Trump Administration, Week 199: Friday, 6 November – Thursday, 12 November 2020 (Days 1,386-1,392)

 

            Biden Beats Trump

  Kamala Harris Is First Woman             Elected Vice President

 

 

 

This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process. Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always.

 

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Friday, 6 November 2020, Day 1,386:

 

Latest Election Results: Biden’s Lead Grows Slowly but Steadily. Joe Biden pulled ahead of President Trump by more than 28,000 votes in Pennsylvania, where a victory would give Mr. Biden the electoral votes he needs to win the presidency. He also widened his leads in Nevada and Georgia. The New York Times, Friday, 6 November 2020:

  • Victory appears within Biden’s grasp as his lead widens in crucial battlegrounds.

  • The vote counting has slowed to a crawl across three critical states.

  • Perdue re-election race goes to runoff in Georgia, leaving Senate majority in limbo.

  • In Detroit, Republican poll watchers are accused of using baseless challenges to delay ballot count.

  • Biden, leading in Pennsylvania, nears victory in the state and the election.

  • Biden’s lead grows in Nevada, putting him near victory there.

  • As Biden takes the lead in Georgia, state officials say a recount is inevitable.

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020 live updates and results: Biden expresses confidence that he’ll win as states keep tallying votes, The Washington Post, Amy B Wang, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Brittany Shamas, Derek Hawkins, Elise Viebeck, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 6 November 2020: “White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, according to an administration official with knowledge of the diagnosis. This comes a little more than a month after President Trump and other members of his family and inner circle tested positive. The White House declined to comment Friday. Also Friday, former vice president Joe Biden addressed the public, acknowledging that votes were still being tabulated but expressing confidence he would soon be able to claim a win. ‘My fellow Americans, we don’t have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers … tell us a clear and convincing story. We’re going to win this race,’ Biden said from Delaware.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Pennsylvania: Biden leads by close to 29,000 votes in the count.
  • Georgia: Biden leads in the count by about 4,400 votes. Counties have finished counting early and absentee ballots and are focused on provisional ballots.
  • Nevada: Biden leads in the count by more than 22,000 votes. More vote counts are expected at noon Eastern time on Saturday.
  • Arizona: Biden’s lead in the vote count is just under 30,000 votes. Maricopa County, the state’s largest, has about 72,000 early ballots left to process and count, 5,000 early ballots to verify and 15,000 provisional ballots to process as of 9 p.m. Eastern on Friday, according to its elections department.

Trump has told people he has no plans to concede even if his path to victory is blocked, CNN Politics, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Facing a disappearing pathway to victoryPresident Donald Trump offered little indication on Friday he was prepared to concede defeat, leading those around him to wonder who might be able to reckon with a leader who has given virtually no thought to leaving the White House. Even as vote totals now show him trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in key battlegrounds, Trump has not prepared a concession speech and in conversations with allies in recent days has said he has no intention of conceding the election, people familiar with the matter said. So far he has been bolstered in his stance by those closest to him, including his senior advisers and his adult sons, who have mounted an aggressive effort in the courts to challenge the results and have pressured other Republicans into defending him. Top aides, including his chief of staff Mark Meadows, have not attempted to come to terms with the President about the reality of what is happening. Instead, they have fed his baseless claim that the election is being stolen from underneath him. That has led to some annoyance among staff, who believe Meadows is feeding the President’s baseless claim that the election is illegitimate.”

Continue reading Week 199, Friday, 6 November  – Thursday, 12 November 2020 (Days 1,386-1,392)

With No Evidence of Fraud, Trump Fails to Make Headway on Legal Cases, The New York Times, Jim Rutenberg, Nick Corasaniti, and Alan Feuer, Friday, 6 November 2020: “President Trump’s bellicose pledge to fight the outcome of the election in the courts crashed on Friday into skeptical judges, daunting Electoral College math and a lack of evidence for his claims of fraud. On a day that began with vote tallies in Georgia and Pennsylvania tipping in Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s favor, Mr. Trump’s campaign declared, ‘This election is not over,’ as the Republican National Committee announced it had activated ‘legal challenge teams’ in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan and Pennsylvania. And the Trump forces named a new general to lead the effort, the hardened conservative political combatant David Bossie. But none of the dozen or so lawsuits they had brought in battleground states appeared to be gaining any traction in the courts. And in any case, none seemed likely to give Mr. Trump the edge he would need in vote counts in the states that will determine the outcome. In seeking to foment widespread doubt about the legitimacy of the election, Mr. Trump and his surrogates seemed less focused on substantive legal arguments that could hold up in court than on bolstering the president’s political narrative, unsupported by the facts, that he was somehow being robbed of a second term.”

Stacey Abrams garners praise from Democrats on the verge of achieving a long-held dream: Flipping Georgia, The Washington Post, Vanessa Williams and Reis Thebault, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Stacey Abrams did not deny her anger when Republican Brian Kemp was declared the winner of the Georgia governor’s race two years ago, after a bitter contest marred by widespread irregularities and allegations of voter suppression. Instead, she channeled that anger into the work she had started years before to organize and mobilize an army of voters to break the Republican Party’s lock on state politics and create a government that looked more like the new Georgia. That army, anchored in metro Atlanta and in smaller pockets of predominantly Black cities and counties, helped to push former vice president Joe Biden several thousand votes ahead of President Trump in the state this week. Now Democrats are on the verge of achieving a long-held dream: flipping Georgia, which hasn’t voted for a presidential nominee of that party since 1992.” See also, As Biden Inches Ahead in Georgia, Stacey Abrams Draws Recognition and Praise, The New York Times, Danny Hakim, Stephanie Saul, and Glenn Thrush, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Stacey Abrams, who earlier this year was on a short list of potential vice-presidential candidates, was ultimately not chosen by Joseph R. Biden Jr. But on Friday, as Mr. Biden took a narrow lead in Georgia, it was Ms. Abrams who was celebrated, a sign of her remarkable ascent as a power broker since her failed bid for governor of that state two years ago. Celebrities, activists and voters across Georgia credited Ms. Abrams with moving past her loss — she came within 55,000 votes of the governor’s mansion — and building a well-funded network of organizations that highlighted voter suppression in the state and inspired an estimated 800,000 residents to register to vote. ‘You have to build the infrastructure to organize and motivate your base, and you have to persuade people,’ said Jason Carter, a Democrat who was the party’s candidate for governor in 2014. ‘Stacey built that infrastructure, and Donald Trump’s presidency energized that infrastructure, and it opened up voters to persuasion who were previously not open, particularly in the suburbs.'”

Twitter permanently suspends a Steve Bannon account after he suggested Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded, CNN, Curt Devine, Donie O’Sullivan, and Kara Scannell, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon after he suggested Thursday morning that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded. His comments were made in a video posted to his Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. Bannon falsely claimed President Trump had won reelection, despite several key states still being too close to call, and said that he should fire both Fauci and Wray. He then said he would go further: ‘I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone.’ On Friday, a high-powered attorney representing Bannon in a criminal fraud case, moved to withdraw from representing him and asked that the hearing scheduled for Monday in the case be postponed while Bannon looks for a new lawyer.” See also, Steve Bannon Loses Lawyer After Suggesting Beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and F.B.I Director Christopher Wray. Mr. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump, said the heads of the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put on pikes, leading Twitter to ban one of his accounts. The New York Times, Benjamin Weiser, Michael S. Schmidt, and William K. Rashbaum, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Stephen K. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump who is known for his right-wing extremism, suggested on Thursday that the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci should be beheaded, and Twitter responded by banning one of his accounts. On Friday, a prominent lawyer who was defending Mr. Bannon against fraud charges in federal court in Manhattan abruptly moved to drop him as a client, one person familiar with the matter said. ‘Mr. Bannon is in the process of retaining new counsel,’ the lawyer, William A. Burck, said in a brief letter to the court, giving no explanation. A spokeswoman for Mr. Bannon declined to comment. The loss of his white-shoe representation was just the latest setback for Mr. Bannon, 66, who has struggled for political relevance since losing his job at the White House eight months after Mr. Trump’s inauguration. Most recently, in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, Mr. Bannon teamed with Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s lawyer, laboring to create a narrative that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s son Hunter was corrupt, in a bid to harm Mr. Biden’s presidential campaign. The Biden campaign has vigorously denied the unsubstantiated allegations.” See also, Twitter has banned an account of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon after calling for the beheading of Dr Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christopher Wray, The Guardian, Peter Beaumont, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Twitter has banned the account of the former Donald Trump adviser and surrogate Steve Bannon after he called for the beheading of Dr Anthony Fauci and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, and the posting of their heads outside the White House as a ‘warning.’ Speaking on his podcast, the War Room, which was distributed in video form on a number of social media outlets, the far-right provocateur appeared to endorse violence against Wray and the US’s most senior infectious diseases expert. ‘Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci … no I actually want to go a step farther but the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,’ Bannon said. ‘I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the programme or you’re gone.’ Twitter banned Bannon’s War Room account permanently, saying it had suspended the podcast account for violating its policy on the glorification of violence. The same video was on Facebook for about 10 hours before it was also removed. Later on Friday, William Burck, an attorney for Bannon in a fraud case in New York City, told a federal judge he was withdrawing. Bannon is accused of misappropriating money from a group which raised $2m from thousands of donors to build a wall on the border with Mexico, and has pleaded not guilty. Burck did not give a reason for his withdrawal.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 6 November 2020: U.S. Hits New Coronavirus Case Record for Third Straight Day. More than 132,700 new cases were announced across the United States on Friday. The country also reported more than 1,000 deaths for the fourth straight day. The New York Times, Friday, 6 November 2020:

  • United States records over 1,000 deaths for fourth straight day.

