What to know today 🌅
With the announcement of the Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory panel recommending the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine needs granted an emergency use authorization, Michigan is developing a distribution plan once the vaccine is authorized.
Initially, five Michigan hospitals would be the first to get the vaccine, according to the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.
The hospitals are Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Ascension Macomb-Oakland in Warren, University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids and MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland.
“Once they are approved, we expect to receive a limited allocation of these vaccines and expect to receive shipments every week,” said Dr. Joneigh Khladun, Michigan chief medical executive.
“We have already reached out to hospitals and others who believe they may need assistance with actually having people administer the vaccine,” Khaldun said. “The National Guard, at least initially, will be having teams that are helping some of the hospitals that reach out for support in administering the vaccine.”
Once hospitals vaccinate their workforce, the next priority group will be nursing home residents and staff.
An emerging $900 billion COVID-19 aid package from a bipartisan group of lawmakers has all but collapsed after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republican senators won’t support $160 billion in state and local funds as part of a potential trade-off in the deal.
McConnell’s staff conveyed to top negotiators Thursday that the GOP leader sees no path to an agreement on a key aspect of the lawmakers’ existing proposal — a slimmed-down version of the liability shield he is seeking for companies and organizations facing potential COVID-19 lawsuits — in exchange for the state and local funds that Democrats want.
The GOP leader criticized “controversial state bailouts” during a speech in the Senate, as he insists on a more targeted aid package.
The hardened stance from McConnell, who does not appear to have enough votes from his Republican majority for a far-reaching compromise, creates a new stalemate over the $900-billion-plus package, despite days of toiling by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to strike compromise.
The breakdown over the COVID aid package, after days of behind-the-scenes talks by a group of lawmakers fed up with inaction, comes as President Donald Trump has taken the talks in another direction — insisting on a fresh round of $600 stimulus checks for Americans.
Sending direct cash payments to households was not included in the bipartisan proposal, but has been embraced by some of the president’s fiercest critics — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N,Y., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent who introduced an amendment to include the checks with Trump ally Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.
We’re now down to 16 as we move into Round 2! We had some upsets, including the TV movies, Frosty and Rudolph, advancing to the second round. The top overall vote getter was National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Some tough matchups in Round 2! (Round 3 starts Sunday, so get to voting!)
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 421,137 as of Thursday, including 10,395 deaths, state officials report.
Thursday’s update includes 5,937 new cases and 182 additional deaths, including 132 deaths identified during a review of records -- meaning they did not occur between Wednesday and Thursday. The state crossed the 10,000 mark in total deaths earlier this week.
New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has remained steady, with more than 46,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, but the positive rate has increased to near 13% over the last week. Hospitalizations have slowed but remain high over the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.
Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 6,550 on Wednesday, slightly lower than one week ago. The 7-day death average was 111, the highest since April. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 207,600 on Wednesday, near its highest mark on record. More than 197,000 have recovered in Michigan.
According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 5.8 million have recovered in the U.S., with more than 15.4 million cases reported across the country. More than 289,700 have died in the U.S.
Worldwide, more than 69 million people have been confirmed infected and more than 1.57 million have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. The true numbers are certainly much higher, because of limited testing, different ways nations count the dead and deliberate under-reporting by some governments.
Here’s a look at more of the data: