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Wake Up To Politics - May 26, 2021

Wake Up To Politics: Coronavirus in retreat
Wake Up To Politics - May 26, 2021

Good morning! It’s Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Election Day 2022 is 531 days away. Election Day 2024 is 1,259 days away.

Coronavirus cases are plummeting in the United States as more Americans are getting vaccinated. Here are the latest vaccine stats:

  • Exactly 50% of adults in the United States are now fully vaccinated, and 61.6% of adults have had at least one vaccine dose. (CDC)
  • Of the total U.S. population, 39.5% are fully vaccinated and 49.5% have had at least one vaccine dose. (CDC)
  • Nine states — Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont — have partially vaccinated at least 70% of their adult populations. (Forbes)
  • The country is on track to reach President Biden’s goal of having partially vaccinated 70% of U.S. adults by July 4. (WaPo)

And here are the latest stats for the larger Covid picture in the United States:

  • The 7-day average of new cases in the U.S. is 23,215 — the lowest it has been since June 2020. (CDC)
  • The 7-day average of Covid-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. is 27,308 — the lowest it has been since April 2020. (NYT)
  • The 7-day average of new Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. is 543 — the lowest it has been since July 2020. (NYT)
  • An average of 2.5% of Covid-19 tests have come back positive in the U.S. over the past 7 days — the lowest test positivity rate that the nation has recorded since the pandemic began. (JHU)

And what about “breakthrough infections,” you ask? According to a new CDC report, about 10,000 cases of Covid-19 had been reported in fully vaccinated people as of the end of April. At that point, about 101 million people had been fully vaccinated — meaning about 1 in 10,000 fully vaccinated people tested positive for the virus.

Of the 10,000 “breakthrough infections,” 10% were hospitalized (1 in 100,000 total vaccinees) and 2% died (1 in 1 million total vaccinees).

Some more Covid headlines for you:

  • “Why scientists are suddenly more interested in the lab-leak theory of Covid’s origin” (CNN)
  • “Moderna vaccine safe and highly effective in kids ages 12 to 17, company says” (NBC)
  • “CDC director expresses optimism about COVID-19 transmission ahead of Memorial Day weekend” (The Hill)
(The New York Times)

The Rundown

More headlines to know this morning.

Trump investigations. “Manhattan’s district attorney has convened the grand jury that is expected to decide whether to indict former president Donald Trump, other executives at his company or the business itself, should prosecutors present the panel with criminal charges, according to two people familiar with the development.” Washington Post

MTG. “House Republican leaders on Tuesday broke nearly a week of silence about comments by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia comparing mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust, condemning her language but stopping short of punishing her.” New York Times

Infrastructure. “GOP senators say that President Joe Biden has informed them he’d be willing to accept an infrastructure package of around $1 trillion, significantly lower than the White House's public offer last week. Two key GOP negotiators...both indicated on Tuesday that...they plan to make a counteroffer around that amount on Thursday, even as there are still sharp disagreements on how to pay for the massive proposal.” CNN

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Gabe’s Picks

What I’m reading and watching this morning.*|IF:RH_TOTREF > 0|*

A hopeful read to start your day: “The Beginning of the End of the American Pandemic” The New Yorker

  • Favorite line: “Reopening a country after a pandemic isn’t like flipping a giant switch. It’s more like lighting a series of candles, illuminating one part, then another, until the whole place shines.”

Something non-political: “The Great American Cleanup: Deodorant, Teeth Whitener Fly Off the Shelves” Wall Street Journal

A number to watch: Remember the sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY)? It seems New York voters have largely moved on: a plurality (49%) now say he should not reisgn, according to a new Siena College poll. The survey also found that Cuomo would beat a generic Republican, 48% to 38%, if he ran for re-election in 2022. Before the scandal, the governor had indicated that he planned to seek a fourth term.  

Tweet of the day:

Photo of the day: This morning’s total lunar eclipse, as seen in Australia.

(Steven Saphore/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


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What’s happening in Washington today. (All times Eastern.)

President Joe Biden will receive his daily intelligence briefing at 9:50 a.m.

  • Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with a bipartisan group of lawmakers at 3:30 p.m. to discuss “the critical importance of investing in broadband infrastructure.”
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken is on the second day of his Middle East trip. He met this morning with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi in Cairo. At 10:15 a.m., he will meet with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman. At 11:15 a.m., he will hold a press availability in Amman.
  • White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a press briefing at 12:30 p.m.

The Senate will convene at 10:30 a.m. Following Leader remarks, the chamber will resume consideration of S.1260, the Endless Frontier Act, a bipartisan bill to invest $100 billion in technology research in an effort to compete with China.

At 12 p.m., the chamber will vote on an amendment by Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) before recessing until 2:15 p.m. Then, at 2:30 p.m., the chamber will vote on an amendment by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and another by Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA). Votes on other amendments are possible later in the day.

  • NIH Director Francis Collins and Dr. Anthony Fauci will testify before a Senate appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m. on the NIH budget request for Fiscal Year 2022.
  • The CEOs of Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley will testify before the Senate Banking Committee at 10 a.m. as part of a Wall Street oversight hearing.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas will testify before a Senate appropriations subcommittee at 2 p.m. on the DHS budget request for Fiscal Year 2022.

The House is not in session.

  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will testify before a House Appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m. on the CDC budget request for Fiscal Year 2022.
  • Secretary Mayorkas will testify before a House Appropriations subcommittee at 10 a.m. on the DHS budget request for Fiscal Year 2022.

Actor Nick Offerman will testify before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee at 11 a.m. on vaccine confidence.

The Supreme Court is not in session.

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