In Crisis News

Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

General Services Administration releases transition funds to Biden-Harris team
Nearly three weeks after the election, the transition can begin.  A letter from the General Services Administration frees up funds, office space and access to security clearances and COVID-19 experts for President-elect Joe Biden's team.  However, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy's letter, sent to Biden late Monday, doesn’t refer to Biden as the president-elect or the apparent winner of the election. “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," she writes.

President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Monday, "I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols." But Trump also does not concede the election, writing, "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"

A transition official confirms to ABC News that all six of Biden’s cabinet nominees announced so far will join the president-elect and vice president-elect today in-person in Delaware for the announcement of their selection. The official adds that the event will adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing.

Sources also tell ABC News that Secret Service agents in the president's detail are being asked whether they're interested in transferring to Palm Beach, Florida, the location of Mar-a-Lago, the president’s club and presumed home, having officially changed his residence in September from Manhattan, New York to Palm Beach, Florida.  The Secret Service's Miami field office also has begun looking at physical reinforcements to Mar-a-Largo,  A police source tells ABC News that, come January 21, the New York City Police Department is planning to work with the Secret Service to reduce the law enforcement footprint around Trump Tower in Manhattan since it will no longer be Trump’s primary residence.

Regarding the Trump campaign’s continuing but dwindling legal challenges to the election outcome, as of 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Georgia's 159 counties could officially start recounting the approximately five million votes cast in the presidential race after the Trump campaign requested a machine recount.  Georgia last Friday certified the state’s election results after a hand audit of the vote confirmed President-elect Biden’s victory in that state.  Also Monday, Michigan certified a victory for President-elect Joe Biden, with Pennsylvania set to do so soon, after the Trump campaign’s legal challenges in those states failed.

Check ABCNews.com 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: 59,315,201
Global deaths: 1,399,073.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 257,707.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 38,003,850

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 12,431,995 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 257,707.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,339.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,633,600
U.S. total people tested: 181,142,529

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,159,843 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,784,361 reported cases; England, which has 1,314,888 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,210,625 reported cases.

US tops 12 million COVID-19 cases; record high hospitalizations continue
The U.S. now has more than 12 million reported COVID-19 cases.  The latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University puts the total number of reported cases at 12,431,995 as of Tuesday morning.  That number continues to increase as the infection rate in the U.S. likewise continues its dramatic rise, averaging more than 100,000 new cases daily for the last 18 consecutive days, and more than 167,000 daily cases for the past week or more. 

Those numbers in turn are driving record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S.  The Covid Tracking Project reports the nation on Monday set yet another single-day record for the 14th consecutive day, with a reported 85,836 people hospitalized.  An internal Department of Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, declares 26% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled, compared to 17-18% during the summertime infection peak.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told National Public Radio Monday that “it is really conceivable” that the U.S. could run out of intensive care unit beds “if we don’t turn around the trajectory” of the virus.

There are currently 257,707 reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., with the Covid Tracking Project reporting an average 1,515 Americans dying every day for the last seven days.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently forecasts a total of 276,000 to 298,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported in the U.S. by the week ending December 12.  Worldwide, the total number of reported cases is nearing 60 million, with Johns Hopkins University reporting 59,315,201 global cases as of Tuesday morning, and 1,399,073 deaths.  The U.S. continues to lead the world in both infections and deaths, with 21% and 18% of those totals, respectively.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

General Services Administration releases transition funds to Biden-Harris
Nearly three weeks after the election, the transition can begin.  A letter from the General Services Administration frees up funds, office space and access to security clearances and COVID-19 experts for President-elect Joe Biden's team.  However, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy's letter, sent to Biden late Monday, doesn’t refer to Biden as the president-elect or the apparent winner of the election. “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts," she writes.

President Trump, meanwhile, tweeted Monday, "I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols." But Trump also does not concede the election, writing, "Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"

A transition official confirms to ABC News that all six of Biden’s cabinet nominees announced so far will join the president-elect and vice president-elect today in-person in Delaware for the announcement of their selection. The official adds that the event will adhere to coronavirus safety guidelines, including mask-wearing and social distancing.

