The same group of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use a week ago will convene again today to consider the Moderna vaccine, which the FDA found to be 94% effective and to have a “favorable safety profile” that raises “no specific safety concerns identified that would preclude issuance of an [emergency use authorization].”
Meanwhile, Trump administration is negotiating a deal to use its power to free up supplies of raw materials to help Pfizer produce tens of millions of additional doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for Americans in the first half of next year, and Vice-President Pence is set to receive the Pfizer vaccine publicly at the White House tomorrow. President-elect Biden plans to get the vaccine publicly next week.
Top Democrats in the House of Representatives, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, publicly expressed their support for President-elect Biden to select Representative Deb Haaland as the next Secretary of the Interior, who would be the first Native person to serve in a Presidential Cabinet. “Congresswoman Deb Haaland is one of the most respected and one of the best members of Congress I have served with,” Speaker Pelosi said in a statement. “If she is the President-elect’s choice for Interior Secretary, then he will have made an excellent choice.”
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred announced yesterday that Negro League statistics from 1920 to 1948 will now be officially classified as “Major League,” marking a long-overdue acknowledgment of the accomplishments of players who didn’t have the opportunity to play in the American or National Leagues. The exclusion of the Negro Leagues from the official list of major leagues originally stemmed from the all-white, five-man Special Baseball Records Committee that met in 1968 and did not even discuss the candidacy of the Negro Leagues.
While they have publicly refused to consider changing their name, Atlanta’s Baseball Team is launching a new effort to help preserve the Native Cherokee language. The franchise will be selling a T-shirt to bring awareness to the Cherokee written language system, Syllabary. The gray shirt’s design features the Atlanta “A” logo and the word “ᎠᏁᏦᎥᏍᎩ,” meaning “ball player” in Syllabary. The organization designed the t-shirt with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, and a portion of the proceeds from each of the $30 shirts will benefit the New Kituwah Academy and the Cherokee Speakers Council.
Keep reading for a full news update.
FDA Panel Weighs Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine
NPR, Scott Hensley, December 17
The same group of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration that voted to recommend the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use a week ago convenes again today to consider the Moderna vaccine.
COVID-19: U.S. And Pfizer Discuss Deal For Tens Of Millions More Vaccine Doses Next Year
New York Times, December 16
The Trump administration is negotiating a deal to use its power to free up supplies of raw materials to help Pfizer produce tens of millions of additional doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for Americans in the first half of next year, people familiar with the situation said.
Biden, Pence To Get COVID Vaccine Soon
Politico, Alice Miranda Ollstein and Matthew Choi, December 16
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President Mike Pence intend to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the near future.
Teams Say Indian Names Show Respect, History Says Otherwise
AP News, Jim Litke, December 16
By now, because of pressure from activists, the public or their corporate sponsors, most sports teams have shed overtly racist names of the past. More than a dozen major college or pro sports teams made the move over the last 50 years. But a few have clung to Native American names and imagery, arguing they reflect honor and respect. History says otherwise.
Pelosi Backs Haaland For Interior Secretary, Calling Her ‘one Of The Best’ Members Of Congress.
The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, December 16
Top Democrats in the House, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, publicly expressed support on Wednesday for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to choose Representative Deb Haaland of New Mexico as interior secretary, rebuffing criticism they were standing in the way of her appointment over concerns about the party’s slim majority in their chamber.
How Native Americans Shaped Trump’s Presidency – And Helped Bring Him Down
Native News Online, Darren Reid, December 15
Native Americans have had a significant, albeit little reported, impact on both the life and presidency of Donald J. Trump – and he upon them. Over the four years of his presidency, Trump has sought revenge for business losses he sustained from Native American casinos; turned the word “Pocahontas” into a racial slur and denied tribal lands to Native American peoples in the east. But at times he also courted the political power of Native American communities.
MLB Is Finally Recognizing The Negro Leagues As The Major Leagues They Always Were
The Ringer, Ben Lindbergh, December 16
On August 29, 1973, 42-year-old Met Willie Mays smacked a fifth-inning single to left off Padres southpaw Rich Troedson, driving in Bud Harrelson from second to put the Mets ahead 2-0. That hit, the last Mays ever recorded during the regular season, raised his career total to 3,283. That mark has stood ever since, undisturbed except for the passage of the few players who’ve subsequently hurdled him on the all-time leaderboard, where he ranks 12th.
Trump’s Impact On Indian Country Over Four Years
High Country News, Anna V. Smith, December 16
When President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, many tribal leaders took a wait-and-see approach, given his poor record on Indigenous affairs. Four years later, Indian Country has weathered a failed pandemic response, budget cuts and diminished environmental regulations.
To Deal With Cattle Thefts On Indian Reservations, S.D. Brand Board Considering Tribal Agreements
Keloland, Bob Mercer, December 16
Proposed memorandums of understanding about enforcement of South Dakota livestock branding laws with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe are under review by the governor’s office, the director for the state Brand Board said Wednesday.
The Atlanta Braves Want To Help Preserve The Native Cherokee Language
CNN, Giulia Heyward, December 15
Professional sports teams have long been scrutinized for their use of Native American culture and imagery. In response to renewed discussions about these issues, the Atlanta Braves are launching a new effort to help preserve the native Cherokee language. The franchise will be selling a T-shirt to bring awareness to the Cherokee written language system, Syllabary. The gray shirt’s design features the Atlanta “A” logo and the word “ᎠᏁᏦᎥᏍᎩ,” meaning “ball player” in Syllabary. A portion of the proceeds from each of the $30 shirts will benefit the New Kituwah Academy and the Cherokee Speakers Council.