Good morning, NBC News readers.
President-elect Joe Biden sets ambitious goals to tackle the pandemic, the Supreme Court won’t take up a GOP lawsuit over mail voting in Pennsylvania and a “Christmas star” will light up the longest night of the year.
Here is what's happening this Wednesday morning.
Vaccines, masks and schools: Biden unveils Covid priorities
President-elect Joe Biden promised on Tuesday that his administration would oversee the injection of 100 million Covid-19 vaccine shots within his first 100 days as president.
Among the targets for the first round of vaccinations? Educators, health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities.
It wasn’t the only pledge Biden made. Read more about how he plans to tackle the pandemic here.
The FDA’s advisory panel is set to meet on Thursday to discuss emergency use authorization of Pfizer’s vaccine in the U.S. Ahead of that meeting, the agency said the vaccine candidate offers some protection after the first dose, with nearly full protection after the second dose.
With vaccines on the horizon, health officials in at least 15 states tell NBC News they are planning their own extensive communications campaigns to encourage the public to take the shot, having not yet seen promised materials from the federal government.
Follow our live blog for all the latest Covid-19 developments.
Supreme Court deals Trump another election lawsuit setback
The efforts of President Donald Trump and other Republicans to score an election-related victory in court received a blow from the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
In a one-sentence order with no noted dissents, the court declined to take up an appeal filed by a Republican congressman who asked it to nullify the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election in Pennsylvania.
In Georgia, where two high-stakes Senate runoff races are scheduled for January, Republicans outlined a plan to restrict mail voting and roll back the election laws that contributed to the state's record-high turnout in the presidential election — unwinding rules the party itself put in place.
The legislation appears designed to respond to President Donald Trump's repeated and false claims that mail voting is rife with fraud.
Meanwhile, Biden is set to nominate Rep. Marcia Fudge to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development and former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack to serve as Agriculture Secretary.
If confirmed, Fudge, 68, would be the first Black woman to lead the department in decades. Vilsack, 69, previously served as Agriculture Secretary under President Barack Obama for eight years.
Sources also told NBC News that Alabama Sen. Doug Jones is a leading contender to be nominated for attorney general.
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- Millions of Americans receive drugs by mail. But are they safe? Read this NBC News special report and watch more on TODAY this morning.
Top-tier universities like Harvard have long been led by white students. But that's changing.
A ‘Christmas Star,’ not seen in 800 years, will light up on the longest night of the year
THINK about it
Covid-19 vaccine distribution must prioritize prisoners. The virus is killing more of them, write justice reform activists Ashish Prashar and DeAnna Hoskins in an opinion piece.
Hormonal fluctuations related to menopause can cause weight gain, especially around the belly. Here’s what you can do to combat it.
Apple surprised tech enthusiasts with its newest release: the AirPods Max. Here's everything we know (so far) about Apple's over-ear, active noise canceling headphones.
One heart-warming thing
Chris Kennedy decorates his yard each year to make kids smile, especially his four-year-old daughter. But an anonymous racist letter objecting to his Black Santa Christmas decoration shattered his holiday joy this year.
Angry and sad, he read the letter in a video and posted it to his Facebook page.
Then his neighbors got busy. Black Santas started popping up all around his community.
“It was hateful and had nothing to do with Christmas or the kind of America I want to live in,” said one neighbor of the letter.
For Kennedy, his neighbors' Black Santa decorations were a welcome sign of support.
“It was heart-warming and a bit overwhelming,” he said.
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