1/ More than 1 in 400 Americans tested positive for the coronavirus last week. The United States surpassed 11 million reported cases Sunday – one week after hitting the 10 million mark – and the number of COVID-19 deaths now stands at more than 246,000. The seven-day average of new daily cases is more than 140,000, with 49 states trending upward. Meanwhile, governors and mayors are implementing new restrictions to slow the spread with Chicago issuing a new stay-at-home advisory, Philadelphia announcing strict new rules, New Mexico going into a two-week lockdown, North Dakota imposing a new mask mandate, New Jersey limiting gatherings, and California putting more than 94% of its population in its most restrictive reopening tier. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Bloomberg)

  • 😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”

  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~54,786,000; deaths: ~1,323,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~11,173,000; deaths: ~248,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / Bloomberg / Wall Street Journal / CNN

  • 40% of Americans are planning to participate in large gatherings of 10 or more people this holiday season despite concerns over the spread of COVID-19. (United Press International)

  • The Third Surge Is Breaking Healthcare Workers. “Hospitals have put their pandemic plans into action, adding more beds and creating makeshift COVID-19 wards. But in the hardest-hit areas, there are simply not enough doctors, nurses, and other specialists to staff those beds.” (The Atlantic)

2/ Trump has not attended a coronavirus task force meeting in “at least five months.” Since Election Day, Trump has reportedly ceased to actively manage the pandemic, which has killed at least 244,000 Americans, infected at least 10.9 million, and slowed the country’s economy. Instead, Trump has repeatedly and falsely claimed the election was rigged against him. (Washington Post)

3/ Trump’s coronavirus adviser called for Michiganders to “rise up” against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new COVID-19 restrictions. After Whitmer announced Sunday a three-week pause on indoor dining, Dr. Scott Atlas tweeted: “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept.” Whitmer denounced Atlas’ call to action, saying it is “incredibly reckless.” Dr. Anthony Fauci added that he “totally disagrees” with Atlas. (ABC News / Politico / New York Times)

4/ Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidates is 94.5% effective, according to the early findings from a 30,000-subject trial that is still under way. The news comes a week after a similar shot developed by Pfizer and BioNTech said their candidate was more than 90% effective in an interim analysis. The two companies could have enough vaccine for about 25 to 30 million people in the U.S. in December, with the first doses going to the highest risk groups. Moderna’s vaccine was co-developed with Dr. Anthony Fauci’s institute. Trump, meanwhile, seeking to take credit for the vaccine news, tweeted: “For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!” (New York Times / Washington Post / Wall Street Journal / Politico / Bloomberg / Politico / The Guardian)

5/ Biden called the vaccine news “really encouraging” but warned “more people may die” if the Trump administration doesn’t cooperate and start the transition process. “We are going into a very dark winter,” Biden said. “If we have to wait until January 20th to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half,” Biden continued. Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, said it is “obvious” that the Trump administration’s refusal to begin the presidential transition is not good from a public health perspective and could stall the rollout of potential vaccines. “Of course it would be better if we could start working with” Biden’s team, adding that the “virus is not going to stop and call a time out while things change. The virus is just going to keep going. The process is just going to keep going.” (The Guardian / NPR / Politico / NBC News / Politico / Associated Press / CNN)

6/ Trump acknowledged that Biden won the presidential election, but then refused to concede. “He won because the Election was Rigged,” Trump tweeted, but an hour later added: “RIGGED ELECTION. WE WILL WIN!“ followed by “He only won in the eyes of the FAKE NEWS MEDIA. I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go. This was a RIGGED ELECTION!“ Trump also continued to blame his loss on debunked conspiracies theories about the 2020 election in a series of posts that Twitter flagged for their disputed information. (CNN / Politico / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg / New York Times)

7/ National security adviser Robert O’Brien promised a “professional transition” with the incoming Biden administration. “If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner — and, obviously, things look that way now — we’ll have a very professional transition with the National Security Council, no doubt about it,” Trump’s national security adviser said. Trump, however, has refused to acknowledge the results of the Nov. 3 election, which he lost to Biden. He has falsely proclaimed several times on Twitter that “I WON THE ELECTION” or complained about the process. Twitter put a warning label on the tweets, noting that “official sources have called this election differently.” A growing number of top Republicans have urged Trump to start an orderly transition of power. (NPR / NBC News / Politico / New York Times)

  • The General Services Administration official blocking President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team from accessing government resources is looking for a new job. Emily Murphy, who is responsible for deciding when election results are clear enough to trigger a transition of power, recently sent that message to an associate asking about career opportunities in 2021. (ABC News)

8/ Sixteen federal prosectors assigned to monitor the 2020 election said they had not seen evidence of any substantial fraud. The assistant U.S. attorneys urged Attorney General William Barr to rescind his directive allowing investigators to pursue allegations of “vote tabulation irregularities” before results are certified, saying “the policy change was not based in fact.” (Washington Post)

  • The Trump campaign withdrew a central part of its lawsuit seeking to stop the certification of the election results in Pennsylvania. Trump’s attorneys, in revised version of the lawsuit, removed allegations that election officials violated the Trump campaign’s constitutional rights by limiting observers from watching votes being counted. Trump’s campaign initially wanted 682,479 mail-in and absentee ballots to be thrown out, claiming they were processed without its representatives able to watch. Trump, meanwhile, has put Rudy Giuliani in charge of his campaign lawsuits related to the election. (Associated Press / The Guardian / New York Times / Politico / Washington Post)

  • Lawsuits that tried to disrupt Biden’s wins in four states are withdrawn. (CNN)

9/ The Trump administration will auction off oil and gas drilling rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska before Biden takes office. The Federal Register posted a “call for nominations” from the Bureau of Land Management relating to lease sales in about 1.5 million acres of the refuge along the coast of the Arctic Ocean. In a reversal of decades of protections, Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 authorized potential oil and gas development in the refuge. Biden has opposed drilling in the refuge and any sales would be subject to review by the Biden administration. (Washington Post / New York Times)

10/ Chad Wolf has not been serving lawfully as the acting secretary of Homeland Security and his suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is invalid, a federal judge ruled. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration wrongly tried to shut down DACA protections, but Wolf nonetheless suspended DACA on July 28. The Trump administration, meanwhile, has renewed its effort to get Wolf confirmed before Inauguration Day. (CNN / NBC News / Axios)

11/ Trump is expected to order the Pentagon to reduce troop levels to 2,500 in Afghanistan and 2,500 in Iraq before Trump leaves office on January 20. The Pentagon, however, has repeatedly warned that doing so could jeopardize lasting peace in the region. There are currently 4,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and 3,000 in Iraq. (CNN / ABC News / Bloomberg / Washington Post)

12/ Hate crimes in the U.S. rose to the highest level in more than a decade. The number of hate crime murders also hit a record high in 2019. White nationalist hate groups, meanwhile, rose by 55% between 2017 and 2019. (Associated Press / Axios)