Here are things to know for Wednesday, Jan. 20:
1. ‘We did what we came here to do’: Trump releases farewell address but doesn’t mention Biden by name
In his farewell address, President Donald Trump says he will pray for the success of the next administration.
The White House released excerpts of the video address ahead of its release Tuesday afternoon, a day ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. In the video, Trump said, “This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous.”
Trump also addressed the storming of the Capitol building by his supporters after he directed them to “fight” the election results showing he lost.
He said that “all Americans were horrified by the assault on our Capitol” and that “political violence is an attack on everything we cherish as Americans” and “can never be tolerated.”
2. ‘No longer have to stress’: Houston ‘Dreamers’ react to President-elect Joe Biden’s immigration plan
Positive news for thousands of immigrant families in the Houston area. Many are excited about the new possible pathway to citizenship but many are also cautiously optimistic.
“It boosts my emotions a lot because, at the end of the day, it’s exciting you’re able to say, ‘Hey, I’m from here now officially. What’s good you know?’” said DACA recipient, Adan Fuentes Miguel.
Miguel’s parents brought him to the U.S. when he was just a year old. He said he grew up in Houston and played sports in school. He’s now studying mechanical engineering at the University of Houston.
It’s all been possible because of DACA, the deferred action for childhood arrivals program. But with DACA, there’s also no pathway to legal status or citizenship. Miguel is hoping the Biden administration can come up with a plan and get it passed.
3. Federal student loan borrowers hopeful Biden administration will provide more relief
Federal student loan borrowers may receive some reprieve this month once President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
The Trump Administration in March paused student loan interest from accruing due to the pandemic.
President-elect Biden, on day one, plans to ask the Education Department to offer an extension to borrowers. Unless that happens, the student loan interest is set to resume on Feb. 1. The incoming president is also considering erasing $10,000 in federal student loan debt per person, which has sparked controversy.
4. ‘I don’t think there’s anybody to blame’: Local doctors ask for patience when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations
COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out across the Houston area but the process has not been perfect.
One of the big challenges: a limited supply.
“When you have sort of a lumpy supply chain, it prevents you from getting really efficient because you don’t get into a routine,” said Dr. James McDeavitt, dean of clinical affairs at Baylor College of Medicine.
The number of vaccine doses allocated to providers and counties in Texas can fluctuate by thousands each week, according to the state’s allocation list and vaccine dashboard.
McDeavitt said the ups and downs can cause confusion and frustration for patients, especially when appointments are canceled because providers run out of vaccine.
5. George Springer, Blue Jays agree to reported 6-year, $150 million deal
It’s the end of an Astros era but something the team and fans saw coming the moment the 2020 season ended with the ALCS game 7 loss to the Rays.
Outfielder George Springer, who spent the past seven seasons in Houston, will now take his talents north of the border and play for the Toronto Blue Jays. His mega-deal is reportedly for six years for $150 million after the Blue Jays remained aggressive in talks to land the All-Star outfielder.
The Jays beat out the Mets for Springer’s services and now position themselves to contend in the AL East against the Yankees and Rays.