7 Things: Alabama preparing for a vaccine, new prison sites presented by Ivey, unemployment declines again and more …
7. Joe Biden follows Trump to Wisconsin
- After demanding that President Donald Trump not go to Kenosha, Wisconsin, and attacking him for going there, former Vice President Joe Biden went to the city to meet with Jacob Blake’s anti-Semitic father and then held a campaign event where he took scripted questions, although his campaign denied that was the case.
- This was undoubtedly a campaign stop for Biden as he continues to see the shifting polls and momentum forcing him out of his basement and back on the campaign trail as the economy is recovering, Democratic mayors and governors are losing control of their cities and a coronavirus vaccine seems possible.
6. Alabama cities are cutting budgets
- The City of Decatur is the latest city to cut its budget due to losses in the coronavirus pandemic. Decatur is cutting its budget by $3.9 million. The current budget proposal would be for $65 million, cutting 5% in city departments with the Decatur Police Department being cut by close to $1 million.
- Decatur is not alone. Birmingham has seen a $63 million dollar shortfall and already implemented cuts that included paycuts. furloughs and not filling new positions while Montgomery is in a similar situation, as well.
5. Unemployment claims in Alabama and beyond continue to decline
- The Alabama Labor Department announced that last week there were 7,823 initial unemployment claims, which is a 9.8% decrease from the previous week, and one of the lowest weeks of claims since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic with only 4,404 of the claims, or about 56%, due to the pandemic.
- Nationally, the unemployment rate has fallen below 10% for the first time since the pandemic started wreaking havoc on the economy, but the United States is still 11.5 million jobs below its pre-pandemic job numbers with new losses still happening while furloughed or temporarily laid-off employees return to work.
4. Former State Sen. David Burkette arrested
- Attorney General Steve Marshall has announced that former State Senator David Burkette (D-Montgomery) has been arrested for violating a state campaign finance law, which comes just a few days after Burkette resigned.
- The charges are for allegedly depositing $3,625 of campaign funds into a personal bank account when the funds were supposed to be deposited into a campaign account. This is from 2015 and 2016 when Burkette was a candidate for Montgomery City Council.
3. Prison sites announced
- The sites for three new men’s prisons in the state have been announced by Governor Kay Ivey. The new sites would be in Escambia, Bibb and Elmore counties, and now the private developer teams will be negotiating with the Department of Corrections on the projects.
- In a news release, Ivey said that this program “is vital for the long-term success of our state and communities.” She added that she’s “pleased with the integrity of this procurement process thus far and look forward to continuing to work closely with the legislature as we comprehensively address this intricate and important issue that affects us all.”
2. The media and their Democrats don’t seem to want a vaccine
- While on CBS, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that trying to imply that politics are a motive in developing and approving the coronavirus vaccine is “irresponsible.” He added that they “already have a significant challenge in this country with vaccine hesitancy.”
- Azar went on to emphasize that if a vaccine is released, it’s “going to meet FDA’s gold standard for authorization or licensure,” and that the target date announced was determined by those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and “has nothing to do with elections.”
1. Alabama needs to start preparing for vaccines
- Governor Kay Ivey and other governors across the United States have been notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that they need to begin the process for getting vaccine distribution sites set up, with CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield asking that the permit and licenses for sites be fast-tracked.
- This is being done with the intention for distribution sites to be operational by November 1. The CDC has said that this is “expected to be a public health effort of a significant scale” and will possibly involve “hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.”