The 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief” Gov. Whitmer, congress, COVID-19

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The 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief” is here for you live weekdays at 12:30 P.M. from the 6 News Digital Studio based out of Lansing, Michigan.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Today on the 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief”, we’re covering top stories here in Michigan, across the United States, and around the world.

WHITMER COVID-19

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will hold a news conference Wednesday, to provide an update on the state’s fight against COVID-19.

The news conference will begin at 1:30 P.M. and will be livestreamed in the video player above.

The governor will be joined by the state’s Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II.

Yesterday state officials reported 1,316 new cases and 34 deaths due to COVID-19. Of the 34 deaths, 18 were identified in a vital records review.

CONGRESSIONAL HEARING

Governor Gretchen Whitmer went before a U.S. Senate committee on on Environment and Public Works Wednesday to testify on the needs of new infrastructure across the nation.

Wednesday’s hearing called “Building Back Better” held a focus of climate change, improve equity, and transportation.

Whitmer ran her campaign on the promise to “Fix the damn roads” in light of poor conditions all across the state. The governor has spent time throughout her term attempting to strike a deal with the Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature to fund road repairs, but to date, no major package has been signed into law.

“It is important for me as the “Fix-the-Damn-Roads Governor” to start by saying that we need significant investments in our roadways and bridges. Without this significant investment, we struggle to remain competitive for businesses and families.” Said Whitmer in her prepared remarks. “According to TRIP, a national transportation research nonprofit, a total of 43 percent of Michigan’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition and driving on deteriorated roads costs Michigan motorists $4.67 billion a year – $659 per motorist – in the form of additional repairs, accelerated vehicle depreciation, increased fuel consumption, and tire wear.”

The governor addressed her $3.5 billion bonding program called “Rebuilding Michigan”, which she says would help rebuild the state highways and bridges that are critical to the economy and carry the most traffic.

COVID-19

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration’s scientists confirmed that overall the vaccine is about 66% effective at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. The agency also said J&J’s shot — one that could help speed vaccinations by requiring just one dose instead of two — is safe to use.

That’s just one step in the FDA’s evaluation of a third vaccine option for the U.S. On Friday, the agency’s independent advisers will debate if the evidence is strong enough to recommend the long-anticipated shot. Armed with that advice, FDA is expected to make a final decision within days.

The vaccination drive has been slower than hoped, hampered by logistical issues and weather delays even as the country mourns more than 500,000 virus-related deaths. So far, about 65 million Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine made by Pfizer or Moderna, shots that require two doses several weeks apart for full protection.

J&J tested its single-dose option in 44,000 people in the U.S., Latin America and South Africa. Because different mutated versions of the virus are circulating in different countries, researchers analyzed the results geographically. J&J previously announced the vaccine worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19, compared with 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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