1. President Biden “expects” that he will run for re-election, he announced during the first news conference of his presidency. He said that if he runs he “expects” for Vice President Kamala Harris to be his running mate. During the press conference Biden pledged the nation will administer 200 million covid vaccine doses in his 1st 100 days, doubling his initial goal. (INSTAGRAM)
2. The U.S. tops 30 million covid-19 cases with more than 546,000 related deaths. The Maine CDC reported no new deaths and 218 new cases on Thursday keeping Maine’s death toll at 731 with 78 Mainers currently hospitalized. Over 235,000 Mainers have received their final COVID-19 vaccine dose, which represents more than 17% of the population. (WMTW)
3. Maine moves to the next phase of Gov. Janet Mills’ reopening plan today. Indoor gathering limits now expand to 50% capacity. That will grow to 75% capacity on May 24. Outdoor gathering limits are now at 75% and will increase to 100% on May 24. Bars and tasting rooms are also now allowed to reopen. Maine’s face mask and social distancing protocols remain in place. (WMTW)
4. Bangor Savings Bank is the first Maine business to publicly offer cash in exchange for getting vaccinated. They are not requiring its 1,100-plus employees to have shots, but they will pay vaccinated workers $500. (PRESS HERALD)
5. United Airlines is expanding its routes this summer, adding six new non-stop destinations out of the Portland Jetport. (Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh) The hope is that these new options help open Maine up to more tourism. (WGME)
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