7 Things: Ages 65+ can get the vaccine soon, Ivey to announce new prison plan is moving forward, Tuberville warns of higher energy prices and more …
7. Wall Street warned that big losses are ahead
- The populist stock market rebellion doesn’t appear to be over yet, even as trading services try to limit the power of individual investors.
- On Friday, Gamestop stocks ended 68% higher, and flailing theater chain AMC Entertainment was up 54% after being targeted by retail investors.
6. New coronavirus stimulus compromise
- A new $600 billion coronavirus relief package has been introduced by a group of Republican senators, including U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA), who also claims that President Joe Biden never reached out to Republicans before introducing the White House’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.
- Cassidy said that the alternative package he and other Republicans are supporting is more “targeted” relief. He added that Biden’s actions show he doesn’t “want bipartisanship,” but instead “the patina of bipartisanship.”
5. Prices are about to go up
- U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has come out against the executive orders signed by President Joe Biden that focused on climate change and would shut down some energy operations.
- Tuberville said, “[Y]ou are getting ready to see prices jump. They are coming after oil. They’re coming after coal. They’re coming after anything other than wind and solar.”
4. Prison criticism is different under Biden
- The U.S. Department of Justice has deemed the state of Alabama prisons to be unconstitutional and ordered that changes be made to correct the issue. The state could likely face legal action from the DOJ due to these conditions.
- Governor Kay Ivey is expected to sign an agreement to have three new prisons built in the state. State Senator Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) said that this is “a competently different situation under the Biden administration.” He also raised the concern that if the federal government dictates how changes are made in the system, it’ll likely cost much more.
3. Prison construction is happening, even with snags
- Governor Kay Ivey is expected to announce a unilateral decision to sign leases to build two new state prisons meant to alleviate the overcrowding of the prison system. It will cost close to $3 billion dollars but save money in the long-term even if there is opposition from politicians, activists and the media.
- While people on the left and right will gnash their teeth over this decision, the legislature is unlikely to do anything to stop this decision and are generally happy to have this matter being handled by the state’s chief executive.
2. Alabama’s coronavirus cases are dropping quickly
- With a vaccine rollout underway, it appears the number of new coronavirus cases is significantly decreasing across the country, especially in nursing homes, and Alabama is no different.
- But, January was still the most deadly month since the pandemic started, and with deaths being a lagging indicator, it may be a few weeks before those numbers start to drop. Alabama hospitalizations are below 2,000 for the first time since December 6 and down over 1,000 since January 11.
1. Vaccine eligibility expanding
- Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris announced last week that those 65 years old and older and more frontline workers will be allowed to get vaccinated beginning on February 8.
- Harris also explained that there’s already an issue with vaccine supply, and currently, most doses are already assigned to someone. Increasing eligibility will likely cause more issues with supply.