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WASHINGTON (AP) — City workers and activists painted the words Black Lives Matter in enormous bright yellow letters on the the street leading to the White House, a highly visible sign of the District of Columbia’s embrace of a protest movement that has put it at odds with President Donald Trump.


Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted aerial video of the mural shortly after it was completed Friday. The letters and an image of the city’s flag stretch across 16th Street for two blocks, ending just before the church where Trump staged a photo-op after federal officers forcibly cleared a peaceful demonstration to make way for the president and his entourage.

“The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’” Bowser tweeted. A black and white sign was put up to mark the change.

Bowser’s endorsement of the project follows her verbal clashes with the Trump administration over the response to protests of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Bowser has complained about the heavy-handed federal response and called for the removal of out-of-state National Guard troops. She says their differences highlight the need for D.C. to be a state and have more control over its internal affairs.

On Thursday, as the protests turned peaceful, she ended a curfew imposed after people damaged buildings and broke into businesses over the weekend and Monday.

The mayor also tweeted out a letter from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who wrote the president to express alarm that peaceful protesters were being confronted by heavily armed federal agents and officers, many of them with their identities and agencies obscured.

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NFL Exec: Inviting 7,500 Healthcare Workers To Super Bowl Is Meant To Bring A Bit Of Joy To Those Who Have Saved So Many Lives

(CBS Local)- Though the Super Bowl can’t be the same packed stadium that we’re used to due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL is still planning on having fans in attendance. The league announced their plans Friday to have 22,000 fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for the game on February 7. Of that number, 7,500 will be healthcare workers that have received both doses of the vaccine for COVID-19.

First on @CBSThisMorning: The @NFL is inviting 7,500 healthcare heroes to attend Super Bowl 55.@nflcommish surprised medical staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Each NFL team will pick 4 vaccinated healthcare workers from their hometowns to attend.#SB55 airs Feb. 7 on @CBS.

— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 22, 2021

Peter O’Reilly, Executive Vice President of Club Business and League Events for the NFL, said Friday that the league began looking into the possibility of having healthcare workers attend once they saw the vaccination process getting underway in December. The conversations, involving league health experts, as well as those at the CDC and locally in Florida, gave the league a blueprint for the plan that is now being executed for 7,500 vaccinated healthcare workers to be in attendance.

“It started to build that there was an opportunity and a plan. And to your point in the intro, it was really about two things. It was about thanking and celebrating and honoring and giving, hopefully a bit of joy to these individuals who have saved so many lives and been on the front lines,” said O’Reilly in an interview with CBS Local’s Ryan Mayer. “While also educating and advocating for the efficacy of the vaccine. There are few platforms as large as the Super Bowl on which one can do that. That was part of our conversation as well. Being able to build a plan for 7,500 over the last month is something we’re proud of and excited to bring that experience to these heroes.”

The plan will see the majority of the workers invited by the league coming from the Tampa and central Florida area as a thank you to the members in that community which is hosting Super Bowl LV differently than they expected when the city was awarded the game. But, the invitation is a national one as well as O’Reilly explained that it was important for each of the league’s member clubs to reach out to those healthcare heroes in their community.

“We’re rolling out that plan now. Having it be a national invitation if you will, working with the 32 clubs, allowing each of them to invite four healthcare heroes. Not only the free tickets but they’ll pay to fly them down there, all expenses paid. That’s part of the message of the vaccinations and the thank you,” said O’Reilly.

“We are so grateful for everything they & their colleagues have done to take care of our community during this challenging time.”#Packers honor four local healthcare heroes from @BellinHealth with surprise tickets to Super Bowl LV ????️????:

— Green Bay Packers (@packers) January 22, 2021

The healthcare workers won’t be the only attendees for the game as the league is also allowing for an additional 14,500 in paid attendance. Combined with the 7,500 healthcare workers that totals 22,000 fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium or about a third of the capacity of the stadium. O’Reilly says that number was arrived at in the same way that the league coordinated with local officials all season. The league is taking things one step further for the Super Bowl.

“It’s really about how you do that and very stringent protocols which will be very much in place for the Super Bowl. Small pods of 2-4 where those fans will sit distanced from those other pods. And making sure clearly mandatory masks,” said O’Reilly. “At the Super Bowl itself we’re upping that and every fan whether vaccinated or nonvaccinated will receive a KN-95 mask or really effective mask. As well as all of our cleaning protocols and distancing protocols as well.”

It’s been a long process to get to this point but now that they’re here, O’Reilly says the best part has been seeing the excitement of some of the workers that have been surprised with tickets to the game.

“Where it really hits you is the personal stories,” said O’Reilly. “We’ve had the incredible good fortune of surprising some healthcare workers over the last couple of days and it just kicks in the reminder of just how special they are and how excited they are to have this opportunity.”

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