Sources also tell ABC News that Secret Service agents in the president's detail are being asked whether they're interested in transferring to Palm Beach, Florida, the location of Mar-a-Lago, the president’s club and presumed home, having officially changed his residence in September from Manhattan, New York to Palm Beach, Florida.  The Secret Service's Miami field office also has begun looking at physical reinforcements to Mar-a-Largo,  A police source tells ABC News that, come January 21, the New York City Police Department is planning to work with the Secret Service to reduce the law enforcement footprint around Trump Tower in Manhattan since it will no longer be Trump’s primary residence.

Regarding the Trump campaign’s continuing but dwindling legal challenges to the election outcome, as of 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, Georgia's 159 counties could officially start recounting the approximately five million votes cast in the presidential race after the Trump campaign requested a machine recount.  Georgia last Friday certified the state’s election results after a hand audit of the vote confirmed President-elect Biden’s victory in that state.  Also Monday, Michigan certified a victory for President-elect Joe Biden, with Pennsylvania set to do so soon, after the Trump campaign’s legal challenges in those states failed.

Check ABCNews.com 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: 59,315,201
Global deaths: 1,399,073.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 257,707.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 38,003,850

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 12,431,995 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 257,707.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,339.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,633,600
U.S. total people tested: 181,142,529

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,159,843 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,784,361 reported cases; England, which has 1,314,888 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,210,625 reported cases.

US tops 12 million COVID-19 cases; record high hospitalizations continue
The U.S. now has more than 12 million reported COVID-19 cases.  The latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University puts the total number of reported cases at 12,431,995 as of Tuesday morning.  That number continues to increase as the infection rate in the U.S. likewise continues its dramatic rise, averaging more than 100,000 new cases daily for the last 18 consecutive days, and more than 167,000 daily cases for the past week or more. 

Those numbers in turn are driving record-high COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S.  The Covid Tracking Project reports the nation on Monday set yet another single-day record for the 14th consecutive day, with a reported 85,836 people hospitalized.  An internal Department of Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, declares 26% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled, compared to 17-18% during the summertime infection peak.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told National Public Radio Monday that “it is really conceivable” that the U.S. could run out of intensive care unit beds “if we don’t turn around the trajectory” of the virus.

There are currently 257,707 reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., with the Covid Tracking Project reporting an average 1,515 Americans dying every day for the last seven days.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently forecasts a total of 276,000 to 298,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported in the U.S. by the week ending December 12.  Worldwide, the total number of reported cases is nearing 60 million, with Johns Hopkins University reporting 59,315,201 global cases as of Tuesday morning, and 1,399,073 deaths.  The U.S. continues to lead the world in both infections and deaths, with 21% and 18% of those totals, respectively.



States reporting record highs of daily COVID infections as TSA screens 3 million flyers

iStock/Akabei (WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The holiday rush is officially on with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announcing Monday it screened three million flyers due to increased travel.

The TSA previously announced it screened 1,019,836 flyers on Friday and an additional 984,369 on Saturday.  Sunday saw the highest number: 1,047,934 people -- which is now the highest number of passengers since mid-March.

Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC's COVID-19 incident manager, strongly discourages holiday travel in light of surging COVID-19 cases.

"It's not a requirement, it's a recommendation for the American public to consider," said Walke. "Right now, as we're seeing exponential growth in cases and the opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time."

In addition, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adam said the nation is at a "dire point" in its fight against COVID-19 and, despite promising news about potential vaccines, Adam said on Good Morning America, "I'm asking Americans, I'm begging you, hold on just a little bit longer, keep Thanksgiving and the celebrations small and smart this year."

As for numbers being reported across the nation, Maryland says it has suffered 19 straight days of over 1,000 new positive cases, with hospitalizations increasing by 80 percent -- 29 hospitals are currently operating at 90 percent capacity.

North Carolina reported a new daily high in COVID-19 cases: 2,419 cases and 1,601 hospitalizations on Monday.  Due to the surging numbers, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper announced a stricter mask mandate -- saying masks need to be worn by residents who are interacting with people who don't live in their household.

Pennsylvania also announced the alarming news that the state could run out of ICU beds by next week. Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine confirms, "This week’s data, in terms of hospitalization increase, an increase in the use of ventilators, case increase and percent positivity are worrisome."

In Ohio, the state also reported a record high in new daily cases, with 11,800 positive results announced Monday -- and the state is bracing for an even higher number due to the upward trend.

