1 Chuck Yeager, The First Pilot To Break The Sound Barrier, Is Dead At 97
Record setting test pilot – and certified American hero – Chuck Yeager is dead at the age of 97. General Yeager was the first pilot to break the sound barrier. His death was announced on his official Twitter account. His cause of death hasn't been released. His wife Victoria said, "a legacy of strength, adventure and patriotism will be remembered forever." It was back on October 14th, 1947 that Yeager flew the Bell X-1 experimental jet past the speed of sound for the first time and later went on to break other speed records. He was also a decorated Air Force officer who served in World War Two. Of course, his incredible achievement was visualized for modern audiences in the 1983 film, “The Right Stuff.” And that bears mentioning as his initial feat was kept secret for months – remember, this was before the dawn of media as we know it today. Newsreel footage later surfaced, but Yeager was a humble hero – and always made it clear that it wasn’t fame that drove him – it was the spirit of achievement. "I was at the right place at the right time,” he once said. “And duty enters into it. It's not, you know, you don't do it for the — to get your damn picture on the front page of the newspaper. You do it because it's duty. It's your job."
2 Vaccines To Come Quickly If Emergency Use Authorization Is Approved For Pfizer
The White House's COVID-19 testing czar says the United States is ready for rapid vaccine distribution if the Pfizer vaccine gets emergency use authorization later this week. Admiral Brett Giroir believes the data so far from the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine trials have been promising. He says if the Emergency Use Authorizations are cleared, people could be getting inoculated in as little as 24 hours after approval. Giroir says he's so confident in the vaccines, his family will be first in line when it is their turn to get the shots. But he also warns people that the vaccines will not stop the predicted surge in virus cases coming because of the holidays. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci says the incoming White House administration must make sure the coronavirus vaccine gets to the most people in the most efficient and equitable way possible. Fauci said the Biden administration must do a "full-court press" Monday, saying if 75- to 85-percent of the country becomes vaccinated, "we could crush this outbreak."
3 Coronavirus Relief Talks Hits A Snag
Congress is on the clock to reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief bill and while some Capitol Hill observers believed a proposal could come together this week – that plan has hit a speedbump. A $908-billion bill that would provide about $300 in additional weekly unemployment benefits was thought to have a good shot at approval. What it doesn’t include? Another round of 12-hundred dollar payments to most Americans as well as liability protections for businesses. Apparently, the liability protections are the biggest hangup. Still, the measure would continue a freeze on evictions for people who can't pay their rent and reauthorize the Paycheck Protection Program for struggling businesses. So who’s “at fault” for the standstill? That depends on your political perspective – as both sides of the aisle are blaming the other.