🚨 This Just In: The MLB’s Cleveland Indians are expected to announce plans to change the team name later this week, per the NYT.
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
This Week at a Glance
Monday: Read on to find out 😉
Tuesday: Tenet released digitally
Wednesday: Federal Reserve concludes final meeting of 2020
Thursday: FDA advisory committee to review Moderna’s vaccine
Friday: Tesla joins S&P 500; Midnight deadline to avoid gov’t shutdown
💉 The Great Vaccine Rollout
The FDA granted emergency use authorization to Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine on Friday. On Sunday morning, the first trucks containing vaccine doses departed Pfizer’s plant in Portage, MI, en route to 636 predetermined locations across 50 states, and will arrive at 145 facilities later today.
A deeper dive…
Pfizer is expected to deliver 2.9M doses this week from its Portage plant via FedEx and UPS, along with other repurposed manufacturing plants in Michigan, Missouri, and Massachusetts. The company has said it can produce up to 50M doses globally by the end of this year.
Under official CDC guidance – which states are recommended, but not required, to follow – the limited number of initial doses will be allocated in three phases:
However… recent polls suggest a number of Americans would not receive an FDA-approved vaccine today at no cost (more than ⅓), or do not plan to receive one at all (more than ¼).
While the rollout of Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine continues, the FDA’s vaccine advisory committee meets this Thursday to review data from Moderna’s Phase 3 study and vote on a recommendation. Other vaccine candidates have yet to apply for FDA approval.
The federal governmentannounced last Friday that it will purchase 100M additional doses of Moderna’s vaccine (after ordering 100M doses in August). The company has said it can produce ~20M doses by the end of this year.
More than 109k Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Saturday, a record high according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomoindefinitely suspended indoor dining in NYC starting today due to a rise in hospitalizations.
⚖️ SCOTUS Declines TX Lawsuit
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to hear a lawsuit filed by Texas AG Ken Paxton seeking to overturn the presidential election results in four battleground states where Joe Biden was declared the victor (PA, WI, MI, and GA). Each state’s chosen electors, collectively known as the Electoral College, will meet later today to cast their votes.
More: There’s a slight chance Wisconsin’s electors will not vote today due to a pending election lawsuit (though it would not overturn the overall election result).
Even More: The electoral votes will be counted and certified in a joint session of the incoming Congress on January 6, with Inauguration Day scheduled for January 20.
A gang of gunmen attacked and kidnapped an unknown number of students from an all-boys boarding school in Nigeria’s Katsina region on Friday afternoon. Local officials said attackers “with AK-47 rifles” stormed the Government Science School and engaged security forces in a fierce gun battle, forcing hundreds of students to flee and hide in the surrounding forest. More than 300 students were still missing as of Sunday evening.
More: Katsina Governor Aminu Masari said officials are working to determine the actual number of kidnapped children.
🪕 Charley Pride, country music’s first Black superstar, passed away at 86 years old on Saturday. | 🕵️📚 John le Carré, the British spy-turned-author of award-winning Cold War espionage thrillers, died at 89 on Sunday.
💻 Russian Hack Attack
Per the Washington Post($), the FBI is investigating a global espionage campaign by Russian hackers that compromised the Treasury and Commerce departments, as well as other U.S. government agencies. Sources say the breaches, which have been taking place for months, were carried out by a state-sponsored hacking group known as Cozy Bear. Reuters first reported the hacks of the Treasury and Commerce departments on Sunday afternoon.
More: Cozy Bear is the same group responsible for hacking the State Department, White House, and DNC during the Obama administration.
Hyundai announced plans to purchase a controlling stake in Boston Dynamics from SoftBank on Friday. The deal values the robotics company at $1.1B, and, should it receive regulatory approval, gives Hyundai an ~80% stake in Boston Dynamics, with SoftBank retaining ~20% through an affiliate company.
Affirm postponed its IPO – planned for later this month – until January at the earliest, the point-of-sale lending company announced on Saturday. The move comes a day after Roblox, which was also planning to IPO in 2020, postponed its offering until early next year.
More: According to sources, both postponements were due to the first-day jumps in share price seen after IPOs from Airbnb (113%) and DoorDash (86%) last week. (The IPO’s underwriters reap the immediate benefit of the first-day stock jump – the company and its employees, not so much. Learn how IPO underwriting actually works.)
👋 Welcome to the Neighborhood (look us up, why don’t ya)… software giant Oracle moved its company headquarters from Silicon Valley to Austin, TX, on Friday, per Bloomberg. They join HP (Houston), Palantir (Denver), and Elon Musk (Mars, TX*) in moving away from Silicon Valley in recent months.
*No one’s exactly sure where, but rumor says Austin.
💰 Fit the Bill
In 1983, Michael Esmond of Pensacola, FL, could not pay his utility bills – and his three daughters spent Christmas in the cold. Now the owner of a successful small swimming pool contracting company, Michael has taken it upon himself to help others avoid the crisis he once endured.
Recognizing the economic impacts of the pandemic and a recent hurricane, the 74-year-old Michael covered the utility bills of 114 families at risk of being disconnected this month – a donation totaling $7,615.40.
🏫 Winner’s Share
Ranjitsinh Disale, a school teacher at an elementary school in Paritewadi, India, was awarded the 2020 Global Teacher Prize last week by UNESCO. The educator, who created a unique system of QR codes to give his students access to online resources, was recognized for his efforts to promote women’s education.
Instead of keeping the $1 million in corresponding prize money for himself, Ranjitsinh shared half of his winnings with the other nine finalists, awarding each person $55,000.
🐕 Lassie Come Home
Gary and Debbie Morgan of Andes, NY, put virtual reward posters up online after their 16-month-old Golden Retriever, Meadow, went missing last month. When local drone pilot Brian James saw the pleading posts, he offered to help.
Launching his drone in the region where the dog was last seen, Brian used the device’s camera to scour the landscape for the lost canine. After searching miles of forest, Brian spotted the missing Meadow and rescued the retriever unharmed.
2021 = A Fresh Start
This year has been crazy. Negative thinking, stress eating, boredom eating, social pressure, etc. Those don’t – and won’t – go away.
But 2021 is a new year. One filled with endless opportunity. Opportunity to level-up your career. To go on that trip you’ve been dreaming about. To spend more time on what really matters: family, friends – and your health.
For the last one, we recommend turning to Noom. They help people everywhere lead healthier lives through behavior change.
This upcoming year is your year.
One where you can say “New Year, New Me” – and finally mean it. Take Noom’s free psych-based eval to get a peek at your custom plan, tailored to you and built to last.