There’s been a lot of monkey business in the world of COVID-19 vaccine research this week — literally. Scientists from San Diego to Boston to Oxford, England, have released results from studies in which monkeys given experimental COVID-19 vaccines were then deliberately infected with the novel coronavirus. And while the specific vaccine formulations differed, all induced immune responses that stalled the growth of the virus.The recent results encompass vaccines in development by Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and local biotech Inovio Pharmaceuticals. The findings are no guarantee that a...
The 'Black Santa Movement' is stepping up to fill the void as America faces a holiday worker shortage
One of the unexpected consequences of changes in the workforce this year is a "Santa shortage" — demand for costumed holiday workers is rising around the country, with HireSanta.com showing a 121 percent increase in positions, even as the pool of available people has shrunk from previous years.
This has given an opportunity for an inclusion initiative that has in past years received little attention: the Black Santa Movement. ABC10 News reported on how the movement is gaining steam this year.
"For the first time, Disney theme parks are including a Black Santa Claus in Christmas celebrations in it's 66-year history," reported Kandace Redd. "But, that's not all. Major retailers across the U.S. are also diversifying their pool of Santas to be more inclusive and spread holiday cheer. That includes Old Navy, Macy's, and shopping malls."
"Even though the Black Santa movement might be new to some people, it's been a holiday tradition for years in Black communities. For many, Black Santa signifies more than representation," continued the report. "'The holiday decorations represent my culture,' said Sharon Nichols-Sargeant, who lives in West Sacramento. 'I have been collecting Black Santas and Black angels since 1996. When you would go to the stores, you wouldn't see Santas that looked like us. So, any and every time that I went to the store, and I saw a Santa or angel that looked like us, I would just buy it.'”
In previous years, references to Black Santas have drawn fury from the right, with racist trolls boycotting Mall of America over a Black Santa in 2016 and former Fox News host Megyn Kelly infamously proclaiming that Santa is white.
"During this time of year, for some, snapping a photo with Santa Claus is a holiday tradition," noted the report. "But, sometimes, it can be hard to find a Black Santa due to the lack of diversity. For many families and communities of color, Black Santa signifies not only the need for more representation, but visibility and acceptance in society."
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‘Pence doesn’t do well with anybody’: Trump’s vice president has White House ambitions — and no support anywhere
Mike Pence has long harbored presidential ambitions and has taken a conventional route toward the White House, but he likely cost himself a shot at ever winning the Republican nomination by serving as Donald Trump's running mate.
The Indiana Republican took Dan Quayle's advice and left Congress for a gubernatorial campaign to better position himself for a presidential bid, and his vice presidential tenure should have set him up as a strong contender -- except he served under a president who turned the GOP into a personality cult centered around the historically unpopular former reality TV star, reported The Atlantic.
“He stood by while the party was actively changed by Trump, and now it’s not interested in politicians like him anymore,” said anti-Trump Republican strategist Sarah Longwell.
Pence hasn't formally announced whether he would challenge the president whose supporters wanted to hang him for refusing to try and overturn Trump's election loss, but he's acting like a man who doesn't expect the twice-impeached one-term president to risk another loss.
"Trump won’t run,” said Trump's former chief of staff John Kelly. “He’ll continue talking about it; he may even declare, but he will not run, and the reason is he simply cannot be seen as a loser.”
The former vice president would need to build a coalition of fellow evangelical Christians, cultural conservatives and mainstream Republicans to have a shot at the 2024 nomination, but Longwell says Pence has a big problem.
“Pence doesn’t do well with anybody,” Longwell said.
When she mentions his name, voters wrinkle their nose to express their lack of enthusiasm.
“Not interested," Longwell said.
Former President Donald Trump is disputing a Guardian report that he called his allies that were stationed at a "war room" at the Washington, D.C. Willard hotel, which is just steps from the White House.
According to Guardian reporter Hugo Lowell, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said "This is totally false," without giving any details as to what she was disputing.
The report was released over a week ago and Trump is only now responding to the report claimed that Trump made "several calls" to the "top lieutenants" to tell them that Vice President Mike Pence seemed like he wasn't going to dispute the election. He then reportedly pressed the war room staff about other ways to stop Joe Biden from becoming president.
"Multiple sources, speaking to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity, described Trump’s involvement in the effort to subvert the results of the 2020 election," wrote Lowell.
Trump’s call would reveal a direct line from the White House to the organizers of the Jan. 6 attack at the Willard. Among those in the hotel war room were a team led by Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Boris Epshteyn and former strategist Steve Bannon, who has refused to testify to the Jan. 6 House investigatory committee about his involvement.
New: Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington disputes my story that Trump called Willard aides seeking to stop Biden\u2019s certification. \u201cThis is totally false,\u201d Harrington said, without giving specifics.— Hugo Lowell (@Hugo Lowell) 1638280256