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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana University football head coach Tom Allen was named Coach of the Year by the Big Ten Conference on Thursday.

Allen led the team to a No. 7 ranking this year along with a 6-1 record, Indiana’s best overall start since 1993.

He received the title from both a coaches’ vote, the Hayes-Schembechler Coach of the Year, and from a media vote, the Dave McClain Coach of the Year.

Allen is just the second Indiana head coach in history to earn the recognition, after Bill Mallory did so in 1986 and 1987.

Some of IU football’s biggest achievements this season include ranking inside the top ten for five weeks, which is the most Indiana has since 1967. The team’s win over Penn State was also the team’s first top ten win at home since 1967, when they beat Purdue, ranked number three at the time.

Allen was also named the AFCA Region 3 Coach of the Year and is up for the Dodd Trophy and Paul “Bear” Bryant Awards.

CHICAGO (AP) — From speculation that the coronavirus was created in a lab to hoax cures, an overwhelming amount of false information clung to COVID-19 as it circled the globe in 2020.

Public health officials, fact checkers and doctors tried to quash hundreds of rumors in myriad ways. But misinformation around the pandemic has endured as vexingly as the virus itself. And with the U.S., U.K. and Canada rolling out vaccinations this month, many falsehoods are seeing a resurgence online.

A look at five stubborn myths around COVID-19 that were shared this year and continue to travel:


In fact, they do.

However, mixed messaging early on caused some confusion. U.S. officials initially told Americans they did not need to wear or buy masks, at a time when there was a shortage of N95 masks for health workers. They later reversed course, urging the public to wear cloth masks and face coverings outside.

The early messaging gave people “a little more room to take up these narratives” against wearing masks, explained Stephanie Edgerly, a communications professor at Northwestern University.

Some social media users, for example, are still circulating a video from March of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, saying people “should not be walking around with masks,” although he has since urged people to cover their faces in public. Versions of that clip have been watched millions of times on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Online claims that masks are not an effective form of protection spiked again in October after U.S. President Donald Trump and two U.S. senators contracted COVID-19 during a Rose Garden ceremony, according to media intelligence firm Zignal Labs. Social media users claimed that the coverings must not be effective because the senators wore masks at some points during the event.

But masks do prevent virus particles from spreading. Last month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which continues to advise Americans to wear masks, cited research that suggested masks can protect the wearer as well as other people.


It was not.

Social media users and fringe websites weaved together a conspiracy theory that the virus was leaked — either accidentally or intentionally — from a lab in Wuhan, China, before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March. The falsehood was espoused by elected officials, including Trump.

The origins of the virus are far less scandalous: It likely originated in nature. Bats are thought to be the original or intermediary hosts for several viruses that have triggered recent epidemics, including COVID-19. U.S. intelligence agencies also concluded the virus is not man-made.

Yet the conspiracy theory continues to travel online, and made a resurgence in September when a Chinese virologist repeated the claim on Fox News.


In fact, COVID-19 has proved to be far deadlier.

Early similarities between the symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza led many to speculate that there was not much difference between the two illnesses. Social media posts and videos viewed thousands of times online also claim that COVID-19 is no deadlier than the flu. Trump tweeted a faulty comparison between the flu and COVID-19 in March and October, as states implemented stay-at-home orders.

COVID-19 has been blamed for more than 300,000 American deaths this year, and has killed roughly 1.5 million worldwide. By comparison, the CDC estimates there are 12,000 to 61,000 flu-related deaths annually.

COVID-19 symptoms can be far more serious and persist for months. Health experts have also uncovered a range of bizarre coronavirus symptoms, from brain fog to swollen toes.


They are not.

Social media users began photographing empty hospital waiting rooms earlier this year, claiming few people were sick with COVID-19. The photos and videos gained traction with the #FilmYourHospital hashtag, part of a right-wing conspiracy theory that public health officials and politicians were exaggerating COVID-19’s deadly toll. But fewer people are in waiting areas because hospitals started taking appointments virtually, canceling elective procedures and prohibiting visitors during the pandemic.

This month, a Nevada doctor’s selfie at an empty makeshift care site set up to handle additional coronavirus patients was shared online as evidence that hospitals are not full. However, the photo was taken on Nov. 12, before the site opened. It has since served at least 200 patients.


