Monday saw the occurrence of many important events: political as well as celestial. The winter solstice on Monday, December 21, the day with the longest night, brought some relief to struggling Americans as the long awaited $900 billion Corona Relief Package was finally passed late evening. On Monday, Treasury Secretary of the U.S., Steven Mnuchin said that several Americans would receive the $600 stimulus checks by next week.
Other significant developments include the following:
- The United States health authorities are huddled together looking for a way to deal with a new, virulent mutation of the coronavirus that has emerged this winter, in the UK. It spreads faster, at a rate of 70% above usual strains, and has caused panic worldwide. Europe has shut its borders with the UK. Asian and American countries have stopped flights to and from Britain.
- On Monday President-elect Joe Biden publicly received a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. On Tuesday top federal infectious diseases specialist Anthony S. Fauci and Alex Azar, Health and Human Services Secretary will receive the first dose.
- Holiday travel is in full swing despite warnings of the increased spread of the virus. This has been the busiest weekend during the pandemic.
- Turning Point USA, a conservative student group, allegedly violated local Covid-19 restrictions this weekend; by holding two large events in Florida. They disregarded requests by authorities’ and went ahead, holding one such event at President Trump’s private club — Mar-a-Lago.
- The coronavirus count is now at over 18 million cases and 318,000 fatalities since February, nationwide.