Monday, November 30, 2020

The AM Rundown: Fauci Sees Difficult Days Ahead

Doctor Anthony Fauci said the U.S. could be entering into a difficult period of the coronavirus pandemic, with Thanksgiving weekend travelers creating a "surge superimposed on the surge we are already in." On NBC's Meet the Press yesterday, the nation's top infectious disease expert urged Americans to be cautious throughout the December holidays in order to help alleviate what he calls "a really precarious situation."

The U.S. recorded more than 150,000 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday. That's a new record, and brings the total number infected in the U.S. to 13.4 million, according to The New York Times. An estimated 266,000 have died.

➤TRUMP SUGGESTS FBI AND DOJ RIGGED THE ELECTION: In his first interview since Election Day, President Donald Trump repeated his accusation that the election was rigged against him and suggested that the FBI and the Department of Justice might have been involved in a conspiracy to elect Joe Biden. "This is total fraud and how—the FBI and Department of Justice, I don't know, maybe they're involved—but how people are allowed to get away with this stuff is unbelievable," the president told Fox News' Maria Bartiroma in the interview yesterday morning. He again blamed mail-in voting, which he called "a total disaster." He said the FBI and Department of Justice is at least "missing in action" if not involved in the conspiracy.

On Saturday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court rejected a challenge that sought to invalidate millions of mail-in votes in that state. The suit was one of at least 26 pro-Trump election challenges that have been dismissed by courts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.
In Wisconsin, a recount paid for by the Trump campaign came up with 87 additional votes for Joe Biden.

➤VACCINE ON BOARD: Charter flights to bring millions of doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine from Belgium to the U.S. began on Friday. Distribution won't begin until after mid-December, when the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve use of the vaccine. Two plants are manufacturing it, one in Belgium and the other in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The Pfizer product is one of three promising vaccines that have been developed since the pandemic began.

➤NOT YOUR ORDINARY BLACK FRIDAY: The traditional door-busting Black Friday shopping event flopped this year. In-store sales cratered by 52 percent, according to early estimates. But shopping online increased 21.6%, hitting a new record, according to data from Adobe Analytics. 

With online shopping surging throughout the pandemic, retail giant Amazon has gone on an extraordinary hiring binge, The New York Times reports. Since March, the company has added about 427,300 employees in its hundreds of warehouses in rural communities and suburbs around the world. Its global workforce is now about 1.2 million.

➤MASS SHOOTING IN MISSISSIPPI BAR: At least 11 people were wounded during a shooting at a biker bar in Grenada, Mississippi, early Sunday, authorities said. Grenada police said the shooting occurred at a club called the SSMC. No arrests have been made.

➤JOE BIDEN FRACTURES HIS FOOT: President-elect Joe Biden suffered a couple of hairline fractures in one foot after slipping while playing with his German shepherd, Major, his office announced yesterday. His doctor said Biden will probably have to wear a walking boot for several weeks.

🐾The White House will soon be practically swarming with pets. The Bidens have two German shepherds, and Jill Biden was recently heard saying she'd really like to have a cat, too.

🌨OH NO, IT'S SNOW! The first major storm system of the season is about to hit the East Coast, according to meteorologists. Heavy rain and strong winds are expected from Louisiana to North Carolina. Some snow is expected in the Great Lakes region all the way to parts of the Southeast. Florida may even get a bit of a chill in midweek.

😷SAINTS WHACKED FOR MASK-FREE PARTY: The New Orleans Saints have been fined $500,000 by the NFL and lost a 7th-round draft pick as punishment for an unmasked locker room celebration of the team's win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 9. ESPN says the Saints are appealing the penalties.

A reporter for the NFL Network says the Patriots have been fined $350,000 for COVID-19 protocol violations in October when Cam Newton and others tested positive.

🏈LIONS FIRE HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER: Detroit Lions head coach Matt Patricia and general manager Bob Quinn had a very bad no good Thanksgiving. Both were fired two days after the Lions lost to the Houston Texas 41-25 on Thanksgiving. Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will take over as interim coach.

The Jacksonville Jaguars general manager is out, too. Dave Caldwell was fired right after yesterday's loss to the Cleveland Browns, the team announced. Yesterday's loss was the team's 10th in a row.

🥊GOLDEN OLDIES MATCH DECLARED A DRAW: Mike Tyson, age 54, and Roy Jones Junior, 51, got into the ring one more time on Saturday. The match in Los Angeles was not officially scored, but the celebrity judges called it a draw. Yahoo Sports scored it for Tyson at six rounds to two, 78-74. Columnist Kevin Iole opined that the fight was "far from a vintage performance from either fighter, but it wasn't embarrassing, either." Many viewers declared rapper-turned-sports analyst Snoop Dogg the winner for his extremely colorful color commentary.

🏎ROMAIN GROSJEAN IS LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Formula One driver Romain Grosjean miraculously emerged from the flames of his car after it crashed during the Bahrain Grand Prix yesterday. His car veered off the track during the first lap, ploughed into the barriers, exploded on impact and broke in half. He was pulled from the flames by emergency services and treated for light burns. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton won the race.

🏈MAKING HISTORY AT VANDERBILT: A Vanderbilt senior made history Saturday when she kicked off the second half of the Commodores' football game against the Missouri Tigers. That's right: she. Sarah Fuller is the first woman ever to participate in a Power 5 conference game. Fuller is a goalie on the university's women's soccer team. She tried out for a spot on the football team after several players got stuck in COVID quarantine.

  • Miami Dolphins 20, New York Jets 3
  • New England Patriots 20, Arizona Cardinals 17
  • Minnesota Vikings 28, Carolina Panthers 27
  • Cleveland Browns 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 25
  • Tennessee Titans 45, Indianapolis Colts 26
  • New York Giants 19, Cincinnati Bengals 17
  • Buffalo Bills 27, Los Angeles Chargers 17
  • Atlanta Falcons 43, Las Vegas Raiders 6
  • San Francisco 49ers 23, Los Angeles Rams 20
  • New Orleans Saints 31, Denver Broncos 3
  • Kansas City Chiefs 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
  • Green Bay Packers 41, Chicago Bears 25
Tonight's Monday Night Football game on ESPN:
  • Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles, on ESPN 8:15 PM EST

➤THE WORD OF THE YEAR:  If you were to choose a word that rose above most in 2020, which word would it be? Ding, ding, ding: Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. “That probably isn’t a big shock,” Peter Sokolowski, editor at large for Merriam-Webster, told The Associated Press.

“Often the big news story has a technical word that’s associated with it and in this case, the word pandemic is not just technical but has become general. It’s probably the word by which we’ll refer to this period in the future,” he said.

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