  • The Department of Defense sends 3 medical teams to help El Paso cope with virus patients.

  • For Europe’s hospitals, a deluge of more Covid patients than ever.

  • ‘It’s coming after all of us’: Snapshots from a day in the life of pandemic America.

  • Coronavirus cases at U.S. colleges have hit a quarter million.

  • Shutdown orders will be eased in N.Y.C., and SUNY schools will go online after Thanksgiving.

  • Governor warns of new restrictions in New Jersey, where the virus is surging

  • Denmark defends its plans to slaughter millions of farmed mink over fears of viral mutation.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Friday, 6 November 2020: Coronavirus updates: New U.S. cases surpass 128,000, setting record for third straight day, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Rick Noack, Karla Adam, and Marisa Iati, Friday, 6 November 2020: “Another day, another record shattered. The United States reported more than 128,000 new coronavirus cases Friday as the number of fatalities nationwide exceeded 1,000 for the fourth consecutive day. The seven-day average of new cases was nearly 100,000, almost 20,000 higher than on this day last week.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • A poll worker in Missouri tested positive for the novel coronavirus, ignored instructions to self-isolate, worked on Election Day and has died, according to officials in St. Charles County.
  • Three U.S. Air Force medical teams totaling 60 people deployed to hospitals in El Paso to help treat covid-19 patients. Surrounding El Paso County averaged 1,913 daily cases Friday, up from 266 on this day last month, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. Current hospitalizations have also spiked to 1,049 on Friday, county data show.
  • Amid surging cases and hospitalizations, Wisconsin’s top health officer resigned, citing the pressure of the job, among other factors. Stephanie Smiley, who served on an interim basis since May, is the second top Wisconsin health official to step down during the pandemic.
  • The U.S. economy added 638,000 jobs in October, and the unemployment rate fell by 1 percent to 6.9 percent. The increase in jobs was the smallest monthly gain since May, indicating that the pace of economic recovery has slowed.
  • Delaware’s stay-at-home order and mask mandate contributed to an 82-percent decrease in infections and a 100-percent decrease in coronavirus-related deaths from late April through June, according to a weekly report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Adults testing positive for the coronavirus were almost twice as likely to report having gone into workplaces in person or into a school in the previous two weeks than those who tested negative, according to a new study published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those working from home were more likely to be White and college-educated and to make more than $75,000 a year.

Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Infected With Coronavirus, Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs, Tyler Pager, and Mario Parker, Friday, 6 November 2020: “President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has contracted coronavirus, according to people familiar with the matter, adding to the outbreaks connected to the White House. Meadows tested positive for the virus on Wednesday, according to one of the people, though it wasn’t clear whether he had developed symptoms of Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. He informed a close circle of advisers after Tuesday’s election, another person said. At least four other White House officials have been infected, including Cassidy Hutchinson, one of Meadows’s closest aides. A senior Trump campaign aide, Nick Trainer, is also infected, according to people familiar with the matter. Meadows and White House spokespeople didn’t respond to multiple emails and phone messages requesting comment. Trainer and campaign spokespeople declined to comment.”

 

Saturday, 7 November 2020, Day 1,387:

 

Biden Beats Trump. Kamala Harris Is First Woman Elected Vice President. The New York Times, Saturday, 7 November 2020.

2020 Election Highlights: Biden Wins Presidency, Calling for End of ‘Grim Era.’ Joseph R. Biden Jr. addressed the nation for the first time as president-elect, saying, ‘This is the time to heal in America.’ Kamala Harris is the first woman elected vice president. President Trump has vowed to file legal challenges. The New York Times, Saturday, 7 November 2020:

  • Biden makes his first remarks to the nation as president-elect.

  • Joe Biden is elected the 46th president of the United States.

  • Kamala Harris, elected V.P., has risen higher in national politics than any woman before her.

  • Trump supporters, many armed, descend on state capitols.

  • Which Four Seasons? Oh, not that one.

  • Ocasio-Cortez says progressive ideas did not cause Democratic losses.

  • We followed one Trump supporter from elation to resignation.

  • China’s state-run news media reacts to Biden’s victory with cautious optimism.

  • Vote counts are continuing, but the chances of Trump’s fortunes changing are slim.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Joe Biden, in victory speech, says, ‘This is the time to heal in America,’ The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Amy B Wang, Meryl Kornfield, Derek Hawkins, John Wagner, and Kim Bellware, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “Joe Biden is now president-elect, and Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California is set to become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence. In a victory speech on Saturday night, Biden called it ‘a time to heal in America’ and said, ‘I pledge to be a president who seeks not to divide but unify, who doesn’t see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.’ Harris praised Biden as ‘a healer, a uniter, a tested and steady hand’ and spoke of what her win represented, saying, ‘While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.’ Biden supporters came together to celebrate in cities throughout the country, while in state capitals from Phoenix to Austin, Trump supporters were gathering at protests over vote counts, planned before Biden’s victory was announced. Trump and his team have vowed to fight the results in court, and the president has baselessly called into question the integrity of legally cast votes since news organizations made their call.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Biden plans immediate flurry of executive orders to reverse Trump policies, The Washington Post, Matt Viser, Seung Min Kim, and Annie Linskey, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden is planning to quickly sign a series of executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, immediately forecasting that the country’s politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities. He will rejoin the Paris climate accords, according to those close to his campaign and commitments he has made in recent months, and he will reverse President Trump’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization. He will repeal the ban on almost all travel from some Muslim-majority countries, and he will reinstate the program allowing ‘dreamers,’ who were brought to the United States illegally as children, to remain in the country, according to people familiar with his plans.” See also, Biden Could Roll Back Trump Agenda With Blitz of Executive Actions, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear and Lisa Friedman, published on Sunday, 8 November 2020: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is poised to unleash a series of executive actions on his first day in the Oval Office, prompting what is likely to be a yearslong effort to unwind President Trump’s domestic agenda and immediately signal a wholesale shift in the United States’ place in the world. In the first hours after he takes the oath of office on the West Front of the Capitol at noon on Jan. 20, Mr. Biden has said, he will send a letter to the United Nations indicating that the country will rejoin the global effort to combat climate change, reversing Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord with more than 174 countries.”

Top congressional Republicans are silent on Biden win as Trump allies remain defiant, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Derek Hawkins, and Josh Dawsey, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “Top congressional Republicans declined to offer congratulations to President-elect Joe Biden, or even comment on his win, as the White House and its GOP allies remained defiant that the race isn’t over for President Trump. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) were silent with no plans to issue any statement Saturday about the race, according to GOP aides speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss the leaders’ plans.”

CNN’s Van Jones brought to tears as Biden wins US election. Now we can breathe. For a lot of people it’s a good day. CNN Opinion, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “It’s easier to be a parent this morning. It’s easier to be a dad. It’s easier to tell your kids that character matters. The truth matters. Being a good person matters. Joe Biden will be our next president and Donald Trump will not. This is vindication for a lot of people who have suffered under this administration. If you’re Muslim in this country, you won’t have to worry about the President not wanting you here. If you’re an immigrant, you won’t have to worry about your babies being snatched away. If you’re a Dreamer, you won’t have to be worried about getting sent away for no reason. When George Floyd was murdered, he said ‘I can’t breathe.’ Over these past four years, too many of us have felt like they couldn’t breathe. Waking up every day to this President’s tweets has been exhausting. Going to the store while people get nastier and nastier as they become less and less afraid to show their racism makes you tired. Being worried about if your sister can just go to Walmart and get back into her car without somebody saying offensive something to her — it’s not okay. We’ve spent so much of our life energy just trying to hold it together over these past four years. Biden’s victory is a huge deal for us. Now we get a chance to get some peace and reset.”