That’s not true.

Anti-vaccine supporters have been pushing this conspiracy theory since January, when some falsely claimed online that the virus had been patented by pharmaceutical companies as a scheme to cash in on the illness. Some targeted billionaire and vaccine advocate Bill Gates, claiming he was part of a global plan around COVID-19 to microchip billions of people through mass vaccinations. Gates has not threatened to microchip anyone. Instead, he suggested creating a database of people who have been inoculated against the virus.

Skepticism also has grown around the speed of vaccine development. A video viewed nearly 100,000 times on social media, for example, falsely claimed pharmaceutical companies skipped animal trials for the vaccines. In fact, the vaccines were tested on mice and macaques.

The U.K., Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have authorized Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine. The FDA will review Moderna’s shot Thursday.

Still, only about half of Americans say they are willing to get the vaccine, according to a survey this month by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Ongoing misinformation around the vaccine might drive some of that hesitancy.

“I don’t think it was one myth that caused the problem,” said Nancy Kass, deputy director for public health at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. “It’s the fact that there were many, many, many myths.”

(CNN) — Over the past 30 years, Maral Boyadjian has built up a family real estate business consisting of eight homes in Southern California that she and her husband rent out.

“Some people spend their money on a bigger home or better car or travel, but we live modestly,” said Boyadjian. “Whatever money we can put together, we spend it on buying another single-family home to rent.”

Typically, the rents from the homes enable the couple to cover all their expenses and earn income. But now tenants in three of their properties in the San Fernando Valley, haven’t paid their rent for months. The couple can’t remove those tenants because of a state eviction moratorium, which was extended until January 31.

Of the three tenants that are behind, one has arranged to pay 25% of rent now and the rest later. Boyadjian said she is happy to work with that tenant, because at least an effort is being made and she’s getting something. Others, like those who have not paid any rent since August, leave her feeling like she’s being taken advantage of.

“Owning a property and collecting rent on it is my way of making a living,” she said. “There has been no government aid coming my way. Our income has been sliced. We don’t get unemployment.”

So far, she has been able to continue to meet her financial obligations. She makes property tax payments and pays the insurance. She not only pays for utilities like water, but also for gardeners and pool maintenance.

“We’ve been able to pay our mortgages, but we’re really in danger of not being able to on two properties,” Boyadjian said. “This is not sustainable.”

Eviction moratoriums causing uncertainty

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on — with unemployment still highgovernment support dwindling and the status of future stimulus unknown — landlords are suffering.

An estimated 9.2 million renters who have lost income during the pandemic are behind on rent, according to an analysis of Census data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. And renter households with a job loss will owe an estimated average of $5,400 in back rent by this month, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

A national ban on evictions, put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to stop the spread of the virus, has meant many landlords must continue to pay to maintain and finance their properties with less rent coming in and no recourse to remove non-paying tenants.

“This is becoming a concern for landlords,” said David Howard, executive director for the National Rental Home Council, which advocates on behalf of the single-family rental industry. “With the eviction moratorium, you don’t know what the next step is. There is no certainty about when you’re going to get paid.”

If the CDC order is allowed to expire, as many as 5 million renters could face eviction across the country in January, with as many as 14 million renter households at risk of eviction, according to Stout, a global investment bank and advisory firm. But advocates for property owners doubt there will be anywhere near that many people facing homelessness.

“The stories are heartbreaking for everyone — people with medical problems or who have lost their jobs,” said Howard. “But I don’t see an eviction tsunami or an apocalypse coming. I think that message is coming from housing advocacy groups as a way to prevent any evictions.”

Still, there is an incentive to support property owners and to keep tenants in safe housing, Howard said. But finding the solution is tricky. He advocates for rental assistance in the form of direct payments to landlords or payments to tenants earmarked for rent.

Single-family homes account for half of all rental housing, he said, and the majority of those property owners are mom-and-pop landlords, many of whom may be operating on razor-thin margins, relying on rental income to cover the costs of the property and using what’s left as their income.

“The government is putting property owners in a situation where they are supposed to be the back-stop,” Howard said. “And many will say, ‘I can no longer afford to be in this business.’ “

Unable to maintain property

Peter Gray, president of Pyramid Real Estate Group in Stamford, Connecticut, is not only a property owner collecting rent on 30 of his own properties, but also a property manager who handles maintenance and rent collection for other landlords. While only a couple of his own tenants have stopped paying, some of his landlord clients are having trouble paying him.

