After many months of fits and starts, the US Congress on Monday passed a bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill that is being celebrated by both parties as a carefully negotiated agreement. Pfizer and Moderna are both testing their COVID-19 vaccines against the new faster-spreading mutated variant in the United Kingdom. And, on the 32nd anniversary of the Lockerbie bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland, the US has charged the bomber.
Additional countries have closed their borders to the United Kingdom, as officials try to stop a highly infectious new strain of the coronavirus from spreading. The first shipments of a second COVID-19 vaccine approved in the US were shipped out of a distribution center. And, in Russia, the government agent sent to follow dissident leader Alexei Navalny has revealed that he planted the lethal nerve agent Novichok in the politician’s underwear.
Several hundred schoolboys abducted in northwestern Nigeria have been freed. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley held an unannounced meeting with Taliban officials in Doha, Qatar. And, outgoing US Vice President Mike Pence received a COVID-19 vaccine on live television.
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US President-elect Joe Biden’s climate team is set to be announced this week, with key picks for energy, environment and transportation roles already named. The Food and Drug Administration released new data on Tuesday showing that the Moderna coronavirus vaccine is highly effective. And, a worldwide hacking campaign with links to Russia has caused data breaches at multiple federal agencies.
As expected, the US Electoral College has officially confirmed Joe Biden as the country’s next president. The US has begun to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine across the country. And, much of the developing world will have to wait a long time for the COVAX initiative to materialize.
What will the next year bring in the coronavirus pandemic? As part of The World's regular series of conversations about COVID-19, reporter Elana Gordon moderated a discussion with epidemiologist Michael Mina from Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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