IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Republicans ponder bigger Covid checks & new vaccine hope from U.K.: The Morning Rundown

President Donald Trump said Republicans have a "death wish" if they fail to back $2,000 coronavirus stimulus checks.
Image: President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House.Evan Vucci / AP file

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump leaves Republicans in a jam on stimulus checks, America's latest setback in the coronavirus crisis and a new vaccine hope from across the Atlantic.

Here is what's happening this Wednesday morning.

Trump puts GOP in a bind on stimulus checks

President Donald Trump left Republicans in a difficult position with his demand that coronavirus stimulus payments be raised to a maximum of $2,000 per person.

The measure was embraced by Democrats but faces a difficult path through the GOP-led Senate, where his party's leaders are now torn between conservative orthodoxy, voter demands for loyalty to Trump and their desire to win a crucial Senate election in Georgia next week.

Trump said Republicans have a "death wish" if they fail to back the bigger payments. But might Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have a way out? Read more here.

Meantime, the badly-needed $600 relief payments Trump finally signed into law Sunday could be headed your way this morning.

Fresh cause for concern in U.S.' fight against Covid-19

The first confirmed case of Covid-19 from a highly-contagious coronavirus variant thought to have emerged in the United Kingdom was reported in Colorado on Tuesday, the latest setback in the U.S.' fight against the virus.

Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders were extended for two large parts of California on Tuesday with hospitals under strain from surging Covid-19 cases. And a jarring new NBC News analysis has shown that at its current rate the Trump administration’s vaccine distribution program would take almost 10 years to inoculate enough Americans to control the pandemic.

President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration for the slow pace in a speech Tuesday and said he plans to use the Defense Authorization Act to get companies to ramp up production of materials needed for the vaccines once in office.

However, news from across the pond may offer some solace, as it was announced Wednesday that the British drugmaker AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate has received regulatory approval in the United Kingdom.

Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.


THINK about it

Covid "long-haul" symptoms leave survivors in emotional limbo. I know that pain, says writer Caira Conner in an opinion piece.


USDA releases new dietary guidelines: What do they mean for you?


This was a big year for tech as many worked and studied remotely, socialized and were entertained online. Here's the most purchased wearable and personal tech we've covered.

One last thing

Nightly News has looked back at the times when Lester Holt paused to reflect during a year filled with moments of uncertainty and hope.

From the day the World Health Organization officially called the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, to the anger and fear displayed in the wake of George Floyd's death and the significance of November’s presidential election, it highlights some of the key moments in a year like no other.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments send me an email at:

If you're a fan, please forward it to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Thanks, Saphora