First CNN, then within minutes, most other news organizations called the race for Biden, The Washington Post, Elahe Izadi, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “The first on-air call came from CNN at 11:24 a.m. Saturday — former vice president Joe Biden was projected to win Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, and therefore, would be the next president. Within the following minute, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and ABC projected the same on air. The Associated Press made the call at 11:26 a.m., and Fox News announced it at 11:40 a.m. The Washington Post made the call at 11:34 a.m. that Biden was projected to win Pennsylvania and the presidency. Each news outlet makes its own determination on these calls, relying on ‘decision desks’ staffed by political scientists, researchers and analysts who operate independently from newsroom political staffs. The AP and Fox News were the first major news organizations to call Arizona, which meant that for several days their counts had Biden at just six electoral votes shy of the 270 needed to win the presidency. Fox News called Arizona for Biden at 11:20 p.m. Tuesday, and the AP followed at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday.”

Which Four Seasons? Oh, not that one. The New York Times, Annie Karni and Nick Corasaniti, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, was standing in the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping in far northeast Philadelphia, as close to a Trump enclave as a decidedly Democratic city gets, highlighting alleged examples of voter fraud when the networks called the presidential race for Joseph R. Biden Jr. The surroundings were humble for such a seminal moment — a podium set up in front of a closed garage door decorated with a campaign poster — especially after a presidential tweet in the morning had advertised something that sounded a lot more upscale. ‘Lawyers News Conference Four Seasons, Philadelphia. 11:00 a.m.,’ President Trump tweeted Saturday morning, before issuing a corrective and explaining that he did not mean the luxury downtown hotel near the city’s convention center and was referring instead to a business called Four Seasons Total Landscaping. The correction quickly met with derision and glee among many blue-checkmark Twitter users, who assumed the campaign had accidentally booked the wrong venue. The landscaping business, after all, was situated near a porn shop, Fantasy Island Adult Bookstore, and a crematorium.”

Coronavirus pandemic continues its coast-to-coast march, The Washington Post, Missy Ryan, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “America’s coronavirus crisis deepened Saturday as cases continued to surge while an electoral victory for former vice president Joe Biden offered the possibility of a significantly different approach to efforts to contain the spread. For the fourth consecutive day, a single-day record was set for coronavirus cases, with more than 134,000 reported. Numerous states in the Midwest reported record-high numbers of new cases, but the peaks were not limited to a single region and also included Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington state. In total, state authorities reported more than 1,100 new deaths Saturday.”

Trump Leaves Unfinished Business in Environmental Litigation, Bloomberg Law, Ellen M. Gilmer, Saturday, 7 November 2020: “Major environmental litigation is set for an abrupt shift after President-elect Joe Biden steps into the White House, as the Trump administration leaves behind a trail of unanswered legal questions. In four years, President Donald Trump and his appointees in the Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department, and other agencies made dramatic regulatory changes that sparked an ongoing series of legal battles. Biden’s team is expected to reverse course on big-ticket items, stopping many of those lawsuits in their tracks. ‘We could see a repeat of what happened in 2016 to 2017, except the mirror opposite,’ Crowell & Moring LLP attorney Thomas A. Lorenzen said, referring to the last presidential transition, when federal courts shelved several critical legal debates after former President Barack Obama left office. With only one term, the Trump administration hasn’t been able to work through the full litigation process for its biggest environmental policies and rollbacks—including weakening Obama-era climate regulations and shrinking national monuments. Judges will keep some of those cases on track after Biden takes office if they involve continuing legal debates. But as the Biden administration works to unwind underlying Trump-era decisions, much of the related litigation will come to a halt and go unresolved.”

 

Sunday, 8 November 2020, Day 1,388:

 

Election 2020 Updates: As Trump Refuses to Concede, Republicans Remain Divided. White House advisers have warned President Trump of his narrow chances in any legal fight. The Biden team turned its focus to the transition. And world leaders offered their congratulations to the president-elect. The New York Times, Sunday, 8 November 2020:

  • Biden’s plan for Day 1 in the White House.

  • Republicans are split over whether to call the election over.

  • Trump has remained out of sight except on social media, where his messages were flagged for inaccuracy.

  • Michigan’s governor advises Democrats to focus on ‘dinner table issues.’

  • View from abroad: Europe welcomes a Biden presidency, but is also wary.

  • Farmers fear a growing strain on their livelihoods, no matter who is in charge.

  • ‘Get Joe on the phone’: Biden and McConnell have a history of deal-making.

  • What’s next for Trump’s family business?

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Biden focuses on transition, while Trump spends the day at his golf course, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez and Paulina Firozi, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “Former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) are planning their transition effort, including the establishment of a coronavirus task force that is set to be unveiled Monday. The moves by the president-elect and vice president-elect come as George W. Bush became the latest former president to congratulate the Democrats on their victory. President Trump, meanwhile, has continued to tweet false claims that the election was marked by fraud. He spent much of Sunday at his golf course in Sterling, Va., marking his 210th day golfing since becoming president. On Sunday afternoon, he complained about news outlets’ decision Saturday to call the race for Biden. ‘Since when does the Lamestream Media call who our next president will be?’ Trump tweeted. ‘We have all learned a lot in the last two weeks!’

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Biden is planning to quickly sign executive orders after being sworn into office on Jan. 20, forecasting that the country’s politics have shifted and that his presidency will be guided by radically different priorities.
  • Trump’s bid to discredit the integrity of the U.S. election results has raised fears, even among his own aides, that he will refuse to concede and will seek to undermine a potential transfer of power.
  • Celebrations erupted across the country as Biden was declared the winner of the presidency.

Trump continues to defy election results as world and some Republicans begin to move on, The Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “As President-elect Joe Biden accepted congratulations from world leaders and a former president on Sunday, the man he defeated continued to deny the reality of a transition that was taking place despite his unwillingness to participate. President Trump traveled to his Virginia golf course for a second straight day Sunday, declining to concede the presidential race more than 24 hours after Biden had been declared the victor. As Trump continued to make conspiratorial allegations of voter fraud without providing any evidence, Republican officials and allies splintered between nudging him to accept defeat and encouraging him to fight. The president appeared fixated on doing the latter, using social media to cast doubt on the election process rather than prepare for a peaceful transition of power.” See also, As Biden Plans Transition, Republicans Decline to Recognize His Election. Former President George W. Bush and a handful of other Republicans congratulated the president-elect, but most party leaders stayed quiet or urged President Trump to fight. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. prepared on Sunday to start building his administration, even as Republican leaders and scores of party lawmakers refrained from acknowledging his victory out of apparent deference to President Trump, who continued to refuse to concede. With Mr. Biden out of the public eye as he received congratulations from leaders around the world, his team turned its attention to a transition that will swing into action on Monday, with the launch of a coronavirus task force and swift moves to begin assembling his team. But more than 24 hours after his election had been declared, the vast majority of Republicans declined to offer the customary statements of good will for the victor that have been standard after American presidential contests, as Mr. Trump defied the results and vowed to forge ahead with long-shot lawsuits to try to overturn them. While some prominent Republican figures, including the party’s only living former president, George W. Bush, called Mr. Biden to wish him well, most elected officials stayed silent in the face of Mr. Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen from him.”

A little-known Trump appointee is in charge of handing transition resources to Biden, and she isn’t budging, The Washington Post, Lisa Rein, Jonathan O’Connell, and Josh Dawsey, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “A Trump administration appointee is refusing to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week, in another sign the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden’s victory and could disrupt the transfer of power. The administrator of the General Services Administration, the low-profile agency in charge of federal buildings, has a little-known role when a new president is elected: to sign paperwork officially turning over millions of dollars, as well as give access to government officials, office space in agencies and equipment authorized for the taxpayer-funded transition teams of the winner. It amounts to a formal declaration by the federal government, outside of the media, of the winner of the presidential race.”

9 Things the Biden Administration Could Do Quickly on the Environment, The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. campaigned on the most ambitious climate platform of any presidential candidate in history, promising to spend $2 trillion over four years to draw down planet-warming fossil fuel emissions and convert much of the nation to clean energy. The possibility that the Senate could remain under the control of Republicans, who have generally opposed climate legislation, puts a damper on some of his biggest-ticket plans. But with or without Democratic control of the Senate, the first 100 days of the Biden administration are likely to see a flurry of executive actions addressing climate change, as well as a major push to insert clean energy provisions into legislation that could pass with a bipartisan coalition.”

After Biden’s win, Republicans and Democrats gird for ferocious Senate runoffs in Georgia, The Washington Post, Sean Sullivan, Annie Linskey, and Chelsea Janes, Sunday, 8 November 2020: “Within minutes of Joe Biden becoming president-elect Saturday, top Democrats and Republicans raced to the front lines of 2020’s last battlefront: A pair of January Senate runoffs in Georgia where the country’s racial, economic and cultural cross-currents could help determine whether Democrats complete their takeover of Washington.”

