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:
MYTH: MASKS DON’T OFFER PROTECTION FROM THE VIRUS
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.
MYTH: THE VIRUS WAS MAN-MADE
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.
MYTH: COVID-19 IS SIMILAR TO THE FLU
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.
MYTH: OFFICIALS ARE EXAGGERATING COVID-19’S TOLL
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.
MYTH: THE VIRUS IS A PLOY TO FORCE GLOBAL VACCINATIONS
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 high, government 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 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.”
- Indiana State Department of Health coronavirus information (includes phone number to state hotline)
- Sign up for COVID-19 vaccinations in Indiana
- WISH-TV coronavirus coverage
- WISH-TV’s “Gr8 Comeback”
- Original Indiana Back on Track plan
- Revised Stage 3 of Indiana Back on Track plan (May 12-June 13)
- Revised Stage 4 of Indiana Back on Track plan (June 12-July 3)
- Governor’s order, July 1: Stage 4.5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Aug. 26: Extension of Stage 4.5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Sept. 24: Revised Stage 5 of Indiana Back on Track plan
- Governor’s order, Jan. 28, 2021: 11th renewal of statewide emergency
- Governor’s order, Feb. 25, 2021: 12th renewal of statewide emergency
- Indianapolis government’s COVID-19 Community Resources page
- Gleaners Food Bank distribution sites in Indianapolis area, south central Indiana
- Second Harvest of East Central Indiana “tailgate” food distribution sites
- Food Finders distribution sites in west and north central Indiana
- Coronavirus COVID-19 global cases map from John Hopkins University
- CDC’s coronavirus page
- Marion County Public Health Department coronavirus information
- U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
- Indiana PPE Directory (for businesses, nonprofits and schools only)
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.
- March 6, 2020: Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) confirms the first case in Indiana. Officials say the Marion County resident had recently traveled to Boston to attend a BioGen conference as a contractor.
- March 8: ISDH confirms a second case. A Hendricks County adult who had also traveled to the BioGen conference was placed in isolation. Noblesville Schools says a parent and that parent’s children will self-quarantine after attending an out-of-state event where someone tested positive.
- March 9: Avon Community School Corp. says a student on March 8 tested positive.
- March 10: ISDH launches an online tracker. Ball State University basketball fans learn the Mid-American Conference tourney will have no fans in the stands. Three businesses operating nursing homes in Indiana announce they will no longer allow visitors.
- March 11: The Indianapolis-based NCAA announces the Final Four basketball tournaments will happen with essential staff and limited family attendance. The Big Ten announces all sports events, including the men’s basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, will have no fans starting March 12. Ball State University suspends in-person classes the rest of the spring semester. NBA suspends all games, including the Indiana Pacers, until further notice. Butler University and the University of Indianapolis extend spring break, after which they will have virtual classes.
- March 12: Gov. Eric Holcomb announces new protections that led to extended public school closings and the cancellation of large events across the state. The NCAA cancels its basketball tournaments. The Big Ten suspends all sporting events through the winter and spring seasons. The league including the Indy Fuel hockey team suspends its season. Indy Eleven says it will reschedule four matches. Indianapolis’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled.
- March 13: The Indiana High School Athletic Association postpones the boys basketball tournament. Wayzata Home Products, a Connersville cabinet maker, shuts down and lays off its entire workforce due to market uncertainty. Holcomb announces actions including the elimination of Medicaid co-pays for COVID-19 testing and the lifting of limits on the number of work hours per day for drivers of commercial vehicles. Franklin College says it will begin online classes March 18 and empty residence halls of students in two days. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis closes indefinitely. The Indianapolis Public Library joins other libraries across Indiana and closes all facilities indefinitely.
- March 14: The Indiana Gaming Commission says all licensed gaming and racing operations will close in two days for an indefinite period.
- March 15: Indiana had its first death. St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis announces it will suspend all elective, non-urgent surgeries.
- March 16: Indiana had its second death. Gov. Holcomb announced the first Hoosier death. He closes bars, restaurants and nightclubs to in-person patrons, but maintains carryout and delivery services.
- March 17: Indiana had its third and fourth deaths. ISDH announces Indiana’s second death. Gov. Holcomb activates the National Guard. Purdue, Butler and Indiana State universities cancel May commencement ceremonies.
- March 18: Indiana had its fifth death. Eli Lilly and Co. says it will use its labs to speed up testing in Indiana. The 500 Festival suspends all events. Simon Property Group closes all malls and retail properties.
- March 19: Holcomb extends Indiana’s state of emergency into May. Holcomb says he’ll close all K-12 public and nonpublic schools; standardized testing was canceled. The state’s income-tax and corporate-tax payment deadline was extended to July 15. Holcomb says the state will waive job search requirements for people applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. Indiana’s high school boys basketball tournament was canceled.
- March 20: Indiana’s death toll rose to 9. ISDH announces Indiana’s third death. Holcomb moves the state’s primary election to June 2. Indiana University says it is postponing May commencement ceremonies on all campuses.
- March 21: Indiana’s death toll rises to 14. ISDH announces Indiana’s fourth death. Indiana National Guard says it and the state Department of Transportation are distributing medical supplies to hospitals.
- March 22: Indiana’s death toll rises to 18. ISDH announces seven deaths.
- March 23: Indiana’s death toll rises to 23. Holcomb orders nonessential Hoosiers to “stay at home” from March 24-April 7. Eli Lilly & Co. begins drive-thru testing for the coronavirus for health care workers with a doctor’s order. Ball State University cancels the May commencement.
- March 24: Indiana’s death toll rises to 28. Fred Payne of Indiana Workforce Development says any Hoosiers out of work, including temporary layoffs, are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.
- March 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 33. Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Indianapolis 500 is moved to Aug. 23.
- March 26: Indiana’s death toll rises to 42.
- March 27: Indiana’s death toll rises to 45.
- March 28: Indiana’s death toll rises to 58.
- March 29: Indiana’s death toll rises to 77.
- March 30: Indiana’s death toll rises to 91.
- March 31: Indiana’s death toll rises above 100, to 113. Holcomb extends the limits of bars and restaurants to offer only “to go” and “carryout” through April 6.
- April 1: Officials extend Marion County’s “stay at home” order through May 1. Marion County health officials say they will start COVID-19 testing services for front-line employees.
- April 2: The state announces K-12 schools will be closed for the rest of the school year. Indiana High School Athletic Association cancels spring sports seasons.
- April 3: Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. The Indiana National Guard says it, the Army Corps of Engineers and state health officials will begin to assess sites for alternate health care facilities.
- April 6: The state reports a Madison County nursing home has had 11 deaths. Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order through April 20. He also limits additional businesses to carry-out only.
- April 7: Indiana health commissioner Box says four long-term care facilities have 22 deaths that appear to be related to COVID-19.
- April 10: ISDH said 24 residents of a long-term care facility in Madison County have died from COVID-related illness.
- April 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 500.
- April 16: Indiana records more than 10,000 positive coronavirus tests. The governor says he expects Indiana to experience a reopening in early May.
- April 20: Holcomb extends the “stay at home” order to May 1. The governor also says if the medical supply chain is in good shape, other elective medical procedures can resume April 27.
- April 22: The Tyson facility in Logansport voluntarily closes so 2,200 employees can be tested for COVID-19.
- April 24: The Indianapolis City-County Council approves $25 million to help small businesses. Fishers City Council creates a city health department.
- April 25: ISDH says it will launch an antibody testing study for Hoosiers; thousands of residents were randomly selected to participate in the study.
- April 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 1,000.
- April 28: Indiana officials say they will open COVID-19 testing to more Hoosiers, with expanded criteria and new testing services at 20 sites around the state.
- April 29: The state says it will spent $43 million on contact tracing.
- April 30: Indianapolis extends its stay-at-home order through May 15.
- May 1: Gov. Holcomb announces a phased reopening plan for the state of Indiana. He also extends the “stay at home” order to May 4.
- May 3: Indiana records more than 20,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- May 4: Indiana enters Stage 2 of its Back on Track plan, which excludes Cass County until May 18, and Lake and Marion counties until May 11.
- May 6:The state begins testing for all Hoosiers at 20 sites, with plans to expand the number of sites to 50 in a week. Ivy Tech Community College says it will continue virtual classes when summer courses begin in June.
- May 8: Cris Johnston, director of the Office of Budget and Management, says the state missed out on nearly $1 billion in anticipated April revenues; all state agencies will be given budget-cutting goals. Purdue University OKs plans to reopen for the fall semester with social distancing and other safety measures.
- May 13: The first phase of a state-sponsored study of the coronavirus estimated about 186,000 Hoosiers had COVID-19 or the antibodies for the novel virus by May 1. Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans for limited reopenings of worship services, retail establishments, libraries and restaurants.
- May 15: Simon Property Group reopens Castleton Square Mall, Circle Centre Mall, and Fashion Mall at Keystone
- May 18: Indiana reports its first case of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in a child. The Farbest Foods turkey-processing plant in Huntingburg is closed for three days; 91 people had tested positive there.
- May 21: Indiana records more than 30,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- May 22: Indiana advances to Stage 3 of the Back on Track reopening plan. Indianapolis closes portions of five streets to allow restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining only.
- May 26: Indiana’s death toll rises above 2,000.
- May 27: Indiana University says the fall semester will have in-person and online courses, plus an adjusted calendar through May 2021. Ball State University says the fall semester will be 13 straight weeks of in-person classes with no day off on Labor Day and no fall break.
- May 29: Places of worship in Marion County can begin holding indoor services at 50% capacity with proper social distancing. Jim Schellinger, Indiana secretary of commerce, said the federal Paycheck Protection Program has made 73,430 loans in Indiana totaling $9,379,164,461, the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan program has made 5,070 loans in Indiana totaling $445,428,500, and the federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans Advance program has made 38,365 grants in Indiana totaling $136,554,000.
- June 1: Marion County restaurants begins serving customers indoors and outdoors with 50% capacity. Marion County salons, tattoo parlors reopen by appointment only. Marion County gyms, fitness centers and pools reopen with 50% capacity and no contact sports. However, a Marion County curfew that began the night of May 31 and continued into the morning of June 3 after rioting impacted the reopening of some businesses.
- June 3: Phase 2 of statewide testing of random Hoosiers by the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and the Indiana State Department of Health begins.
- June 5: Indiana reports May tax revenues were 20% short of projections made before the coronavirus closings started.
- June 8: Indianapolis leaders agree to spend $79 million in coronavirus relief funding on contact tracing, rent relief, personal protective equipment and support for small businesses.
- June 12: Indiana, excluding Marion County, advances to Stage 4 of reopening plan.
- June 15: Casinos and parimutuel racing reopen in the state. Marion County’s public libraries begin a phased reopening. Indiana records more than 40,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- June 19: Marion County advances to Stage 4 of state’s reopening plan.
- June 24: Holcomb says the state’s moratorium on the eviction on renters will be extended through July. Indiana announces it will create a rental assistance program July 13. Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon says he has tested positive for COVID-19.
- June 27: Indiana hospitalizations for COVID-19 begin to increase, with about 33 new patients a day through July 1.
- July 1: The governor pauses Stage 5 final reopening plan, announces Stage 4.5 from July 4-17.
- July 4: Indiana’s Stage 4.5 reopening plan begins.
- July 9: Indiana records more than 50,000 positive coronavirus tests. Marion County mandates mask-wearing.
- July 10: Indianapolis Public Schools announces its reopening plans.
- July 11: Indy Eleven resumes 2020 season with victory at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis reopens.
- July 13: Indiana begins rental assistance program for all counties but Marion County. Marion County begins its own rental assistance program.
- July 15: Indiana announces the Stage 4.5 reopening plan will continue another two weeks. The WNBA season begins.
- July 16: Indianapolis suspends applications for its rental assistance program due to overwhelming demand.
- July 24: Bars, taverns and nightclubs in Indianapolis are shut down again. City officials also return to other previous restrictions.
- July 25: Indiana Fever begins WNBA season after delays.
- July 27: Indiana governor’s order to wear face coverings begins. Great Lakes Valley Conference, which including University of Indianapolis, postpones most fall sports, including football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball, until spring.
- July 30: NBA season resumes.
- Aug. 4: Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the Aug. 23 Indianapolis 500 will be run without fans.
- Aug. 9: Indiana records more than 75,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Aug. 11: Indiana’s death toll rises above 3,000.
- Aug. 17: Indianapolis Public Schools restarts with online-only classes. News 8 learns the 2021 NBA All-Star Game will not happen on Presidents Day weekend in 2021.
- Aug. 20: Purdue University suspends 36 students after a party at a cooperative house.
- Aug. 21: Indiana high school football season begins with some teams not playing due to COVID-19 concerns.
- Aug. 23: Butler University tells undergraduates that instruction will occur remotely for the first two weeks of the semester, starting Aug. 24, instead of in classrooms.
- Aug. 24: Purdue, Indiana, IUPUI and Ball State universities resume in-person classes.
- Aug. 25: Reports say a fraternity, a sorority and a cooperative house at Purdue University are under quarantines.
- Aug. 26: Gov. Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Sept. 25. Indiana’s rental assistance program will take applications for one last day.
- Aug. 27: Indiana University says eight Greek houses are under 14-day quarantines.
- Sept. 2: Indiana University tells 30 Greek houses in Bloomington to quarantine.
- Sept. 6: Indiana records more than 100,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Sept. 8: Marion County allows bars and nightclubs to reopen with 25% capacity indoors and 50% capacity outdoors.
- Sept. 12: The Indianapolis Colts open their season with a loss in a Jacksonville stadium with a limited number of fans.
- Sept. 21: The Indianapolis Colts home opener is limited to 2,500 fans.
- Sept. 23: Gov. Eric Holcomb extends the mask mandate through Oct. 17.
- Sept. 24: The state’s mask mandate is extended through Oct. 17.
- Sept. 25: The Mid-American Conference announces it will start a six-game football season Nov. 4, with the championship game Dec. 18 or 19.
- Sept. 26: Indiana advances to a revised Stage 5 of Indiana Back on Track plan with relaxed limits on gatherings, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and more. Marion, Monroe and Tippecanoe counties decided to have more restrictive limits, however.
- Sept. 27: The Indianapolis Colts second home game is limited to 7,500 fans.
- Sept. 28: Purdue University says it’s suspended 14 students, including 13 student-athletes, for violations of a pledge designed to curb the coronavirus pandemic on campus.
- Sept. 30: The Indiana State Department of Health’s online coronavirus dashboard began showing data on positive coronavirus cases in Indiana schools.
- Oct. 1: IU’s website shows two additional fraternities and a sorority at the Bloomington campus have been issued “cease and desist” orders.
- Oct. 2: Franklin College suspends classes and moves to virtual education and activities through Oct. 9 after a “concerning and unusual” increase in the positivity rate for COVID-19.
- Oct. 12: Franklin College returns to in-person classes.
- Oct. 13: Indianapolis-based drugmaker Lilly pauses its trial of a combination antibody treatment for coronavirus for safety reasons.
- Oct. 14: Indiana health commissioner Dr. Kristina Box announces she has tested positive for COVID-19.
- Oct. 15: Gov. Holcomb issues executive order to extend mask mandate and Stage 5 reopening plan.
- Oct. 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 4,000.
- Oct. 18: The Indianapolis Colts third home game was limited to 12,500 fans.
- Oct. 23: The Big Ten begins its football season.
- Oct. 30: Gov. Holcomb extends the public health emergency through Dec. 1.
- Nov. 1: Indiana National Guard to begin deploying to long-term care facilities to provide coronavirus assistance. The Mid-American Conference football teams begins its six-game regular season.
- Nov. 5: Indiana records more than 200,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Nov. 8: The Indianapolis Colts fourth home game was limited to 12,500 fans. .
- Nov. 10: Indiana’s death toll rises to 5,000.
- Nov. 12: Indianapolis calls for schools to go to virtual learning by Nov. 30.
- Nov. 15: Indiana adds coronavirus-control restrictions for all businesses and gatherings in counties with the highest number of new cases as part of an update to the statewide COVID-19 pandemic response.
- Nov. 16: Indianapolis limits capacity inside bars, private clubs, fraternal organizations and gyms to 25%; inside restaurants, libraries, funeral homes, swimming pools and shopping malls’ food courts to 50%; and inside religious services to 75%. Marion County Health Department requires preregistration for COVID-19 testing after increased demand at three drive-thru locations.
- Nov. 22: Indiana records more than 300,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Nov. 23: Indianapolis Public Schools returns to virtual learning through Jan. 18.
- Nov. 24: The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball seasons begin; some games had no fans in the stands.
- Nov. 25: Indiana’s death toll rises above 6,000.
- Nov. 26: Butler University men’s basketball cancels Nov. 29 game against Eastern Illinois after a positive COVID-19 test.
- Nov. 28: Butler University men’s basketball team postponed two more games because of a positive COVID-19 test.
- Dec. 1: Bankers Life Fieldhouse hosts its first NCAA men’s basketball game, Kansas vs. Kentucky, since the start of the pandemic.
- Dec. 2: Indianapolis ends its rental assistance program.
- Dec. 5: The men’s basketball game of No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 2, Baylor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse is postponed 90 minutes before tipoff after two Bulldogs test positive.
- Dec. 6: Indiana’s death toll rises above 7,000.
- Dec. 9: Indiana records more than 404,000 positive coronavirus tests. Holcomb says virus restrictions will now by county based on ratings that show the local virus spread. Indiana and Purdue universities cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game set for Dec. 12.
- Dec. 10: Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston says he tested positive for COVID-19.