COVID-19 has, as of Monday, infected nearly 12.4 million Americans and killed over 257,000 according to Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Pass the seconds, please: Poll shows 61% are planning to over-indulge this holiday season

iStock/skynesher(LOS ANGELES) -- We're not judging if you opt for that second slice of pumpkin pie this year -- it's 2020. And while your pants might feel tight, at least you don't have to feel alone: a survey commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition showed 56% are putting off eating healthy until next year. 

The non-scientific survey of 2,000 Americans showed that this year's percentage marked a 15% jump over the number of people who said they were delaying their fitness goals until the new year. In fact, the average respondent expects to gain seven pounds over the course of the holidays, and the stress of this year is getting the blame. 

Sixty-one percent of Americans said they were going to indulge this year because of everything that was 2020. By comparison, fewer than half of those who responded to a separate global poll of 4,000 people worldwide felt they needed to reward themselves because of COVID-19 et al.  But in our defense, we did have an election.

Fifty-three percent of the Americans polled said they would be making poor, but yummy, eating choices just to make themselves feel better about this COVID-changed holiday season, which is seeing families cancel get-togethers and the like.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Hilary Duff reveals she is isolating from family due to COVID-19 exposure

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Hilary Duff must spend at least two weeks away from her family after being exposed to COVID-19.

The Younger star on Saturday took to her Instagram stories to unhappily reveal, "Exposed to covid...Quarantine day 2."

The 33-year-old revealed that she is isolating in the family's basement to ensure that, should she have the infectious virus, she doesn't accidentally spread it to husband Matthew Koma or her two children -- eight-year-old Luca and two-year-old Banks.

Despite the mounting frustration, Duff and her family are already finding ways to feel less lonely, such as loudly stomping on the ground three times -- a code to tell each other "I love you."

The "So Yesterday" singer gleefully filmed herself sending the message to Luca and waiting in anticipation for a response.   A wide and thankful smile breaks across Duff's face when, after a few seconds, hears her son's feet stomping above her.

Duff also revealed that her kids may have gone overboard with gifts, revealing on Sunday that "My sweet family was leaving so many sweet treats outside my door, I finally threatened to run up stairs... break quarantine and breathe all over them."

To prevent her from spending the next two weeks indulging on desserts, her kids hilariously "left an apple pie... candle" at the door -- which she happily lit.

However, the Lizzie McGuire alum is definitely counting down the days until she can physically hold her children... because their dad is not doing the best job at dressing them or styling their hair.

Duff shared several photos Koma sent her and bemoaned her daughter's cowlick and mismatching clothes.

The actress also admitted Sunday that she may already be losing it, posting a hilarious video of her barking at the family's new puppy.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


COVID-19 spreads to our vocabulary: "Mask-shaming," "remotely" among Oxford Language's Words of 2020

iStock/kimberrywood(LONDON) -- While we all have a few choice words for 2020 -- many unprintable -- Oxford Languages has some "official" ones.

Each year, the language experts choose a word that defines a particular year. For example, 2018, their choice was "toxic." 2019 gave us "climate emergency." 

However, because 2020 has been -- well, a lot, the organization's annual report for this "unprecedented year" opens with, "...Oxford Languages concluded that this is a year which cannot be neatly accommodated in one single word."

Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 has infected the list, which not only includes the virus' name, but also words with which we've become unfortunately accustomed, such as "social distancing," "lockdown" and "superspreader."

As Oxford Languages notes, "what was genuinely unprecedented this year was the hyper-speed at which the English-speaking world amassed a new collective vocabulary relating to the coronavirus, and how quickly it became, in many instances, a core part of the language."

This explains the inclusion of words like "mask-shaming," and "remotely," as in working remotely.

Believe it or not, other stuff happened this year, too, like the Australian bushfires, the presidential impeachment and the explosion of so-called "cancel culture," so words related to those events made the list, too.