 

Monday, 9 November 2020, Day 1,389:

 

Highlights from the Presidential Transition: Biden Announces Coronavirus Task Force, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Backs Trump’s Refusal to Concede. Senator Mitch McConnell did not contradict President Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen from him, and the attorney general gave prosecutors authority to investigate claims of voter fraud. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. unveiled the 13 members of his coronavirus task force. The New York Times, Monday, 9 November 2020:

  • Declining to recognize Biden’s victory, McConnell says Trump is ‘100 percent’ entitled to challenge it.

  • Barr gives prosecutors authority to investigate claims of voter fraud.

  • Biden announces a 13-member virus task force as coronavirus cases soar.

  • Biden begins laying out transition plans, as Trump team ramps up baseless claims of fraud.

  • Trump announces on Twitter that he has fired Esper as secretary of defense.

  • Facing runoffs, Georgia’s Republican senators ask the state’s top elections official, also a Republican, to step down.

  • Cheri Bustos, who leads House Democrats’ campaign arm, says she won’t seek another term as chairwoman.

  • Stocks jump, but fall short of a record, as Pfizer’s vaccine news adds to an election rally.

  • Biden wants to immediately reverse Trump’s ‘America First’ guiding principle.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backs Trump’s legal challenges; Biden urges Americans to wear masks to protect against the coronavirus, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, and Paulina Firozi, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) threw his support behind President Trump’s legal challenges in the wake of his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, saying Monday that Trump is ‘100 percent within his right’ to pursue recounts and litigation. Trump has produced no evidence of widespread voting fraud. Biden, meanwhile, delivered a speech in Delaware in which he urged Americans to wear masks as part of a collective effort to fight the coronavirus as he ramped up his transition to the presidency. And Trump, who has yet to concede the election, announced the firing of the defense secretary in tweets, saying, ‘Mark Esper has been terminated’ and that Christopher C. Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will be acting secretary of defense.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus, a HUD spokesman confirmed. Carson was at the White House on Tuesday for the election night party.
  • A Trump administration appointee is refusing to sign a letter allowing Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week, in another sign that the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden’s victory and could disrupt the transfer of power.
  • Biden and his advisers plan this week to demonstrate a far more assertive strategy against the coronavirus than Trump’s, and Biden may take a more proactive role in the coming weeks in congressional negotiations over an economic stimulus package.
  • Lawmakers return to Washington on Monday for Congress’s lame-duck session confronting a number of major problems but lacking clear signals from Trump.

Republicans Back Trump’s Refusal to Concede, Declining to Recognize Biden as President-Elect. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, slammed Democrats for expecting the president to quickly concede and said he had every right to pursue legal challenges. The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Emily Cochrane, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Leading Republicans rallied on Monday around President Trump’s refusal to concede the election, declining to challenge the false narrative that it was stolen from him or to recognize President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory even as party divisions burst into public view. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in Congress, threw his support behind Mr. Trump in a sharply worded speech on the Senate floor. He declared that Mr. Trump was ‘100 percent within his rights’ to turn to the legal system to challenge the outcome and hammered Democrats for expecting the president to concede.” See also, Top Republicans back Trump’s efforts to challenge election results, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey, and Emma Brown, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and other Republicans on Monday backed President Trump’s efforts to contest his loss to President-elect Joe Biden, despite the lack of evidence of significant fraud and sharp rebukes from election officials who defended the integrity of the vote.” See also, After Biden win, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell backs Trump’s legal challenges to election results, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday threw his support behind President Trump’s legal challenges in the wake of his loss to Democrat Joe Biden, saying that the president is ‘100 percent within his rights’ to pursue recounts and litigation, though Trump has produced no evidence of widespread voting fraud. ‘This process will reach its resolution. Our system will resolve any recounts or litigation. In January, the winner of this election will place his hand on a Bible, just like it’s happened every four years since 1793,’ McConnell said in remarks on the Senate floor. Trump and his campaign have offered no evidence to back up their baseless claims, and state and local officials from both parties have rejected the accusations from the president and his supporters. McConnell, later pressed by reporters, declined to answer when asked to produce evidence of fraud that would overturn the election results.” See also, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shrugs off Trump concession delay, NBC News, Dareh Gregorian and Julie Tsirkin, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday hailed Republican victories in last week’s election before saying President Donald Trump was right not to concede the presidential race because no states have certified their results yet.”

Attorney General William Barr clears Justice Department to investigate alleged voting irregularities as Trump makes unfounded fraud claims, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky and Devlin Barrett, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr on Monday gave federal prosecutors approval to pursue allegations of ‘vote tabulation irregularities’ in certain cases before results are certified and indicated he had already done so ‘in specific instances’ — a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy that quickly drew internal and external criticism for fueling unfounded claims of massive election fraud pushed by President Trump and other conservatives. Richard Pilger, head of the Justice Department’s Election Crimes Branch, stepped down from his position in protest over Barr’s directive — though he remains at the agency, according to people familiar with the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a politically volatile situation. The people said Barr had first broached a similar idea some weeks ago and that political leadership in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, of which the Election Crimes Branch is a part, pushed back. Those officials were blindsided when Barr’s memo was released on Monday, the people said.” See also, Attorney General William Barr Hands Prosecutors the Authority to Investigate Voter Fraud Claims. The attorney general said that he had authorized “instances” of investigative steps but that inquiries should not be based on specious claims. The New York Times, Katie Benner and Michael S. Schmidt, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr, wading into President Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread election irregularities, told federal prosecutors on Monday that they were allowed to investigate ‘specific allegations’ of voter fraud before the results of the presidential race are certified. Mr. Barr’s authorization prompted the Justice Department official who oversees investigations of voter fraud, Richard Pilger, to step down from the post within hours, according to an email Mr. Pilger sent to colleagues that was obtained by The New York Times. Mr. Barr said he had authorized ‘specific instances’ of investigative steps in some cases. He made clear in a carefully worded memo that prosecutors had the authority to investigate, but he warned that ‘specious, speculative, fanciful or far-fetched claims should not be a basis for initiating federal inquiries.’ Mr. Barr’s directive ignored the Justice Department’s longstanding policies intended to keep law enforcement from affecting the outcome of an election. And it followed a move weeks before the election in which the department lifted a prohibition on voter fraud investigations before an election.”

Trump Appointee Emily W. Murphy, Administrator of the General Services Administration, Stands Between Biden’s Team and a Smooth Transition, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Maggie Haberman, and Michael Crowley, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Transition officials for President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. called on a top Trump administration appointee on Monday to end what they said was unwarranted obstruction of the money and access that federal law says must flow to the winner of a presidential election. The officials, speaking on background to reporters on Monday night, said it was nearly unprecedented for Emily W. Murphy, the administrator of the General Services Administration, to refuse to issue a letter of ‘ascertainment,’ which allows Mr. Biden’s transition team to begin the transfer of power. By law, Ms. Murphy, the head of the sprawling agency that keeps the federal government functioning, must formally recognize Mr. Biden as the incoming president for his transition to begin. It has been three days since news organizations projected that he was the winner of the election, and Ms. Murphy has still not acted. The transition officials said her inaction was preventing Mr. Biden’s teams from moving into government offices, including secure facilities where they can discuss classified information. The teams cannot meet with their counterparts in agencies or begin background checks of top cabinet nominees that require top-secret access.” See also, The White House, escalating tensions, orders agencies to rebuff the Biden transition team, The Washington Post, Lisa Rein, Matt Viser, Greg Miller, and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 9 November 2020: “The Trump White House on Monday instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, escalating a standoff that threatens to impede the transfer of power and prompting the Biden team to consider legal action. Officials at agencies across the government who had prepared briefing books and carved out office space for the incoming Biden team to use as soon as this week were told instead that the transition would not be recognized until the Democrat’s election was confirmed by the General Services Administration, the low-profile agency that officially starts the transition. While media outlets on Saturday projected Biden as the winner, President Trump has not conceded the election…. The GSA, the government’s real estate arm, remained for a third day the proxy in the battle. Administrator Emily Murphy, a Trump political appointee who has lasted a full term in an administration where turnover has been the norm, is refusing to sign paperwork that releases Biden’s $6.3 million share of nearly $10 million in transition resources and gives his team access to agency officials and information.” See also, Refusing to concede, Trump blocks cooperation on transition, Associated Press, Jonathan Lemire and Zeke Miller, Monday, 9 November 2020: “The Trump administration threw the presidential transition into tumult on Monday, with President Donald Trump blocking government officials from cooperating with President-elect Joe Biden’s team and Attorney General William Barr authorizing the Justice Department to probe unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud.”

