Tuesday morning news – December 22, 2020

Congress approves coronavirus relief, omnibus spending » Lawmakers on Capitol Hill approved a $900 billion dollar coronavirus relief package last night. 

AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 359, the nays are 53. The second portion of the divided question is adopted. 

The House passed it along with a massive $1.4 trillion omnibus spending package for the rest of the fiscal year. 

The Senate approved the legislation a short time later on a vote of 91 to 7. 

That sends it to President Trump’s desk, and he is expected to sign it into law very soon. 

House Minority Whip Steve Scalise said the legislation includes much needed help for small businesses and the self-employed. 

SCALISE: I talk to restaurants and other businesses every day who are about to—literally teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, and they need this lifeline. This gives a second round of paycheck protection program loans. It  helps those gig workers. 

The bill also revives federal unemployment benefits at $300 per week. It will also provide a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans along with $600 per child for qualified taxpayers.

Some Calif. hospitals make plans to ration care » California’s overwhelmed hospitals are setting up makeshift extra beds for coronavirus patients and some facilities are drawing up emergency plans in case they have to ration care. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: Over the summer, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in California peaked at nearly 9,000 in late July. 

The state surpassed that record high around the first of December. And three weeks later, it has doubled, with more than 18,000 coronavirus patients now filling hospital beds. 

And a state model projects that the total could hit 75,000 patients by mid-January.

The LA Times recently obtained a document circulated among doctors in LA County hospitals. It proposed that instead of trying to save every life, their goal could shift to saving as many patients as possible—meaning those less likely to survive would not get the same kind of care.

Many hospitals in California already have implemented emergency procedures to stretch staff and space.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown. 

Vaccine rollout continues, Biden receives first Pfizer shot » AUDIO: [SOUND OF TRUCKS]

As new COVID-19 cases surge, trucks continue to haul life-saving vaccines to distribution centers across the country. 

UPS driver Todd Elble hauled one of the first shipments of the Moderna vaccine this week after losing his father to COVID-19. 

ELBLE: After many years at UPS, this has been my most important load that I’ve hauled, and to bring this back, I feel dad was in the truck with me.

President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Monday. 

BIDEN: I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine. There’s nothing to worry about. 

It is available now to many healthcare workers and nursing home residents. 

And a CDC panel held a vote this week on who should be next in line to get the shots. 

VOTE: Ms. McNally … McNally, yes.

The members decided on a vote of 13-to-1 to recommend that all Americans over the age of 75 should be the next priority. 

Canada among latest countries to restrict U.K. travel as new virus strain spreads » Trucks waiting to get out of Britain backed up for miles and many people were left stranded at airports Monday as dozens of countries slapped heavy travel restrictions on the U.K.  That in response to a new strain of the coronavirus now spreading in England, which appears to be more infectious. 

Canada, India, and Kuwait are among the latest countries to restrict travel from the U.K. 

In the United States, some governors are calling on the Trump administration to follow suit. New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday…

CUOMO: You have many countries that have just restricted flights from the U.K. Many European countries have done it. Why are we doing nothing?

France has banned British trucks for 48 hours while the strain is assessed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier that his country was looking at establishing systematic testing of people for the virus on arrival.

Over the weekend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson imposed strict lockdown measures in London and neighboring areas where Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the new strain is “out of control.”

College Football Playoff semifinal moved from Rose Bowl to Dallas » For the first time since World War II, an iconic sporting event is being moved from California. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The last time the College Football Playoff semifinal was played outside of Pasadena, California was 1942. After the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, officials worried about a possible attack on the West Coast. So they moved the game to Durham, North Carolina. 

Seventy-nine years later, the College Football Playoff committee is again moving the game from the iconic Rose Bowl to AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas. That’s the home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys. 

The committee said it’s moving the game because of a “growing number of COVID-19 cases in Southern California.” Another reason, California’s current ban on spectators at sporting events.

The state refused to grant a waiver to allow a few hundred family members to attend the game. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) President-elect Joe Biden receives his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine from Nurse partitioner Tabe Mase at Christiana Hospital on live television in Newark Del., Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

Like this story?

To hear a lot more like it, subscribe to The World and Everything in It via iTunes, Overcast, Stitcher, or Pocket Casts.







Pocket Casts

(Requires a fee)

One comment on “Tuesday morning news – December 22, 2020

  1. Russell Board says:

    “The last time the College Football Playoff semifinal was played outside of Pasadena, California was 1942. ”
    There was no such thing as a College Football Playoff semifinal in 1942. The College Football Playoffs began in 2015.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.