As we were putting out our last issue before the holiday break, the first COVID-19 vaccine was still awaiting approval by the FDA. Now, in the first week of January, two vaccines named Pfizer and Moderna (for the labs where they were created) are undergoing distribution by the Illinois Department of Public Health—but the how and when remains in question. We have an idea of who’s getting them: doctors and healthcare workers, caregivers, elected officials, and clergy. But not teachers, not grocery store workers, not custodial staff, not postal workers, practically no other essential workers. Officials say more than 35,000 shots have been administered and they’re expecting another 33,000 doses to arrive any day. Mayor Lightfoot, who has criticized Trump’s administration for not delivering the amount promised, said at this rate it will take well over a year to vaccinate all Chicagoans. The shot, however, is not mandated.
Update: Post-publication, Governor Pritzker announced the state will move to “Phase 1B” of its vaccine distribution in the following weeks, which will include “frontline essential workers” and senior citizens.
CPD’s abuse of Black women caught on camera
In her latest attempt at damage control over her administration’s handling of a February 2019 raid in which CPD officers burst into the wrong home and handcuffed Anjanette Young unclothed, Mayor Lightfoot released 153 emails related to the raid that revealed she was aware of the incident at least as early as November of that year—despite claiming she had only heard of it after CBS-2 aired body-cam footage this past December. After meeting privately, Lightfoot and Young issued a joint statement saying they are “committed to continuing to identify areas of common ground” and “to working towards necessary policy changes together.” Chicago Inspector General Joe Ferguson announced an investigation into the raid and retired federal judge Ann Claire Williams is leading a separate inquiry. Most recently, body-cam videos obtained by activist William Calloway of a separate incident show CPD in November 2019 running over a woman in South Shore for no apparent reason; Martina Standley is still recovering from her head and leg injuries a year later while a lawsuit is pending. Mayor Lightfoot said she will look into it.
Where’s my money?
If your $600 haven’t dropped, you can check the status of the second stimulus check at irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment. As long as the IRS has your information on file (and you meet the income requirements), you should be automatically eligible for the stimulus payment, including mixed-status immigrant families who didn’t receive it the first time.