International Observer Mission Reports No Evidence of Systematic Fraud in U.S. Elections, The Wall Street Journal, Jess Bravin, Monday, 9 November 2020: “A team of international observers invited by the Trump administration has issued a preliminary report giving high marks to the conduct of last week’s elections–and it criticizes President Trump for making baseless allegations that the outcome resulted from systematic fraud. A 28-member delegation from the Organization of American States followed events in several locations across the U.S., including in the battleground states of Georgia and Michigan, both remotely and with observers at polling stations and counting centers. ‘While the OAS Mission has not directly observed any serious irregularities that call into question the results so far, it supports the right of all contesting parties in an election, to seek redress before the competent legal authorities when they believe they have been wronged,’ the report said. ‘It is critical however, that candidates act responsibly by presenting and arguing legitimate claims before the courts, not unsubstantiated or harmful speculation in the public media.'”

Trump Fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper Who in June Opposed the Use of Active-Duty Military Troops to Control Protests in U.S. Cities, The New York Times, Helene Cooper, Eric Schmitt, and Maggie Haberman, Monday, 9 November 2020: “President Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper on Monday, upending the military’s leadership at a time when Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede the election has created a rocky and potentially precarious transition. Mr. Trump announced the decision on Twitter, writing in an abrupt post that Mr. Esper had been ‘terminated.’ The president wrote that he was appointing Christopher C. Miller, whom he described as the ‘highly respected’ director of the National Counterterrorism Center, to be the acting defense secretary. Mr. Miller will be the fourth official to lead the Pentagon under Mr. Trump. Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, and Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director, could be next in line to be fired. Removing these senior officials — in effect decapitating the nation’s national security bureaucracy — would be without parallel by an outgoing president who has just lost re-election. Democrats and national security veterans said it was a volatile move in the uncertain time between administrations, particularly by a president who has made clear that he does not want to give up power and that he would be reasserting his waning authority over the most powerful agencies of the government.” See also, Trump fires Defense Secretary Mark Esper, The Washington Post, Missy Ryan, Dan Lamothe, Paul Sonne, and Josh Dawsey, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service,” the president said on Twitter, making a sudden but widely anticipated move that underscored his insistence on absolute loyalty from top advisers even as he contests the outcome of the Nov. 3 election…. An Army veteran and former weapons lobbyist who was confirmed as defense secretary in July 2019, Esper was mostly aligned with his commander in chief on major foreign policy issues but had clashes with Trump over his steps to draw the military into partisan politics. Chief among those occurred in June, when Trump demanded that thousands of troops be dispatched on the streets of Washington amid protests over the police killing of George Floyd. Trump threatened to invoke the Insurrection Act to use active-duty service members against demonstrators, but Esper and Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pushed back, concerned it would look like martial law. Two officials, who like several others interviewed for this story spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment to the news media, said Esper’s public opposition to using troops in June drew the most fierce response from the president that they had ever seen.” See also, Trump Fires Mark Esper as Defense Secretary, The Wall Street Journal, Nancy A. Youssef and Gordon Lubold, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Mr. Trump, who hasn’t conceded the presidential election to victor Joe Biden, nominated Mr. Esper last year as his fourth defense secretary, but soured on him after a disagreement earlier this year over Mr. Trump’s interest in using U.S. troops to restore order during racial justice protests. Mr. Esper didn’t respond to a request for comment.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 9 November 2020: Eli Lilly’s Antibody Treatment Gets Emergency Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Approval. Ben Carson, the housing and urban development secretary, is the latest in a long line of Trump administration officials and associates to contract the virus. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced his virus advisory board. The New York Times, Monday, 9 November 2020:

  • The F.D.A. gave emergency approval to Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment.

  • At least three people at a White House election party last week have tested positive, including Ben Carson.

  • Biden adds vaccine official fired by Trump to his Covid-19 panel.

  • N.J. adds restrictions on restaurants and nightclubs, as N.Y.C.’s mayor calls the virus positivity rate spike ‘dangerous.’

  • Pfizer’s early data shows its vaccine is more than 90 percent effective.

  • Once again, Cuomo blasts Trump’s vaccine distribution plan, calling it ‘flawed.’

  • Ukraine’s president becomes the latest world leader to test positive for the virus.

  • Hungary and Portugal plan curfews and new restrictions as cases surge.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Monday, 9 November 2020: U.S. surpasses 10 million coronavirus cases; experts warn the country is entering the worst phase, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware, Lateshia Beachum, Hamza Shaban, Meryl Kornfield, Darren Sands, Jacqueline Dupree, and Carolyn Y. Johnson, Monday, 9 November 2020: “The United States surpassed 10 million coronavirus cases Monday, just 10 days after hitting 9 million. For the fifth consecutive day, the country has reported more than 100,000 infections, and public health experts warn that the country is entering the pandemic’s worst phase. At least 237,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus since February. The milestone came as Pfizer announced its coronavirus vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective, which sharply increased prospects that federal regulators will authorize the vaccine on an emergency basis as early as mid-December, and that the first shots will be administered before the end of the year or early next year.

Here are a few significant developments included in this article.

Pfizer’s Early Data Shows Vaccine Is More Than 90% Effective. Pfizer announced positive early results from its coronavirus vaccine trial, cementing the lead in a frenzied global race that has unfolded at record-breaking speed. The New York Times, Katie Thomas, David Gelles, and Carl Zimmer, Monday, 9 November 2020: “The drug maker Pfizer announced on Monday that an early analysis of its coronavirus vaccine trial suggested the vaccine was robustly effective in preventing Covid-19, a promising development as the world has waited anxiously for any positive news about a pandemic that has killed more than 1.2 million people. Pfizer, which developed the vaccine with the German drugmaker BioNTech, released only sparse details from its clinical trial, based on the first formal review of the data by an outside panel of experts. The company said that the analysis found that the vaccine was more than 90 percent effective in preventing the disease among trial volunteers who had no evidence of prior coronavirus infection. If the results hold up, that level of protection would put it on par with highly effective childhood vaccines for diseases such as measles. No serious safety concerns have been observed, the company said. Pfizer plans to ask the Food and Drug Administration for emergency authorization of the two-dose vaccine later this month, after it has collected the recommended two months of safety data. By the end of the year it will have manufactured enough doses to immunize 15 million to 20 million people, company executives have said.” See also, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in first analysis, company reports, The Washington Post, Carolyn Y. Johnson, Monday, 9 November 2020: “A front-runner coronavirus vaccine developed by drug giant Pfizer and German biotechnology firm BioNTech was more than 90 percent effective at protecting people compared with a placebo saline shot, according to an interim analysis by an independent data monitoring committee that met Sunday.”

President-elect Biden announces coronavirus task force made up of physicians and health experts, The Washington Post, Yasmeen Abutaleb and Laurie McGinley, Monday, 9 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the members of his coronavirus task force, a group made up entirely of doctors and health experts, signaling his intent to seek a science-based approach to bring the raging pandemic under control. Biden’s task force will have three co-chairs: Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. Murthy and Kessler have briefed Biden for months on the pandemic. Biden will inherit the worst crisis since the Great Depression, made more difficult by President Trump’s refusal to concede the election and commit to a peaceful transition of power. The Trump administration has not put forward national plans for testing, contact tracing and resolving shortages in personal protective equipment that hospitals and health-care facilities are experiencing again as the nation enters its third surge of the virus.” See also, Biden Moves to Confront a Pandemic Racing Out of Control. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. named a panel of health care experts to draft policies to address the coronavirus pandemic as he implored Americans to wear masks. The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Monday, 9 November 2020: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. moved on Monday to begin assuming responsibility for the surging coronavirus pandemic, naming a string of high-profile scientists — including a former surgeon general and a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner — to advise him on the pandemic and imploring Americans to wear masks. ‘A mask is not a political statement, but it’s a good way to start pulling the country together,’ Mr. Biden declared in a brief speech from his home city, Wilmington, Del., after meeting with members of his new coronavirus advisory board. Mr. Biden’s moves were reminiscent of former President Barack Obama’s quick steps after his election in November 2008 to name an economics team as the nation spiraled further into financial crisis. The situation Mr. Biden will inherit will be even more dire: a deadly pandemic wrapped inside a devastating economic downturn, against the backdrop of a deeply divided nation and President Trump’s refusal to accept the election results. Mr. Biden’s new advisory panel offered a not-so-subtle rebuke of Mr. Trump: Its members include Rick Bright, a vaccine expert who blew the whistle on the Trump administration this spring after he was abruptly removed from his job running a federal medical research agency.” See also, Biden unveils coronavirus crisis team tasked with curbing surging cases, Axios, Rebecca Falconer, Monday, 9 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden declared tackling the pandemic ‘one of the most important battles our administration will face’ as he announced a new 12-member Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board on Monday. Why it matters: The U.S. has reported over 100,000 new coronavirus cases every day since last Wednesday, when it first reached the milestone. The seven-day average of deaths from the virus reported by states has risen 36% in the past three weeks, per the COVID Tracking Project. COVID-19 is one of four key issues Biden has pledged to tackle on day one of his administration. The others are economic recovery, racial equity and climate change. The task force will be led by three co-chairs: former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith from Yale University — as Axios’ Hans Nichols first reported Saturday.”

Eli Lilly’s Antibody Treatment Gets Emergency Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) Approval, The New York Times, Katie Thomas and Noah Weiland, Monday, 9 November 2020: “The Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency authorization of a Covid-19 antibody treatment made by Eli Lilly that is similar to a therapy given to President Trump shortly after he contracted the coronavirus. The decision, announced on Monday by the agency, is likely to be seen as a valuable tool to treat patients with Covid-19 at a time when the pandemic is raging across the United States, hospitals are overwhelmed and doctors have few options to treat the disease. Eli Lilly said that its treatment, called bamlanivimab, should be administered as soon as possible after a positive coronavirus test, and within 10 days of developing symptoms. The authorization applies only to people newly infected with the virus, and the agency said it should not be used in hospitalized patients. It is authorized for people who are 12 and older and at risk for developing a severe form of Covid-19 or being hospitalized for the condition. The F.D.A. said that included people who were over 65 and obese — a key group that early studies have shown can benefit the most from the treatment.”

Coronavirus Pandemic Reaches Grim Milestone as Biden Moves to Take Charge, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Coronavirus cases surged to a new record on Monday, with the United States now averaging 111,000 cases each day for the past week, a grim milestone amid rising hospitalizations and deaths that cast a shadow on positive news about the effectiveness of a potential vaccine. As the number of infected Americans passed 10 million and governors struggled to manage the pandemic, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. tried on Monday to use his bully pulpit — the only tool at his disposal until he replaces President Trump in 72 days — to plead for Americans to set aside the bitterness of the 2020 election and wear a mask.”

Facebook takes down a widespread network of pages tied to Stephen Bannon for pushing misinformation, The Washington Post, Elizabeth Dwoskin, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Facebook took down a widespread network of pages tied to President Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon for pushing misinformation about voter fraud and delegitimizing election results. Bannon’s page also incurred penalties, including not being allowed to post content, but was not removed from Facebook. The seven pages, which had a total of over 2.45 million followers and had pushed the “Stop the Steal” messaging that alleges election fraud, were flagged for Facebook by the liberal group Avaaz on Friday night.”

Lawyers can’t find the parents of 666 migrant kids, a higher number than previously reported. Last month lawyers ordered to find migrant families separated by the Trump administration said they couldn’t find parents for 545 kids, Now they say it’s 666. NBC News, Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, Monday, 9 November 2020: “Lawyers working to reunite migrant families separated by the Trump administration before and during its ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the border now believe the number of separated children for whom they have not been able to find parents is 666, higher than they told a federal judge last month, according to an email obtained by NBC News. Nearly 20 percent, or 129, of those children were under 5 at the time of the separation, according to a source familiar with the data. In the email, Steven Herzog, the attorney leading efforts to reunite the families, explains that the number is higher because the new group includes those ‘for whom the government did not provide any phone number.’ Previously, the lawyers said they could not find the parents of 545 children after they had tried to make contact but had been unsuccessful.”

 

Tuesday, 10 November 2020, Day 1,390:

 

The Times Called Election Officials in Every State: No Evidence of Voter Fraud and No Irregularities That Affected the Outcome of the Election, The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti, Reid J. Epstein, and Jim Rutenberg, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race, amounting to a forceful rebuke of President Trump’s portrait of a fraudulent election. Over the last several days, the president, members of his administration, congressional Republicans and right wing allies have put forth the false claim that the election was stolen from Mr. Trump and have refused to accept results that showed Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the winner. But top election officials across the country said in interviews and statements that the process had been a remarkable success despite record turnout and the complications of a dangerous pandemic.”

Highlights From the Presidential Transition: Trump Uses Government Power to Fight Results as Biden Dismisses His Refusal to Concede. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. called President Trump’s actions since Election Day ‘an embarrassment.’ Election officials across the country said there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race. The New York Times, Tuesday, 10 November 2020:

  • Trump harnesses the federal government’s power as he fights the election results.

  • Officials across the U.S. say they found no evidence that voter fraud played a role in the election results.

  • Biden again vows to expand the Affordable Care Act as the Supreme Court hears a case that could gut it.

  • Democrats clinch House control, even as their majority is on track to shrink.

  • Cal Cunningham concedes to Senator Thom Tillis in North Carolina.

  • Biden campaign names those who will lead efforts to select his top administration officials.

  • The White House says it is working on its budget for next year, another sign that Trump does not plan to concede.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Biden speaks on health care and calls Trump’s refusal to concede ‘an embarrassment,’ The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, and Derek Hawkins, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden continued at a news conference Tuesday to project the authority of an incoming president even as President Trump resists conceding the race. Biden defended the Affordable Care Act soon after the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case involving President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. He also called Trump’s refusal to concede ‘an embarrassment’ and said he may start naming Cabinet members as soon as this month. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters that legal challenges being pressed by Trump are ‘no reason for alarm’ and would not prevent a new administration, ‘if there is one,’ from taking office in January. Biden said he has not yet spoken to McConnell, but intends to in the ‘not too distant future.’ Also, Sen. Thom Tillis is projected by Edison Research to hold onto his seat in North Carolina, beating Cal Cunningham, one of the candidates Democrats had hoped would swing the Senate in their direction. Control rests on the two runoffs in Georgia.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • A majority of the Supreme Court appeared ready Tuesday to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act in the face of a challenge from Republican-led states and the Trump administration.
  • The White House has instructed senior government leaders to block cooperation with Biden’s transition team, escalating a standoff that threatens to impede the transfer of power and prompting the Biden team to consider legal action.
  • Biden has begun taking calls from foreign leaders and weighing whom to appoint to top White House positions, with several of his longtime advisers expected to take senior roles.
  • Attorney General William P. Barr gave federal prosecutors approval to pursue allegations of ‘vote tabulation irregularities’ in certain cases before results are certified — a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy.

Fighting Election Results, Trump Employs a New Weapon: The Government. As President Trump and his administration insist he didn’t lose, the rest of the world has increasingly moved to accept Joe Biden’s victory. The New York Times, Peter Baker and Lara Jakes, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “President Trump, facing the prospect of leaving the White House in defeat in just 70 days, is harnessing the power of the federal government to resist the results of an election that he lost, something that no sitting president has done in American history. In the latest sign of defiance, the president’s senior cabinet secretary fueled concerns on Tuesday that Mr. Trump would resist handing over power to President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. after legal challenges to the vote. ‘There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,’ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Mr. Trump’s attorney general has at the same time authorized investigations into supposed vote fraud, his general services administrator has refused to give Mr. Biden’s team access to transition offices and resources guaranteed under law and the White House is preparing a budget for next year as if Mr. Trump will be around to present it. The president has also embarked on a shake-up of his administration, firing Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper as well as the heads of three other agencies while installing loyalists in key positions at the National Security Agency and the Pentagon. Allies expect more to come, including the possible dismissals of the directors of the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. But the rest of the world increasingly moved to accept Mr. Biden’s victory and prepared to work with him despite Mr. Trump’s refusal to acknowledge the results. Speaking with journalists, Mr. Biden called the president’s actions since Election Day “an embarrassment” that will not serve him well in the long run. ‘How can I say this tactfully?’ Mr. Biden said. ‘It will not help the president’s legacy.’ The standoff left the United States in the position of the kind of country whose weak democratic processes it often criticizes. Rather than congratulating Mr. Biden and inviting him to the White House, as his predecessors traditionally have done after an election changed party control, Mr. Trump has been marshaling his administration and pressuring his Republican allies into acting as if the outcome were still uncertain, either out of faint hope of actually overturning the results or at least creating a narrative to explain his loss.” See also, Republicans echo Trump’s baseless election claims, undermining Biden’s transition, The Washington Post, Ashley Parker and Philip Rucker, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “Republican officials across Washington are acquiescing to and amplifying President Trump’s baseless claim that he won the 2020 presidential election — raising the risk of undermining the public’s faith in the vote and, by obstructing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition, potentially imperiling national security. In recent days, Trump’s appointees and allies have alighted on a strategy to support his refusal to admit defeat and initiate a peaceful transfer of power. Instead, they are nurturing the president’s ego by indulging his delusions about the vote count and fueling conspiracy theories that the election is being stolen from him. The White House has instructed government agencies to block cooperation with the Biden transition team — including the General Services Administration, whose Trump-appointed administrator, Emily Murphy, has refused to sign paperwork that releases millions in preallocated dollars to fund the transition and gives Biden’s team access to agency officials and information. These unprecedented moves risk further eroding public trust in democratic institutions, and they have potentially dangerous consequences. The nation is at its most vulnerable state during the transition period between administrations, according to experts in governance and public service, who worry that the Trump administration is threatening national security by denying Biden the necessary resources, intelligence and other information to conduct his transition.” See also, Biden and Democrats push back against Trump and Republicans’ recalcitrance over election results, The Washington Post, Matt Viser and Michael Scherer, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden and his Democratic allies on Tuesday rebuked President Trump and top Republican leaders for refusing to acknowledge the results of the election, even as Biden continued with the pre-presidential necessities of building an administration and fielding congratulatory calls from top European allies. Democrats have grown increasingly agitated that Republicans have been unwilling to accept the election results. On Tuesday, they began making more forceful arguments that the intransigence of Trump administration officials was putting national security at risk, and that his arguments contesting election results had little basis in reality.” See also, ‘Chilling to hear’: Jake Tapper reacts to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s refusal to acknowledge Biden’s victory in the election, CNN Politics, Tuesday, 10 November 2020.

