Updates on COVID stimulus and the Moderna vaccine
Vaccines are now being administered offering some light at the end of the tunnel, but many rural Americans need another stimulus package from Congress in order to see that through and the clock is ticking.
Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to reach a deal before spending runs out and the government shuts down. They would like to attach a COVID relief package to the spending bill, which is more than 2,000 pages.
Some lawmakers say that they would not even have time to read it.
Some of the hangups for stimulus are the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the amount of direct payments to the American people.
Many Americans say that they could really use some sort of stimulus payment. An analysis of the census survey shows that 85 million Americans recently struggled to pay bills. Twenty-seven million said that they have not had enough to eat.
The FDA is expected to give formal approval to the Moderna vaccine today, after an advisory committee signed off on its emergency use last night.
That would allow for distribution to begin as early as Monday.
The moderna vaccine is recommended for adults and does not require ultra-cold storage like the one from Pfizer. That makes it a likely candidate to show up in rural health clinics, which do not have the means to store the vaccines at such cold temperatures.