Skimm'd while doing today's challenge

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Skimm'd while doing today's challenge

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Quote of the Day

"Dave was icing on the wedding cake" – A bride on Dave Chappelle photobombing her wedding picture. No filter necessary.

Making COVID-19 Moves

The Story

The Biden admin has launched its COVID-19 plan.

Tell me about it.

For over a year now, the coronavirus has upended American lives. Former President Trump had left the majority of pandemic relief plans up to states (think: vaccine distribution, mask mandates). But President Biden is taking a more hands-on approach that he says is "based on science, not politics." Yesterday, he introduced a 200-page long "full-scale wartime" plan. And signed 10 executive orders. Don't worry, we skimm'd them for you:

Masks…Biden signed a mask mandate – requiring them to be worn in airports and on public transportation (think: many planes, trains, ships, and intercity buses). Many airlines already had this rule. And to date, over 2,500 people have reportedly been banned for refusing to wear a mask. Biden's strategy kicks it up a notch by throwing the federal gov's support behind mask enforcement.

Testing...Biden signed an EO that establishes a board (creatively named COVID-19 Pandemic Testing Board) to oversee and improve testing at the national level. He'll also require international travelers to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in the US.

Vaccines and PPE...Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to speed up vaccine manufacturing, testing, and personal protective equipment production. And he's pressing on with his goal to get 100 million people vaccinated within his first 100 days. But some think that's a low bar, considering the country's already on track to vaccinating 1 million Americans a day. It's also unclear how effective this EO will be considering that Pfizer and Moderna are already at max level production.

Reopening schools...Biden is expanding vaccine distribution to the unsung heroes of America: teachers. He's calling on HHS and the Education Dept to share resources with schools so they can reopen. The plan also offers schools complete refunds for PPE. And will create a national database to record things like COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools.

Health Equity Task Force...Biden established a task force intended to help vulnerable communities – including people of color who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. It will aim to increase funding to community health centers and expand mental health services. While also working to research the long-term effects of the virus.

Thanks for the recap.

No problem. Don't forget about Biden's proposal for a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package. Part of that package also includes a $1,400 stimulus check and a $400 weekly unemployment bonus. But it's already getting some pushback from the Senate (which is tied 50-50 between Dems and Republicans). Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) aren't 100% on board with the hefty price tag. And Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) isn't too keen either, which may wreck the proposal's chances of passing.


Biden has long criticized Trump's approach to COVID-19. Now, it's up to him to show the American people his approach can turn the tide. There's no time to waste: the US could reach 500,000 deaths next month.

And Also...This

What's taking shape…

President Biden's Cabinet. Earlier this week, it got its first member after the Senate approved Avril Haines as director of national intelligence. The former CIA deputy director is now the first woman in history to serve as the DNI – a role that oversees 17 agencies and orgs and directly advises the president. Haines won't be the only one at the Cabinet table. Nominees for Treasury, Defense, State, Homeland Security, and Transportation secretaries are hoping to pull up their chairs. (We break down who they are here.) They've had their confirmation hearings, and some could get the stamp of approval as soon as today.

  • Also on the roster: The Biden admin has selected Rebecca Kelly Slaughter as acting chair for the Federal Trade Commission, which is leading an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook. And Jessica Rosenworcel as acting chair for the Federal Communications Commission. The two will work to regulate Big Tech.

Where people are mourning...

Baghdad, Iraq. Yesterday, twin suicide bombings at a busy market killed at least 32 people and injured 110 others. It's the capital's deadliest attack in three years. In 2017, Iraqi forces (backed by the US) defeated ISIS fighters. The area's thought to be safer since then. But the attack comes amid rising political and economic tensions in Iraq, reinforced by recent anti-gov protests and delayed elections. ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility. And Iraqi security officials have been deployed to prevent any further threat.

What's making changes…

London. Yesterday, it approved the removal of two statues with ties to slavery from its financial district. This comes after a statue of a slave trader was brought down during one of last year's Black Lives Matter protests. Now Brits are saying 'let's rep our history differently.'

When you don't have a dog waiting for you

Put your Manet into this.

