Today, we have news that President Trump has signed the COVID relief bill, AstraZeneca vaccine nears approval, and good news about positivity ratios in the Whittier Area. Each section of the article is now labeled so you can read the whole article or you skip the parts you are not interested in and go straight to the part you are interested in. If you choose to read the whole article it will take at least 7 minutes if not more. The breaks between sections, also called subheadings, are capitalized.
POLITICS: COVID 19 AND THE US GOVERNMENT
President Trump today signed the COVID Relief Bill while red lining some items for Congress to remove. The move is as close to the line item veto that President Trump or any of his successors is going to get since the law authorizing the line item veto was declared unconstitutional back in 1998. If it had still been in effect, Trump could have signed the law as soon as it reached his desk while vetoing only the parts he objected to specifically, leaving the parts intended to help American citizens intact while gutting everything that benefits foreigners or has nothing to do with COVID 19, such a provision that provides life in prison for anyone deliberately or accidently violates copyright law. Trump has criticized the provision because it is too draconian and has nothing to do with combating COVID 19.
The Congress will vote on whether to increase the $600 checks for US citizens to $2,000 as requested by the President on Monday. Democrats seem to have gathered around Trump and are singing kumbaya while RINOs have threatened to kill any future bill to help Americans with COVID 19. The RINOs, a term which means Republican In Name Only because other Republicans don't feel they share genuine conservative values but are instead beholden to multinational corporation and those who seek one world government, have said they will kill the measure because it would give more money to every day working class rather than to wealthy internationalist with no loyalty to this country or to the Constitution. The primary difference between RINOs and other Republicans is that RINO's are most loyal to internationalism and the establishment of one world government while most regular Republicans support the US Constitution, love their country above all, and are willing to defend freedom.
The line item veto was struck down in 1998's Clinton v. City of New York, a US Supreme Court case.
The President will be out of the country on Monday, December 28th. He is traveling to West Africa and attending the inauguration Burkina Faso's new president. Burkina Faso, landlocked in the center of West Africa surrounded by Niger and Mali to its north, east and west, and the nations of Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin to its south and east. The nation has a population that is a little less than half the size of California's.
In a statement issued by the White House, Trump said:
"As President of the United States it is my responsibility to protect the people of our country from the economic devastation and hardship that was caused by the China Virus.
I understand that many small businesses have been forced to close as a result of harsh actions by Democrat-run states. Many people are back to work, but my job is not done until everyone is back to work.....As President, I have told Congress that I want far less wasteful spending and more money going to the American people in the form of $2,000 checks per adult and $600 per child.
As President I am demanding many rescissions under the Impoundment Control Act of 1974. The Act provides that, “whenever the President determines that all or part of any budget authority will not be required to carry out the full objectives or scope of programs for which it is provided, or that such budget authority should be rescinded for fiscal policy or other reasons (including termination of authorized projects or activities for which budget authority has been provided), the President shall transmit to both Houses of Congress a special message” describing the amount to be reserved, the relevant accounts, the reasons for the rescission, and the economic effects of the rescission. 2 U.S.C. § 683.
I will sign the Omnibus and Covid package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.
I am signing this bill to restore unemployment benefits, stop evictions, provide rental assistance, add money for PPP, return our airline workers back to work, add substantially more money for vaccine distribution, and much more.
On Monday the House will vote to increase payments to individuals from $600 to $2,000. Therefore, a family of four would receive $5,200. Additionally, Congress has promised that Section 230, which so unfairly benefits Big Tech at the expense of the American people, will be reviewed and either be terminated or substantially reformed."
The Treasury Department says the first payments of the $600 checks will be delivered to bank accounts this week.
MEDICINE AND HEALTHCARE: THIRD OPERATION WARP SPEED VACCINE NEARING APPROVAL
While that is playing out, Trump is about to prepare to get a third COVID vaccine under his belt. Astra Zeneca has announced that thanks to Operation Warp Speed funds it is nearing the completion of clinical trials for its vaccine which will be easier to store and transport than either the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine which require deep freeze storage means. Data indicates that the first shot from the new Astra Zeneca vaccine is about 70% effective but experts say that using a booster shot days or weeks later could boost the vaccine's effectiveness. That lower storage and transport requirements will enable the vaccine to be accessible to more lower income American than either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines which have stimulated a battle over who would pay the high costs that both companies want to charge for each vaccination. Trump has insisted that all vaccinations be provided to the American people for free but the elites have balked at that demand. In a letter to both Pelosi and McConnell, Trump cited the Consolidated Appropriations Act to let them know that he was impounding all money allocated by Congress in the COVID bill that had nothing to do with COVID 19. Screenshots of the President's message and his letter to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader can be found below the more important COVID 19 graphs and charts.
