Don’t hold your breath / December disconnect / Starbucks, Star Wars

Don’t hold your breath. Even though Chicago could get its first shipment of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine as soon as next week, the city doesn’t expect widespread availability—for people without any special needs—until spring.
Mayor Lightfoot: Distribution will be managed through “an equity lens.”
But the shots will be free for all—including those who just work in Chicago.
In Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood Friday: Free turkeys, hams and flu shots.

‘Deaths … have not yet peaked here.’ Chicago’s top doc says the post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 surge is just getting started.
The nation yesterday tallied a record 3,054 COVID-19 deaths—more than in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 …
For the record, the Food and Drug Administration had yet to give the Pfizer vaccine formal approval …
 … but that could come quickly after the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel wraps up a sort of “science court” …
 … which you can watch here …
 … and which Stat has been live-blogging here. (Cartoon: Keith J. Taylor.)
Another coronavirus-positive test has prompted the Chicago Bears to suspend in-person activities and close their Halas Hall HQ.

December disconnect. Chicago’s unnervingly warm weather this week is an omen of climate-driven problems ahead—including more flooding.
A new Environmental Protection Agency rule rushed in by the Trump administration will cripple the EPA’s authority to protect the environment …

This means war. The Federal Trade Commission and almost all the states are suing Facebook, accusing it of crushing or buying smaller competitors like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Illinois is among those suing; Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and South Dakota aren’t.
Ars Technica: Expect “a long and ugly legal fight.”
Ensuring a Democratic-Republican deadlock on the Federal Communications Commission as Joe Biden assumes office, the Senate has approved a Trump nominee who helped draft a petition making it easier to sue Facebook and Twitter.

Starbucks, Star Wars. The new chair of Starbucks’ board of directors is Chicagoan Mellody Hobson, whom you may know better as the wife of George Lucas.
Starbucks is offering free coffee to front-line pandemic responders throughout December.
Chicago restaurant owners are steamed that people can still drink legally indoors at Chicago’s airports.

From back when ‘shake a hand’ was a good thing. Rhino Records is marking the 50th anniversary of Chicagoan Donnie Hathaway’s classic song This Christmas
Author—and a former colleague to your Chicago Public Square proprietor at the Chicago Tribune—Patrick Reardon’s new book The L makes the case that elevated tracks made Chicago what it is.
Congress is sending President Trump a bill to create a commission marking the centennial of Route 66, the national highway system’s Chicago-to-Los Angeles precursor.

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