Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine gets CDC thumbs-up, shipping starts

Johnson & Johnson began distributing its vaccine Sunday, adding a third weapon to the country’s COVID-19 arsenal. An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on the recommendation soon afterward. The Johnson & Johnson shot was authorized Friday by the Food and Drug Administration for people 18 and older. It requires only one dose and does not have to be frozen. Johnson & Johnson said it began shipping its COVID-19 vaccine Sunday and expects to deliver enough single-shot vaccines by the end of March to enable the full vaccination of more than 20 million people in the U.S.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks easing COVID-19 restrictions could be premature: “It is really risky to say, ‘It’s over. We’re on our way out. Let’s pull back.'”

Donald Trump at CPAC: Ex-president tears into Biden

Donald Trump reentered political life Sunday by attacking President Joe Biden and condemning his Republican opponents. While ⁠Trump did not declare a 2024 presidential candidacy in his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference, he hinted at possibly running again while alluding to his false claims of Democratic vote fixing in 2020.⁠ “Who knows? I may even decide to beat them for a third time,” Trump said to cheers from the CPAC crowd.⁠ ⁠Trump also mentioned plans to inject himself into the 2022 congressional elections, backing Republicans who subscribe to his “Make America Great Again” agenda.⁠ ⁠This will be done as a Republican, Trump added, denying reports that he is thinking about starting a new political party. He told fellow Republicans that he will “continue to fight right by your side.”⁠

Real quick

  • Hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. Here’s what activists, lawmakers and police are doing to stop the violence.
  • Virginia is the first Southern state to vote to legalize recreational marijuana use in nod to racial justice. Critics say the bill falls short.
  • Former Notre Dame and NFL player Louis Nix III was found dead Saturday night. His family had reported him missing three days earlier.
  • House passes Joe Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill with $1,400 personal checks, legislation heads to Senate.
  • Golfers pay tribute to Tiger Woods, show support by wearing his Sunday colors.

Gov. Cuomo criticized for handling of sexual harassment probe

Gov. Andrew Cuomo apologized Sunday for any comments that have made female aides feel uncomfortable after accusations of sexual harassment have upended his administration, fueling an investigation and calls that he resign. The embattled Democratic governor issued a statement Sunday saying he intended his interactions with co-workers as playful and not aimed at being insensitive or flirtatious. The comments came after his office acquiesced Sunday to calls that Attorney General Letitia James select someone to conduct an independent investigation of the allegations against the governor. Cuomo was first accused Wednesday by former economic-development aide Lindsey Boylan of kissing her on the lips during a private meeting in 2018. On Saturday, 25-year-old former aide Charlotte Bennett told The New York Times she was repeatedly made to feel uncomfortable last year by Cuomo.

  • Second former aideaccuses New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.

At least 18 dead as Myanmar police ramp up use of force, per UN agency

Security forces in Myanmar opened fire and made mass arrests Sunday as they sought to break up protests against the military’s seizure of power. A U.N. human rights official said it had “credible information” that 18 people were killed and 30 were wounded. The Democratic Voice of Burma reported that as of 5 p.m. in Myanmar, there had been 19 confirmed deaths in nine cities, with another 10 deaths unconfirmed. The mark of 18 deaths would be the highest single-day death toll among protesters who are demanding that the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi be restored to power after being ousted by a Feb. 1 coup. Confirming the deaths of protesters has been difficult amid the chaos and general lack of news from official sources. But in many cases, photos and video circulated showed circumstances of the killings and gruesome photos of bodies.

Awards season starts now! Follow our live updates from the Golden Globes

The Golden Globes kicked off Sunday night with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler live from New York and Los Angeles. Fey and Poehler opened the show taking on COVID-era life, the lack of Black members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (“You guys have to change that,” Fey warned), and the fact that “smoking hot” first responders are in the live bicoastal audience instead of the usual A-listers like Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt. The first big win of the night? Daniel Kaluuya took home best supporting actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” And – maybe a sign of the times – either his mute was initially on during his virtual acceptance speech or there was a glitch. “You did me dirty!” he said once the snafu was fixed. We’re covering all the major moments (and controversies) in real time. Follow along with us here!

  • Golden Globes 2021 predictions:Who will win – and who should?

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press.

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