We need your help. The economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis is threatening our ability to keep producing the quality reporting you've come to love. If you’re able, please consider making a monthly contribution to the Mercury.

Sharis is just one of Oregons big corporations who took home millions in loans intended for small businesses. Thats a lotta pie!
Shari's is just one of Oregon's big corporations who took home millions in loans intended for small businesses. That's a lotta pie! MS Photographic / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! It's been so long since I've touched a wanting hand. I can't put my love on the line—that I hope you'll understand. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Sponsored
The Moth Mainstage Returns to Portland on December 14.
Literary Arts presents The Moth: Portland Mainstage. True Stories, told live. Held at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

• While the federal Paycheck Protection Program was intended to give COVID relief loans to small businesses, more than 32 percent of Oregon's share went to large companies such as Shari's restaurant who received... a whopping $10 million? Goddamn, that's a lot of pie!

• Despite the rocketing cases of COVID-19, hospitalizations, and deaths in Oregon, the state is still a least a month behind Washington, Colorado, and Nevada in developing an app that would notify cell phone owners if they've been exposed to the virus.

• Some better news: Oregon is now expected to get three times more COVID vaccine doses than previously expected, with 35,100 doses of Pfizer's medication coming in mid-December and then another 71,900 shots from Moderna by December 22.

• After 12 years in the city commissioner biz, Amanda Fritz is riding off into the sunset. But before she does, our Alex Zielinski has an illuminating—and occasionally spicy!—exit interview with the councilperson who has seen A LOT.

IN NATIONAL NEWS:

• As COVID surges, the US economy is stumbling once again, with only about half as many jobs added in the past month as economists predicted.

• Joe Biden has hired Dr. Anthony Fauci as the nation's chief medical advisor, who "said 'yes' right on the spot." It was probably more like, "OH THANK GOD YES PLEASE GET ME OUT OF HERE!"

• According to transportation data, America mostly ignored warnings to travel less over the Thanksgiving holiday and drove only slightly less than a year ago. "I'm sorry, but Uncle Pete's racist, dinner table rants were just too enticing!"

• British regulators are pushing back on the idea they moved too quickly to approve the Pfizer COVID vaccine, saying that while they acted quickly they didn't skimp on the thoroughness of their study.

• Chalk up another loss for the Loser-in-Chief! The Wisconsin Supreme Court has refused to hear his weakass lawsuit which is attempting to overturn his embarrassing loss to Joe Biden in the state. Of the 50 (!) lawsuits Trump's mounted thus far, he's only been able to claim one small victory. (Let the tiny violins play!)

• According to reports, Trump is considering granting at least 20 pardons to his family, friends, and people in his administration—but is also concerned that by granting the pardons it might make them look guilty. OH, YA THINK?

• Since the election, Trump has raised $207.5 million from his supporters for his doomed legal battles to overturn the election, BUT INSTEAD, according to the NYT, 75 percent of that money is going to a PAC to fund his future political pursuits, while the other 25 percent is going straight into the GOP's pockets. Griftees, you've been grifted again.

• Oh no big deal, and it's probably nothing, but China is allegedly doing human testing to create "biologically enhanced super soldiers." Anyway, how's your day going?

• This weekend: It's the brand new "HUMP! Greatest Hits, Vol. 2" featuring the sexiest short flicks from the past 15 years of festivals! (Look, you NEED this. GET THOSE TIX NOW!)

Support The Portland Mercury

• Now let's suspiciously scrutinize the WEATHER: A mostly sunny Friday with a high of 52!

• And finally, looking for the perfect doll to give a child for Christmas? This is not the one.