Biden & COVID Backtrack
The Skinny on COVID
The latest in numbers: 49M total cases & 787K deaths (+760K & +10K from last week) in the US.
The new omicron variant has been detected in at least 16 states, but early reports suggest it may not be as severe as the Delta variant.
The US is averaging 100K new cases per day again. We haven’t seen numbers that high in 2 months.
MAGA counties have higher COVID death rates. Misinformation is to blame.
Keeping Up with Biden & Harris
Biden will be forced to restart 45’s “Remain in Mexico” immigration policy today to comply with a court order, but instead of just reinstating the original policy, which he claimed to be against during his campaign, he is expanding it to make it harder for Haitians to enter the country.
Tensions are rising in Joe’s relations with China & Russia.
Biden restored tradition by attending the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony where Berry Gordy & other artists were honored for their achievements.
Two of Kamala Harris’ top staffers announced their departure from her team in the past few weeks. Some sources say the reason for the turnover is burnout & concerns of being too closely tied to the VP. Others say the departures are natural within the first year.
Congress, What’s Good?
Despite some GOP opposition, Congress did a bipartisan thing last week: they funded the government through February 2022. While it’s good that federal employees won’t lose pay because Congress can’t get its shit together, it is annoying that this funding bill is only for 2 months & that we’ll have to go over this all over again very soon.
Also, this week is their last in office before going home for the holidays and the big to-do is raising the debt ceiling by December 15. Failure to raise the ceiling (which is basically paying for things the US has already purchased) is expected to have severe economic impacts. At this point, the conversation is already getting convoluted & Republicans are still claiming they won’t help. Will they get it done or will we be thrown into more unnecessary chaos by our elected officials?
As it relates to that Build Back Better plan being passed before EOY...it’s looking like we should just fuhgettaboutit.
In this week’s committee meetings:
Promoting competition, growth & privacy protection in tech
The potential closing of Guantanamo...again
Climate investments to help families & businesses
Social Justice Round Up
Instead of people minding their own business & bodies, abortion is sadly still a matter of political debate. The SCOTUS heard oral arguments for a case coming out of Mississippi and, judging by the majority’s remarks, the right to an abortion may not be federally protected for much longer.
Here’s something that might get conservatives on board with criminal justice reform: it could potentially help with the labor shortage.
In the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota), Black women have been leading the social justice movement for years.
A Texas law aimed at curtailing Critical Race Theory just passed. Under the new legislation, teachers are prohibited from discussing “controversial issues.”
Around the Diaspora
Get gone Liz! That’s what Barbados told the Queen of England when they officially became a Republic last week. They also made Rihanna a national hero in the process.
The Miss Earth pageant, which focuses on environment-friendly & sustainability, hadn’t had a Black woman win its competition since 2002. Destiny Walker from Belize, however, came through to end that streak this year.
Vaccine inequality is still real. In Nigeria, only 3% of adults are vaccinated.
Getting to the Money
Jopwell, a diversity hiring startup that works to advance the careers of Black folks and other underrepresented groups, has a job board with tons of corporate partners eager to hire talent across all industries and career levels. Check it out here. They’re also looking for diverse candidates within their own organization, so take a look at Jopwell's open roles as well.
For the little ones on your Christmas list, consider Puzzle Huddle. Founded by a Black couple who believes our children deserve to see themselves in the products they engage with, Puzzle Huddle offers puzzles (duh), coloring sheets & bedding.
Ad: Got a long list of people to shop for this holiday season? Prefer to get them all something from Black-owned businesses? Check out Hush Harbor Media’s Black Box. The Black-owned start up is amplifying Black-owned brands this year by offering special discounts on everything from custom shoelaces, streetwear, stationary & more. For access, sign up here.
Culture that Pops
A Center for Black Excellence & Culture is coming to Madison, Wisconsin in 2023.
Megan Thee Stallion is helping communities in Houston and across the globe with her newest CashApp partnership.
This Howard alum created an app called ‘I Heart My HBCU’ to drive HBCU donations. Through the platform, consumers can round up purchases made with a card to the nearest dollar and donate the change to their top 5 HBCUs.