Thursday morning news – December 10, 2020

FDA meets today to decide on Pfizer vaccine approval » Today could be the day that the Food and Drug Administration authorizes the first coronavirus vaccine in the United States.

An FDA panel will meet this morning to decide whether to approve the new Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for emergency use. 

On Wednesday, regulators in Canada gave it the green light.

The country’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Supriya Sharma told reporters…

SHARMA: It’s an exceptional day for Canada, and it is one step along the road. It’s one tool in terms of our fight against COVID-19. I think in a year where we haven’t had a lot of good news, this is a bit of good news. 

That approval came despite a pair of adverse reactions to the vaccine in the U.K. 

Sharma said she wasn’t at all worried about the incidents. She noted that two people out of thousands vaccinated had allergic reactions, received treatment and are recovering well. 

Giuliani out of hospital, recovering well from COVID-19 » President Trump’s personal attorney Rudi Giuliani is also recovering well. 

The former New York City mayor slept in his own bed last night after checking out of a hospital on Wednesday. 

Doctors admitted him three days earlier after he tested positive for COVID-19. But Giuliani said he’s feeling much better.

GIULIANI: I’m doing fine. Pretty much all of the symptoms are gone. I have no fever. I have very little cough. I’ve been walking around.

He said he received the same combination of therapeutic drugs that the president got after he tested positive in October. 

AP-NORC poll: Only half in US want shots as vaccine nears » A rolling 7-day average of coronavirus deaths remains at an all-time high—now more than 2,300 per day and rising. 

Still, a new survey finds that only about half of Americans are ready to roll up their sleeves for a vaccine shot. 

The Associated Press with the Center for Public Affairs Research surveyed more than 1,100 adults. 

Roughly a quarter of respondents said they’re not sure if they want to get the shots. And another quarter said they won’t do it. 

The survey suggests officials have a lot of work to do in the coming months … to sell the public on the new vaccines. 

Assistant HHS Secretary, Admiral Brett Giroir said he’s personally reviewed all published data on the Pfizer vaccine. 

GIROIR: And the data are really outstanding across all age groups, mid 90 percent efficacy, just tremendous; side effect profile [is] very mild, you know, soreness in the arm, that sort of thing. 

Experts say at least 70 percent of the U.S. population needs to be vaccinated to achieve so-called herd immunity. That’s the point at which enough people are protected to largely stop the virus from spreading. 

17 states back Texas lawsuit challenging elections results » Seventeen states are backing a lawsuit by the state of Texas challenging election results in four states. 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he’s asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.

The lawsuit asserts that Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin mishandled presidential elections in their states. 

PAXTON: If there are fraudulent activities or things that affect an election and state law is not followed as is required by the Constitution, it affects our state. It affects every state.

The Supreme Court wants the states targeted by the lawsuit to respond no later than today. 

President Trump tweeted—quote—“We will be INTERVENING in the Texas” case. But he did not explain what that means. He called it “the case that everyone has been waiting for.”

U.S. govt, states bring antitrust action against Facebook » Uncle Sam is suing Facebook, seeking to break up the social media giant. 

The Federal Trade Commission announced the antitrust lawsuit Wednesday along with New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

JAMES: For nearly a decade Facebook has used its dominance and monopoly power to crush smaller rivals and snuff out smaller competition, all at the expense of everyday users. 

Forty-eight states and districts are also suing the company in a separate lawsuit. 

The FTC wants a court to force Facebook to sell off Instagram and its WhatsApp messaging service.

The commission says Facebook gobbles up smaller competitors like Instagram before they can grow into formidable rivals. 

Last year, the FTC imposed new oversight and restrictions on Facebook and slapped it with a $5 billion fine for privacy violations. That was the largest fine ever levied on a tech company.

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool) A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, as the U.K. health authorities rolled out a national mass vaccination program. 

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