Lyft will offer free and discounted rides to vaccination sites
Lyft is partnering with health care organizations across the country to offer free and discounted rides to Americans who may need assistance getting to a site where they can receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The ride hailing company announced a nationwide campaign Tuesday in partnership with JPMorgan Chase, United Way, and healthcare organizations including Anthem, Centene, One Medical and Epic, and set a goal to provide 60 million rides.
The free or discounted rides will be offered in the form of credits to low-income, uninsured and at risk communities. Lyft will partner with local nonprofits to identify candidates and distribute the credits, in coordination with health care providers that offer vaccination. The effort will particularly prioritize “seniors living alone, low income workers, and parents with young children,” according to Megan Callahan, MPH, VP of Lyft Healthcare.
The rides will be subsidized by Lyft’s corporate partners, according to a release.
Callahan said in a statement announcing the initiative that “lack of transportation is one of the top reasons people miss medical appointments,” and estimated that “15 million Americans will face transportation issues trying to get to vaccination sites.”
10:01 a.m. COVID-19 relief money expected early next week: Mnuchin
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress as they announce a proposal for a Covid-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill on December 14, 2020 in Washington, DC. Lawmakers from both chambers released a $908 billion package Monday, split into two bills. Tasos Katopodis, Getty
Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief package Monday night that would finally deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The relief package, unveiled Monday afternoon, sped through the House and Senate in a matter of hours. The Senate cleared the massive package by a 92-6 vote after the House approved the COVID-19 package by another lopsided vote, 359-53.
The bill combines coronavirus-fighting funds with financial relief for individuals and businesses. It would establish a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants, and theaters and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.
The 5,593-page legislation — by far the longest bill ever — came together Sunday after months of battling, posturing and postelection negotiating that reined in a number of Democratic demands as the end of the congressional session approached.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, a key negotiator, said on CNBC Monday morning that the direct payments would begin arriving in bank accounts next week.
6:55 a.m. Biden gets COVID-19 vaccine, says ‘nothing to worry about’
NEWARK, Del. — President-elect Joe Biden on Monday received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine on live television as part of a growing effort to convince the American public the inoculations are safe.
The president-elect took a dose of Pfizer vaccine at a hospital not far from his Delaware home, hours after his wife, Jill Biden, did the same. The injections came the same day that a second vaccine, produced by Moderna, will start arriving in states. It joins Pfizer’s in the nation’s arsenal against the COVID-19 pandemic, which has now killed more than 317,000 people in the United States and upended life around the globe.
“I’m ready,” said Biden, who was administered the dose at a hospital in Newark, Delaware, and declined the option to count to three before the needle was inserted into his left arm. “I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine. There’s nothing to worry about.”
The president-elect praised the health care workers and said President Donald Trump’s administration “deserves some credit getting this off the ground.” And Biden urged Americans to wear masks during the upcoming Christmas holiday and not travel unless necessary.
- Illinois public health officials reported 4,669 new and probable cases of the coronavirus and 98 deaths Monday, the lowest total of new cases since late October.
- As of Sunday night, 4,460 people who’ve tested positive for the virus are in hospitals around the state. Of that number, 981 COVID-positive patients were in intensive care units and 546 were on ventilators.
- This month, Illinois has logged nearly 3,000 coronavirus-related deaths, which is more than 19.4% of the state’s pandemic death toll of 15,202.
- Illinois surpassed 900,000 coronavirus cases Sunday with state health officials announcing 6,003 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 infections.
Analysis & Commentary
7:18 a.m. A general apologizes — how refreshing
We can’t learn from our mistakes if we don’t fess up to them.
So it was refreshing over the weekend to hear Gen. Gustave F. Perna, head of the federal effort to distribute coronavirus vaccines, offer an actual apology — just when we feared the word had been stricken from the dictionary of politics.
Perna took the blame for the confusion created when the federal government miscalculated how many doses of Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine could be shipped. At least 14 states, including Illinois, learned they would not be getting as many of the vials as they expected. On Dec. 16, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said the expected federal nationwide shipment of 8 million doses had been reduced to 4.3 million doses.
“It was my fault,” Perna said. “It was a planning error, and I am responsible.”
How often lately have we heard words like that from any top federal official, though the government’s response to the pandemic has been appallingly bad? Never once before, as best we can recall. Nobody says “I apologize.” Nobody says “I am responsible.”