Distribution of J&J’s one-dose COVID vaccine expected this week
Johnson & Johnson began distributing its vaccine Sunday, adding a third weapon to the country’s COVID-19 arsenal. An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendation soon afterward. The Johnson & Johnson shot was authorized Friday by the Food and Drug Administration for people 18 and older. It requires only one dose and does not have to be frozen. Johnson & Johnson said it began shipping its COVID-19 vaccine Sunday and expects to deliver enough single-shot vaccines by the end of March.
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COVID relief legislation, with $1,400 stimulus checks, heads to Senate
The Senate is now the focus of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after the House approved it Saturday. The bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, narrowly passed 219-212. And it faces a similarly rocky path in the evenly divided Senate, with no Republicans expected to support the bill. The president will have to count on every one of the 50 Democratic senators — and a tie-breaking 51st vote from Vice President Kamala Harris — to make sure its key pillars remain in the bill. The measure would provide millions of Americans $1,400 stimulus payments, ramp up vaccine distribution and extend unemployment aid through the summer.
Golden Globes: Best and worst moments, from Tina and Amy’s jokes to Chadwick Boseman’s emotional win
Kicking off the strangest awards season of all time, road drama “Nomadland” and mockumentary sequel “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” took home big honors at Sunday night’s glitchy Golden Globes. Hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the Golden Globes were even more unpredictable and chaotic than usual, thanks in large part to the show’s hybrid virtual format. Amid the mayhem were some genuinely terrific moments, as “Nomadland” drove off with the night’s biggest award for best drama, and Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”) and Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”) appeared genuinely surprised by their unexpected acting wins. Here are more of the best and worst moments from the show.
White House criticized for not directly sanctioning Saudi prince for role in Khashoggi murder
The Biden administration is expected to make an announcement Monday related to sanctions on Saudi Arabia in response to the brutal murder Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden’s administration has been criticized over its decision to thus far not directly punish Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, despite the declassification of an intelligence report which clearly implicated the prince in Khashoggi’s death. The State Department has issued 76 visa restrictions on Saudi nationals who are “believed to have been engaged in threatening dissidents overseas, including but not limited to the Khashoggi killing.” Yet, Prince Mohammed himself is not set to face any repercussions for the attack. The White House has so far resisted calls to enact punishments directly on bin Salman, arguing the geopolitics of the situation require a more delicate approach.
Vegas-area schools reopen amid COVID-19
School bells ring Monday for the youngest students in Las Vegas, where the nation’s fifth-largest school district will return kids to classrooms during the coronavirus pandemic with a “hybrid” schedule for preschoolers through third-graders. The move comes in a region hard hit both physically and economically by COVID-19. This makes the sprawling Clark County School District, with 315,000 students, the latest of the largest in the U.S. to resume face-to-face but hands-off instruction.