• InstaHunks: Ellen DeGeneres’s former “gardener,” Billy Reilich (above), is masked up for COVID-19 safety telling his followers, “Here we go again.”
• KCCI: A lawsuit filed this week claims managers at a Tyson’s meatpacking plant “organized a cash buy-in, winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager how many employees would test positive for COVID-19.”
• Out Music: Peppermint, Mila Jam, and LaFemmeBear team up for a remake of the Sounds of Blackness “Optimistic.” The anthem aims to unite the country and rally around black Trans lives to celebrate Transgender Awareness Week this week.
Peppermint says: “The number of transgender people who’ve been murdered is higher than ever recorded. In the midst of senseless murders of black folks, in the midst of the division and the pandemic. After seeing everything that has happened in our country and our world lately and coming up on the holidays, I wanted to gather black Trans women to put out a message of solidarity and love while simultaneously shedding light on the important road ahead.”
• Reuters: New claims for unemployment jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 742,000 last week, up from the 711,000 filed a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday. The spike in claims indicates continued challenges for the U.S. economic recovery as COVID-19 infections continue to surge across the U.S.
• AP: Two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, Michigan, initially balked at certifying the vote, and then reversed course after widespread condemnation. But after a call from Donald Trump, the two Republicans reversed AGAIN signing affidavits on Wednesday saying they believe the county vote “should not be certified.”
• Pink News: Karine Jean-Pierre could become the first out lesbian and first Black woman to be named White House press secretary. NBC’s Geoff Bennett tweeted multiple sources say Jean-Pierre is a leading contender for the high profile job.
NEWS: Karine Jean-Pierre has emerged as a top candidate for Biden’s WH press secretary, multiple sources tell @mikememoli, @kwelkernbc and me.
She would be the first Black woman in that role.
Symone Sanders has also been discussed and has recently focused on Harris’ transition.