Trump administration removes senior defense officials and installs loyalists, triggering alarm at Pentagon, CNN Politics, Barbara Starr, Zachary Cohen, and Ryan Browne, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “The Trump administration has carried out sweeping changes atop the Defense Department’s civilian leadership structure, removing several of its most senior officials and replacing them with perceived loyalists to the President. The flurry of changes, announced by the Department of Defense in a statement roughly 24 hours after President Donald Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, have put officials inside the Pentagon on edge and fueled a growing sense of alarm among military and civilian officials, who are concerned about what could come next. Four senior civilian officials have been fired or have resigned since Monday, including Esper, his chief of staff and the top officials overseeing policy and intelligence. They were replaced by perceived Trump loyalists, including a controversial figure who promoted fringe conspiracy theories and called former President Barack Obama a terrorist.”

Here are the Republican’s and Trump Campaign’s  allegations of election irregularities. So far, none has been proved. The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold, Elise Viebeck, Emma Brown, and Rosalind S. Helderman, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “Republicans have made claims of election irregularities in six states where President-elect Joe Biden leads in the vote count, alleging in lawsuits and public statements that election officials did not follow proper procedures while counting ballots in Tuesday’s election. So far, they have gone 0 for 6. Since Election Day, President Trump has repeatedly claimed that a broad conspiracy of misdeeds — apparently committed in both Republican and Democratic states — had cost him the election.”

White House tells federal agencies to proceed with plans for Trump’s February budget in latest sign of election defiance, The Washington Post, Jeff Stein, Erica Werner, and Josh Dawsey, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “The White House budget office has instructed federal agencies to continue preparing the Trump administration’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year, according to multiple administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to share details of private conversations. The White House budget proposal is typically issued in February, which would be at least two weeks after President Trump is scheduled to depart the White House. He lost the Nov. 3 election to former vice president Joe Biden, who is set to be sworn in on Jan. 20, though Trump has refused to accept the results.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 10 November 2020: U.S. Hospitalizations Top 61,000, a Record, The New York Times, Tuesday, 10 November 2020:

  • U.S. hospitalizations reach a record high as medical facilities are under strain.

  • The C.D.C. updates its findings: Mask-wearing protects you, not just those around you.

  • Iowa’s governor announces mask requirements for the first time.

  • U.S. health officials detail how people may start to get treatments and, once authorized, vaccines.

  • Italy locks down more regions as a second wave swamps hospitals and the number of new cases keeps rising.

  • Texas prisons are the highest in the nation for Covid-19 deaths.

  • Philadelphia public schools have shelved plans to resume in-person classes.

  • Newark announces a nightly curfew, while de Blasio says a rise in N.Y.C.’s positivity rate is a ‘warning sign.’

  • A study finds that many children who have never had the virus carry an antibody to prevent it.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Tuesday, 10 November 2020: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says masks can also benefit the wearer in strongest endorsement yet for face coverings, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Marisa Iati, Lateshia Beachum, Miriam Berger, Hamza Shaban, Darren Sands, and Meryl Kornfield, Tuesday, 10 November 2020: “Masks can protect the wearer as well others from the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised on Tuesday, in the agency’s strongest endorsement yet of face coverings. The updated guidance came as the United States set a record for new coronavirus infections for the third time in the past week. Local and state leaders have reacted to rising cases by ordering restrictions to reduce the transmission of the virus and preparing for an anticipated flood of hospitalizations.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Daily death toll records were surpassed in Missouri, Wisconsin, Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota. At least 239,000 people have died of the coronavirus in the United States.
  • Face masks can protect the wearer as well others from the spread of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised in updated guidance.
  • Trump administration officials promised to fairly and swiftly distribute the first covid-19 antibody treatment, but there is extremely limited supply and logistical difficulties in administering the drug.
  • Investors hailed a breakthrough in the development of a coronavirus vaccine Tuesday, but they also signaled hesitation as infections spike.
  • Saturday’s football game between No. 1-ranked Alabama and Louisiana State University has been postponed because of infections and related issues, the Southeastern Conference said.

 

Wednesday, 11 November 2020, Day 1,391:

 

Highlights from the Presidential Transition: Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma Says Biden Should Receive Presidential Daily Briefings. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma said in a radio interview that he was ready to “step in” if President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. was not briefed by the end of the week. Mr. Biden spoke with more world leaders and agreed to meet South Korea’s president. The New York Times, Wednesday, 11 November 2020:

  • A Republican senator says Biden should receive daily briefings, and he will ‘step in’ to ensure that occurs.

  • Biden speaks with more world leaders and agrees to meet South Korea’s president.

  • Biden names Ron Klain, a decades-long confidant, as his chief of staff.

  • Tillis ekes out victory in North Carolina, bolstering Republicans’ hold on the Senate.

  • How Georgia’s looming runoffs have altered the political calculations in Washington.

  • Georgia’s top election official authorizes a hand recount for the presidential race.

  • Trump’s election tactics put him in unsavory company.

  • Biden’s popular-vote lead grows to 5 million as counting continues.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Election 2020: Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announces a hand-count audit of the presidential vote in Georgia, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, John Wagner, and Derek Hawkins, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden is projected to win Arizona, according to Edison Research, flipping a fourth state Trump won in 2016 and adding to the size of the Democrat’s projected electoral college victory. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced a hand-counted audit of the presidential vote in his state, where President-elect Joe Biden leads by more than 14,000 votes. The goal is to have the audit completed by Nov. 20, the state deadline for certification.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Trump is projected to win Alaska and its three electoral votes, and Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan is projected to hold onto his seat in the state, according to Edison Research. That means Republicans are ensured 50 seats in the Senate, with the two runoffs in Georgia determining the majority.
  • Biden’s popular vote lead over Trump now exceeds 5 million, as votes across the country continue to be tallied.
  • Biden and his Democratic allies rebuked Trump and top Republican leaders for refusing to acknowledge the election results.
  • The president-elect said he hopes to name several Cabinet-level nominees before Thanksgiving and downplayed the difficulties his team is having amid a lack of cooperation from Trump.

Biden Names Ron Klain as White House Chief of Staff, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Katie Glueck, Maggie Haberman, and Thomas Kaplan, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. named Ron Klain, a veteran Democratic operative and a decades-long confidant, to be his White House chief of staff Wednesday evening, the first step toward putting in place his administration’s senior leadership. Mr. Klain, a lawyer with deep experience on Capitol Hill, with advising President Barack Obama and in corporate board rooms, served as Mr. Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president and has been seen for months as the likeliest choice to manage his team in the White House. Known for steady nerves, he also has a fierce wit, which he has frequently unleashed on President Trump on Twitter. He was particularly critical of Mr. Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, having served as the ‘Ebola czar’ under Mr. Obama during an outbreak of the deadly disease in his second term. A video of Mr. Klain lecturing Mr. Trump about the pandemic was widely seen during the campaign.” See also, Biden’s choice of Ron Klain as White House chief of staff signals rejection of Trump-era chaos, The Washington Post, Michael Scherer, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden has chosen longtime Washington operative Ronald A. Klain as White House chief of staff, sending an early signal that he intends to rely heavily on experience, competence and political agility after a Trump presidency that prized flashiness and personality. Klain, 59, has been a senior adviser to Democratic presidents, vice presidents, candidates and senators. His appointment marks a homecoming of sorts, since Klain served in the late 1980s as a top aide to Biden when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and ran Biden’s office when he first became vice president.”