“Usually we’re one of the last ones they stop paying,” he said. “We’re the ones collecting the rent. If they can’t pay their subcontractors, they are hurting.”

If landlords are struggling, tenants will also be affected as home maintenance slides.

“I’m seeing landlords who can’t pay for trash removal,” Gray said. “We’re getting ‘no heat’ calls. They aren’t paying real estate taxes. They aren’t paying their mortgage.”

He said one property his company manages had a plumbing problem that cost around $38,000. The owner did not pay the bill.

“We had to get an attorney involved and say we would no longer do maintenance or repairs for them,” he said. “We paid $38,000 for repairs and they’d like to owe us one?”

For the typical landlord in trouble, which he said is someone who bought their property in the last five years and is leveraged to the hilt, there are no reserves. “Despite tenant protection laws, these landlords don’t have the cash reserves, nor the equity in their building to get loans,” he said. “With the moratoriums, they’re taking hit after hit.”

Some landlords, he said, are being paid less and seeing the wear and tear on their property increase as grown children or friends double up after losing their own housing. Routine maintenance that was supposed to take place this year has in some cases been delayed or canceled because landlords just don’t have the money, said Gray.

“They can legislate the need to do timely repairs,” he said. “But for many landlords, there is no money.”

Gray said he has some non-paying tenants he is not able to evict because of the moratorium. But he’s found most of his tenants are communicating with him and making their best efforts to pay.

“It isn’t my style to take the last penny off the table,” he said. “I want my tenants to do well. I thought early in my career it may have been bad business not to be more aggressive. But it turns out it is good business to work with people.”

GENEVA (AP) — Russia will not be able to use its name, flag and anthem at the next two Olympics or at any world championships for the next two years after a ruling Thursday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Lausanne-based court halved the four-year ban proposed last year by the World Anti-Doping Agency in a landmark case that accused Russia of state-ordered tampering of a testing laboratory database in Moscow. The ruling also blocked Russia from bidding to host major sporting events for two years.

Russian athletes and teams will still be allowed to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics and the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, as well as world championships including the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, if they are not banned for or suspected of doping.

One win for Russia is the proposed team name at major events. The name “Russia” can be retained on uniforms if the words “Neutral Athlete” or equivalents like “Neutral Team” have equal prominence, the court said.

The burden of proof was also shifted away from Russian athletes and more toward WADA when their doping history is vetted for selection to the Olympics or other sporting events.

Russian athletes and teams can also retain the national flag colors of red, white and blue in their uniforms at major events. That was not possible for Russians at the past two track world championships.

Even with those concessions, the court’s three judges imposed the most severe penalties on Russia since allegations of state-backed doping and cover-ups emerged after the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

WADA president Witold Bańka hailed the court’s decision despite its preferred ban being cut to two years.

“The (CAS) panel has clearly upheld our findings that the Russian authorities brazenly and illegally manipulated the Moscow Laboratory data in an effort to cover up an institutionalized doping scheme,” Bańka said in a statement.

The case centered on accusations that Russian state agencies altered and deleted parts of the database before handing it over to WADA investigators last year. It contained likely evidence to prosecute long-standing doping violations.

The CAS process was formally between WADA and the Russian anti-doping agency, which refused to accept last year’s four-year ban. The Russian agency, known as Rusada, was ruled non-compliant last year — a decision upheld Thursday by the three judges.

Rusada was also ordered to pay WADA $1.27 million to cover investigation costs, plus it was fined $100,000 and ordered to pay 400,000 Swiss francs ($452,000) toward legal costs.

The Russian agency can appeal the sanctions to the Swiss supreme court in Lausanne.

The acting CEO of Rusada, Mikhail Bukhanov, said at a news conference in Moscow “it appears that not all of the arguments presented by our lawyers were heard.”

The judges’ 186-page ruling is expected to be published by CAS in the next few weeks.

In a brief extract in the court’s statement, the judges said their decision to impose punishments less severe than WADA wanted “should not, however, be read as any validation of the conduct of Rusada or the Russian authorities.”

The ruling does allow Russian government officials, including President Vladimir Putin, to attend major sporting events if invited by the host nation’s head of state.

When a four-day hearing was held in Lausanne last month, 43 Russian athletes and their lawyers took part as third parties arguing they should not be punished for misconduct by state officials not working in sports.

Giving WADA the lab database by a December 2018 deadline was a key condition for Rusada being reinstated three months earlier when a previous expulsion from the anti-doping community was lifted.

WADA investigators in Moscow eventually got the data one month late. Evidence of doping tests and emails appeared to have been deleted or changed, and whistleblowers like former lab director Grigory Rodchenkov were implicated.

WADA investigators went to Moscow two years ago to collect the database and begin verifying evidence that would help sports governing bodies prosecute suspected doping violations dating back several years.

Although Russia would be stripped of hosting world championships in the next two years, events can be reprieved. Governing bodies have been advised to find a new host “unless it is legally or practically impossible to do so.”

Russia is scheduled to host the 2022 world championships in men’s volleyball and shooting. The president of the shooting federation is Vladimir Lisin, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin.

Last year, the International Olympic Committee described the database tampering as “flagrant manipulation” and “an insult to the sporting movement.”

On Thursday, the IOC merely noted the verdict, adding it would consult sports governing bodies and the International Paralympic Committee “with a view to having a consistent approach in the implementation of the award.”

(CNN) — Breonna Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, wants to get the president-elect’s attention.

Palmer penned an open letter to President-elect Joe Biden in a full page ad that ran in a weekday edition of the Washington Post, asking Biden to hold police accountable by enacting a list of measures and policy changes to address police brutality once he is sworn into office.

Taylor, 26, was shot and killed by Louisville police in a botched raid in March, and her death has been one of the enduring tragedies motivating this year’s elevated calls for racial justice and police reform.

“Her murder sparked protests across America and inspired activists to demand accountability in policing across the nation,” Palmer wrote in the letter. “So far, we have seen none.”

Louisville Police Chief Steve Conrad announced his retirement in May amid growing pressure around the case, and was later fired. A grand jury eventually brought three charges of wanton endangerment against Brett Hankison, one of the three officers on the scene at the time of Taylor’s death.

But so far, none of the officers have been charged with her murder.

The letter lays out a list of suggestions

In her letter, Palmer also discusses Biden’s campaign, in which he publicly pledged to combat institutional racism and reestablish a police oversight committee. Black voters in major cities were instrumental in Biden’s victory in states such as Georgia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. The Breonna Taylor Foundation also offered free rides to Louisville voters to polling sites.

“For many Americans, a vote for you was a vote for Breonna, Jacob Blake, Casey Goodson and so many others who have been failed repeatedly by the criminal justice system under the current administration,” Palmer wrote.

The letter ends with a list of suggestions for Biden to enact, including appointing people to the Department of Justice with a track record of addressing police brutality, reopening brutality cases that weren’t completed before the Obama administration ended, ordering large scale federal investigations into cases such as Taylor’s and investigations into police departments with high police brutality cases.

“We need your actions to show that you are different than those who pay lip-service to our losses while doing nothing to show that our loved ones’ lives mattered,” Palmer wrote.

The letter also directs readers to a website where they can see the full-length ad and find a list of demands for the Biden administration. The initiative is a part of the Grassroots Law Project, which was co-founded by Shaun King and Lee Merritt.

The Biden administration has yet to publicly respond to Palmer’s letter.

BELLE PLAINE, Kan. (AP) — The dashcam video captured a horrific scene: a Kansas sheriff’s deputy in a patrol truck mowing down a Black man who was running, shirtless, across a field in the summer darkness after fleeing a traffic stop.

Lionel Womack — a 35-year-old former police detective from Kansas City, Kansas — alleges in a excessive force lawsuit filed Thursday that he sustained serious injuries when Kiowa County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Rodriguez intentionally drove over him during the Aug. 15 encounter.

Womack said in a statement that he hadn’t been speeding nor was he under the influence of anything when he was initially pulled over. His driver’s license, insurance and registration were up to date.

“When the first officer turned his lights on, I pulled over and complied … exactly as you’re supposed to. But when three additional vehicles pulled up quickly and started to surround my car, I freaked out. That’s when I took off, it was a ‘fight or flight’ moment and I was going to live,” he said. “I felt like I was in danger. This was out in the country, late at night, and it was dark. So I ran for my life. That’s what you see in the dashcam video. I’m running in an open field, and I’m scared.”

The graphic video is at the crux of the federal civil rights case filed by attorney Michael Kuckelman against the deputy in U.S. District Court in Kansas. The lawsuit argues that Rodriguez used excessive force and was “callously indifferent” to Womack’s civil rights.

Womack had left the police department earlier in August with hopes of growing his own security business. He was on his way back home from a business trip to California when a Kansas Highway Patrol officer in western Kansas initiated a chase over “an alleged traffic violation,” according to the lawsuit. Sheriff’s deputies from Pratt County and Kiowa County joined in the chase.

The car chase eventually ended on a dirt road, and Womack took off on foot across a nearby farm field.

The dashcam footage from a Pratt County sheriff’s deputy’s vehicle shows Rodriguez using his patrol truck to catch up to Womack, who was unarmed.

Rodriguez swerves his truck to hit Womack, knocking him to the ground and running over him. Womack rolls out from under the truck, his arms and legs flailing on the ground as someone on the video shouts, “lie down, lie down.” A deputy in the second patrol truck can be heard uttering an expletive as he watches what is happening.

Womack alleges in his lawsuit that he sustained serious injuries to his back, pelvis and thigh as well as to his right knee, ankle and foot.

“The dashcam video is disturbing,” Kuckelman said. “It is impossible to watch a video of a deputy driving his truck over Mr. Womack without feeling sick. There was nowhere for Mr. Womack to go. It was an open field, and he was trapped, yet the deputy drove his truck over him anyway.”

Neither Kiowa County Sheriff Chris Tedder nor his attorney has responded to Associated Press requests for comment. No one has explained why Rodriguez chose to run Womack down. The deputy’s race is unclear.

Kuckelman urged Tedder in person and in letters to fire Rodriguez, and the sheriff has refused. Rodriguez remains on patrol. Kuckelman also wants Rodriguez charged criminally and has accused the sheriff of engaging in a coverup of the deputy’s conduct.

Four months later, Womack remains jailed on felony charges of attempting to elude a law enforcement officer by engaging in reckless driving and interference with a law enforcement officer. Court records show he is also charged with several misdemeanor traffic citations, including failure to drive in the right lane on a four-lane highway, improper signal and driving without headlights.

Womack comes from a law enforcement family. His wife and his mother are police officers with the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department. His stepfather retired from police work as a sergeant there. Two aunts are police dispatchers.

Zee Womack watched the video of her husband being run over for the first time on Wednesday, replaying it four times as she struggled to understand why the deputy felt justified in using such force. Her husband is lucky to be alive, she said.

“I am a police officer as well, and I feel like especially right now it is a really difficult time to be a police officer. We don’t always get the support, I guess, that would be helpful in this occupation,” she said shortly after watching the video. “And this makes it a lot more difficult to be an officer.”

An officer who is capable of making decisions like that, she said, should not have a badge.

“To me it showed a blatant disregard for human life,” she said. Zee Womack filed a federal lawsuit last year alleging “rampant racism and sexism” in the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department.

Lionel Womack said in his statement that most police officers are good and that he believes in the “blue brotherhood.”

“But we have to hold law enforcement accountable when they cross the line,” he said “These rogue law enforcement officers give a bad name to the good officers, and we have to stop them. I never imagined that I would someday be the victim of excessive force by a fellow law enforcement officer. He could have easily killed me.”

 (CNN) — The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine being rolled out across the US should be safe for just about anyone — even the frailest elderly people.

Under the emergency use authorization the vaccine got from the US Food and Drug Administration Friday, it can be given to anyone 16 and older. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation is that it should be safe for almost everyone.

A health worker in Alaska with no history of vaccine allergies did have an allergic reaction after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, but health experts believe these kinds of adverse reactions will be extremely rare.

“These vaccines are very well tolerated from the data we’ve seen,” said Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist with Allergy & Asthma Network and co-investigator on several Covid-19 vaccine trials. She is also a professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

“We’re in a life threatening pandemic. We have no defense. So, for most people, they should absolutely get it, there’s very, very few cases that you could argue someone shouldn’t get it.”

Here’s what we know so far about who should, and, possibly shouldn’t, get a COVID-19 vaccine.

People with vaccine allergies

The FDA put only one group in the category of those who should not get the vaccine: people who have a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

A warning on the vaccine label adds that medical facilities should keep treatments to manage allergic reactions immediately available.

Two healthcare workers in the UK who had a history of severe reactions to vaccinations did have adverse reactions within minutes of getting the COVID-19 shot. Both workers recovered and are doing well, according to National Health System England.

In the UK people with vaccine allergies are not being vaccinated for now. In the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said people with a history of vaccine allergies can get the COVID-19 vaccine. Those patients, though, should be told about the unknown risks. Parikh said they may also want to, but are not required to, check in with their doctors.

“A doctor can dig through your history and see what are the chances are of you having a reaction or not,” Parikh said. “It’s just a very, very small percentage that need that evaluation.”

Patients who have had allergic reactions to vaccines in the past should be monitored for 30 minutes after getting the vaccine, according to the FDA guidance. For people without allergies, the recommendation is a 15 minute observation time.

People with other allergies

People with other allergies, like food or mold allergies, should be fine to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“In the clinical trials, we actually did not exclude people with allergies, even people with severe food allergies. We only excluded people if they had allergies to vaccine for the Pfizer trial, so that being said, there may have been thousands of people who had allergies and received the vaccine with no issue,” said Parikh.

Pregnant and lactating women

Since there is not enough data yet on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women, it’s up to them if they want to get the vaccine, according to Dr. Peter Marks, the director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

“Covid-19 in a pregnant woman is not a good thing, so someone might decide that they would like to be vaccinated, but that’s not something that we’re recommending at this time,” Marks said at a news briefing Saturday. “That’s something we’re leaving up to the individual.”

The Pfizer clinical trials did not actively enroll pregnant women, but 23 volunteers became pregnant during the course of the trial. There have been no adverse events. Pfizer/BioNTech said it will continue to monitor those women.

According to observational data, the absolute risk to pregnant women is considered low. Since mRNA vaccines do not contain any live viruses, they should degrade quickly and won’t enter the nucleus of the cell. They cannot cause genetic changes.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommended that vaccines “should not be withheld from pregnant individuals who meet criteria for vaccination.”

The clinical trial did not include women who were breastfeeding, but mRNA vaccines are not thought to be a risk to a breastfeeding infant; therefore, ACOG said the vaccine should be offered to those women as well.

People with underlying medical conditions and the elderly

People with underlying medical conditions and the elderly can get the Covid-19 vaccine.

Late stage clinical trials of the Pfizer vaccine showed similar results for people with underlying conditions, compared to people who were healthy.

Older adults also tended to report fewer and milder adverse events after they were vaccinated in the clinical trials, according to the company.

The immunocompromised

The vaccine may be appropriate for people who have a suppressed immune system due to a condition or disease or because they are undergoing a treatment for a disease like cancer. This should be an individual’s decision, according to CDC guidance.

There were immunocompromised volunteers with stable HIV infections in the Pfizer trial, but there is no specific data about this population, so there is insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the safety of the vaccine with these patients.

“For pregnant women and the immunocompromised — just at this point — it will be something that providers will need to consider on an individual basis for patients,” said Marks.

People who have or had COVID-19

Late stage clinical trial data suggested the vaccine was safe and helped protect people with past Covid-19 infections from reinfection. This was regardless of their past case being mild or severe.

A person who is currently sick with COVID-19 should, however, wait to get the vaccine after their symptoms have cleared up and they can come out of isolation. There’s no recommended minimum time between infection and vaccination.

People who’ve taken a COVID-19 antibody treatment

There is no safety data on people who have been given an antibody therapy or convalescent plasma to treat a COVID-19 infection.

Since reinfection seems to be uncommon in the 90 days after the initial infection, as a precaution, the CDC recommends the person wait at least 90 days.

There’s no data that shows a vaccine would protect someone who has been recently exposed. A person isn’t fully protected until one or two weeks after they get the second dose of the vaccine.


Teens who are 16 and 17 can be vaccinated when there is the appropriate consent from an adult.

More than 153 teens ages 16 and 17 were included in the Pfizer trial and the early analysis of that data found no safety issues.

