Today’s In Crisis headlines


(NEW YORK) — Here are today’s In Crisis headlines:

GOP vote challenges fail in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin; Biden-Harris to receive first intel briefing
Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court on Saturday unanimously dismissed a Republican lawsuit to toss out some 2.5 million mail-in ballots.  The suit requested that the state reject the ballots, or allow the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to select presidential electors.  The Pennsylvania legislature ends its session today, with lawmakers not expected to take any action toward replacing the state’s electors with their own.  The weekend also brought an end to Wisconsin’s partial recount, which was funded by the Trump campaign.  President-elect Joe Biden actually gained 87 additional votes in results scheduled to be finalized today.  Biden won both Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris today will receive their first Presidential Daily Brief (PDB), following the decision by the General Services Administration nearly two weeks ago to treat Biden as the president-elect, releasing both money and resources to the Biden-Harris team.  The PDB includes the U.S. intelligence community’s information and analysis of the day’s intelligence picture worldwide, including potential threats, though as a senator, Vice President-elect Harris was already receiving it.  Also Monday, the Biden-Harris team announced they’re forming a Presidential Inaugural Committee to organize activities surrounding their swearing in on January 20, 2021.

Check for the latest vote counts and other election updates.

COVID-19 numbers
Here’s the latest data on COVID-19 coronavirus infections and deaths.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 62,838,150
Global deaths: 1,461,249.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 266,887.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 40,248,672

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 13,386,251 reported cases in 50 states + the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 266,887.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,561.
U.S. total patients recovered: 5,065,030
U.S. total people tested: 191,149,006

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,225,594 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,820,059 reported cases; England, which has 1,390,923 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,240,473 reported cases.

Moderna ready to ask FDA for COVID-19 vaccine Emergency Use Authorization
Pharmaceutical company Moderna announced Monday that it’s ready to ask the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to distribute its COVID-19 vaccine.  The request is scheduled to come today, according to a company statement.  Moderna will also ask European regulators for equivalent approval.  Moderna’s statement says the FDA is expected to consider the request on December 17.  That means if an EUA is granted, vaccine distribution could begin before the end of the year.  Pfizer announced last week that they had asked the FDA for an EUA to begin distributing their vaccine, with the FDA scheduled to consider the request December 10 and distribution set to begin with 24 hours of an EUA being granted. 

Whenever a vaccine becomes available, those likely to be vaccinated first will include health care workers, first responders, the elderly and others most at risk of infection.  Both Moderna and Pfizer say phase 3 human trials have shown their coronavirus vaccines to be better than 90% effective.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday to discuss who will get the vaccine first. 

Record COVID-19 hospitalizations continue; more than four million new cases in November
As of Sunday, there were 93,238 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S., according to the Covid Tracking Project.  That’s a new single-day record and reflects a continuing trend as coronavirus infections continue to skyrocket nationwide.  Since November 1, there have been over four million confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., more than double any other month on record. The U.S. is currently averaging over 157,000 new coronavirus cases every day and better than one death per minute.  Saturday marked the 25th consecutive day that over 100,000 COVID-19 U.S. cases were recorded.

Sunday on ABC’s This Week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned that the nation may see “surge upon surge” of new cases as the weather continues to turn colder and people travel for the holidays through New Year’s Day, discounting pandemic restrictions and potentially turning holiday gatherings into virus spreader events. More than eight million Americans traveled for the Thanksgiving holiday, against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advisement.  The TSA says it screened 1,176,091 people on Sunday, making it the busiest day for air travel since the pandemic started. By comparison, 2,882,915 were screened on the Sunday after Thanksgiving last year, the highest volume in TSA history.

As of Monday morning, there were 13,386,251 reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with 266,887 reported deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.  Both numbers remain the highest on the planet, and account for 21% and 18% of global infections and fatalities, respectively.

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