Here are some of the most-used words of 2020, according to Oxford Languages' experts:

"bushfire"
"impeachment"
"acquittal"
"coronavirus"
"COVID-19"
"lockdown"
"Social Distancing"
"reopening"
"Black Lives Matter"
"cancel culture"
"BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color)"
"mail-in"
"Belarussian (bella-ROO'-see-yin)"
"moonshot"
"superspreader"
"net zero"

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Georgia begins another vote recount; Pennsylvania judge tosses Trump ballot challenge
Georgia today begins the process of counting ballots there for a third time, just days after a hand audit of ballots confirmed President-elect Joe Biden is the winner there.  The Trump campaign requested a recount Saturday, which like the audit will be open to the public, press, and party-designated observers if they want to watch.  Georgia's statewide voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling tells ABC News he doesn’t anticipate a change in the outcome.

President Trump is also appealing a federal judge's dismissal of his campaign's effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, which Biden also won. The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal Sunday, a day after the judge, a former Pennsylvania Republican Party official, issued a scathing decision, dismissing claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.  The decision declares in part that the president had asked the court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters, with claims that were "haphazardly stitched together," and that in seeking such a "startling outcome," a plaintiff could be expected to provide compelling legal arguments and "factual proof of rampant corruption."  The judge wrote, "That has not happened."

Check ABCNews.com 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: 58,766,731
Global deaths: 1,390,003.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 256,798.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 37,589,499

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 11,720,318 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 256,798.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,319.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,526,513
U.S. total people tested: 179,340,847

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,153,944 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,780,208 reported cases; England, which has 1,301,559 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,209,588 reported cases.

A record 83,870 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as national cases, deaths continue to soar
More Americans than ever are now hospitalized with COVID-19, as cases in all 50 states continue to increase.  The Covid Tracking Project reported Saturday that 83,870 people were hospitalized, a new single-day U.S. record.  Saturday also marked the 18th consecutive day that over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, with most days now seeing over 150,000 new cases, for a seven-day average of 167,568 new cases daily – an increase of 13.7% over the previous week.  According to an internal Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, 29% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17-18% during the summertime peak.

COVID-19 cases continue to soar nationwide, with the U.S. reporting more than 1.1 million infections over the last week.  That means approximately one in every 281 Americans tested positive for COVID-19 during that period.  Since November 1, the U.S. has reported nearly 2.9 million new cases.  The numbers in some states are staggering: Louisiana in particular reported statewide case increases of 90% over the past two weeks.  Other states are reporting week-to-week increases topping 20%, 40% and 60%, with individual regions in many states reporting triple-digit infection increases.

The U.S. is currently averaging 1,439 reported COVID-19 deaths a day, the highest the average has been since May 13.  Some 10,077 deaths were reported in the U.S. last week – that’s only three shy of one death recorded every minute.  As of Monday morning, there were 256,798 reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, an increase of 4,234 over Friday morning’s numbers.

AstraZeneca and Oxford declare their COVID-19 vaccine is up to 90% effective
U.K.-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and England's University of Oxford announced Monday that late-stage trials show their COVID-19 vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing the disease.  The determination comes from an interim analysis of their phase 3 trials in the U.K. and in Brazil, which involved two different dosing regimens.  One regimen demonstrated 90% efficacy when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later.  A second regimen showed 62% efficacy when the vaccine was administered as two full doses at least one month apart. The combined analysis from both dosing regimens showed an average efficacy of 70%, according to AstraZeneca and Oxford.

There were a total of 131 COVID-19 cases in the analysis, with no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease reported in participants receiving the vaccine candidate, according to the statement from Oxford-Astra Zeneca.  The team was an early COVID-19 vaccine development frontrunner but it has since been outpaced by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, both of which announced their phase 3 trial results in the last two weeks, with planned widespread distribution in the coming months, pending FDA emergency use authorization.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


US surpasses 12 million COVID-19 cases as millions prepare for holiday travel

iStock/LordHenriVoton (WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The U.S. on Saturday surpassed another grim milestone -- 12 million positive COVID-19 cases.  As of late Sunday, that number has risen to 12,219,209 -- according to Johns Hopkins University.  256,723 people have died.

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are expected to increase over the winter months.  In addition, health experts expressed concern over holiday travel with the nation heading into one of its largest challenges this week -- Thanksgiving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already issued COVID-19 guidelines, which include celebrating with those from the household and not extended family and no unnecessary travel -- saying the "safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with."

Despite the guidelines, over one million Americans have already began making their way to their holiday destinations.  On Friday, 1,019,836 people boarded planes -- which is 1.5 million less than 2019's numbers but still concerning to health officials.

