March 24, 2018 March for Our Lives By Sheila Fitzgerald March 24, 2018 March for Our Lives By Sheila Fitzgerald

Virginia expects a Johnson & Johnson shortage next week, Biden announces gun safety proposals, and the American Rescue Plan to support the houseless.

Daily Number

1939 – On this day in 1939, Marian Anderson performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. That day, she sang for an audience of 75,000 people.

Anderson was denied permission to perform at Constitution Hall in D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She was the first African America woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The exclusion of Anderson by DAR led to protests by the NAACP. Eventually, it also led to the resignation of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt from the organization.


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Shortfall Expected Next Week in Virginia

Following a mixup at one of Johnson & Johnson’s manufacturing plants, supply of that manufacturer’s vaccine to Virginia is dipping next week.

“As with the manufacturing of any complex biologic medication or vaccine, the start-up for a new process includes test runs and quality checks to ensure manufacturing is validated and the end product meets our high-quality standards,” said a statement by Johnson & Johnson. “This quality control process identified one batch of drug substance that did not meet quality standards at Emergent Biosolutions, a site not yet authorized to manufacture drug substance for our COVID-19 vaccine. This batch was never advanced to the filling and finishing stages of our manufacturing process.”

We reported on that mixup when it happened in this story by Amie Knowles.

According to reporting by The Virginian-Pilot, the Commonwealth will receive only 15,000 doses of that vaccine next week. That’s in comparison with the 125,000 doses that Virginia originally expected from the manufacturer next week.

Due to the shortage, plans in Virginia geared towards vaccinating college and university students will have to be postponed. That’s according to reporting by The Virginian Pilot. The Pilot also said the Commonwealth will receive a combined 200,000 of Moderna and Pfizer doses next week.

According to a press release by Johnson & Johnson, the company expects to deliver nearly 100 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the US by the end of May.


Biden Announces Gun Safety Proposals


American Rescue Plan Funding to Support Virginia Houseless

Virginia US Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced yesterday that nearly $97 million in federal funding will go towards efforts to combat houselessness in Virginia.

According to reporting by WFXR, $96,982,527 in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) is allocated to houseless programs in Virginia. That funding will be spread out among 21 localities and entities across the Commonwealth. 

The funding will go to help Virginians who are either houseless or who are at risk of houselessness. It can also go towards helping people fleeing domestic violence, according to WFXR.

The US Department of Urban Development awarded this money through the Homeless Assistance and Supportive Services program. The ARP includes funding for that program.

“We’re glad to see the American Rescue Plan provide this significant relief to directly address homelessness in the Commonwealth and ensure more Virginians have safe and affordable housing,” the senators said in a joint press release. “It’s critical that these federal funds continue to support those who’ve been struggling amid COVID-19.”


Question of the Day: Gun Violence Prevention


Thursday’s Trivia Answer: The Blue Whale

Whale, whale, whale. Consider me blown away if you didn’t get the answer to our trivia question Thursday. The biggest animal on Earth is the blue whale, of course. The average blue whale weighs 110,000 – 330,000 lbs and is between 82 and 79 feet long. If you think that overwhalemingly large, you’re not alone.