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Skimm'd while giving back

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Quote of the Day

"Pandemic" – Merriam-Webster's word of the year. How creative.

Please Sir, I Want Some Approval

The Story

Another vaccine manufacturer wants the FDA's go-ahead.


Yesterday, Moderna asked the FDA and European regulators for the green light to start distributing its COVID-19 vaccine. The move came weeks after the company shared early results from a small sample of its 30,000-person trial. Now it's released the final results. Turns out, it's 94.1% effective at preventing people from getting the virus. And 100% effective at preventing severe cases. (Sigh of relief.) If approved, Moderna says the two-dose vaccine could be ready around mid-December and would cost between $32 and $37 per dose.

Will there be enough for everyone?

In time, yes. Today, a CDC advisory panel is expected to meet to discuss which groups of people should get the first doses of the vaccine. Ultimately, state govs will be the ones to determine who's at the top of the list. And guidance from the CDC and health officials could influence their decisions. But analysts say the estimated 21 million health care workers and nursing home residents and staff will take priority.

As they should.

Right. But before that can happen, Moderna, Pfizer, and other vaccine candidates must apparently face "science court." That's where they present all their data showing how and why their vaccine is effective. Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, which have also asked for approval in Europe, are up first on Dec 10 – after their trial vaccine was found to be 95% effective last month. Then Moderna has the stage on Dec 17. Each could get an immediate thumbs up...depending on how court goes.


Moderna and Pfizer's vaccines are already breaking records, and getting FDA approval would be an unprecedented achievement. But before you bring your jeans back out of storage, health experts warn a vaccine isn't the end-all and be-all solution to combating the virus. And that wearing masks may be in style for a while longer.

And Also...This

Who's got business on the mind…

President-elect Joe Biden. Yesterday, he announced key members of his economic team, who will be tasked with helping the US rebuild. Many of the nominees have a background in labor rights. And three women are set to make history if confirmed:

  • Janet Yellen for Treasury secretary. Yellen has steered US economic policy for decades, earning cred across the aisle. If confirmed, the former Fed chair would be the first woman to lead the Treasury Dept in its 231-year history.

  • Neera Tanden for director of the Office of Management and Budget. If confirmed, the progressive think tank CEO would be the first woman of color to hold the position. But it's a big if given her history of alienating Republicans and progressives.

  • Cecilia Rouse for chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. The Princeton economist served on the council in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. If confirmed, she'd be the first Black woman to lead the agency.

…Oh and speaking of making history, Biden has also announced the first all-female White House senior communications team – highly public roles. Let's get visible.

What's claiming victory…

Ethiopia. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed claimed victory in the country's northern Tigray region. Last month, Ahmed launched a military operation there after claiming the Tigray People's Liberation Front attacked a military base and tried to steal equipment. The weeks-long conflict has killed hundreds of people and displaced tens of thousands. Now, the rebel forces say they're stumped by Ahmed's announcement and that the war's not over. They reportedly told him to "stop the madness" and called on him to withdraw troops from the region. In a phone call with Ahmed yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shared the US's "grave concern" over the situation and called for a "complete end" to the fighting.

When you've finally figured out how to fold in the cheese

Try protein folding next. Yesterday, DeepMind (a research company owned by Alphabet) said its AI has cracked the mystery behind how proteins fold. And can predict the shape of proteins within opposed to the years this process normally takes. Important, because the process is key to coming up with vaccines and treatments that respond to these proteins (think: in viruses, bacteria, and the human body). It's a win that's been 50 years in the making. And could help speed up vaccines and drug development for future diseases. Don't DeepMind if they do.

Which doctor will see (himself out) now...

Scott Atlas. Yesterday, President Trump's coronavirus adviser resigned. In his four-month tenure, Atlas regularly clashed with his coronavirus task force peers. He told Michigan residents to "rise up" after the state imposed new COVID-19 restrictions. And encouraged the White house to pursue herd immunity. Critics are saying 'Atlast.' Health experts had long criticized his lack of infectious disease expertise and denounced him for promoting false info on the virus (like discouraging the use of masks). The White House has yet to comment.

Who's breaking records...

Marsai Martin. The "Black-ish" actress broke a Guinness World Record as the youngest Hollywood executive producer to work on a major production. Guess she's not so "little" anymore.

Who's inspiring us on GivingTuesday…

This FedEx employee.

Home for the Holidays

The great indoors is where we'll be hanging out this holiday season. And thanks to Affirm, we're shopping our favorite brands (like West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Williams Sonoma) to make home an even merrier place to be. So spoil your loved ones with the gifts they really want that won't put stress on your wallet. Like a pizza oven, set of planters, and acacia wood serveware collection. Buy now, pay over time (without hidden fees), and thank us later.


Here are our favorite picks to help you take a break today...

1. 6 common cleaning tips that are actually wrong. Old wives' tales. Folklore. Whatever ya want to call them, these cleaning techniques are now a 'no' from us, dawg.

2. Three celebrity books we're loving right now.

  • Rachel Bloom's essay collection about OCD, the theater community, and being 'normal.'

  • Megan Rapinoe's memoir about her soccer career, social justice, and her fight for equal pay.

  • Cazzie David's book about growing up with a famous father (Larry David), her breakup with Pete Davidson, and living with anxiety.

3. A self-care gift from you to you. This company has over 2,000 audio and video workouts. Including a new, five-week meditation program that can help you stay cool, calm, and collected this holiday season. Psst...Skimm'rs get free access for 60 days. Aaand breathe.*

PS: Want more? Sign up to get weekly recs in your inbox.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


For when you need a gift for the foodie in your life…

Look no further. Primal Kitchen's delicious groceries are made with real, high-quality ingredients. Think: creamy mayo with avocado oil, dairy-free vodka sauce, and vegan ranch dressing. Oh, and Skimm'rs get 25% off. Mayo your holidays be tasty.*

For when you're looking to hack some stress away…

Say no more. These products are pros at saving you time, money, and energy. We've got pimple-fighting patches, a handy fabric shaver, and a spackling kit to cover up holes. Take that 2020.

For when quarantine winter has you feeling anxious…

Here are some things to get you through. Like an embroidery kit for beginners, a warm Pendleton blanket for (safely) dining outdoors, and more. Winter is coming.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


In times like these, community matters more than ever. Let us know how you (or someone you know) is making an impact by helping others.

Holistic helper...Christine K (NY). She is an executive board member of a nonprofit called the Community Growth Center which provides holistic health services (think: mental health, nutrition, and spirituality) free of charge. Check it out.

Lending a hand...Katie K (IN). She is the founding member of the Little Timmy Project, which was created to address Indiana's high infant mortality rate. During the pandemic, the organization shifted gears and provided nearly 30,000 diapers to more than 300 families – purely on community donations. Learn more.

(Some) Birthdays...Monica Climaco (CA), Cynthia Nelson (PA), Katelyn Todd (IN), Morgan Rich (MD), Nicole Neroulias Gupte (WA), Iris Summers (TX), Angel De La Cruz (TX), Jessica Beard (IL), Emily Fennell (GA), Christina Guessferd (MA), Michelle King (TX), Susan Benear (PA), Steph Esparza (IL), Samantha Gill (IL), Jill Fraticelli (NJ)

*Paging all members of theSkimm. Reach out here for a chance to be featured.

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Kamini Ramdeen, Mariza Smajlaj, Niven McCall-Mazza, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain