COVID shots, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Biden’s birthday: 5 things to know this weekend – USA TODAY

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Booster shots available to US adults

All U.S. adults can now receive COVID-19 booster shoots after the CDC director on Friday night signed off on a recommendation to expand availability of extra doses for those 18 and older. The Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech shots, which have been available to a select group for some time, should be immediately available to any adult who had their initial shots at least six months ago. People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine were already encouraged to receive a booster shot at least two months after their initial dose to bring their protection up to the same level as those who received the two-dose vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. Mixing and matching vaccine brands is permitted. 

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US opens COVID-19 booster doses to all adults

The U.S. is opening COVID-19 vaccine boosters to all adults and urging them for anyone 50 and older. The decision Friday seeks to simplify what’s been a confusing list of who’s eligible. Anyone 18 or older can choose a Pfizer or Moderna booster. (Nov. 19)

AP

Transgender Day of Remembrance: Thinking about those who lost

With this month’s killings of transgender women in South Carolina and Florida, 2021 has become the deadliest year for transgender and gender nonconforming people in the United States, a grim milestone as the community prepares to mark its annual Transgender Day of Remembrance and Resilience Saturday. The killings of Marquiisha Lawrence, 28, and Jenny De Leon, 25, bring the year’s total to 46. The count now exceeds 2020’s high of 44, a number that has been rising steadily in recent years. Since 2013, more than 250 transgender individuals have been killed in 37 states and transgender women of color account for four of every five victims, a Human Rights Campaign spokesperson said. Earlier this year, President Joe Biden spoke directly to the nation’s transgender community, saying: “I want you to know your president has your back.” While the administration has made strides, some activists feel political leaders still haven’t done enough to back up those words. 

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Transgender Awareness week: Rights, visibility and hate crimes

Transgender Awareness Week is devoted to raising the visibility of the trans community and addressing issues like military service.

STAFF VIDEO, USA TODAY

After a busy last day as a 78-year-old, President Joe Biden turns 79

After a busy final day as a 78-year-old that saw him get a physical and pardon two Thanksgiving turkeys, President Joe Biden turns 79 Saturday. He will spend his birthday in Wilmington, Delaware. Vice President Kamala Harris became the first woman to assume presidential power Friday, doing so for 85 minutes after Biden underwent a colonoscopy as part of a routine physical, according to the White House. During the colonoscopy, a single 3 mm benign-appearing polyp was identified and “removed without difficulty,” Biden’s physician, Dr. Kevin O’Connor, wrote in a summary of the president’s exam. The physical found Biden to be in overall good health, according to the summary. Later Friday, Biden pardoned two gobbling Indiana turkeys – Peanut Butter and Jelly – during a fun ceremony, that traditionally is an opportunity for presidents to crack jokes – often at their own expense – and usher in the holiday season. President George H. W. Bush made the pardon an American tradition by sparing a 50-pound bird in 1989.

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Brief Biden-Harris power transfer is historic

U.S. President Joe Biden briefly transferred power to Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday while he underwent a routine colonoscopy. It’s a history-making moment as Harris became the first woman to step in as acting president. (November 19)

AP

Brewing storm may threaten those with pre-Thanksgiving travel plans

AccuWeather meteorologists reported Friday they expect a “potent piece of energy to dive down over American airspace as it moves to the east and then develops into a winter storm over the Midwest this weekend.” Strong winds will develop from the Dakotas to Minnesota Sunday and then spread southeast across the Great Lakes and the Ohio Valley Sunday night, Accuweather said. East Coast cities such as New York City and Boston will likely be spared the worst of the weekend weather. But Accuweather notes that rainfall may cause travel slowdowns Monday and wind could disrupt air travel and cause hazards for motorists leading up to Thanksgiving. “We could be looking at a huge mess and a real wrench in holiday travel,” AccuWeather’s Jon Porter said earlier this week. Travel for Thanksgiving is expected to reach nearly pre-pandemic levels this year, AAA reports. The Transportation Security Administration said it expects to screen an estimated 2 million people per day at U.S. airports over the 10-day Thanksgiving travel period.

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Blustery storms to disrupt travel ahead of Thanksgiving

Heavy rain could snarl Thanksgiving travel plans at airports or on the roads in the mid-Atlantic

Accuweather, Accuweather

Cardi B hosts AMAs, with BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo set to perform

Sunday’s American Music Awards (ABC, 8 p.m. ET) will celebrate the latest and most popular in the industry. Following the 2020 AMAs, which saw an in-person show before vaccines were rolled out, this year’s show may prove to be safer by requiring attendees to be fully vaccinated and wear face masks. The AMAs – which will take place at Los Angeles’ Microsoft Theater – are one of the few awards shows driven by public voting, and for the first time, fans can vote for their favorite artist in every AMA category online and on TikTok. Cardi B will host, and BTS, Megan Thee Stallion, Olivia Rodrigo and Bad Bunny are scheduled to perform.  

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AMAs host Taraji P. Henson: ‘Taylor, call me, girl’

Taraji P. Henson is hosting the American Music Awards on Sunday. The actress says she’s out to prove she’s “more than just Cookie or a dramatic actress” and wouldn’t mind a Taylor Swift collaboration: “Call me, girl.” (Nov. 20)

AP