- Dec. 11: The Pacers lose to the Cavaliers as the NBA preseason begins. The Carmel Walmart in Westfield closes for nearly two days to sanitize the store.
- Dec. 12: Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns tests positive for the coronavirus.
- Dec. 14: Health care workers receive the first coronavirus vaccinations in Indiana.
- Dec. 15: Vice President Mike Pence holds a roundtable in Bloomington at pharmaceutical maker Catalent on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Indiana and Purdue again cancel the Old Oaken Bucket football game that’d been reset for Dec. 18.
- Dec. 16: Indiana’s death toll rises above 8,000.
- Dec. 20: The Indianapolis Colts allows up to 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Houston Texans.
- Dec. 22: NBA starts league’s 75th season, delayed and shortened to a 72-game schedule because of the pandemic.
- Dec. 23: In response to the high volume of unemployment claims, Holcomb extends the suspension of certain requirements to expedite the hiring and training of temporary workers to more quickly resolve unemployment issues. Indiana Pacers to host first home game against New York Knicks with no fans present.
- Dec. 27: Indiana’s death toll rises above 9,000.
- Dec. 29: Indiana records more than 500,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Dec. 31: Indiana’s death toll for 2020 is 9,459 (as recorded through March 4, 2021).
- Jan. 1, 2021: Indiana’s death toll rises above 9,500.
- Jan. 3: The Indianapolis Colts allow 10,000 attendees at Lucas Oil Stadium for the team’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Jan. 4: Grades 1-12 schools in Marion County are allowed reopen to in-person learning. Perry Township Schools is the only district to reopen to in-person learning.
- Jan. 5: Purdue and Nebraska postpone a men’s basketball game over health and safety concerns.
- Jan. 7: Indiana’s death toll rises above 10,000.
- Jan. 8: Hoosiers 80 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- Jan. 13: Hoosiers 70 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine.
- Jan. 18: NFL announces the scouting combine will not happen in Indianapolis in February.
- Jan. 20: Indiana records more than 601,000 positive coronavirus tests. Indiana Pacers host up to 1,000 at a game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the first fans since the pandemic began.
- Jan. 21: Indiana’s death toll rises above 11,000.
- Feb. 1: Hoosiers 65 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine. The Indianapolis St. Patrick’s Day parade is canceled for the second year in a row.
- Feb. 4: More than 1,500 coronavirus deaths were added to the Indiana State Department of Health’s dashboard after an audit found they were not recorded. News 8 learns all games for the Big Ten men’s basketball tourney will move from Chicago to Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Feb. 7: Indiana to change school protocols for classroom quarantine and contact tracing.
- Feb. 14: Indiana’s death toll rises above 12,000. Indiana records more than 650,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- Feb. 17: Indiana officials announced plans for a $448 million program to give housing assistance to Hoosiers.
- Feb. 19: The NCAA says up to 25% capacity will be allowed for all rounds of the men’s basketball tourney including the Final Four. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway announces the May 30 Indianapolis 500 will have fans.
- Feb. 19: Indiana’s death toll rises above 12,100.
- Feb. 23: Hoosiers 60 and older can get the coronavirus vaccine.
- Feb. 25: Indiana records more than 660,000 positive coronavirus tests. Capacity limits at bars, restaurants, gyms, and music venues in Marion County were adjusted after a consistent trend in the community’s COVID-19 positivity rate.
- Feb. 25: Indiana’s death toll rises to 12,200.
- Feb. 28: Indiana National Guardsmen to end assistance to long-term care facilities.
- March 1: The 500 Festival Mini-Marathon says it will be virtual for the second year in a row.
- March 2: Hoosiers 55 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- March 3: Hoosiers 50 and older start receiving the coronavirus vaccine.
- March 4: News 8 learns up 8,000 fans will be allowed in Lucas Oil Stadium for Big Ten men’s basketball tournament games. Indiana records more than 665,000 positive coronavirus tests.
- March 5: A three-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic opens at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for 16,800 Hoosiers.
- March 12: A two-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic was set for Ivy Tech Community College in Sellersburg.
- March 18: NCAA men’s March Madness games, all of them at venues in Indiana, to start with First Four games in Bloomington and West Lafayette.
- March 26: A two-day, drive-thru, mass-vaccination clinic was set for Compton Family Ice Arena at the University of Notre Dame.
- March 31: Holcomb’s emergency declaration with county-based restrictions and a mask mandate set to end at 11:59 p.m.
- May 4: Indianapolis Indians set to begin delayed season with away game against Iowa Cubs.
(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.