President-elect Joe Biden promises a flurry of progressive activity once in office.
In addition to establishing a COVID-19 task force, rejoining the Paris climate accord and the World Health Organization and signing the monumental Equality Act, President-elect Biden has a full plate of legislation and executive orders he plans to enact once sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2021. Among the numerous things on his to-do list within his first 100 days in office, according to NPR: an effort to promote racial equity by extending the Voting Rights Act which passed the House in 2019 but hasn’t been taken up yet by the Senate; comprehensive immigration changes including legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S.; ending President Trump’s barbaric family separation policy at the U.S.-Mexico border; and rescinding Trump’s Muslim travel ban. Biden also promises to begin a program of policing reform, starting with the creation of a national police oversight commission as well as pushing Congress to pass the SAFE Justice Act, which aims to reduce the use of mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent offenses. He also pledges to allow transgender service members to serve openly in the military. Those efforts for increased LGBTQ protections, along with his long-standing promise to fight institutional racism at every step of his presidency are just the tip of the iceberg in what promises to be a whirlwind of progressive reform and course-correction following the last four years of the Trump administration and the policies it brought about.
COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer tests 90% effective against the coronavirus.
In a move that sent the post-election stock market soaring more than 1,200 points, Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Monday, Nov. 11, that the COVID-19 vaccine they had in development was more than 90% effective in preventing the spread of disease. Even as we enter into the deepest and most severe days of the epidemic, the announcement does provide a shred of hope for the future. In an interview on CNBC, Pfizer Chairman and CEO, Dr. Albert Bourla said: “I think we can [finally] see light at the end of the tunnel.” The 90% efficacy of the vaccine was cause for tentative celebration among researchers — they’d been hoping for a vaccine that was at least 75% effective, while Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House COVID-19 advisor, thought a vaccine that was 50% to 60% effective would be acceptable too as long as people didn’t completely “abandon the public health approach” of social distancing and wearing masks. Pfizer’s new drug, which is administered in two doses and has been tested on 43,538 individuals so far, appears to become effective within 28 days and should work within almost all populations. “Roughly 42% of the trial’s global participants had racially and ethnically diverse backgrounds,” CNBC reported. If approved by the FDA, select individuals could receive the vaccine before the end of the year. However, most people wouldn’t be able to get it until summer or possibly fall of 2021.
New report lays out shocking record of racism and overcharging in auto insurance industry.
Blacks with a clean driving history pay more for auto insurance than whites with worse driving records. That’s just one of the numerous racist practices within the auto insurance industry laid out in a new 45-page report from Insurify. Among the findings: Black drivers who haven’t had any accidents and who live in majority-Black neighborhoods pay nearly 20% more than white drivers living in majority-white neighborhoods who have previous driving offenses on their records. Black homeowners living in majority-Black neighborhoods also pay 13% more than white drivers who rent and who live in white neighborhoods. Figures for Hispanic drivers with clean records have a similar disparity, paying higher insurance premiums than whites. According to Insurify, the report is the result of a “comprehensive analysis of the 2020 car insurance quotes landscape, analyzing 25.5 million auto insurance premiums.” The insurance industry last came under fire for similar charges in 2015 when the Consumer Federation of America reported that drivers in predominantly Black communities pay an incredible 70% more in insurance premiums than drivers in areas where less than 25% of residents are Black.
D.I. Fast Fact
Number of people who voted by mail in the 2020 election — nearly half the total number of votes cast.