This is the second highest number of people to fly by plane since March.

The CDC is warning those who are considering whether or not to visit family over the holidays that "travel may increase your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Postponing travel and staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others this year."

In addition, travel could have been bolstered due to positive news from the race to find a cure for COVID-19, with Pfizer officially requesting emergency use authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine from the Food and Drug Administration.

The vaccine is touted to have a 95 percent efficacy rate.   However, experts say it is too soon for people to ask their doctors to administer the shot.

Dr. Carlos del Rio, a professor of medicine and global health at Emory University School of Medicine, says, "Not every American will have a needle in their arm immediately following authorization...They're going to start with first responders and medical personnel and elderly and people with comorbidities. The regular Joe is probably not going to receive a vaccine until July or August."

Until the vaccine is widely available, the CDC and medical community ask Americans to remain patient, to continue practicing social distancing and to wear a mask in public.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Georgia vote audit affirms Biden victory; Trump election challenges continue to be rejected
A statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger's office Thursday states that the recent audit of general election ballots there "reaffirmed the outcome of the presidential race in Georgia as originally reported, with Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump in the state."  The full hand recount of every ballot cast in the presidential race puts the margin of victory for Biden at 12,284 votes. The Trump campaign can still request a recount since the margin is still within 0.5%, but that recount would be conducted using high-capacity scanners.

President Trump is running out of options to challenge his election loss.  Since Election Day, the Trump campaign has filed at least 19 lawsuits in five states -- fifteen of those have either been denied, dismissed or withdrawn, with several on appeal.  In all of the challenges, the Trump campaign has failed to document significant fraud anywhere in the country, and so the president is turning to a personal appeal as he seeks to overturn the election results.  He has invited to the White House Republican leaders of the state legislature in Michigan, a state he lost by 150,000 votes. The president may hope the Michigan legislature intervenes in his challenge there, though at least one state Republican leader has said that's not going to happen.

Two more Pennsylvania court challenges by Trump's campaign appear to have failed. One case in Bucks County sought to toss 2,100 ballots over missing words on the address line or improperly sealed secrecy envelopes. The judge in that case said it would be an “injustice to disenfranchise these voters” based on technical errors with the ballots. The judge also noted that the Trump campaign specifically said there was no evidence of fraud or misconduct with the ballots.

President Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, sought Thursday to sow doubt about the election results with a series of unsubstantiated allegations about election fraud -- some of which the Trump campaign has never actually alleged in legal filings or has already seen rejected in court rulings.  No Trump campaign or Republican Party attorneys were present during the press conference, and most lawyers from big law firms that have represented the president in other matters have withdrawn from the Trump campaign’s election challenges.

President-elect Biden currently has 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232, with 270 needed to win the presidency.   Check ABCNews.com 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: 57,042,406
Global deaths: 1,363,182.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 252,564.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 36,631,351

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 11,720,318 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 252,564.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,215.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,410,709
U.S. total people tested: 173,719,264

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,105,009 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,763,055 reported cases; England, which has 1,249,431 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,191,290 reported cases.

US reports record COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations; one million new cases last week for first time
The U.S. on Thursday reported single-day records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  At least 182,832 new cases were reported November 19, with 80,698 people hospitalized, marking new single-day records for both.  The U.S. has now averaged some 150,000 new coronavirus infections every day for more than two weeks, with numbers continuing to rise across the U.S.  The Covid Tracking Project further reports that for the first time ever, the U.S. last week reported more than one million new COVID-19 cases.  The U.S. on Friday morning reported at least 11,720,318 coronavirus cases and 252,564 fatalities since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University.

An internal Department of Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, declares 51 states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new COVID-19 cases, with two jurisdictions at a plateau and one declining.  At least 1,151,468 new cases were confirmed during the period of November 12-18, the memo states, a 35.4% increase from the previous seven-day period, with 8,601 deaths recorded during the same Nov. 12-18 period, marking an 8.3% increase in new deaths compared with the previous week.  The national test-positivity rate increased to 11.1% from 9.6% in week-to-week comparisons, and 29% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled.  That number was 17-18% during the summertime peak.