Details about how this age group reacted to the vaccine are limited, but the CDC said there “are no biologically plausible reasons for safety and efficacy profiles to be different than those observed in persons 18 years of age and older.”

Coronavirus links

Indiana coronavirus timeline

With information from the Indiana Department of Health through March 4, 2021, this timeline reflects updated tallies of deaths and positive tests prior to that date.

(CNN) — Free stock-trading app Robinhood has agreed to pay a $65 million fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission to settle charges that it engaged in deceptive practices that hurt its clients.

Specifically, the regulator said Robinhood did not disclose the “receipt of payments from trading firms for routing customer orders to them, and with failing to satisfy its duty to seek the best reasonably available terms to execute customer orders.”

The SEC said that Robinhood benefited from completing trades at prices that were less than optimal for its clients. In aggregate, those fees deprived customers of $34.1 million, even after taking into account the savings from the commission-free trades.

The regulators said the deception took place at a time when Robinhood’s trading app was growing rapidly in popularity. The firm added 3 million funded accounts between January and April alone, a 30% growth spurt, according to an earlier statement from the company. About half of those new users were first-time investors.

“Robinhood provided misleading information to customers about the true costs of choosing to trade with the firm,” said Stephanie Avakian, director of the SEC’s enforcement division. “Brokerage firms cannot mislead customers about order execution quality.”

Robinhood settled the case without an admission of guilt and said it has changed the practices cited in the complaint. The company claims to have significantly improved its practices and said it has established relationships with additional market makers to ensure the best trades possible for its customers.

“The settlement relates to historical practices that do not reflect Robinhood today. We recognize the responsibility that comes with having helped millions of investors make their first investments, and we’re committed to continuing to evolve Robinhood as we grow to meet our customers’ needs.” said Dan Gallagher, Robinhood’s chief legal officer.

But the rapidly growing firm has faced criticism over other practices this year.

Massachusetts securities regulators alleged Wednesday that the platform’s “gamification” of trading is designed to encourage and entice continuous and repetitive use of its trading app by its mainly Millennial customer base.

The agency said Robinhood is violating state law and skirting regulations by failing to take steps to protect its customers and safeguard its system from the dozens of outages and disruptions that were triggered by its rapid growth this year.

Robinhood said it disagrees with the state’s allegations and plans to “vigorously” defend itself. The firm said it has made improvements to its trading options, added more safeguards and enhanced educational materials.

“Millions of people have made their first investments through Robinhood, and we remain continuously focused on serving them,” the company said in response to the Massachusetts complaint. “Robinhood is a self-directed broker-dealer and we do not make investment recommendations.”

In July US lawmakers criticized Robinhood after the apparent suicide of a 20-year-old student who saw a negative balance of $730,000 on his account that turned out not to be accurate. The firm pledged to work with lawmakers to improve safeguards.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A federal grand jury has charged six men with conspiring to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in what investigators say was a plot by anti-government extremists who were angry over her coronavirus policies.

The indictment released Thursday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge levied the conspiracy charge against Adam Dean Fox, Barry Gordon Croft Jr., Ty Gerard Garbin, Kaleb James Franks, Daniel Joseph Harris and Brandon Michael-Ray Caserta. They are all from Michigan except for Croft, who lives in Delaware.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, Birge said in a statement.

The six were arrested in early October following an FBI investigation into an alleged plot to kidnap the Democratic governor at her vacation home in northern Michigan.

Defense attorneys have said their clients were “big talkers” who didn’t intend to follow through on the alleged plan.

The indictment repeats allegations made during an October hearing, where agent Richard Trask testified that the men were involved with paramilitary groups.

Fox and Croft attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, at which the possible kidnapping of governors and other actions were discussed, the indictment states.

It says Fox later met Garbin, a leader of a Michigan group called the “Wolverine Watchmen,” at a rally outside of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing. At a meeting in Grand Rapids, the two men and other members of the Watchmen agreed to work together “toward their common goals,” the document says.

It describes live-fire “field training exercises” and other preparations, including the surveillance of Whitmer’s vacation house and the exchange of encrypted messages.

During one training event, “they practiced assaulting a building in teams, and discussed tactics for fighting the governor’s security detail with improvised explosive devices, a projectile launcher, and other weapons,” the indictment says.

