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Another relief bill faces an uncertain fate in Congress. Meanwhile, 50 people in the United States die from COVID-19 per hour. Want to do some good? Here's how to help on this Alex again. Happy first day of the last month of 2020.

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Quote of the year: 'Stupidity on steroids'

Lawmakers introduced a bipartisan framework for COVID-19 relief in the latest effort to break the logjam in negotiations. Their proposal faces an uncertain future in a divided Congress that has only weeks left in session. The roughly $908 billion plan is intended as a temporary package that would run until April. It includes a federal boost in unemployment insurance and a reization of the Paycheck Protection Program, among other provisions. "It would be stupidity on steroids if Congress left for Christmas without doing an interim package as a bridge," Sen. Mark Warner said. A note: This does not include another round of $1,200 checks. 

President-elect Joe Biden called on Congress to approve a “robust” economic relief plan “now” but lowered expectations for the package by acknowledging Tuesday that anything approved during the lame-duck session of Congress would be “just a start.”

Biden's economic team faces stiff resistance

Biden unveiled an all-star economic team as the U.S. struggles to dig out of the worst recession in a century. Analysts expect stiff resistance from a split Congress whose Republicans are reluctant to further swell the massive deficit. The lineup is likely to push for a more aggressive economic blueprint than the Trump administration sought, including a robust COVID-19 relief package and ambitious proposals to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, build a clean-energy economy and provide tuition-free community college. Biden wants to raise taxes on corporations and individuals earning more than $400,000.

What everyone’s talking about

50 deaths per hour

Ninety-nine new COVID-19 cases per minute. Fifty deaths per hour. This is the United States, a nation crushed by COVID-19. In November, 4.4 million new cases were reported, more than double any other month of the pandemic, and 36,918 Americans died. In the Dakotas and Illinois, there was more than 1 death per every 1,000 residents related to the coronavirus. The USA has reported more than 13.5 million cases and more than 268,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: 63.4 million cases and 1.47 million deaths.

All is not lost: Two COVID-19 vaccines are pending emergency use ization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, much to the credit of science adviser to Operation Warp Speed Moncef Slaoui. "Vaccines have always been my first love. That's what I like the most," he said in an interview with USA TODAY. Here's how he did it.

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  • YouTube's list of top-trending videos for 2020 is here – and some entertainment highlights earned a spot, Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.

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