* More than 800,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week—roughly quadruple the pre-pandemic level.

* “There are no risk-free choices. A choice not to get a vaccine is not a risk-free choice—it’s a choice to take a different and more serious risk of getting infected from the virus itself.”–Tampa physician Minal Ahson, one of the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

* The national debt: $27.5 trillion.

* “A surge upon a surge.”–Dr. Anthony Fauci’s warning to Americans about a potential jump in COVID cases after the holidays.

* Needle phobia update: According to a study by the University of Michigan, roughly 16 percent of adult patients avoided the flu vaccine because of a fear of needles. And nearly 27 percent of hospital employees passed on the vaccinations for the same reason.

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