They also discussed destroying a highway bridge near Whitmer’s house to prevent law enforcement from responding, it states.

The indictment says that in an electronic message, Caserta wrote that if the men encountered police during a reconnaissance mission, “they should give the officers one opportunity to leave, and kill them if they did not comply.”

They were arrested after four members scheduled an Oct. 7 meeting in Ypsilanti, west of Detroit, to meet an undercover FBI agent and buy explosives and other supplies, the indictment says.

ATLANTA (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence is seemingly holding rallies everywhere in Georgia lately — except Atlanta and its inner suburbs.

Pence was returning Thursday for events in Columbus, on the state’s western edge, and Macon, in middle Georgia, to support Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler before runoff elections on Jan. 5 that will determine control of the Senate.

The vice president has previously stopped in Augusta in the east, Savannah on the coast and the north Georgia cities of Gainesville and Canton, in the far reaches of metro Atlanta’s exurbs. President Donald Trump rounded out the map with a Dec. 5 rally in Valdosta, in south Georgia.

The anywhere-but-Atlanta strategy is a window into Georgia’s new political geography that put the state this year in the Democrats’ presidential win column for the first time since 1992.

Democrats dominate in the urban areas and in nearby suburbs. Republicans are increasingly dependent on high turnout in rural parts, small towns and small cities.

“The fact is they’re going to places where Republicans have the best margins, trying to energize their voters,” said Brian Robinson, a GOP strategist in Georgia. He noted that the events get statewide media coverage and, therefore, still reach Atlanta-area voters.

“In some of these rural counties, Perdue and Loeffler really need to hit 80-plus percent” of the vote, Robinson said, “and they need to juice the turnout in those counties as much as they can.”

Biden came to Georgia on Tuesday for a rally within a few miles of downtown Atlanta in support of Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. Democrats came out with a new ad Thursday that has Biden speaking directly into the camera about how much he needs a Democratic Senate majority to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

A win by either Perdue or Loeffler would keep the Senate in GOP hands. A sweep by Ossoff and Warnock would yield a 50-50 split in the upper chamber, giving the tiebreaking vote to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

“On Day One as your president, I’m prepared to sign a COVID relief package that fully funds the public health response needed, led by Georgia’s own CDC,” Biden says in the ad. “It will ensure free testing and vaccination for every American and will get small businesses the assistance they need right now. Let me be clear, I need Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the United States Senate to get this done.”

On Pence’s earlier trips, he has cited Perdue and Loeffler as the last line of defense to preserve work done under the outgoing Trump administration. Pence has stopped short of explicitly conceding that he and Trump lost the election.

Tim Phillips, president of the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, described two tracks of the Republican electorate: voters who identify more with Trump’s brand of populism and voters who fit more traditional GOP molds — a group that includes both Trump loyalists and Republicans who are uneasy with or dislike the president.

The first group dominates in small-town and rural Georgia, and it’s an important component of maximizing Republicans’ votes in the exurbs that ring the Atlanta metro area. That Trump-aligned faction also anchors Republican support around the Democratic cores of Georgia’s midsize cities such as Columbus, Augusta and Savannah.

That’s why Trump visited Valdosta, near the Florida state line, and drew supporters from across south Georgia, and why Pence’s trips have included Savannah and Macon to attract non-metro-Atlanta crowds, and Canton and Gainesville to hit the periphery of the metropolitan area.

In a battleground like Georgia, Phillips said, it takes strong turnout across all those slices to make a victorious Republican coalition, before even beginning to account for swing voters who are more common in the close-in suburbs of Atlanta.

Recent election returns demonstrate Phillips’ argument.

In 2014, Perdue won his first Senate term with a comfortable statewide margin of 198,000 votes over Democrat Michelle Nunn. Across the heavily Republican areas of north Georgia, beyond Gainesville, where he campaigned with Pence last month, Perdue consistently won as much as 75% of the vote. In Lowndes County, where Trump visited this month, Perdue won 12,513 votes, good for 58%.

In November, Perdue pushed his margins across many of the north Georgia counties to 80%. His raw vote total in Lowndes County spiked to 25,620. But despite all those gains, he led Ossoff by only 88,000 votes and failed to reach the outright majority required to avoid a runoff.


Associated Press writer Meg Kinnard in Augusta, Georgia, contributed to this report.