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–> A midday take on what’s happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.*
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The Hill’s 12:30 Report: More than 30 percent of U.S. adults fully vaccinated, nearly half received at least one dose: CDC | 8 killed in FedEx facility shooting | 100 days since Jan. 6 attack | Tokyo Olympics head says games won’t be canceled | Castro steps down in Cuba | Lawmakers vie for limited Biden address seats | Police comfort dog on Capitol Hill
NEWS THIS MORNING
More than 30 percent of U.S. adults (!) are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and nearly half of the U.S. adult population has received at least one dose, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). https://bit.ly/3mSkP0o
The numbers — fully vaccinated: Roughly 78.3 million American adults — or 30.3 percent — have been fully vaccinated.
The numbers — at least one dose: Roughly 124.8 million American adults — or 48.3 percent — have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
What this means: If the U.S. continues to administer 3 million vaccine shots a day, Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci Fauci believes Johnson & Johnson vaccine will get back on track ‘quickly’ Maxine Waters cuts off Jim Jordan, Fauci sparring at hearing: ‘Shut your mouth’ Pfizer CEO: Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed within 1 year MORE said we could hit herd immunity by June(!)
Happy Friday! I’m Cate Martel with a quick recap of the morning and what’s coming up. Send comments, story ideas and events for our radar to [email protected] — and follow along on Twitter @CateMartel and Facebook.
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THE HILL EVENTS
WATCH LIVE: The Hill’s virtual Sustainability Imperative summit, Day 2
Environmental sustainability is no longer optional; it’s become an imperative. Join The Hill for a national multi-day virtual event including multiple tracks of programming featuring fireside chats with policy leaders and practitioners in the sustainability ecosystem including White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump official delayed releasing information on cancer-linked chemical in Illinois: watchdog | Advocacy groups say tech giants need to ‘step it up’ on sustainability | GOP senator: Raising corporate taxes is a ‘non-starter’ McCarthy hails ‘whole-of-government approach’ to climate The Hill’s 12:30 Report: CDC identifies 5.8K COVID cases of 66M vaccinated MORE, former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: CDC identifies 5.8K COVID cases of 66M vaccinated The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal after pushback The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Tax March – US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause MORE, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, fashion designer Tracy Reese and many more. View the full schedule
OTHER NEWS THIS MORNING
Via CNN, “A gunman opened fire outside and inside a FedEx Ground facility near Indianapolis’ main airport Thursday night, killing eight people, wounding several others and sending witnesses running before taking his own life, police said.” https://cnn.it/3dpk1NC
Indianapolis police Deputy Chief Craig McCartt told CNN: “The (gunman) came into the parking lot, and I believe he exited his vehicle and quickly began shooting. … The first shooting occurred in the parking lot, and then he went inside and did not get very far into the facility at all … I think that it probably only lasted one to two minutes, from what we’re hearing.”
Everything we know: https://cnn.it/2PZDmMp
Via The Hill’s Rebecca Beitsch and Rafael Bernal, “For the first time in more than 60 years, Cuba is poised to have a government without a single Castro.” https://bit.ly/3uUhcK1
Happening today: “Raúl Castro, who succeeded his brother Fidel as the Communist Party of Cuba’s first secretary in 2011, is expected to step down from his post as the country begins its eighth Communist Party Congress on Friday.”
What happens next: “Castro is expected to leave party leadership in the hands of President Miguel Díaz-Canel, while the rest of the politburo will be filled not with the youngest generation most eager for change, but middle-aged party leaders born in the wake of the revolution.”
What to expect in Cuba: https://bit.ly/3uUhcK1
Via Politico’s Melanie Zanona and Sarah Ferris, “Which is a hotter ticket: Beyoncé’s first post-pandemic concert or President Joe Biden’s first address to Congress? Washington is about to find out.” https://politi.co/3x3bSG2
“Even as life slowly returns to normal on Capitol Hill amid the shrinking threat of Covid, strict safety protocols will remain in place for Biden’s April 28 joint address inside the House chamber. That means only 200 lawmakers, administration officials and staff will likely be allowed to attend the distanced and heavily sanitized event, a far cry from the typical crowds for a prime-time presidential speech.”
Inside the scramble for those 200 seats: https://politi.co/3x3bSG2
TIDBIT — Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz no longer wearing mask in Capitol The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Tax March – CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Democrats brace for new ‘defund the police’ attacks MORE HAS DECIDED HE’S OVER WEARING MASKS IN THE CAPITOL:
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he will no longer wear a mask in the Capitol because he is fully vaccinated. https://bit.ly/3ghCMUS
Cruz told CNN: “At this point I’ve been vaccinated. Everybody working in the Senate has been vaccinated. CDC has said in small groups, particularly with people who were vaccinated, don’t need to wear masks.”
