Advisor Says Biden Will Invoke Defense Production Act to Ramp Up Vaccine Production

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Dr. Celine Gounder, a member of Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board, said President-elect Joe Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act, which expedites and expands the supply of materials and services from U.S. industries to promote national defense, to ramp up production of Covid-19 vaccines as the nation––and the world––embarks on the largest vaccination campaign in history. read more

Public Briefings Will Resume, Says Biden’s Choice for CDC Director

Speaking to CNN, Rochelle Walensky, President-elect Joe Biden’s choice to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said that public briefings would resume under her leadership. That’s an about-face from current policy: The CDC has halted most of its briefings during the Covid-19 pandemic and most communication about the agency’s response to the crisis has been left to President Donald Trump and the White House coronavirus task force. read more

Fewer Than 70 People Showed Up to Mike Pompeo’s Christmas Party. He Invited More Than 900.

Hundreds of invitees chose to skip Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Christmas party. Pompeo invited more than 900 people, flouting CDC guidance on limiting personal gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic. Fewer than 70 showed up after public health officials and politicians warned the potential “superspreader” event would worsen an already precarious situation. read more

Member of Biden’s Covid-19 Advisory Board Warns Americans Not to Gather for Christmas

Michael Osterholm, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board has warned Americans not to gather for Christmas festivities after cases across the country skyrocketed following holiday travel over the Thanksgiving weekend. Osterholm’s remarks come the day after the United States recorded its highest daily death toll yet: At least 3,055 people died of Covid-19 yesterday, the highest number since April.  read more

Report: U.S. Economy Only Added 245,000 Jobs in November as Lawmakers Continue Work on Stimulus Deal

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning that the United States economy added just 245,000 jobs in November on a seasonally adjusted basis, 224,000 fewer jobs than had been projected.

Although November’s unemployment rate (6.7%) is lower than October’s unemployment rate (6.9%) this is because more workers left the workforce in November. Of those not counted among the workforce, 3.9 million people have been unable to look for work because of the Covid-19 pandemic’s disastrous effects on the job market. read more