WINTER IN AMERICA 2020
December 14 was a twofold joyful day for America. It was the day 1) when the Pfizer COVID19 vaccine rolled out across the US and Americans were inoculated. 2) It was the day when the US electors from 50 states confirmed the election day victories for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. A day later, the US Federal Drug Administration approves the first over the counter COVID 19 nasal swab test which delivers instant results.
Moreover, the FDA says the Moderna COVID 19 vaccine is safe and effective. African American Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, 34, is a National Institute of Health viral immunologist who headed the government team working in concert with MODERNA, to develop the SAR-CoV-2 vaccine which won approval on 12/15. Dr. Corbett earned a PhD in microbiology, at the UNC at Chapel Hill. Pfizer and Moderna COVID 19 vaccines boast a 95% efficacy.
On December 14, the USA Covid19 related deaths topped 300,000 with more than 15 million local infections. Imagine where Americans would be today if Trump invested as much time, energy and resources in pandemic containment as he has summoned to overturn the 11/3 election results? We have the vaccine, so Santa heard our prayers!
The nation’s eyes are poised on Georgia the state which will determine what the US Senate looks like and the fate of the republic. A Georgia Democratic Senate victory is imperative. Only Democrat contenders Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock, former Abyssinian Baptist pastor, can make a difference. The incumbent GOP Senators are corrupt, well-funded by GOP super PACS with $80 million, and must be ousted if the Biden agenda is to be crystallized. Early voting has begun in Georgia and will continue until runoff day January 5.
President-elect Biden’s cabinet is taking shape with a paucity of Black secretaries. Last week Congress member Marcia Fudge was named Secretary of Housing and Urban Development nominee, after coaxing by disgruntled Black civil rights leaders. It is rumored that Fudge wanted Agriculture. Wonder what position Biden’s team offered Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, which she declined. Media speculates that offer was for US Ambassador to the Bahamas. Huh, an insult! Harvard-trained economist, former Federal Reserve vice chair Robert Ferguson is being considered for SEC chair, which pales by comparison to Treasury secretary for which he was on the short list.
NYS Governor is doing battle again with COVID19 as positive rates and hospitalization rates traveling north. He has put a hold on commercial rental evictions. He will soon introduce his 2021 budget as he countenances the legislative bodies, Assembly and Senate with super majorities, which can override any of his vetoes. Rumors circulate that he is a Biden pick for Attorney General, something hard to believe. Last weekend, Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Governor Cuomo, says she was sexually harassed by him. He denies it. She is planning a Manhattan Boro Prexy run.
NYC electorate must prepare for 2021 election fatigue as we begin to evaluate the armies of contenders vying for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, and the City Council where 34 out of the 51 members are term limited. And there is the vote for 5 boro prexies.
The 2021 African American mayoral candidates include Maya Riley, Ray McGuire, Eric Adams, current Brooklyn Boro Prexy and Dianne Morales, anti poverty program executive.
ARTS AND CULTURE:Rashida Jones, MSNBC/NBC Sr. Vice President, breaks another one of TV’s glass ceilings since being named MSNBC President effective February 1. Jones has oversight of the channel’s breaking news and directed its robust coverage of the 2020 Presidential election. She succeeds President Phil Griffin, 64, who leaves the network after 35 years. Jones becomes the first Black executive to lead a major cable news network.
People are talking about the FORBES Most Powerful Women 2020 List. Meet the Black women who made the cut. US Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Time Magazine Person of the Year with Joe Biden, 12/21 issue, #3; Oprah, # 20; Rosalind Brewer, COO, Starbucks, former President/CEO Sam’s Club, a Walmart division; Rihanna, #69; Beyonce, #72; Ava DuVernay, filmmaker, #79; Mellody Hobson Pres/Co CEO Ariel Investments, former DreamWorks Chair, #94; Sahle-Work Zewde, Ethiopia’s first woman president, #96; and Stacey Abrams, the woman who turned Georgia blue # 100. German Chancellor Angela Merkle heads the list. France’s Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank President , is #2.
THEATER: I called Stephen Byrd, half of the Front Row Productions team, which brought acclaimed plays with Black protagonists to Broadway like “A Street Car Named Desire,” “American Son” with Kerry Washington, “Trip To Bountiful with Cecily Tyson, “The Iceman Cometh” with Denzel; and “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations” for his take on the post COVID19 Broadway landscape. The Front Row 2021 drawing board includes plays such as GET UP STAND UP, the Bob Marley Musical” in conjunction with his daughter Cedilla, starring Arinze Kene and directed by Clint Dyer which begins previews on May 20 at the Lyric Theatre, in London. MJ, (Michael Jackson): the Musical begins previews in NY in September at the Neil Simon Theatre.
BOOKS: The NY Times Bestseller list includes Barack Obama’s memoir, “A Promised Land” at #1, Isabel Wilkerson’s CASTE: The Origins of Our Discontent at # 14, both of which made the NYT Critics Top Books of 2020 List in addition to “African American Poetry: 25 Years of Struggle and Song,” edited by Kevin Young; “Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir” by Natasha Trethewey; and Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America by historian Marcia Chatelain.
TIS THE SEASON Rev. Al Sharpton and the National Action Network co-host holiday events, at its Harlem headquarters, located at 106 West 145 Street – a Pre Christmas Day Toy Giveaway on 12/24, from 6-8 and Xmas Day, 12/25, from 11:30 – 3 pm Dining for a Hot Meal, Grab-n-Go for underserved community people and NAN members. RSVP Derek Perkinson 646.659.9850
A Harlem-based brand/media consultant, Victoria can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org