The new vaccine is called AZD1222 and has not been released for use as of yet. The vaccine uses double stranded DNA which makes more durable than the other two vaccines. The vaccine can last up to six months under conditions found in every day refrigerators. Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, AZD1222 is delivered via a harmless adenovirus. The virus delivers information about the SARS COV 2 virus to a cell's nucleus which in turn starts making copies of the SARS COV 2 viral spikes to release into the body. The immune system reads the spike proteins and responds by going after the spikes. Vaccinations will be given in two doses, 4 weeks apart. The cost of each vaccination is expected to be around $3 to $4 per. The Pfizer vaccine is $20 per dose and Moderna's is as much as $50 per dose. Pfizer's CEO has reiterated that the company has an agreement with President Trump to American citizens 100% for free. The US government first ordered 100 million doses which will be delivered before December 31st and exercised to purchase an additional 100 million doses. The US retains the option of purchasing another 400 million doses for which it has priority over other nations.
Moderna received over $1 billion in US tax money to develop its vaccines and is consequently deeply indebted to the US government and to American taxpayers, as well as to President Trump. Trump's administration paid $15 per dose to ensure that US citizens get the vaccine for free. Europe is now trying to negotiate a price that will keep the cost below $25 per dose but remains behind the US on the issue.
AstraZeneca received $1.2 billion from the Trump administration for 300 million doses of its vaccine. The company has said that with Trump's help, it will provide the vaccine at cost to low and middle income people around the world, in "perpetuity". In addition to being part of Trump's Operation Warp Speed, AstraZeneca is also part of the UN's COVAX, in international effort to provide and deliver over 2 billion COVID 19 vaccines around the world before the middle of 2021.
Interestingly, in trails one dose of AZD1222 was 90% effective but two doses was only 60% effective which could indicate something defective about the trial. Neither Pfizer nor Moderna are part of COVAX.
AZD1222 is said to be effective against British COVID, the British variant of the SARS COV 2 virus.
LOCAL NEWS: WHITTIER AREA SEES FIRST DECLINE IN POSITIVITY RATIOS FOR FIRST TIME IN WEEKS
Locally, we have a little bit of good news, for the first time, the positivity rate has declined in at least one Whittier Area Community. The City of La Habra Heights saw its positivity ratio go down for the first time in weeks. According to the weekly data chart, La Habra Heights' COVID positivity ratio declined from 81.48% to 78.57% which is a significant decline and one would hope is the beginning of the end of this crises. The weekly shows that 30 Whittier Area residents have died during Chrismas week but the daily data for December 27, indicates that deaths have begun to fall in the Whittier Area with only 2 deaths being reported on Christmas weekend.
Altogether the weekly data chart indicates there were 4,908 new SARS COV 2 infections. For Sunday, December 27, the Whittier area had 651 new infections.
The top 5 infection daily numbers:
South Whittier 115
Pico Rivera 111
La Habra 103
City of Whittier 95
Hacienda Heights 62
This marks the first time in months that the City of Whittier has dropped to 4th place in terms of daily new infections. That is clearly a positive sign for those of you who live in the city's limits.
Outside of La Habra Heights, the positivity ratios did go up for the 4th week in a row so remember to wear masks correctly. If someone politely asks you to wear your mask properly don't assume it is because they want to take away your freedom and remember your constitutional rights only apply when you are on public property, they do not apply inside privately owned businesses. If you are in town visiting, state law requires you to quarantine for 10 days before you leave the state. You are also required to quarantine if you arrived in California to visit family, though it is pretty clear that most Americans have ignored that law because it is literally not enforceable. As they say, when you gamble, be prepared to deal with the had you are dealt. Some people are paying for their COVID lottery tickets with their lives. There are no winners of that lottery, only losers.