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Tuesday's Mini-Report, 12.14.21

Today's edition of quick hits.

Today's edition of quick hits:

* The Senate late this afternoon passed its bill to raise the debt ceiling by $2.5 trillion on a 50-49 vote. The House is expected to pass the same measure later today.

* Let's hope this works out: "Additional data from Pfizer's clinical trial of its oral Covid-19 antiviral drug confirm the treatment's high level of effectiveness, the company said in a news release Tuesday. In the final analysis of its Phase 2/3 clinical trial, the antiviral, called Paxlovid, was found to be 89 percent effective at preventing high-risk people from being hospitalized or dying from Covid, the company said."

* In related news: "The first major real-world study of the omicron Covid-19 variant found that it appeared to cause less severe illness in South Africa, where it was first discovered last month, but that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine offer reduced protection against it."

* A tiny percentage of the larger active-duty force: "The Air Force has discharged 27 active-duty members who refused to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as required, a spokesperson said Monday. The Pentagon has required vaccinations for members of the military, and the deadline for active-duty Air Force members was Nov. 2. Other branches have different deadlines."

* The latest on the devastation in Kentucky: "More than 100 people in the state were still unaccounted for, and 74 were confirmed dead, Gov. Andy Beshear said in an afternoon update before surveying storm damage in Muhlenberg County, where the governor himself lost relatives."

* A pressing deadline: "For the past six months, families with kids have received monthly payments from the federal government as part of the expanded child tax credit — a policy that has slashed child poverty in the US. If Congress doesn’t act, however, this measure is set to expire in 17 days."

* Cuomo's latest defeat: "Former Gov. Andrew Cuomo was ordered by New York’s ethics commission Tuesday to give up millions of dollars a publisher paid him to write a book about his response to the coronavirus pandemic. An attorney for Cuomo immediately called the action unconstitutional and promised a fight."

* A story worth watching: "The University of Florida is investigating possible violations of its research integrity policy following a 274-page faculty committee report that included claims of pressure to destroy and barriers to publish COVID-19 data."

* Nine years later: "President Joe Biden addressed the families of the victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting on Tuesday, marking the tragedy's nine-year anniversary by calling it 'an unconscionable act of violence.'" He added, "As a nation, we owe these families more than prayers. We owe them action."

See you tomorrow.