Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Monday, January 4, 2021:


More than 4 million Americans have been given their first doses of the coronavirus vaccine, and Dr. Fauci says he expects the pace to begin to pick up in the coming days. The big debate in public health circles now is whether to delay the second doses in order to get more shots into more arms now, given that the first dose appears to provide at least some protection. Fauci has said he’s opposed to that plan -- which the UK is now doing -- though the head of Operation Warp Speed has floated the idea of giving two half-doses of the Moderna vaccine to milk more immunity from the current supply. Time is of the essence: the U.S. reported nearly 300,000 new cases on Jan. 2, a new record. NY TIMES


In an hour-long weekend phone call between President Trump and Georgia’s top election official, Brad Raffensperger, the president can be heard begging and demanding that Raffensperger “find 11,780 votes” needed to overturn Joe Biden’s victory in the state, and then threatens him with “a criminal offense.” Raffensperger, along with his lawyer who is also on the call, rejects the demands and eventually politely ends the conversation. On the tape, which was leaked to the Washington Post, President Trump repeatedly brings up debunked conspiracy theories and falsely asserts that he won the state. LISTEN


Both the president and president-elect are in Georgia today to rally their bases on the eve of the dual special elections that will determine control of the Senate. If Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock win tomorrow, the Democrats will have control of both chambers of Congress as well as the White House. If either Sens. David Perdue or Kelly Loeffler win, Republicans will maintain their majority in the Senate. Polling shows both races as toss-ups. AJC


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi narrowly won reelection for what is likely to be her final term as speaker, as the 117th Congress convenes this week. The big action will be on Wednesday, when a joint session comes together to count the electoral votes and officially declare the winner of the presidency. Normally, that’s a routine affair, but this year at least 12 Republicans in the Senate, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, and dozens of Republicans in the House say they will object to the results and force a full vote in both chambers. USA TODAY


Tesla missed Elon Musk’s full-year target of 500,000 deliveries by a hair, coming up just 450 vehicles short. Still, the electric-car company ended its best year ever, both in terms of its stock price (up 740 percent) and its production output, especially given that it came amid a pandemic. Tesla is now delivering twice as many electric cars as its next-biggest competitors, BYD and Volkswagen, and has a higher valuation than the nine largest automakers combined. THE VERGE


When the annual Consumer Electronics Show kicks off virtually next week, one of the most buzzed-about products will be LG’s new bendable OLED display. The 48-inch, paper-thin 4K television can switch into a curved monitor for immersive gaming at the touch of a button: SEE IT


The NFL playoff field is set. The Washington Football Team won the NFC East title after the Philadelphia Eagles tanked their last game in epic fashion, drawing a lot of criticism that the league needs to crack down on teams intentionally losing games to get better draft picks. The Giants are out, the Rams and Bears are in. The wild card round starts on Saturday. SEEDINGS


Wonder Woman 1984 dropped a massive 67 percent in its second weekend in theaters, hurt by a combination of bad word of mouth and growing awareness that the movie is available to stream at home. The domestic box office took in just $13 million over the long holiday weekend, in which 60 percent of theaters were closed. The last time New Year’s Day fell on a weekend, the box office was $220 million. China supplanted the U.S. in 2020 as the top movie-going market for the first time ever. DEADLINE


… the actor Kumail Nanjiani, looking absolutely ripped in a pic posted on social media: SEE IT


An object that wandered into our solar system back in 2017 was of extraterrestrial origin and not a comet, according to the chair of Harvard’s astronomy department. In a new book, Avi Loeb lays out a compelling case for why he is certain that the interstellar object named 'Oumuamua that confounded astronomers a few years ago was some kind of piece of trash from another intelligent civilization. Loeb cites two main pieces of evidence for his thesis: Oumuamua had cigar-like dimensions that have never been seen before in the natural world, and it accelerated away from the sun, suggesting it was being propelled by something other than the sun’s gravity. COMPLEX

Listen to the N2K Podcast! Looking for more context and analysis on the big stories of the day? Check out our podcast! Hosts Jill and Carlo break down the headlines, every weekday morning Listen on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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