Washington

Slog PM: Britney Spears Teases New Music, Hazard Pay Makes a Comeback, and Pfizer’s Fancy Pill

A game-changer. Pfizer Inc.

A jab at the City Council on her way out: This morning, Mayor Durkan announced she’ll veto the council’s recent vote to end the requirement for grocery stores to pay an additional $4 hazard pay to front-line workers, which applies to stores with 500 or more employees. Last week, while voting to end the pay bump, Councilmember Mosqueda said the council would revisit hazard pay if the risk to workers became more severe. Then: enter omicron. The council passed the repeal with a veto-proof majority, but Mosqueda told the Times she supports Durkan’s veto: “It’s not exactly like the mayor is standing on a higher moral ground here, she’s looking at the same data all of us are.”

“In the last week, the emergence, prevalence and severity of COVID has increased due to the Omicron variant,” read a statement from Mosqueda this morning. “We have also received new public health guidance and advice, evolving as late as last Friday. We are now seeing the effects the Omicron variant will have on our population’s health and the elevated risk grocery store workers will face in the months ahead. It’s with these new developments that hazard pay will remain in place.”

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Kshama, the only council member not to vote to end hazard pay for grocery workers (she wasn’t there to vote), had some leftist thoughts:

Then she upped the ante: The council’s winter breaks are rarely this interesting.

A chill pill: Today, the FDA emergency-authorized Pfizer’s Paxlovid, an antiviral pill to treat COVID-19, after reviewing Pfizer’s data claiming the pill reduced the risk of hospitalization or death in high-risk adults by 89%. Pfizer thinks it will work against the omicron strain. Last week, the Biden admin ordered enough of these pills to treat 10 million people (which, if we get to the anticipated “1 million COVID infections a day” mark, might not be sufficient). And today, he pledged 250,000 of those will be available in January. A piece at The Guardian argues that this pill changes everything, then warns: “We must find a way to rapidly scale pill pack production for wide accessibility and use throughout the world, whether that involves enacting the Defense Production Act in the United States or other bold measures.”

I just bought this cake, feeling ready for the surge…

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God bless us every one, but God bless Hood Famous first.

Bill Gates says he’s canceling his holiday plans: I’m sure a lot of other people are too, but those people aren’t famous.

She said hold my beer: The flu is making a comeback.

Yesterday, the University of Washington announced they’ll kick off their upcoming winter quarter mostly online: What about Seattle Public Schools? They’re warning they could temporarily go online, too, if omicron keeps up. (Ha ha ha. It will.)

A little sweet relief:

My collective $700/month student loan payments (for a state college!) will continue to be $300/month for a few more months, thanks to Biden holding the pause button on federal student loans. (The ongoing ass-beating from private loans will keep up. [Fun fact: Roughly 2/3rds of every one of my private loan payments goes toward interest. I might pay off that loan in, oh, 30 years. Wheeee.]) As Intelligencer wrote today, Biden can’t avoid this problem forever.

184: That’s how many shirts we’ve sold.

App update: Biden’s prophesized at-home testing surge can’t come soon enough.

For no reason whatsoever: This video comes to mind.

Ring, ring, Rep. Jim Jordan! The House committee investigating the insurrection would like to speak with you! Axios says this matters because it “marks the second time in three days the panel’s members have asked one of their colleagues to cooperate with their expanding investigation.” The call is coming from inside the house!

Honestly, besides COVID and the insurrection, the news is thin this week: IDK, what do you wanna know? That Britney Spears is teasing new music? That Ann Davison fired someone? That Durkan has a few regrets?

We’ll have a few blogs up tomorrow, then we’re all out on Friday for Christmas. Try your hardest not to give Santa COVID as he comes down your chimney this year.

As Babs Gonzales said, have a real crazy Christmas but don’t get knocked out.



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