1/ The FDA authorized Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12 and up, expanding access to the vaccine for millions of kids ahead of the next school year. The vaccine was 100% effective in preventing Covid-19 in children ages 12-15, similar to the 95% efficacy among adult clinical trial participants. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, meanwhile, urged parents to vaccinate their children, saying “I would encourage all parents to get their children vaccinated.” Pfizer vaccines for children could be administered as soon as Thursday. (ABC News / CBS News / Washington Post)
2/ More than one million people signed up for Affordable Care Act coverage during the special enrollment period that Biden launched in mid-February. “Since it became law more than a decade ago, the Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans. The pandemic has demonstrated how badly it is needed, and how critical it is that we continue to improve upon it,” Biden said. “Through this opportunity for special enrollment, we have made enormous progress in expanding access to health insurance.” The Trump administration declined to reopen ACA enrollment after the Covid-19 pandemic began. Sign-ups are open through August 15. (CNN / NBC News / The Hill)
3/ Biden said that the White House will “make it clear” that people collecting unemployment benefits under the American Rescue Plan must take a “suitable” job offer or they’ll lose their benefits. As the number of job openings increased to 8.12 million in March – a record high – Republicans and businesses have said that the $300 weekly unemployment benefit is discouraging workers from returning to the labor market. “We’re going to make it clear that anyone collecting unemployment, who was offered a suitable job, must take the job or lose their unemployment benefits,” Biden said, adding: “There are a few Covid-19-related exceptions.” The latest jobs report showed that the U.S. economy added 266,000 jobs in April, short of the one million economists had forecast and a drop-off from the 770,000 jobs added in March. (NPR / Bloomberg / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal)
4/ The Biden administration approved the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind farm. The Vineyard Wind project calls for up to 84 turbines to be installed off Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, creating enough electricity to power 400,000 homes. The White House estimates that the project will also create about 3,600 jobs. (New York Times / Washington Post)
5/ Two Trump family members got “inappropriately – and perhaps dangerously – close” to the Secret Service agents protecting them, according to an upcoming book by Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service details how agents reported that Vanessa Trump, the wife of Trump Jr, “started dating one of the agents who had been assigned to her family.” Vanessa Trump filed for divorce in March 2018. Tiffany Trump – Trump’s daughter with Marla Maples – reportedly broke up with a boyfriend and “began spending an unusual amount of time alone with a Secret Service agent on her detail.” Leonnig reported that Secret Service leaders “became concerned at how close Tiffany appeared to be getting to the tall, dark and handsome agent.” The agent was subsequently reassigned. (The Guardian)
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