The 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief” J&J, bar times, Trump’s return

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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.

J&J VACCINE

(WOOD)– Executives at a Grand Rapids pharmaceutical plant say they were proud to be charged with manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine.

“This is great news: great news for our country, great news for the world and certainly great news for West Michigan,” Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing President and CEO Tom Ross said during a Monday morning press conference. “This vaccine, which was developed, tested and manufactured in less than one year is a truly amazing accomplishment. It will now be distributed throughout he world and will profoundly impact the world as we know it today.”

He and other executives touted the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, which was developed in about a year, and said how excited and honored they were to be involved.

“We talk about words like an honor, a privilege, and that’s truly heartfelt,” Ross said. “The opportunity to really save lives and be part of this solution is something you can only dream of.”

He commended the hard work of his employees, who he said have rallied around the mission.

BAR BILL

(AP) — Those working the late shift could catch last call and bars could pocket extra sales after missing out heavily during coronavirus restrictions under legislation under consideration in Michigan that would allow alcohol sales at bars and restaurants until 4 a.m.

Bill sponsor Rep. Ryan Berman testified in front of a state House committee last week that the measure would allow local municipalities to adopt their own rules to extend the pre-pandemic cutoff of 2 a.m. to make it 4 a.m.

Currently, indoor dining, including bars has a 10 p.m. curfew due to state COVID-19 restrictions. Berman said having the extension ready and waiting for businesses is important to help them financially recover from the pandemic because there’s a market for late night alcohol sales.

“Once that is lifted it gives the local establishments, restaurants, bars, the ability to make up some lost time,” the Commerce Township Republican said. “Not everybody, in what we’re learning, has the same schedule. Not everybody works 9 to 5, not everybody is on the same sleep schedule. People work nights, people work weekends, different shifts.”

TRUMP’S RETURN

(AP) — Taking the stage for the first time since leaving office, former President Donald Trump called for GOP unity, even as he exacerbated intraparty divisions by attacking fellow Republicans and promoting lies about the election in a speech that made clear he intends to remain a dominant political force.

Speaking Sunday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where he was hailed as a returning hero, Trump blasted his successor, President Joe Biden, and tried to lay out a vision for the future of the GOP that revolves firmly around him, despite his loss in November.

“Do you miss me yet?” Trump said after taking the stage to his old rally soundtrack and cheers from the supportive crowd.

Trump, in his speech, tried to downplay the civil war gripping the party over the extent to which Republicans should embrace him, even as he unfurled an enemies list, calling out by name the 10 House Republicans and seven GOP senators who voted to impeach or convict him for inciting the U.S. Capitol riot. He ended by singling out Rep. Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, who has faced tremendous backlash in Wyoming for saying Trump should no longer play a role in the party or headline the event.

While he insisted the division was merely a spat “between a handful of Washington, D.C., establishment political hacks and everybody else, all over the country,” Trump had a message for the incumbents who had dared to cross him: “Get rid of ’em all.”

The conference, held this year in Orlando instead of the Washington suburbs to evade COVID-19 restrictions, served as a tribute to Trump and Trumpism, complete with a golden statue in his likeness on display. Speakers, including many potential 2024 hopefuls, argued that the party must embrace the former president and his followers, even after the deadly insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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