US Presidential Election & covid-19 updates: Trump, Biden, transition, results, cases, latest news

US elections and covid-19 latest news

News summary:

Electoral college votes (270 needed to win) 

Joe Biden: 306
Donald Trump: 232

US covid-19 cases: 13.1 million

US covid-19 deaths: 264,859  (Source: JHU)

- New stay-at-home order imposed in Los Angeles County as cases continue to rise

- Election fraud lawsuit donor sues Trump for $2.5 million after another defeat in Pennsylvania

- Pfizer's covid-19 vaccine begins its journey to US from Belgium ahead of FDA aproval

- Final days in office could see unprecedented activity from Trump

- Furious Trump tells WH reporters: "Don't talk to me that way, I'm the President of the United States"

- Denver mayor forced to apologise for flying for Thanksgiving, after telling people to "avoid travel"

- Biden's Thanksgiving message: "The small act of staying home is a gift to our fellow Americans"

- Trump to utilise military to distribute the vaccine, starting 'next week'

- Over 2,000 coronavirus deaths in US on both Tuesday and Wednesday

- Attorney Sidney Powell files typo-ridden lawsuit against election integrity in Georgia

Browse some of our latest related stories:

Trump's deflection tactics

It's not a new game, but it's one that often works.

This report looks at how the Donald Trump campaign is telling people to 'look over there!" while they undertake various actions that otherwise may raise American eyebrows.

Watch this video and make up your own mind over whose interests the MAGA team has front and centre. It's worrying.

49ers may need new venue for December home games

The San Francisco 49ers may have to find a stadium to host their upcoming home games in December after the Santa Clara County on Saturday announced new regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Santa Clara County, which houses the 49ers' Levi's Stadium, said all recreational activities, including contact sports, will be prohibited until 21 December in response to a spike in covid-19 cases in the area. The 49ers are scheduled to host the Buffalo Bills on 7 December and Washington Football Team on 13 December. The team may also have to find a new place to train as their current facility is located in Santa Clara.

'We are aware of the Santa Clara County Public Health Department's emergency directive,' the 49ers said in a statement. 'We are working with the NFL and our partners on operational plans and will share details as they are confirmed.'

Basketball hero Jordan to give money to assist food banks

​​​​​​NBA superstar Michael Jordan proudly pledged a portion of proceeds from his hit ESPN documentary series, "The Last Dance," to food banks in North Carolina and Chicago to help feed hungry families and individuals in need this holiday season.

Trump still tweeting about election fraud

NBA confirm pre-season games from Dec. 11-19

49 pre-season games will be played by all NBA sides in a eight day window with the regular season set to commence on 22 December (2020)

Los Angeles County to impose new covid-19 restrictions on social gatherings

Nearly all social gatherings of individuals from more than a single household will be banned in Los Angeles County for at least three weeks starting Monday under new restrictions local health officials unveiled on Friday, citing a continued surge in covid-19 infections.

The public health order specifically exempts religious services and protests under constitutionally protected rights in an apparent nod to Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a New York state order that had restricted the size of religious gatherings.

The Los Angeles County measures, affecting some 20 million people living in and around the nation's second-largest city, go beyond a curfew imposed last week by California Governor Gavin Newsom barring social gatherings and other non-essential activities across most of the state between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.

LDN

UK police arrest over 60 in anti-lockdown protests

Police in London said on Saturday that they had made over 60 arrests and expected that figure to rise, as they tried to break up anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine protests.

The police said that the arrests had been made for different offences including breaching coronavirus restrictions. England's current lockdown ends on Dec. 2.

Earlier police lined up in a number of streets in central London's West End shopping district and confronted crowds of protesters in St James's Park, near Westminster. The anti-lockdown protesters were joined by groups who oppose the covid-19 vaccine.

One police officer estimated the protesters, who held up signs saying "Defend Freedom, Defend Humanity", numbered between 300 and 400.

The Biden Cabinet: President-elect begins to build a team

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden has begun nominating the members of his Cabinet and White House, working to fulfill his promise to build an administration that reflects the nation's diversity.

Biden named members of his foreign policy and national security team this week, appointing experienced figures aligned with his pledge to restore the United States' global ties and standing as a world leader.

He is expected to announce members of his economic policy team next week, led by former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary.

vaccine

Serum Institute CEO sees AstraZeneca's covid-19 vaccine as 'very good' candidate

Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine producer, sees AstraZeneca Plc's covid-19 vaccine candidate as a 'very good' option, giving it a major vote of confidence after some experts raised questions around its trial data.

Serum Institute of India (SII), which has partnered with the British drugmaker to conduct trials on its COVISHIELD vaccine in India and produce the vaccine candidate if it secures approval, plans to apply for an emergency use licence for the vaccine in the next two weeks, said SII's Chief Executive Adar Poonawalla.

