TUESDAY, OCT. 27, 2020 | IN THIS ISSUE
• UI Hospitals & Clinics says vaccine could be imminent
• Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice
• Stocks fall as COVID cases surge and aid hopes die
• Amazon to hire 1,000 for Bondurant distribution center
• Iowa's road-use fund bounces back from drop in drivers
Your day ahead: events & weather
UI Hospitals & Clinics says vaccine could be imminent
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, the site of one of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine trials, says it could begin distributing the vaccine as soon as late November. The UI’s lead COVID-19 vaccine responder Dr. Brooks Jackson tells the Daily Iowan that despite widespread worries about political meddling, the vaccine could be ready within weeks, although it will be months before everyone has access. Dr. Jackson, who also serves as dean of the UI College of Medicine and the UI’s vice president for medical affairs, said the Pfizer vaccine trial has moved faster than any previous trials for vaccines, showing success in its first two trial phases and positioning it for emergency approval from the FDA next month.

Researchers are testing 48 vaccines in clinical trials on humans in a race to be first with a safe and effective vaccine, according to the New York Times. The paper notes that President Trump has frequently touted Pfizer’s progress, hinting that a vaccine would be available before the election – a notion Pfizer’s CEO has thrown cold water on.
Amy Coney Barrett sworn in as Supreme Court justice
Judge Amy Coney Barrett was sworn in last night as the U.S. Supreme Court's newest justice following a "lightning-fast" Senate approval along party lines, the New York Times reports. Justice Barrett is the 115th justice on the court, and the fifth woman to sit on its bench; she is also the first justice in 151 years to be confirmed without a single vote from the minority party, illustrating the deep rifts between the parties ahead of Election Day.

Her appointment – President Donald Trump's third to the court – creates a 6-3 conservative majority that could pave the way for curbs on abortion, expanded gun rights and the invalidation of the Affordable Care Act, Reuters notes. Speaking at a White House ceremony, Mr. Trump thanked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and called it a "momentous day" for America and the constitution, NPR reports.
Stocks fall as COVID cases surge and aid hopes die
Stocks tanked on Monday amid a surge in new COVID-19 cases and disappearing hopes an economic relief bill will materialize before a new president is inaugurated. The S&P 500 fell to its lowest level in a month while the Dow shed 650 points, as the United States, Russia and France all set daily records for infections, and U.S. hospitalizations leapt to a two-month high.
Analysts pointed to growing gloom about the political will to fight the virus or make strides toward more stimulus in Washington. “It’s a worrying picture for sure,” David Stubbs, head of investment strategy at J.P. Morgan Private Bank, told the Wall Street Journal. “But we always knew this recovery would be stop-start. We won’t be truly moving into the main part of a new cycle until the health-care issue itself is dealt with.”
Amazon to hire 1,000 for Bondurant fulfillment center
Amazon, which opened last-mile delivery centers in both Iowa City and Grimes earlier this year, will be hiring 1,000 warehouse workers for its new 645,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Bondurant. In a Monday announcement, the Des Moines Register reports, the company said it was gearing up for interviews for jobs paying an entry wage of $15 an hour plus benefits from 50% 401(k) matching to up to 20 weeks of parental leave. Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson told the Des Moines Business Record a large percentage of the Amazon hires will likely be those who lost jobs as a result of the pandemic, with the new jobs coming as the Des Moines statistical area is home to twice as many unemployed people today as a year ago. Mr. Swenson said a substantial number of those hired could be displaced restaurants, bar and hotels employees, who are likely to earn more at Amazon and would probably “not be rehired in those sectors anytime soon, if ever.”
Iowa's road-use fund bounces back from drop in drivers
Iowa's transportation revenue has fallen as the pandemic keeps drivers at home, but state planners now say the hit to the state's road-use fund will be less than originally feared, the Courier reports. Receipts from state taxes on fuel, vehicle registrations and car sales were about $40 million, or about 5.4%, under the $744 million expected – a fraction of the losses predicted in March and April, when the state's roadways were bare. “Back in the spring when all this started, we really had a lump in our throat,” said Scott Newhard, a spokesman for the Associated General Contractors of Iowa. “But as time progressed it wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be.”

Transportation leaders say they will likely continue with highway improvements and other construction projects expected to be complete during fiscal year 2021, although larger, multi-year projects, such as the I-380/80 interchange, have seen delays, KCRG-TV9 notes.
Your day ahead - today's events
Facebook Advertising, by Center for Business Growth and Innovation at UNI, 10-11 a.m., online. This webinar will focus on building a brand using Facebook, Facebook advertising, blogging and Instagram. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/377DH5A.
 
Structural Testing and Analysis for Iowa Manufacturers, by Iowa State University CIRAS, 11 a.m.-noon, online. This webinar is designed to explain the tools available to help companies test and analyze at ISU. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/31wsesL.
 
Managing Remote Workers, by Healthier Workforce Center of the Midwest and University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, noon-1 p.m., online. This panel discussion will highlight the health and safety concerns of managing employees remotely. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/31aCff3.
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast

Cold conditions remain with us for the early part of the week. Mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies take over as high pressure keeps control of the weather. On Thursday, a system moves to the south bringing more cloudiness. At this time it looks like all precipitation remains south of the state. Mother Nature brings a treat for Halloween weekend with milder conditions.