5 Things To Know In America Now: December 17 th,2020

Every day we curate the top trending stories in America and summarize them for easy digestion. Here are 5 things to know in America today December 17th, 2020.



  1. The Food and Drug Administration said it’s looking into an incident in Alaska where a Pfizer vaccine recipient had an anaphylactic reaction shortly after it was administered to them.
  2. Vice President Mike Pence will publicly receive a COVID-19 vaccination Friday at the White House, his office announced Wednesday evening. He will take the treatment “to promote the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and build confidence among the American people,” according to his office.
  3. Abbott has received FDA emergency use authorization for at-home use of its BinaxNOW rapid test, which it says can deliver “results in minutes.” The credit card-sized $25 test — the lowest available price for at-home testing — will become highly available in 2021, Abbott said. 
  4. Paul Alexander, at the time a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) official, referred to younger people and lower-risk people in an email and wrote, “we want them infected.”Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle-aged with no conditions, etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…and recovered…with antibodies….hospitals are NOW geared, PPE in place, ICUs beds are on the ready, doctors and nurses alert, the syndrome is crystalized… etc,” he wrote in a July 4 email to other HHS officials obtained by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
  5. Hollywood is taking to social media in reaction to Tom Cruise’s viral COVID-19 rant, mostly standing in solidarity with the actor.


  1. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said she is “not ready” to be Speaker but lamented that the Democratic Party desperately needs new leadership and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) need to go.
  2. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) took aim at Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday, humorously apologizing to hammers in a tweet for once saying DeVos was “dumb as a bag of hammers.”
  3. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration will have limited in-person attendance due to rising coronavirus cases, with a live audience that “resembles a State of the Union” address, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies said Wednesday.
  4. The Cuomo administration is moving ahead with a planned increase in the minimum wage to $15 in the suburbs and upstate despite the pandemic-fuel recession that has ravaged small businesses in New York.
  5. President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday formally introduced Pete Buttigieg as his nominee to lead the Department of Transportation, tapping the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor to head up an agency that will be tasked with ambitious infrastructure and climate-related goals set by the administration.


  • Bitcoin hit a fresh record high above $23,000 on Thursday, extending a wild rally for the cryptocurrency that has seen it more than triple in value this year.
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims total 885,000, vs 808,000 expected
  • The day after launching an attack on Apple’s upcoming privacy change, Facebook is running another ad prompting consumers to consider whether they would pay for apps that are currently free.
  • Negotiators on Capitol Hill are nearing agreement on a $900 billion coronavirus relief package, which would deliver additional help to U.S. businesses, a $300-per-week federal unemployment benefits boost, and $600 stimulus checks for most Americans
  • French President Emmanuel Macron has become the latest world leader to test positive for Covid. The diagnosis was established “as soon as the first symptoms appeared,” Macron’s office said on Thursday. 


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