"This vaccine is a very good one," said Poonawalla, via a virtual press briefing following Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to SII's campus on Saturday.

"What we found with COVISHIELD in its global trial is there were zero hospitalisations, which means even if you do get infected you're not going to have a severe attack and secondly even those who got the disease were not infecting others," he said.

NFL-Team facilities to be closed in response to covid-19 surge

The NFL decided to prohibit in-person team activities on Monday and Tuesday given rising covid-19 cases around the country and because a number of players celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving with out-of-town guests.

The new measures were announced in a league-wide memo posted on the NFL's website late on Friday, a day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, and do not apply to the four teams scheduled to play on Monday or Tuesday.

"In response to the continuous increase in positivity rates throughout the country, as well as our understanding that a number of players and staff celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday with out-of-town guests, all in-person team activities on Monday, November 30 and Tuesday, December 1, will be prohibited," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in the memo.

Will Vitamin D help you get through this winter?

With stay at home mandates becoming more popular, as the second wave of coronavirus infections sweeps the world, will Vitamin D supplements help you stay healthy?

Melania Trump planning to write memoir

The first lady is apparently planning to write about her time in office. Curiously, the news has led to Michelle Obama trending on Twitter.

Obama wrote a book "Becoming" which was the best selling book of year 2018 within 15 days of its release.

How will US keep track of side effects from coronavirus vaccine?

Newsweek has a breakdown, and it appears they've thought of everything.

Britain to approve Pfizer covid-19 vaccine next week

Britain is set to approve the COVID-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech SE and Pfizer Inc next week and deliveries would begin within hours of the authorisation, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

The first immunisations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine could take place from Dec. 7, the FT said, citing unnamed sources.

Republican Chair admits no evidence of voting machine mishaps in Georgia

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel was in Cobb County GOP office in Marietta, GA holding a meet & greet with Georgia Republicans ahead of January’s runoff election. 

When a voter asks McDaniel about voting machines switching votes. “We haven’t seen evidence of that,” McDaniel says.

Want to know the status of court cases in Pennsylvania, Georgia & Michigan?

Donald Trump's farcical attempts to disregard ballots across several key states continues, with precious little luck remaining, but plenty of typos.

Also, when the circus will finally be over.

Who will be first to get vaccinated against covid-19 in the US?

As there will be a limited number of doses of the coronavirus vaccine when it is first rolled out in what is likely to be December, US authorities must decide who is top priority to get it first.

Second stimulus check: could it arrive before 2021?

Time is running out to pass a new bill through Congress this year that will provide sweeping support to individuals struggling to make ends meet.

Read the full story:

Sidney Powell typos submitted to Georgia court

Powell is attempting to overturn the election result in the Peach State based on no tangible evidence of voter fraud.

Finally, some GOOD NEWS!

According to the Wall Street Journal, the strong early results for two covid-19 vaccines have implications beyond the current pandemic—to treatments for cancer, heart disease and other viruses.

Coronavirus vaccine in transit from Belgium to US

As drugmaker Pfizer seeks regulatory approval for its covid-19 vaccine, shipments have already begun making their way to distribution centers via United Airlines charters, according to a Wall Street Journal report. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved the shipments, which require the vaccine candidate to be packed in dry ice, according to CNN. 

"As a result of the historic pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed and careful logistics planning, the FAA today is supporting the first mass air shipment of a vaccine," the agency said in a statement Friday.

The chartered flights, which began Friday, were reportedly between Brussels and Chicago, the WSJ said. They represent one leg of a chain, which will extend from Chicago to distribution hubs around the US.

Lockdown in Califoirnia: new stay-at-home restrictions in Los Angeles

The California county becomes the latest to impose new covid-19 rules to address the rise in case numbers after a busy Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Read the full story:

Joe Biden gains votes in Wisconsin county after Trump-ordered recount

Joe Biden gains votes in Wisconsin county after Trump-ordered recount

A recount in Wisconsin’s largest county demanded by President Donald Trump’s election campaign ended on Friday with the president-elect, Joe Biden, gaining votes, according to a report by The Guardian Saturday.

After the recount in Milwaukee county, Biden made a net gain of 132 votes, out of nearly 460,000 cast. Overall, the Democrat gained 257 votes to Trump’s 125.

Trump’s campaign had demanded recounts in two of Wisconsin’s most populous and Democratic-leaning counties, after he lost Wisconsin to Biden by more than 20,000 votes. The two recounts will cost the Trump campaign $3m. Dane county is expected to finish its recount on Sunday.

Overall, Biden won November’s US presidential election with 306 electoral college votes to Trump’s 232. Biden also leads by more than 6m in the popular vote tally.

After the recount ended, the Milwaukee county clerk, George Christenson, said: “The recount demonstrates what we already know: that elections in Milwaukee county are fair, transparent, accurate and secure.

