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Cramm for 3/30/21
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THE HIGHLIGHTS

The US is opening up vaccine eligibility. 

 

THE BACKGROUND. 

Toward the end of 2020, two vaccines - the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines - got approved in the US. Only days later, the first Americans were getting the shot. All this came as the US - and much of the world - was experiencing a winter surge of the pandemic that also saw the introduction of a slew of new variants. While that winter surge has dissipated, those variants are still around, which has led to a feeling that it’s a race against time to get everyone vaccinated before the variants spread even further.

 

THE HAPPENINGS.

Lately, dozens of US states have been expanding vaccine eligibility to all adults. And yesterday, New York announced that it’d be joining them. As of today, New Yorkers over the age of 30 can get the shot, with those 16 and up eligible on April 6. In fact, by mid-April, 90 percent of Americans will be eligible. Not only that, but they’ll be within 5 miles of a vaccination site. 

 

THE HAPPENINGS. 

In some more good news: a new CDC study of vaccine efficacy in the real world says a single dose of the Pfizer or Moderna shot is 80 percent effective against coronavirus infection. The second dose raises that number to 90 percent. 

 

THE TAKE. 

The news comes as the CDC director warns of “impending doom” from a fourth surge of the virus. TBD on if the US wins the race against time. 


THE ACTION

WORLD: Speaking of the pandemic, Brazil is facing a major virus crisis - and it looks like Prez Jair Bolsonaro has no plans to significantly address it. The why: the country’s attorney general just quit after refusing to sign Bolsonaro’s lawsuit to lift state governors’ lockdown orders. Five other ministers also resigned yesterday - plus a new health minister was sworn in last week. It’s Brazil’s fourth health minister since the pandemic began. In other news, Beijing just passed a new “patriot” election law for Hong Kong. The law drastically cuts back on the rights of Hong Kongers to stand for election, which would give China even more power to reshape Hong Kong’s gov.

 

USA: A second lawsuit was just filed against that new Georgia voting law. Quick refresher: after the 2020 US presidential election, more and more states began intro’ing new laws that would restrict voting rights. Georgia’s law requires an ID for absentee ballots, limits the use of ballot boxes, lets state election boards take over county election boards, and criminalizes offering food or water to voters waiting in line. Now, it looks like advocacy groups are saying ‘see you in court, Georgia.’ Meanwhile, the Biden team just launched a push to expand offshore wind power. The goal? Generate enough wind energy by 2030 to power 10 million American homes. Oh, and create 44,000 new jobs. This comes as Biden is planning to lay out a sweeping infrastructure and jobs proposal tomorrow. 

 

PEOPLE: The murder trial of Derek Chauvin is underway. So far, multiple witnesses have testified, with one witness explicitly saying, “I believe I witnessed a murder.” Another witness, a bystander, said that Chauvin appeared to shift his weight on Floyd’s neck to tighten his hold as he was dying. And yet another witness, a 911 dispatcher, testified that she watched the death in real time...and thought the security footage had frozen because it went on so long. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, recently, a man kicked a 65 year old Asian woman in Midtown Manhattan, stomped on her, and made anti-Asian statements. Now, the New York Police Dept is searching for this man and opening a hate crime investigation. 


WHAT TO KNOW

Nike:” what’s suing over Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes.’ Just sue it. 


SAY WHAT?

“Donut-brained cuttlefish passed an intelligence test designed for kids” - an actual headline. Can’t tell if this is an indication of how smart cuttlefish are or how stupid us kids are. 

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