Coming never to an iPhone near you. Getty Images
Here’s your daily evening roundup of the latest local and national news. (Like our coverage? Please consider making a recurring contribution to The Stranger to keep it comin’!)
The federal vaccine reserve is “apparently barren”: Yikes. Gov. Inslee accused the Trump administration of “deception” for telling governors that “there was a strategic reserve of vaccines,” Inslee said over Twitter this morning. The Washington Post reported today that the vaccine reserve is already exhausted, contrary to an earlier announcement from the federal government claiming otherwise. Nationally, Biden has announced a plan to deploy FEMA to set up vaccine clinics—but those clinics are useless without enough vaccines!!
Governors were told repeatedly by @HHSgov there was a strategic reserve of vaccines, and this week, the American people were told it’d be released to increase supply of vaccine.
I doubt we’ll hear much from Trump on this, seeing as Mike Pence is the president now: Not really, but he’s the only half of that rotten duo acting like a president. Pence reportedly called Kamala Harris yesterday to “offer his congratulations” and assistance.
Sammamish-based web-hosting company Epik says it won’t host Parler: After getting kicked off Amazon Web Service, there was talk that it would move to Epik, but nope. “We’ve had no connection, no correlation, nothing to do with Parler, no discussions,” the vice president of communications and marketing for Epik told KIRO Radio in an exclusive. “There was no relationship there whatsoever.” Things aren’t looking good for Parler.
Bumble briefly stops allowing users to filter by political affiliation: You may remember from Slog AM on Thursday, but a bunch of women allegedly started using dating apps to report people who attended the Capitol insurrection—and who posted photos at the insurrection on their profiles—to the FBI. Bumble briefly hit pause on allowing people to filter their swipes by political party and said they would take proactive steps to ban insurrection-goers. That said, the political filter was back by Friday afternoon.
The first criminal conviction for improperly flying a drone: Goes to 22-year-old Los Angeleno Rene Hernandez. He wanted to see a police helicopter circling around, so he sent his drone to take a look, only to hit the cop copter with the drone and forcing an emergency landing. He may face up to a year in federal prison.
Global COVID deaths surpass two million: The milestone comes just over a year after the first reported death of coronavirus was reported in Wuhan, says CNN. The magnitude of this loss is inconceivable, especially considering that the real number might be much higher as those without a confirmed COVID-19 death were left out of the tally.
Meanwhile, in King County: We are seeing a rise in COVID cases after weeks of decline. Public health officials are saying that the virus has gotten “smarter and faster,” reports Seattle P.I. In a recent news briefing, health officials attribute this rise in cases to Christmas and end of the year gatherings. Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health—Seattle & King County urged people to continue to take the pandemic seriously, warning that the new, more infectious strain could make the outbreak harder to control.
Missouri statehouse shuts down after COVID-19 outbreak: The legislators voted down a measure mandating mask-wearing and social-distancing just two days earlier.
Texas realtor nabbed for participating in insurrection: Realtor Jennifer Ryan, or Jenna Ryan online, faces heat for gleefully posting and livestreaming her involvement in the Capitol insurrection. “We are going to fucking go in here. Life or death, it doesn’t matter. Here we go,” Ryan said in a now-deleted video, NBC News writes. She later plugged herself: “Y’all know who to hire for your realtor. Jenna Ryan for your realtor.” She’s facing federal charges.
Loren Culp retreats: The failed GOP gubernatorial candidate withdrew his lawsuit against Republican Secretary of State Kim Wyman, which parrotted Trump’s delusional allegations of election fraud. Here’s the Seattle Times:
The about-face by Culp occurred after Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office warned Pidgeon that the state intended to file a motion to dismiss the case, and take the unusual step of asking a judge to impose sanctions unless he withdrew the case by noon Friday.
The notice, which Ferguson personally signed off on, said that the claims made by the Culp campaign were “factually baseless.” For example, it said, counties had contacted people Culp claimed were deceased and found the voters were alive, or had died after voting.
Maybe Rep. Newhouse and Rep. Herrera-Beutler have something to worry about: President Trump apparently summoned his advisers to the White House after getting impeached for the second time, demanding to know more about the 10 Republican representatives who voted against party lines. According to the Wall Street Journal‘s sources, Trump specifically wanted to know if he had done anything for these 10 Republicans and who might run against them if they face re-election. After this week’s events, the outgoing president fears more defections from his side. He’s angry!
The National Rifle Association files for bankruptcy, will relocate to Texas: This restructuring plan comes after the New York state attorney general filed a lawsuit to dissolve the pro-gun group for the alleged misuse of funds. Of course, the NRA is taking it personally. The association claims they’re not broke and that a Texas exit would be an escape from “a corrupt political and regulatory environment in New York.” Good riddance!
French archaeologists find some cool 2,000-year-old remains: The archaeologists uncovered the remains of a 1-year-old child who appeared to have been buried with a pet dog along with 20 other items ranging from half a pig to vases and glass pots. The dog was wearing a collar decorated with bronze and a small bell.
Amazon workers in Alabama get ready to vote on company’s first union: Around 6,000 workers in an Amazon warehouse facility in Bessemer, AL will vote next month on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, reports NPR. For years, Amazon has fought the unionization of their American workforce despite unions being a strong presence in their European outposts. Voting will take place by mail due to the pandemic, lasting from February 8 to March 29.
An update on the body found in Seward Park yesterday: Police have arrested a man acquitted in a 2018 Seattle University shooting and bomb threat case as a suspect in the death of the woman found in Seward Park, reports CHS Blog. Police took Bryson Morgan into police custody yesterday; he has not yet been charged.
Daddy’s little girl posts some propaganda: Ivanka Trump posted a tweet that linked to a White House page boasting the Trump administration’s accomplishments. I made it to the third line that starts with “Before the China Virus invaded our shores” and my eyes rolled back into my skull. What would your “Trump Administration Accomplishments” page look like? Would you tally how many COVID-19 deaths Trump racked up? The amount taxpayers spent on Trump’s golf course visits? The nights you lay awake in bed worried about Trump inciting a nuclear war?