James Carville Tells Democrats Stay Calm Waiting for Results

Democratic strategist James Carville was urging calm in a late Tuesday evening MSNBC appearance, telling Democrats to “just put the razor blades and Ambien back in the medicine cabinet — we’re going to be fine.”

The situation that had Carville acting in contravention to his famous “Ragin’ Cajun” nickname was several early swing states going for President Donald Trump over Joe Biden, including Florida. Carville nonetheless remained unfazed, and urged his fellow Democrats to follow his example.

“First thing is every Democrat — just put the razor blades and the Ambien back in the medicine cabinet,” Carville told anchor Brian Williams. “We’re gonna be fine, we’re gonna be fine.”

Carville pointed to Michigan and Pennsylvania still looking hopeful for the Democrats, and Biden’s stronger-than-expected showing in Georgia so far. He acknowledged that he had boldly predicted an early result just yesterday, but still “I think we’re going to be just fine.”

“I’m very optimistic,” Carville continued. “People are rerunning the numbers. And we just have to hang in there, and we’re going to win this thing. I promise you.”

Carville made a reference to the bottle of bourbon seen on a table behind him, a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve, a highly-sought-after brand that is regarded as one of the finest bourbons in the world.

“I think I’ll be able to crack it open, maybe not tonight as I hoped, but I will crack that little puppy open before this is over.”

After discussing some of the state results so far, Williams again turned the conversation to the bourbon. “I’m duty bound to ask if the bottle behind you started the night full.”

“Well, no. That’s stuff is about $200 an ounce, and I parsed it out pretty good, so I’ll be — Uncle Pappy, he’s not coming out until I’m sure, but right now I feel good,” said Carville, noting that he felt good about the numbers in Pennsylvania, and the areas in Georgia where there were still outstanding votes were also favorable for Biden.

“Everybody hang in there. We’re just going to be fine. We’ve got to have the attitude of a winner here, and we’re going to be a winner.”

Watch above, via MSNBC.

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GW University Tells Students: Buy a Week of Food and Medicine to Prep for Election Chaos

An email sent to George Washington University Students Friday suggested students prep for election week the way they would a hurricane or snowstorm. “Before Tuesday, we recommend you have at least one week of food, supplies, and medicine for your room,” the email says.

Large numbers of protesters and demonstrators are expected in the District this week, including thousands tonight at Black Lives Matter Plaza. Currently, DC officials say they’re not aware of any credible threats of violence in the District, and that while parking will be restricted downtown tonight and tomorrow, they haven’t called up the National Guard or recommended businesses board up.

Many businesses have still decided to take extra precautions by boarding up or closing, and it seems individual Washingtonians have done the same — some local supermarkets have been depleted of food staples like meat and eggs.

Jane Recker

Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.

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States say they lack federal funds to distribute coronavirus vaccines as CDC tells them to be ready by Nov. 15

State officials have been planning in earnest in recent weeks to get shots into arms even though no one knows which vaccine will be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, what special storage and handling may be required and how many doses each state will receive.

Despite those uncertainties, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to be prepared to “preposition” doses in key locations throughout the country. Officials want to move quickly once the FDA authorizes a vaccine and a CDC advisory panel issues recommendations on which populations should be vaccinated, according to a letter the CDC sent Monday to state preparedness and immunization officials.

As part of that effort, the CDC is asking states to provide by Tuesday critical information, including a list of each jurisdiction’s top five sites capable of receiving and administering a vaccine that must be stored at ultracold temperatures of minus-70 Celsius (minus-94 Fahrenheit). The letter refers to the vaccine only as Vaccine A, but industry and health officials have identified it as Pfizer’s candidate.

Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said Tuesday that “hundreds of thousands” of doses had already been produced and that a first look at the data would occur soon. Pfizer will not apply for any authorization of its vaccine sooner than the third week of November, when it will have sufficient safety data.

“We acknowledge that you are being asked to do unprecedented work,” wrote Nancy Messonnier, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, which is leading the CDC’s role in vaccine distribution. She added: “This is a new planning ask.”

State officials say they have been trying to raise the issue with federal officials but have received little response.

“It is absolutely ridiculous that the administration, after spending $10 billion for a Warp Speed effort to develop a vaccine, has no interest in a similar investment in a Warp Speed campaign to get the vaccine to every American as quickly as possible after it is approved,” said Michael Fraser, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

Operation Warp Speed is the federal initiative, funded by more than $10 billion of taxpayer money, to fast-track development of coronavirus countermeasures.

“The now accelerated timeline underscores the need to address the issue of funding for state and territorial health agencies to make this all work,” Fraser said. “There are many other costs that have no clear way to be paid for at this point.”

Local officials still need to recruit thousands of people to staff vaccine clinics and enroll and train providers. They also have to ramp up information technology and data systems to track vaccine inventory and ordering to ensure people get the correct doses at the right times — most vaccines will require two shots — and to monitor for adverse events. They will need to develop locally tailored vaccination communications campaigns, too.

“States have received some funding, but it’s not nearly enough” to support the scale, scope and

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Newsom tells Calif. to not expect ‘mass availability’ of vaccine until 2021

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday under the best-case scenario, an extremely limited supply of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration will be available by November or December, countering President Donald Trump’s repeated assurance to the American people that a vaccine could be widely available before the year’s end.

Newsom expects California to receive 1 to 2 million doses in the first vaccine delivery, and this would be the amount needed to inoculate people working in the health care system.

A major inoculation effort — where anyone could go to their local pharmacy for a vaccine — is highly unlikely until next year, he said.

“It is simply unrealistic,” said Newsom. “We don’t anticipate mass availability until 2021.”

The governor said the big question now is whether vaccines will be widely available in the first, second or third quarter of 2021.

Newsom also announced at his regular Monday press briefing the state has created a task force made up of 11 scientists to conduct an independent medical review of the safety of any FDA-approved vaccine before administering it to Californians.

“We don’t take anyone’s word for it,” said Newsom, noting that experts on the review committee hail from top universities such as UC Berkeley and Stanford.

The state is 1 of 5 jurisdictions to submit an advance plan for vaccine distribution and as a result received $29 million from the federal government, the governor said. Under the state plan, the first phase of vaccine distribution would prioritize high-risk individuals including health care workers, seniors age 65-plus and long-term care, essential workers, those with disabilities, racial and ethnic minority groups, rural populations and incarcerated and detained individuals.

The state is also preparing to procure and distribute vaccine supplies such as syringes, alcohol pads and bandages. Other pieces of the plan look at vaccine storage that requires cold conditions, data management and public education.

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