^ The problem: Some staffers and reporters are still waiting to receive a vaccine.
Tidbit from March: A reporter asked Cruz to wear a mask. “Uh, yeah, when I’m talking in front of the TV cameras I’m not going to wear a mask. And all of us have been immunized, so…” Cruz then said: “You’re welcome to step away if you like. The whole point of a vaccine … CDC guidance is what we’re following.”
NBC’s Frank Thorp V published a photo essay documenting a handful of people who were in the U.S. Capitol during the insurrection — and how they are doing now.
It’s worth checking out: https://nbcnews.to/3uU9RdB
Via The Hill’s Cristina Marcos, “The Capitol Police’s internal watchdog on Thursday described in harrowing detail how officers were woefully underprepared for the Jan. 6 insurrection after leaders failed to communicate intelligence warnings and decided against providing more effective weapons to fight back the violent mob.”
How so: https://bit.ly/3mUa0uA
IN THE WHITE HOUSE
Via The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Morgan Chalfant, “President BidenJoe BidenBiden administration still seizing land near border despite plans to stop building wall: report Olympics, climate on the agenda for Biden meeting with Japanese PM Boehner on Afghanistan: ‘It’s time to pull out the troops’ MORE is approaching the 100-day mark high in the polls, thanks in large part to his ability to unite fractious Democrats behind his policies.” https://bit.ly/3e3F3jM
How so: “Two polls out earlier this week showed Biden’s approval ratings at almost full support. A Quinnipiac University survey showed Biden with support among Democrats at 94 percent. A Monmouth University poll showed Biden doing even slightly better, at 95 percent, with those in his party.”
THE HILL EVENTS
WATCH LIVE: The Hill’s virtual Sustainability Imperative summit, Day 2
Environmental sustainability is no longer optional; it’s become an imperative. Join The Hill for a national multi-day virtual event including multiple tracks of programming featuring fireside chats with policy leaders and practitioners in the sustainability ecosystem including White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, former GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Gov. Jay Inslee, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, fashion designer Tracy Reese and many more. View the full schedule
LATEST WITH THE CORONAVIRUS
Via The Hill’s Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant, “Several states have seen an uptick in cases even as millions of Americans are vaccinated each day, which can be attributed in part to the lifting of restrictions on masks and businesses and general pandemic fatigue more than a year after the virus began to spread widely. More contagious variants are spreading throughout the country, and experts warn that new variants could pop up until the country reaches a greater degree of immunity.” https://bit.ly/3uTd792
Coronavirus cases in the U.S.: 31,499,477
U.S. death toll: 565,318
Breakdown of the numbers: https://cnn.it/2UAgW3y
Total number of vaccinations administered in the U.S.: 198 million shots have been given.
Seven-day average of doses administered: An average of 3.35 million doses
For context: The U.S. population is roughly 331 million.
Breakdown of the numbers: https://bloom.bg/3iVTPLH
LATEST WITH THE TOKYO OLYMPICS
Via The Associated Press’s Stephen Wade, “The head of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday was again forced to assure the world that the postponed games will open in just over three months and not be canceled despite surging COVID-19 cases in Japan.” https://bit.ly/3e9o8fz
From organizing committee president: “There are a variety of concerns but as the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee we are not thinking about canceling the games.”
Here are more photos of Officer Clarence working in the Capitol Rotunda: https://bit.ly/2OPruMa
The House is in. The Senate is out. President Biden and Vice President Harris are in Washington, D.C. Biden is heading to Delaware this evening.
11 a.m. EDT: Vice President Harris hosted Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga for a bilateral meeting in the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office.
11 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT: First and last votes in the House. The House’s full agenda today: https://bit.ly/32lRrpO
1:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden hosts the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House.
2:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden holds an expanded bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in the State Dining Room.
5:30 p.m. EDT: President Biden leaves for Wilmington, Del.
WHAT TO WATCH:
10:30 a.m. EDT: The White House COVID Response Team gave an update to the press. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ahYiVD
11 a.m. EDT: White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiOvernight Defense: Administration says ‘low to moderate confidence’ Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | ‘Low to medium risk’ of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Overnight Health Care: Johnson & Johnson delay prompts criticism of CDC panel | Pfizer CEO says third dose of COVID-19 vaccine ‘likely’ needed within one year | CDC finds less than 1 percent of fully vaccinated people got COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE held a press briefing. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3ebrZc4
4:15 p.m. EDT: President Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga hold a press conference. Livestream: https://bit.ly/3edSYnE
NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF…:
Today is National Eggs Benedict Day. And for weekend planning purposes, tomorrow is National Malbec Day and Sunday is National Rice Ball Day. You may celebrate accordingly.
And to brighten your Friday, here’s a dancing ostrich who could not be more excited for the weekend: https://bit.ly/3mRGoxX