Routine Refresh

January is well underway, and that can mean keeping up with newly improved routines. Like actually planning meals ahead of time. So you can eat better, reduce waste, and save time, money, and stress. Here are some tips to help:

  • Rinse and repeat a weekly template. Think: meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays, one-pot Wednesdays, etc.

  • Check your pantry (and fridge and freezer) before you make your list. So you don't have to wonder "Do I have this at home?" in aisle five.

  • Pick recipes with a few overlapping ingredients. Might we suggest winter vegetable gratin and sheet pan salmon with brussels sprouts and carrots?

PS: Kroger has more meal planning tips and recipes where these came from. Happy planning.

How to Skimm Your Life Challenge

You're spending most of your time at home anyway, why not go au naturel? When it comes to cleaning, that is. Your challenge: Swap one cleaning product for an eco-friendly version. Farewell, toxins. Need ideas for where to start? We've got you. Get ready to be so fresh and so clean, clean.

PS: There's one week left in our How to Skimm Your Life Challenge. That means five more days of daily texts. Sign up here if you want in on that.

Skimm Reads

"The Push" by Ashley Audrain

In this buzzy thriller, an unreliable narrator with a traumatic history of family abuse becomes a mother. After giving birth, she questions whether her difficulties connecting to her daughter are due to her past, or because there's something more sinister going on. It's a chilling psychological look at the dark, uncomfortable parts of motherhood and a provocative page-turner.


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

1. 10 essential questions to ask during a job interview. For when "new year, new job" is on your list of priorities. Bookmark these Qs now, nail the Zoom call later.

2. A beginner's guide to composting at home. Here's how to turn your banana peels and tea bags into something that would make Greta Thunberg proud.

3. Healthy kid meals that you don't have to cook. This company's chefs and nutritionists create and deliver the meals right to your door every week. And they're so delicious, even picky eaters will ask for seconds. Skimm'rs get 50% off two weeks. More please.*

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

*PS: This is a sponsored post.


For when getting eight hours of sleep feels impossible…

Call in the experts. That's what we did for our latest New Year's video with Good Morning America and Blue Apron. Meteorologist Ginger Zee tries three expert tips to help get her zzz on. See how they worked.*

For when you need something for the man in your life...

Look no further. City Workshop curates the best of the best. And their team can help you find what you're looking for – whether it's clothes, boots, sneakers, hats, candles, or beard wash. Check 'em out.*

For when your phone's camera roll dates back to 2012…

Clear the clutter. We've got cute prints, a clipboard calendar, and a photo puzzle so you never again get the dreaded "storage almost full" pop-up. Oh snap.

*PS: This is a sponsored post.

Skimm More

1. Our podcast "Skimm This" has you covered on key topics from President Biden's inaugural speech. Think: climate change, COVID-19, and diplomacy. Plus, what's on his agenda in the weeks ahead.

2. Speaking of the new prez…we broke down how the new admin's policies could affect your wallet. PS: Want more money news from theSkimm? Sign up for our Skimm Money newsletter.

3. We've got product recs to help you live your smartest life in 2021. Like a water bottle with time markers to help you stay hydrated all day. Oh, and a pack of morning mantras.


We like to celebrate the wins, big and small. Let us know how your friends, neighbors, coworkers (and yes, even you) are making career moves, checking off goals, or making an impact in the community.

Fighting for change…Josh R (TX). He's working with other students at Vanderbilt University to get Swipes For A Cause back up and running. It's an org that allows students to donate their unused dining hall meal swipes to people in need. Learn more here.

Tune in...Jaz Z (DE). She started her own company, Zapp Social Club, to "help womxn strategize and produce" their own podcasts. Join the pod here.

(Some) Birthdays...Carol Schulweis (NY), theSkimm's Emma Lawler (NY), Marjie Katz (PA), Phil Voss (CA), Kristen Krauss (NY), Debbie Forrey (NJ), Kristen Koko (DC), Marci Might (OH), Lindsay Hawkins (NE), Lizzy Scheinfeld (IL), Roberta Rosenblum (NY), Eileen Murphy (NJ), Alexandra Rosenfeld (CAN), Tamara Russo (NY), Diana Maldonado (TX)

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

Skimm’d by Maria del Carmen Corpus, Mariza Smajlaj, Clem Robineau, and Julie Shain