Here’s a selection of important news you probably didn’t hear about today:
Millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses are set to expire as Trump team bungles rollout
Given the way that the Trump team has deliberately mismanaged the entire coronavirus crisis from the get-go and actively worked to downplay the disease, it is unsurprising if deeply depressing to learn that the vaccination rollout is dangerously behind schedule, just like testing and contact tracing efforts were earlier in the year. HHS Secretary Alex Azar pledged to have 20 million people vaccinated by the end of 2020, but with just one day left in the year, barely 2 million have been vaccinated. Millions of doses are being held in reserve for the second wave of injections, but given the slow speed of the Trump team vaccination rollout — Senator Ed Markey (D-MASS) today derided it as “Operation Snail Speed” — countless doses could end being wholly wasted thanks to bureaucratic confusion, public suspicion, and lack of cold-freezer infrastructure.
The United States has added 56 billionaires since the pandemic began.
Since the pandemic began, America’s billionaires have increased their wealth by $1 trillion. As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moves to poison the proposal to increase the public’s stimulus checks to $2,000 nearly a year into a devastating pandemic, it is beyond infuriating to learn that the wealthiest Americans are increasing their ill-gotten fortunes while millions of families teeter on the brink of homelessness and poverty. American plutocracy is out of control and we must pressure President Biden to quickly make substantial efforts to redistribute wealth to the Americans who need it, deserve it, and will actually spend it — unlike the billionaires, who literally have so much money it is impossible for them to spend it all.
The girlfriend of the Nashville bomber told police he was building a bomb over a year ago. They did nothing, but gave her a psychological evaluation and claimed she was going through a mental health crisis.
For all the incessant hand-wringing and crocodile tears we’ve had to put up with about how important the police are to Law And Order, they certainly don’t seem to be very good at their jobs. It is absolutely unacceptable that the police can be warned that a man is making a bomb by a girlfriend who fears her safety is at risk from this man and for them to go to his house, knock on the door, see “several security cameras and wires attached to an alarm sign on the front door,” and then go home without even interviewing the man.
Ohio State Study shows that 30% of student athletes have heart damage from COVID-19 infections
Researchers examined 24 athletes and found that “30% had cellular heart damage and 15% showed signs of heart inflammation caused by a condition known as myocarditis.” The United States’ response to the coronavirus pandemic has been monstrously cruel and driven by greed across the board, but all the elected officials and school administrators who loudly pushed for the college football season to happen have a particularly heavy burden of responsibility now that their need to profit off of unpaid and exploited student-athletes has given them long-term heart damage.
At least 28 members of Congress or their spouses hold positions at companies that recieved $27 million in COVID-19 bailout money
An investigation by Sludge found that 18 congressional Republicans and one Libertarian have received $21.7 million for 38 businesses with which they are associated. Nine Democrats received $6.1 million for 11 of their own businesses. While we know that corruption is rampant in Congress, especially among Republicans, it is a mark of how little accountability our representatives feel towards their voters to know that at least 10 of the Republicans voted against more relief for their voters while personally profiting off the COVID-19 bailout.
Audio surfaces of Ohio cop Jason Meade, who murdered Casey Goodson, crowing that his job was to “hunt people” and that he “loves it”
The appalling behavior of American police forces across the nation in response to the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year should have made it clear to everyone that there is a deep institutional rot and toxic culture that permeates every level of American policing, and nowhere is that more obvious than a murderous cop — who also happens to be a Baptist pastor — bragging about how he loves to use force against the people he ostensibly is protecting and serving because it is a “righteous release” and that “I learned long ago I gotta throw the first punch. And I learned long ago why I’m justified in throwing the first punch.”
Meade claims that Goodson had waved a firearm at him; the family’s lawyers say he was returning to his home with groceries for his family.
Nearly every inmate in Alaska’s largest prison has contracted COVID-19
1,115 out of 1,236 inmates at the Goose Creek Correctional Facility have tested positive for coronavirus in Alaska the latest horror story in the largely ignored humanitarian crisis that has unfolded in America’s prison system. Across the United States, over 275,000 inmates have contracted the virus and 1,700 have died in outbreaks at 850 prisons. Like the rest of the government, the Department of Corrections was entirely unprepared for the crisis and does not appear to have been too concerened about the spread within its prisons.
Biden nominates the first female deputy Defense Secretary.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.