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COVID-19 Update, December 23, 2020: Hold Your Horses

Nothing is simple: Just when Congress finally -- finally -- passed a bill with the minimum of relief the pandemic-struck country needs, the president -- who was disengaged during negotiations -- decides that the included stimulus checks aren't big enough. This despite the fact that the $600 figure was proposed by the Secretary of the Treasury. Of course, the checks should be bigger -- but now he's complaining? It's unclear what happens next, so we end the year on a cliffhanger note.

The latest:

The president throws a monkey wrench into the pandemic relief bill, calling it a "disgrace," demanding bigger stimulus checks, and hinting he might not sign the bill as-is. Is he serious? Is he venting? Is the bill on or off? tinyurl.com/ybzelxuq.

Sadly, 2020 is the deadliest year in US history, more than three million expected to die: tinyurl.com/ybpvywjy.

Pfizer will provide the US with an additional 100 million doses of vaccine by July: tinyurl.com/y7kpqvzp.

Weekly unemployment claims come in at 803,000, rather better than expected: tinyurl.com/ydxqfk77.

Unhelpfully, Louis Farrakhan, of the Nation of Islam has an outburst of paranoia, calling vaccines a "death plan" engineered by whites: tinyurl.com/ydfqjtsm.

IATSE cheers that pandemic relief bill but notes that more needs to be done: tinyurl.com/y7ymb9oe.

Senator Amy Klobuchar discusses the details of the Save Our Stages Act: tinyurl.com/yd3fu39f.

During the inauguration of President Biden, the White House, home to so many COVID-19 infections, will get a deep cleaning: tinyurl.com/ycfzuq8b.

Food for thought:

Some epidemiologists are beginning to think that residents of the hardest-hit communities should take priority in vaccinations: tinyurl.com/yc5f7zs3.

Around the country:

In California:

The state records 500,000 COVID-19 cases in two weeks: tinyurl.com/y9f25a78.

In Florida:

The state records 10,434 new infections on Tuesday: tinyurl.com/y775l673.

Against CDC recommendations, the governor says the elderly will be vaccinated ahead of frontline workers: tinyurl.com/ycl3fqjo.

University of Florida basketball player Keyontae Johnson, who collapsed on the court on December 12, has been diagnosed with a COVID-19-related heart inflammation; Johnson had COVID-19 this summer: tinyurl.com/yb3roaol.

Despite the recommendations of health experts, Orlando's theme parks draw (smallish) crowds: tinyurl.com/y7kajyyu.

In Massachusetts:

The governor lowers capacity limits for most businesses to 25%: tinyurl.com/yd5z2a9v.

In New York:

The governor calls on hospitals to test for the UK variant of the coronavirus: tinyurl.com/y7xqsmx5.

In Oregon:

A person knowingly goes to work with symptoms of COVID-19; the result is seven others dead and 300 in quarantine: tinyurl.com/y9gazuhk.

Around the world:

In the Cayman Islands:

A Georgia teen gets two months in prison for breaking coronavirus rules: tinyurl.com/yb2zz5u4.

In France:

The country reopens its borders with the UK, but it will take days to undo the traffic snarl: tinyurl.com/yd5t8r8u.

In Singapore:

In what may be the weirdest story of the pandemic, Changi Airport is charging people $269 a night to camp out, in tents, in its retail wing: tinyurl.com/y87rv2hs.

In the UK:

More of the country is set to go under Tier 4 lockdown starting December 26: tinyurl.com/y79mmmkz.

Even as France reopens its border to the UK, the latter country is taking time to test truck drivers for COVID-19; the resulting snarl is leading to brawling in the streets of Dover: tinyurl.com/ybw86fvh.

West End ghost town: Stunning photographs taken by a dresser at London's Wicked: tinyurl.com/y7cto727.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, is caught with her mask down: tinyurl.com/y8fx2fjt.

Losses:

K.T. Oslin, Grammy Award-winning country singer and onetime Broadway performer: tinyurl.com/y97equ6s.

For your pleasure:

Twenty-seven dancers, thanks to American Dance Machine, in a thrilling rendition of "The Music and the Mirror," by Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban, from A Chorus Line: vimeo.com/492234704. Hang on for the credits. That's all for today. Have great holidays and please stay safe. The COVID-19 Update will return in January in a new weekly format. -- DB And, as we say goodbye to this incredible, (unfortunately) unforgettable year, take it away, Miss Judy Garland: tinyurl.com/yy3af5xj.

To receive your LSA copies at home (no charge), please email LSA@plasa.org or go to www.ezsubscription.com/lsa/mysubscription.

Previous LSA COVID-19 Updates: plasa.me/lsacovid19resources.


(5 January 2021)

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