The Monday Politics Thread is 59-1

Trump, Pence, Congress and Supreme Court will be offered COVID-19 vaccine in coming days, officials say

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other top federal office-holders will be offered COVID-19 vaccines over the next week-and-a-half to guard against an outbreak that could cripple the functions of government, officials said Sunday.

The shots will be offered to officials across all three branches of government, including leaders at the White House, in Congress, and on the Supreme Court, officials said. White House staff members who work in close proximity to Trump are also expected to get early vaccines.

USA Today

Trump administration pushing delay in nursing home vaccinations

Operation Warp Speed, the government’s vaccine effort, is instructing clinics administering the Pfizer vaccine to wait until later this month to inoculate elderly residents at long-term care facilities, even though doses will be arriving in all 50 states this week and despite the CDC’s recommendation that the elderly be prioritized given their vulnerability to the coronavirus.

CBS News has obtained two Operation Warp Speed documents produced by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with guidance for CVS and Walgreens, the pharmacy partners charged with carrying out the vaccination of residents at long-term care facilities. HHS explicitly instructs providers that the “earliest the program can turn on is Dec 21st,” referring to administering the Pfizer vaccine. The rate of infection at nursing homes has been spiking in recent weeks, which makes that a potentially costly delay.

CBS News

An International Cultural Organization Says Mexico’s Museum Leaders Are Afraid to Speak the Truth About Their Dire Financial Straits

The committee claims that under Mexican president Manuel Lopez Obrador, austerity measures began in May 2019 have led to a 50 percent cut in state funding for exhibition programs. In April 2020, budget caps of 75 percent of promised totals were placed on museums overseen by Mexico’s National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature.

Regional museums have seen their budgets cut by more than 75 percent, says the committee, which adds that opportunities for earned income have been drastically reduced in recent months.

Karl Rove Rips Trump: ‘Americans Don’t Like Sore Losers’

After Fox News’ Chris Wallace asked the former deputy chief of staff to George W. Bush if he expects the outgoing president to continue to contest the election past Monday when the Electoral College formally casts their ballots for president and vice president, Rove used the opportunity to speak to Trump’s endgame, and offered some unsolicited advice.

“If his goal is to lay the predicate to come back in 2024 and run again, he’s helping himself at least gain the nomination.” Rove said, “But I think in the long run, he’s not helping himself or the country. America likes comebacks, but they don’t like sore losers. And he is on the edge of looking like a sore loser and probably will look like it after January 6th.”

Rolling Stone

The Electoral College meets on Monday. Here’s what to expect.

The 538 members of the Electoral College are set to cast votes for president and vice president on Monday — marking another step toward making President-elect Joe Biden’s victory official.

The vote is traditionally little more than a formality. But this year, with President Donald Trump resisting his defeat at every turn and waging long-shot legal battles with baseless claims of widespread fraud, the meeting comes at a tense and fragile moment for the country’s democratic institutions and is one that will happen irrespective of the outgoing president’s efforts to subvert the electoral process.

The electors will seal Biden as the winner ahead of his swearing in at the inauguration on Jan. 20. His margin of victory in the Electoral College is expected to be 306 votes to Trump’s 232, if there are no surprises.

ABC News

Vandals hit Black churches in D.C. during pro-Trump rallies

Vandals tore down a Black Lives Matter banner and sign from two historic Black churches in downtown Washington and set the banner ablaze as nighttime clashes Saturday between pro-Donald Trump supporters and counter-demonstrators erupted into violence and arrests.

Police on Sunday said they were investigating the incidents at the Asbury United Methodist Church and Metropolitan A.M.E. Church as potential hate crimes, which one religious leader likened to a cross burning.

“This weekend, we saw forces of hate seeking to use destruction and intimidation to tear us apart,” District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Sunday. “We will not let that happen.”