few weeks
Why this is potentially huge news: “Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has referred to molnupiravir as a ‘game changer.’ He predicted last week that the ‘pandemic phase’ of COVID-19 would likely come to an end with the approval of antiviral pills as well as the approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children under 12.”
Read Merck’s statement: https://bit.ly/3mMbp7b
And on deck!:
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced this morning that its experimental COVID-19 treatment is effective. https://bit.ly/3Drv2Ij
What to know about the drug: “When compared to a placebo, AstraZeneca's antibody treatment, called AZD7442, reduced the risk of developing severe COVID-19 or death by 67 percent, the company said in a press release.”
Read AstraZeneca’s statement: https://bit.ly/3oPSuuE
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 44,340,464
U.S. death toll: 713,359
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 402 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 1 million doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
It’s Monday. 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 email@example.com — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL COLUMBUS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell tweeted that President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenBiden to have audience with pope, attend G20 summit Trump calls into Take Back Virginia Rally to hype Youngkin The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Altria - New front in mandate wars; debt bill heads to Biden MORE are attending their nephew’s wedding today.
She tweeted: “The President and the First Lady are attending a small, family wedding at the home of Valerie and Jack Owens. Their nephew, Cuffe Owens, is marrying Meghan O’Toole King.” https://bit.ly/3AumApJ
Via The Hill’s Niall Stanage, “Doubts are clouding the horizon on every topic for President Biden as he nears the one-year anniversary of his election.” https://bit.ly/3atYNeW
His domestic agenda: “On Capitol Hill, the push for the two bills at the heart of his legislative agenda is in peril.”
The economy: “The economy appears broadly on a path to recovery but optimism was shaken by another poor jobs report on Friday. Inflation lurks in the background too.”
And COVID: “And while COVID-19 infections are receding after a surge caused by the delta variant, the dangers of the winter months are looming.”
Biden made some progress last week!: “Last week at least saw progress made on raising the nation’s debt ceiling and avoiding the financial earthquake that would have resulted had the U.S. neared default in mid-October.”
^ Eh, but it was a low bar: “But the temporary fix agreed to between Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (D-N.Y.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBiden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights MORE (R-Ky.) means the fight will be waged all over again in early December.”
DEMOCRATS HAVE SET THEMSELVES UP FOR A CHAOTIC END TO 2021:
“Democrats are entering the home stretch of the year with four big priorities: funding the government, raising the debt ceiling and passing both the bipartisan infrastructure bill and a sweeping social spending measure.” https://bit.ly/3iQGxRP
So, nothing big or important.
‘BLEAK MIDTERM OUTLOOK SHADOWS BITTER DEMOCRATIC BATTLE:
Via The Hill’s Scott Wong and Mike Lillis: https://bit.ly/3au7UMW
Via The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “Senate Republicans, with a few exceptions, are hoping that former President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCabe wins back full FBI pension after being fired under Trump Biden's Supreme Court reform study panel notes 'considerable' risks to court expansion Bennie Thompson not ruling out subpoenaing Trump MORE does not announce his intention to run again for president.” https://bit.ly/3as68vO
Why: “[T]hey’re generally reluctant to see him on the ballot in 2024 at all because of his track record with independent and swing voters.”
And they particularly don’t want Trump to announce a presidential bid before the midterms: They fear it will crush their hopes of winning back the Senate in 2022.
From a GOP senator: “I think we’re better off when he’s not part of any story … He’s a clinical narcissist. He threw away the election in the debate with Biden and he threw away the Senate out of spite.”
How this could play out: https://bit.ly/3as68vO
IN OTHER NEWS
Superman has a boyfriend!:
Via The New York Times’s George Gene Gustines, “The new Superman, Jonathan Kent — who is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane — will soon begin a romantic relationship with a male friend, DC Comics announced Monday.” https://nyti.ms/2YGwEPu
How Superman is changing: “That same-sex relationship is just one of the ways that Jonathan Kent … Jon has combated wildfires caused by climate change, thwarted a high school shooting and protested the deportation of refugees in Metropolis.”
A MESSAGE FROM THE NATIONAL COLUMBUS EDUCATION FOUNDATION
My favorite reaction to the tweet: https://bit.ly/3DtpVr0
The House and Senate are out. President Biden is in Delaware but returning to the White House later today.
3:25 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves Wilmington, Del., and returns to Washington, D.C.
4:20 p.m. EDT: President Biden returns to the White House.
WHAT TO WATCH:
10 a.m. EDT Tuesday: The Supreme Court hears oral arguments in an abortion-related case. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3052RjR
IN LIGHTER NEWS:
Today is National Sausage Pizza Day.
Burger King is selling Ghost Pepper Nuggets, a chicken nugget with a spicy coating. https://bit.ly/3lxbcp2
OH, AND BURGER KING IS TESTING MEATLESS NUGGETS:
Burger King is testing Impossible Foods’ meatless nuggets at a few locations. https://cnb.cx/3lvlAh1
Where you can find them: Boston, Miami and Des Moines, Iowa.
And to leave you on a good note, here’s a bird looking for snuggles: https://bit.ly/2YwYFIZ