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The D.C. Skyline: Small Stature with a Big Impression

Hot Topics | December 4th, 2020

The skyline of Washington D.C. is easily recognized and beloved by residents, but noticeably lacks any tall buildings. There’s a pervasive myth that a city law prevents buildings from surpassing the height of the U.S. Capitol or the Washington Monument. While that would make an interesting factoid if true, the reality is that building heights in the capital are capped by a rather vanilla 1910 zoning law.

Here are this week’s big headlines:

Vaccine recommendations, not directives

  • By a 13-1 vote, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel issued non-binding guidance outlining which Americans should be prioritized to receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine following an FDA approval. It is now up to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield to decide whether to elevate the recommendations to official CDC guidance. However, as POLITICO notes, states will have final discretion on distributing vaccines, and won’t necessarily have to follow this guidance. (The Hill
    • Read More: Roll Call provides an overview of what will happen following FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate. 

Who’s in and who’s out

  • Who’s out: Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist who served as a COVID-19 advisor to President Trump, resigned from his post this week. Dr. Atlas frequently clashed with public health officials and medical experts over his optimistic projections on the pandemic and his advocacy for a herd immunity strategy. (POLITICOThe Hill)
  • Who’s in: President-Elect Joe Biden asked Dr. Anthony Fauci to remain at the helm of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and to serve as chief medical advisor in his administration. (POLITICOThe Hill)
  • Who’s staying in Rhode Island: Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo (D) was seen as a top contender to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). However, she told reporters Thursday that she would not be President-Elect Biden’s nominee for this cabinet position.

A distant, but not defeated COVID-19 deal

  • This week a bipartisan group of Representatives and Senators held promising talks on a $908 billion COVID-19 stimulus package. Though the chances of passing a bill before the end of the year remain small, the talks held this week represent the most progress Congress has made on a stimulus bill in months. (AxiosThe Hill)

Canada says no, eh? 

  • Health Canada, the Canadian agency overseeing federal health policy, issued a press release stating that certain drugs intended to be consumed by Canadians would be banned from distribution outside of Canada. The policy is targeted at the United States, which has floated proposals at the federal and state level to import drugs from Canada as a means of lowering drug prices. (POLITICO
    • Read more: As recently as October, Florida was seeking to engage a vendor to import drugs from Canada. (Kaiser Health News)

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