Federal Update: Pelosi and McConnell Resume Talks to Strike COVID Stimulus Deal, Former Presidents Volunteer to Get Vaccine Publicly, Why the U.K. Authorized Pfizer’s Vaccine and Not the U.S.

December 3, 2020

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell spoke Thursday for the first time since at least the 2020 election as Congress scrambles to strike a coronavirus stimulus deal and prevent a government shutdown. The congressional leaders discussed their “shared commitment to completing an omnibus [spending bill] and COVID relief as soon as possible,” Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said in a tweet. They have signaled they want to resolve both thorny issues by Dec. 11, the last day of government funding.
  • Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are volunteering to get their COVID-19 vaccines on camera to promote public confidence in the vaccine's safety once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes one. The three most recent former presidents hope an awareness campaign to promote confidence in its safety and effectiveness would be a powerful message as American public health officials try to convince the public to take the vaccine.
  • The U.K.’s authorization of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use will likely add pressure on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quickly do the same. The U.S. and the U.K. review vaccines differently, however. Pfizer had been submitting data on its vaccine on a “rolling basis” to the U.K., meaning regulators there were able to review the data in real-time. 

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