In California, which has the second-highest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., after Texas, Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Department of Public Health Thursday announced a limited Stay at Home Order requiring generally that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. in the state’s most-affected counties.  The order will take effect at 10:00 p.m. Saturday and remain in effect until 5:00 a.m. December 21.

Pfizer and BioNTech apply for FDA EUA
Pfizer and BioNTech have applied to the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization for their COVID-19 vaccine. The companies announced Wednesday that they had enough data to conclude their phase 3 trial and would request an EUA from the FDA “within days.”  The FDA is expected to review the application and provide approval in a week or two. This authorization would allow use of the vaccine for high-risk individuals including health care workers, first responders and the elderly, and could come as early as December.  Pharmaceutical company Moderna on Monday announced they will ask the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization for their vaccine "in the coming weeks."

CDC officially advises against Thanksgiving travel; COVID-19 deaths forecast revised upward
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is officially advising Americans to cancel or at least postpone Thanksgiving travel in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Guidance posted to the CDC’s website on Thursday declares, "As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.”  If you do travel, the CDC provides a list of steps to take and other considerations to factor into your plans, from the now familiar measures of social distancing, mask-wearing and hand washing, to travel tips and suggestions on how to host or attend modified holiday gatherings.

The CDC’s Thanksgiving guidance comes on the say day it revised its COVID-19 deaths forecast.  The agency is now estimating there will be between 276,000 to 298,000 coronavirus fatalities in the U.S. by the week ending December 12.  As of Friday morning, there were 252,564 reported deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Thanksgiving travel strongly discouraged by the CDC

iStock/Drazen Zigic (WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- With the nation surpassing over 250,000 COVID-19 fatalities on Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed concern that Thanksgiving gatherings could potentially become super spreader events, further exacerbating the nation's ongoing battle to contain the novel coronavirus.

In order to prevent a grim new projection, where the CDC predicts up to 298,000 Americans will be dead by December 12, the organization is strongly advising against Thanksgiving travel.

The CDC previously predicted 250,000 dead by Thanksgiving -- a number that the nation crossed on Wednesday. 

Due to accelerating rates of infections, hospitalizations and deaths, the CDC says Americans should not travel for the holidays.

"The opportunity to translocate disease or infection from one part of the country to another leads to our recommendation to avoid travel at this time," said CDC COVID-19 incident manager Dr. Henry Walke.

The U.S. also recorded its "deadliest day" in over six months, where the nation reported its highest amount of daily deaths during the peaks in April and July.  On Wednesday, 1,869 Americans lost their battle to the infectious virus.

Fatalities are up by 76 percent since last month and the nation is averaging 1,200 COVID-related deaths a day.

As of Thursday, the nation has confirmed nearly 11.7 million COVID-19 cases and 252,290 deaths.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Reps deny Harvey Weinstein is "severely ill" with COVID-19

Scott Heins/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Despite a report to the contrary this week from TMZ, Harvey Weinstein does not have COVID-19 and is not "severely ill," according to his spokesman.

ABC News obtained a statement from Juda Engelmayer, a rep for the disgraced movie mogul, and Craig Rothfeld, Weinstein's authorized New York State Department of Corrections spokesman. Their comments read in part: "[W]e can report that Mr. Weinstein's fever has dropped but is still being closely monitored. We can also report at this time that he does not have COVID-19."

They added, "Mr. Weinstein continues to be very closely monitored due to plethora of underlying health issues which are continuing to decline, get worse, and need treatment."

The statement also thanked, "the healthcare and medical team at Wende [Correctional Facility] and the [NYC Department of Corrections] Central Office who have been working with us very closely to ensure all his health issues will be addressed in a timely manner."

In March, the former movie producer was sentenced to 23 years in prison for his convictions on rape and sexual assault. 

Weinstein was sentenced in New York to 20 years for criminal sexual assault for forcing oral sex on a victim. That sentence was ordered to run consecutively with a three-year sentence for the third-degree rape of another woman.

It was announced last month by the LA County District Attorney that he now faces three new counts of rape and three new counts of forcible oral copulation involving the two women.

Overall, Weinstein faces an additional 11 sexual assault counts involving five women in California, which could add an additional 140 years to life in state prison, on top of his 23-year sentence.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Get on up! Fitness guru Jake Steinfeld's simple tips for staying fit in lockdown

ABC News(LOS ANGELES) -- With COVID-19 shutting down gyms and causing stress eating for millions of people sheltering at home, the so-called "quarantine 15" is real -- but gaining them isn't inevitable. 

