Brewing giant Anheuser-Busch will “buy America’s next round of beer” when the nation reaches President Joe Biden’s goal of 70% of adults at least partially vaccinated, the company announced Wednesday.
“At Anheuser-Busch, we are committed to supporting the safe and strong recovery of our nation and being able to be together again at the places and with the people we have missed so much,” said CEO Michel Doukeris. “This commitment includes encouraging Americans to get vaccinated, and we are excited to buy Americans 21-plus a round of beer when we reach the White House goal.”
Adults 21 and older will be able to upload a picture of themselves “in their favorite place to grab a beer” at MyCooler.com/Beer to enter to receive one of the company’s beers, which include Budweiser and Bud Light among others.
Several states are offering giveaways and conducting lotteries to encourage vaccination. West Virginia will give away firearms as a reward for residents who have received a vaccine — part of a Father’s Day lottery that also includes trucks, scholarships and $1 million in prizes.
Gov. Jim Justice said all vaccinated West Virginians will be eligible for the prizes, which include five custom hunting rifles and five custom shot guns. Justice said the June 20 lottery will mark the beginning of weekly giveaways that will continue through Aug. 4.
“Save a life and change your life,” Justice said. “The more we can get vaccinated, the faster we’ll get to saving all kinds of additional lives.”
Also in the news:
►California has agreed to pay more than $2 million in legal fees in a settlement with churches that challenged pandemic closure orders.
►The International Labor Organization says the COVID-19 pandemic has created an “unparalleled” global labor market crisis that will be felt for years. The United Nations agency said an estimated 8.8% of total working hours were lost last year, “the equivalent of the hours worked in one year by 255 million full-time workers.”
►Colorado will give $50,000 scholarships to 25 students who have received coronavirus vaccinations in another incentive to get as many state residents vaccinated as possible. Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday that Colorado resident students ages 12 to 17 who have received at least one vaccine dose are eligible.
►Biden announced a multipronged effort aimed at reaching 70% of American adults at least partially vaccinated, including plans to recruit 1,000 Black-owned barbershops and salons to provide “Shots at the Shop” and promote vaccinations nationwide.
📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has more than 33.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 595,800 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: Over 171.5 million cases and 3.68 million deaths. More than 136.1million Americans have been fully vaccinated — 41% of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
📘 What we’re reading: Wisconsin lawmakers are advancing a slate of bills that would bar business owners, university leaders, or government officials from requiring the COVID-19 vaccination or treating unvaccinated people differently.
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EU virus passport now available to non-EU travelers
Non-European Union international travelers can now receive the digital COVID-19 certificate that launched Tuesday, an EU Commission spokesperson told CNN. The digital pass allows people to travel throughout the European Union with proof of vaccination and coronavirus status easily accessible through a unique QR code assigned to each person.
If someone outside the EU is interested in receiving a pass for travel, they must contact one of the member states to give them one and provide necessary medical documentation regarding COVID-19.
Anti-mask vandals deface school mural honoring essential workers
A colorful, 90-foot mural honoring essential workers at a rural California school district office was vandalized with anti-mask graffiti, causing more than $10,000 in damages. The spray-painted messages read “NO 2 MASKS” and covered the faces of the “larger than life” farmworkers, first responders, teachers, and “everyday heroes” that hung from the Kings Canyon Unified School District office’s wall. The mural had been up for barely a month when the May 21 incident forced the district to take it down.
“We spent five months working and planning this mural as a very small token of our appreciation to honor the people who make life in our community just a little bit better every day,” said Renee Delport, the district’s communications officer. “Sadly, a month later we had this vandalism take place… It’s a very sad day for our students and for our community.”
– Joshua Yeager, Visalia Times-Delta
Joel Shannon, USA TODAY, and the Associated Press contributed to this column.