Biden transition data gap, Taylor Swift on "All Too Well," LAPD bans commercial facial recognition
THE BIG STORY
Joe Biden's COVID-19 team can't get the data it needs from the White House
As you read this, there are 63 days left until Joe Biden is inaugurated as the 46th president. Yet, even with coronavirus cases surging, Biden's transition team does not have access to the government's detailed data on COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, medical supplies, and hospitalizations.
The president-elect's team is dependent on only publicly available data and information. David Kessler, one of the cochairs of Biden's COVID-19 advisory board, told reporters, "We do not have access to official government data, internal data sets."
The Biden transition team has approached the lack of transition cooperation with balance — on the one hand, they've projected confidence that Biden can pull off a competent transition, but on the other warned that Donald Trump's refusal to cooperate will make it that much harder to get the pandemic under control.
Biden himself was direct when asked about the consequences of a delayed transition on the pandemic: "More people may die if we don't coordinate."
President-elect Joe Biden at the Queen venue in Wilmington, Delaware, Nov. 16. Roberto Schmidt / Getty Images
STAYING ON TOP OF THIS
Trump fired a top election cybersecurity official who repeatedly rebuked baseless claims of voting fraud
Until this week, Christopher Krebs was the head of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, also known as CISA. He was the top cybersecurity official in the US.
Krebs and his agency have repeatedly pushed back against baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election. As recently as Tuesday, Krebs retweeted an election security expert, writing that claims of election manipulation "have been unsubstantiated or are technically incoherent."
Chuck Grassley, one of the oldest members of Congress, has the coronavirus. Grassley, 87, is the second oldest US senator and third in line to the presidency. The senator's positive test results come during a surge in COVID-19 cases across the country, including his home state of Iowa.
Queen Dolly Parton donated $1 million to help fund a COVID-19 vaccine. Remember the news about Moderna's promising coronavirus vaccine results? It turns out the vaccine was partly funded by none other than Dolly herself. Is there anything Dolly can't do?
Taylor Swift said she was a "broken human" when she wrote "All Too Well." The song is among Swift's most memorable (in my personal top 5!), and has been a fan favorite for a long time. Swift reflected on being surprised the song picked up its own momentum: "I thought it was too dark, too sad, too intense."
CHANGE OF PLANS
Los Angeles police just banned the use of commercial facial recognition
First, a quick reminder that Clearview AI is a controversial software that scrapes images from social media and other websites and has built a database of billions of photos on which it's trained its technology.
The LAPD, the third-largest police department in the United States, was told that BuzzFeed News has seen documents that showed more than 25 LAPD employees had performed nearly 475 searches using Clearview AI as of earlier this year.