Day 1399: "We did it right."
1/ More than 3 million people in the United States – about 1% of the population – have active coronavirus infections and are potentially contagious, according to a team of infectious-disease experts tracking the pandemic. The estimate does not include an approximately equal number of latent infections – the people who were infected in recent days but can’t pass it on yet because it is still incubating. On Monday, at least 1,707 new COVID-19 deaths were reported – about one American every minute – and by Wednesday, the U.S. had recorded it’s 250,000 death with a record 76,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus. The White House coronavirus task force, meanwhile, stated in it’s weekly report that there is “now aggressive, unrelenting, expanding broad community spread across the country, reaching most counties, without evidence of improvement but rather, further deterioration.” (Washington Post / CNN / The Guardian / NBC News / CNBC / Wall Street Journal)
2/ Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is reportedly 95% effective with no serious side effects. The company said it planned to apply for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration “within days.” Pfizer said it could have up to 50 million doses available by the end of the year, but only about half of the supply will go to the United States this year – or enough for about 12.5 million people. Moderna said this week that an early analysis of its vaccine showed it was nearly 95% effective. (New York Times / Washington Post)
😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~56,076,000; deaths: ~1,347,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~11,486,000; deaths: ~251,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / The Guardian / CNN / CNBC
New York City’s entire public school system will close Thursday after the city reached a 3% test positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. (New York Times)
The CDC deleted two documents it posted this summer to support Trump’s push to reopen schools this fall. The documents titled “The Importance of Reopening America’s Schools this Fall,” was issued two weeks after Trump complained about the agency’s guidance as “very tough and expensive” and threatened to withhold funding from schools that did not offer in-person classes. (New York Times)
The FDA authorized the first at-home coronavirus test. The test requires a prescription from a health care provider. The molecular single-use test and is expected to cost $50 or less. (New York Times / NPR)
Chuck Grassley tested positive for COVID-19. The 87-year-old is the oldest Republican currently serving in the Senate. (NBC News / USA Today / CNN)
3/ Trump fired the Department of Homeland Security director who repeatedly refuted Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud. Christopher Krebs, the nation’s top election security official, was fired after his agency, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, released a statement calling the 2020 election “the most secure in American history.” Trump – in two misleading tweets about the security of the election – said Krebs’ termination was “effective immediately.” The former director acknowledged Trump’s action in a tweet: “Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow.” Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the move “pathetic and predictable from a president who views truth as his enemy.” (NPR / Associated Press / Washington Post /Axios / USA Today / The Guardian)
4/ The Trump campaign formally asked election authorities in Wisconsin to conduct a recount in two counties. In a statement, the campaign said it transferred $3 million to Wisconsin to cover the costs of recounting votes in Milwaukee and Dane counties. Biden received 577,455 votes in the two counties compared with 213,157 for Trump. Biden won the state by a little more than 20,000 votes. (NPR / Reuters / Associated Press)
- Trump-Biden Transition Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / ABC News
5/ Election officials in Michigan’s largest county certified the presidential election results after Republican members of the board initially refused to certify the vote tallies. The four-member Wayne County Board of Canvassers had deadlocked on the day for Michigan counties to certify the vote – which Trump called “a beautiful thing” on Twitter. Hours later, however, the board — composed of two Republicans and two Democrats — reversed itself and unanimously agreed to certify the results and ask the secretary of state to conduct an independent audit. (Politico / Washington Post / CNN)
6/ A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to stop expelling immigrant children who cross the southern border alone before they could request asylum or other protections under federal law. The Trump administration has expelled at least 8,800 unaccompanied children since March. (NBC News)
7/ White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows “can’t guarantee” that lawmakers will reach a deal to avert a mid-December shutdown. Congress and the White House have until Dec. 11 to approve new spending legislation to prevent the federal government from shutting down. (Washington Post)
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