Joe Biden asked to bring back fast food menu items

You'd think that there would be more pressing issues given the multiple urgent crises the US and the world are facing currently; climate change, coronavirus pandemic and economic crises...but the internet has spoken. The next leader of the free world should use his newfound power to reinstate beloved items on fast food menus. It all started with Taco Bell...

Top of the list were potatoes, quesarito and shredded chicken at Taco Bell, McDonalds' all day breakfast and Burger King's cheesy tots.

yosemite thanksgiving donald trump covid-19 coronavirus mask mandate california

PHOTO: Yosemite Valley, California, United States. Mask wearing Thanksgiving day visitors took advantage of the weather strolling many of the paths and trails at Yosemite Valley National Park 26 November 2020.

Despite warnings of health officials to stay home due to the increases of covid-19 cases through out the states, some people are still traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday.

AOC played Among Us last night

AOC played Among Us last night

Did you miss it? Watch the whole live stream again on Twitch.

US coronavirus case wake up call

As you can see from this breakdown, the US is now adding a million new official covid-19 infections every week. Back in the spring it took around a month to amass as many new cases.

Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.

- Pennsylvania appeals court opinion in Donald Trump election case

Stephanos Bibas, Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Next coronavirus surge will be "destabilising" for the US - health expert

CNN - The next coronavirus surge will be “destabilising” for the United States, according to a health expert.

Health experts are predicting a surge in covid-19 cases following Thanksgiving, beyond the record-breaking numbers the US is currently experiencing.

“We're going to be regularly hitting 2,000 deaths per day, but then going up to 3,000 deaths and 4,000 deaths per day,” Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN on Friday.

“We're talking about numbers that are approaching what we experienced in the 1918 flu pandemic, except it's happening over a much shorter period of time,” he added.

US reports decline in covid-19 hospitalisations for first time in two weeks

CNN - For the first time in more than two weeks, the US reported a slight decline in the number of people being treated in hospitals for coronavirus on Friday, according to the Coronavirus Tracking Project.

It is still not yet clear if the data being reported was disrupted because of the Thanksgiving holiday, the CTP said. Some states and territories did not update their reports on Friday, including Florida and Delaware.

Organisations collecting data on the coronavirus expected to see a dip for Thanksgiving and the three to four days after the holiday, however an increase in reported cases of diagnoses, hospitalisations, and deaths are expected for next week and beyond.

The US surpassed 80,000 daily hospitalisations on November 19 and set new records for 17 days straight until Friday, according to CTP.

Pennsylvania court attacks Trump campaign lawsuit

Another lawsuit from President Trump's legal team fell flat in Pennsylvania after an attempt to dismiss the state's already-confirmed election results was rejected. President-elect Joe Biden was victorious in his hometown state by a margin of over 80,000 votes. The court found that the Trump campaigns accusations of fraud have no merit. 

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” wrote Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, after returning the verdict. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Trump makes bold coronavirus vaccine claim

After Pfizer and BioNTech recorded positive results for their covid-19 vaccinations, President Donald Trump is eager to get them distributed to Americans. In his Thanksgiving Day address he remained bullish about the prospect of millions of vaccines being administered before Christmas. 

The President said: “The vaccines are being delivered, literally it’ll start next week and the week after”.

Stay-at-home order imposed in LA

Los Angeles County has announced tonight that a new stay-home order will be introduced from Monday, as coronavirus cases surge out of control in the nation’s most populous county. On Friday, the county reported 24 new deaths and 4,544 new covid-19 cases. Across the whole US there were over 200,000 new cases, despite many areas not reporting. 

A statement from the county health department read: “Residents are advised to stay home as much as possible and always wear a face covering over their nose and mouth when they are outside their household and around others."

Another recount concluded in Wisconsin

A recount in Wisconsin, requested by President Trump's legal team, has made no material difference to the outcome. President-elect Joe Biden's winning margin actually grew slightly.

The Trump campaign had attempted to use the recount to disqualify 238,420 ballots which were cast as absentee ballots in person or by those who count themselves as 'indefinitely confined', allowing them to vote absentee without meeting the state photo ID requirements.  

The ballots in question were in Dane and Milwaukee counties, but Trump's legal efforts have so far been unsuccessful. They could still sue and have the case heard in court.

Joe Biden's lead over Trump continues to grow

The all-important matter of the Electoral College votes was settled weeks ago but as the count continues in some states President-elect Joe Biden's winning margin continues to grow in the popular vote. His lead in the popular vote lead climbs to 6.28 million, representing a margin of four percentage points. 

This makes no difference to who will be in the White House come 20 January, but does help to show the futility of the President's ongoing legal challenges. After dismissing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on Friday, the Judge noted: "The number of ballots that it specifically challenges is far smaller than the roughly 81,000-vote margin of victory [in the state]"

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