ABC Audio checked in with fitness icon Jake "Body By Jake" Steinfeld to see what can be done. "One thing about this pandemic that we've learned, we're all cooped up," Jake says. "I'm a big believer about making a list, having a routine, a regime -- something as simple as just getting up! A lot of people are behind Zooms and doing their work online. Get yourself up. Do a little exercise."

Jake tells ABC Audio you can give yourself a great workout with common household items. 

Considering he whipped into shape the guy who fought both Nazis AND Darth Vader's Stormtroopers, perhaps you shouldn't doubt him. "I was the first guy to [train] the big Hollywood stars...starting in 1980 with Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford for Raiders and Temple of Doom."

He adds, "I went to their homes with a broomstick, a towel, a chair and two cans of Mama's Tomato Paste. It was truly a 30 minute workout that I improvised. The reason why I did it then -- obviously, there wasn't a pandemic -- it was simple." 

Using cans of soup, or in his case, two small cartons of his new Don't Quit nutrition shake to demonstrate, Jake advised, "You can hold them in [each] hand while you're seated and just do some front punches...then...you could do...some simple shoulder presses," he said, raising them over his head repeatedly.

"[G]et up, take a broomstick, do a twist. Great for relieving the stress and tension in your neck and your shoulders."

Jake adds, "I know it doesn't feel like much, but you know what? Something is better than nothing."

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Georgia to announce ballot audit results today; Trump challenges dwindle
Election officials in Georgia are expected to reveal today the results of their hand audit of the ballots cast in the general election, following Wednesday’s 11:59 p.m. ET deadline to complete the audit.  Officials there have repeatedly said they don’t expect the audit to change President-elect Joe Biden’s narrow victory in Georgia over President Trump.  The audit was not the result of any campaign request or suspected irregularities, but rather was automatically triggered by a new state law.  The state has until Friday to certify the vote.  The Trump campaign has scheduled a press conference for this morning at about the same time Georgia officials are expected to announce the audit results.

As President Trump continues his refusal to concede defeat to Biden, his campaign’s legal team has either lost or withdrawn from 14 separate legal challenges to the election outcome in several states. In Wisconsin, the Trump campaign has decided not to request a statewide recount, for which they would have to pay $7.9 million, but instead has paid for a recount in two mostly Democratic counties. There is no suggestion that it would do anything to change the vote outcome in the state, which Biden won.  The Trump campaign also continues to challenge Biden’s ballot victory in Pennsylvania, where they so far have had no luck in court.

President-elect Biden currently has 306 electoral votes to President Trump’s 232, with 270 needed to win the presidency.   Check ABCNews.com for the latest vote counts and other election updates.

Unemployment ticks up as 742,000 claims filed last week
Unemployment ticked up last week as 742,000 new unemployment claims were filed, according to numbers released this morning by the U.S. Labor Department. That number is a bit worse than expectations and is an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 711,000.  While vaccine news has been positive in recent days, there is for now no stimulus help available for millions businesses and jobs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  As the pandemic continues to surge across the nation, with states posting record numbers of cases, many officials are instituting new or additional business closures and limitations that could further negatively affect the economy and unemployment.  There are currently a total of 20,319,615 people claiming unemployment benefits from government programs.

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: 56,394,215
Global deaths: 1,352,188.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 250,548.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 36,277,416

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 11,531,451 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 250,548.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,156.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,350,789
U.S. total people tested: 171,908,902

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,091,558 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,757,520 reported cases; England, which has 1,229,140 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,184,496 reported cases.

Oxford-Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine phase 2 results released; phase 3 results expected within weeks
Oxford University says phase 2 trial results of the COVID-19 vaccine they’re developing with pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca show that “the vaccine causes few side effects, and induces immune responses in both parts of the immune system in all age groups,” meaning it appears to work just as well for both younger and older patients.  The report, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, also says phase 3 trial results are expected within weeks. 

Oxford-Astra Zeneca was an early COVID-19 vaccine development frontrunner but it has since been outpaced by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, both of which announced their phase 3 trial results in the last two weeks and say they will seek FDA emergency use authorization very soon, with planned widespread distribution in the coming months.  Oxford says they plan to produce and distribute three billion doses of their vaccine, three times more than any other manufacturer to date, and will also offer it to developing countries at no profit in perpetuity.

US COVID-19 single-day deaths the highest in six months
On the same day the U.S. surpassed 250,000 total reported deaths from COVID-19, the nation on Wednesday also experienced the highest single-day fatality numbers in six months.  A reported 1,869 people died of the virus Wednesday, according to the Covid Tacking Project, the highest single-day death count since May 7.  There were also 78,410 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a new single-day record.  New cases in the U.S. are now averaging over 150,000 daily, with 163,975 reported Wednesday.  The U.S. has 11,531,451 reported coronavirus cases and 250,548 total fatalities as of Thursday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


US surpasses 250k COVID-19 fatalities, 19 states hit record number of hospitalizations

iStock/AlexSava (WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The U.S. hit another grim milestone in the fight against COVID-19, a quarter million American lives lost to the virus.  That is nearly 20 percent of the world's fatalities.  Since the onset of the pandemic, the U.S. has lost 250,140 lives to COVID-19.

That number is expected to increase at a much quicker rate due to surging hospitalization numbers across the country.

19 states are reporting a record number of hospitalizations -- Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

In addition, four states have reported a record number of deaths: Iowa, Kentucky, New Mexico and Wisconsin.

In addition, the U.S. accounts for over 20 percent of the globe's COVID-19 cases, with Johns Hopkins University recording nearly 11.5 million positive cases as of late Wednesday.  

The U.S. added an additional 154,266 cases on Tuesday, reports the COVID tracking project.

Health officials are urging Americans to remain vigilant and to continue practicing social distancing measures to help prevent the further spread of the virus.  This applies to the recent announcement of two viable vaccine candidates from Pfizer and Moderna, both with an efficacy rate of over 90 percent.

However, while both companies are working to have vaccines approved and distributed to the public -- the consensus appears that most Americans will not be able to receive it until spring 2021, with a potential sense of normality returning in fall 2021.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

US passes 250,000 COVID-19 deaths

RomoloTavani/iStock(NEW YORK) -- The United States has now seen more than a quarter of a million people die from COVID-19.

The U.S. passed the dire milestone late Wednesday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University, which reported 250,029 deaths from the virus since the first case in America was identified in Washington state on January 20, 2020. 

The U.S. continues to have the greatest number of reported COVID-19 deaths and infections than any other country.  As of Wednesday afternoon, the total number of reported infections in the U.S. stood at 11,468,739, accounting for just over 20% of the world's cases.  The number of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. represents 18.5% of the world's fatalities.

The U.S. has averaged more than 150,000 daily new cases of COVID-19 every day for the past 14 consecutive days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  The most recent forecast by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, posted November 9, estimates the U.S. will see a total of 260,000 to 282,000 COVID-19 deaths by the week ending December 5.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Survey shows how home entertainment has changed in 2020

iStock/vasantytf(NEW YORK) -- With millions of people all over the world staying home to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no secret we're watching more TV, movies and streaming stuff than ever, but a new survey shows just how our viewing habits have changed because of it. 

The poll of 5,000 people from China, France, India, and the U.S. commissioned by Dolby shows that people are spending more time than ever on immersive entertainment experiences and streaming content -- and more dough than ever improving their home entertainment set up to watch it.

Consumer spending on content has increased by 72% in the U.S. in the last six months, led by Gen X and millennials; the latter demographic boosted their spending by an average of 38%.

Seventy-seven percent of all of those polled say they'd pay more for better picture or sound quality, with 64% saying they've upgraded at least one streaming service to a premium version for just that. 

Ninety-seven percent of consumers in India, 94% in China, and 55% in France have also spent more to keep themselves entertained at home.

Eighty-two percent of those polled say they plan to purchase a new device to boost their enjoyment of entertainment at home, while 64% say they're planning to upgrade their "living room experience" with home theater and other gear.

With social distancing the new normal, more people than ever are connecting virtually with family and friends to enjoy the same shows and movies simultaneously: 87% say they've done so for the first time ever this year.  That includes taking on the phone while watching the same shows (45%), live-texting while doing so (44%), and video chatting while enjoying the same content with friends (43%)

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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