Progressives’ Wish List for Biden Starts With Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. The Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, two of the left’s most prominent groups, are calling on the president-elect to appoint progressive allies to 13 key government positions. The New York Times, Sydney Ember, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “Two prominent progressive groups, the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats, on Wednesday urged President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. to name left-leaning allies including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to top government posts, firing an opening salvo in the left’s campaign to exert influence over Mr. Biden’s agenda. Underscoring one of their most significant priorities, the groups also called on Mr. Biden to create a new office dedicated to climate change that reports directly to the president. The public appeals from the Sunrise Movement, a group of young climate organizers, and Justice Democrats, a grass-roots organization that has helped elect people like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, signal the beginning of the left’s intense efforts to pressure Mr. Biden over the makeup of his executive branch and his administration’s immediate priorities. And the move represents the end of a truce between Mr. Biden and progressives, who had united behind his candidacy during the presidential campaign with the mission of defeating President Trump, but who have deep ideological and generational differences.”

Facebook and Google Extend Bans on Political Ads to Prevent Confusion About Election Results, The Wall Street Journal, Emily Glazer, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “Facebook told advertisers in an email on Wednesday it plans to continue its postelection ban on political ads for ‘another month.’ Google representatives have told some advertisers it is unlikely to lift its ban in November or December, the people said.”

Trump’s public schedule shows little interest in work as he protests the legitimate election of Joe Biden, CNN Politics, Betsy Klein, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “The President of the United States is absent without leave. President Donald Trump made his first public appearance in six days Wednesday when he visited Arlington National Cemetery for a somber ceremony commemorating Veterans Day alongside first lady Melania Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. He did not speak at the event. But as he mounts a fierce battle to remain in office and refuses to concede the election he lost, Trump has shown little interest in the work of being President. Since he vowed to fight the election results in the wee hours after Election Day, Trump, who has spent four years producing television moments showcasing his office, has made few efforts to show the American people he is still governing. Instead, he is firing off inflammatory and baseless claims on his social media accounts, many of which have been flagged by Twitter as misinformation, and hitting his golf course.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 11 November 2020: As U.S. Breaks Hospitalization Records, New York and Other States Add Restrictions, The New York Times, Wednesday, 11 November 2020:

  • N.Y. will limit private gatherings and require bars and restaurants to close daily at 10 p.m.

  • The Ohio governor issues a mask mandate, joining other states that are implementing new restrictions.

  • Three more White House staffers test positive, at least one of them after attending an election night event.

  • Newark’s mayor imposes new restrictions as the city reaches a positivity rate of 19%.

  • Two new studies by the U.S. Navy confirm the need for strict coronavirus testing protocols.

  • Disease experts see Covid-19 trends worsening in the U.S.

  • South Africa will lift restrictions on all international travel.

  • The surging virus in the U.S. finds a federal leadership vacuum.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 11 November 2020: In one week, new daily coronavirus cases in the US went from 104,000 to more than 145,000, latest all-time high, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Jacqueline Dupree, Marisa Iati, Paulina Villegas, Siobhán O’Grady, and Hamza Shaban, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “In one week, new daily coronavirus cases in the United States went from 104,000 to more than 145,000 on Wednesday, the latest all-time high. Almost every metric is trending in the wrong direction as states add restrictions and health officials warn of a dangerous fall ahead. The rise in infections comes with new highs in the number of deaths reported in a single day at 1,549, the highest since May 14. Tennessee, Alabama and Minnesota all reached new highs in the number of deaths reported in a single day.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Trump rails against ‘medical deep state’ after Pfizer vaccine news comes after Election Day. Pfizer insists the election didn’t affect the timing of the promising data. The Washington Post, Laurie McGinley, Josh Dawsey, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Carolyn Y. Johnson, Wednesday, 11 November 2020: “President Trump is lashing out at the Food and Drug Administration following a disclosure Monday that an experimental coronavirus vaccine from pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is more than 90 percent effective, convinced the timing — six days after Election Day — proves the ‘medical deep state’ deliberately tried to sabotage his electoral prospects by delaying the results.”

 

Thursday, 12 November 2020, Day 1,392:

 

Highlights from the Presidential Transition: Biden Wins Arizona, Padding His Electoral College Margin Over Trump. Government officials said the 2020 election was the most secure in U.S. history. A growing chorus of Republican senators said that President-elect Joe Biden should receive intelligence briefings. The New York Times, Thursday, 12 November 2020:

  • Biden flips Arizona, further cementing his presidential victory.

  • Election officials directly contradict Trump on voting system fraud.

  • Trump rebuffs Biden transition team as virus, national security hang in the balance.

  • For Biden’s most ambitious plans, it all comes down to Georgia.

  • Biden, a lifelong Catholic, receives congratulations from Pope Francis.

  • Fourteen House races are still uncalled.

  • Progressives are pressing Biden to limit corporate influence in his administration.

  • With Biden ahead by 14,000 votes, Georgia will begin recount on Friday.

Election 2020: Biden projected to win Arizona and its 11 electoral votes, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Felicia Sonmez, John Wagner, and Derek Hawkins, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “President-elect Joe Biden is projected by Edison Research to win Arizona, a call that comes more than a week after Election Day as ballots continued to be counted. He leads in the count in the state by about 11,000 votes. Biden huddled with advisers in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday as he forges ahead with his transition to the White House. More Republicans said they believe Biden should get access to classified briefings, even as President Trump challenges the vote count in various states and holds back the transition. Meanwhile, at least eight Republican National Committee staffers have contracted the coronavirus, officials said Thursday, as infection levels across the country reach a record high. About a dozen White House officials have contracted the virus in the past 10 days.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Directly Contradicts Trump on Voting System Fraud, The New York Times, David E. Sanger, Matt Stevens, and Nicole Perlroth, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “Hours after President Trump repeated a baseless report that a voting machine system ‘deleted 2.7 million Trump votes nationwide,’ he was directly contradicted by a group of federal, state and local election officials, who issued a statement on Thursday declaring flatly that the election ‘was the most secure in American history’ and that ‘there is no evidence’ any voting systems were compromised. The rebuke, in a statement by a coordinating council overseeing the voting systems used around the country, never mentioned Mr. Trump by name. But it amounted to a remarkable corrective to a wave of disinformation that Mr. Trump has been pushing across his Twitter feed. The statement was distributed by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which is responsible for helping states secure the voting process. Coming directly from one of Mr. Trump’s own cabinet agencies, it further isolated the president in his false claims that widespread fraud cost him the election. The statement also came as a previously unified Republican Party showed signs of cracking on the question of whether to keep backing the president.” See also, Cybersecurity Agency Says There Is ‘No Evidence” the Election Was Compromised, NPR, Alana Wise, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “There is ‘no evidence’ the Nov. 3 election was compromised, committees within the Department of Homeland Security that worked on protecting U.S. voting systems affirmed Thursday. In a statement, they also called the 2020 election the ‘most secure in American history. When states have close elections, many will recount ballots. All of the states with close results in the 2020 presidential race have paper records of each vote, allowing the ability to go back and count each ballot if necessary,’ members of committees, which include officials from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said in a joint statement. ‘This is an added benefit for security and resilience. This process allows for the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,’ the statement reads.”

As Trump stews over election, he mostly ignores the public duties of the presidency, The Washington Post, David Nakamura, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “On Thursday, six American service members were killed in a helicopter crash during a peacekeeping mission in Egypt. Tropical Storm Eta made landfall in North Florida, contributing to severe flooding. The number of Americans infected with the novel coronavirus continued at a record-setting pace, sending the stock market tumbling. At the White House, President Trump spent the day as he has most others this week — sequestered from public view, tweeting grievances, falsehoods and misinformation about the election results and about Fox News’s coverage of him. Neither he nor his aides briefed reporters on the news of the day or reacted to Democratic leaders who accused Republicans of imperiling the pandemic response by “refusing to accept reality” over the election results. The contrast between the nation grappling with an ongoing global crisis and a president consumed with his own political problems highlighted a fundamental contradiction at the heart of Trump’s assault on the integrity of the U.S. election system: He is leveraging the power of his office in a long-shot bid to stay in the job while ignoring many of the public duties that come with it.”

Trump Floats Improbable Survival Scenarios as He Ponders His Future, The New York Times, Maggie Haberman, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “At a meeting on Wednesday at the White House, President Trump had something he wanted to discuss with his advisers, many of whom have told him his chances of succeeding at changing the results of the 2020 election are thin as a reed. He then proceeded to press them on whether Republican legislatures could pick pro-Trump electors in a handful of key states and deliver him the electoral votes he needs to change the math and give him a second term, according to people briefed on the discussion.”

Growing Number of Republicans say Biden should have access to classified briefings, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez and Mike DeBonis, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “An increasing number of Senate Republicans said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should be granted access to classified briefings during the presidential transition, an acknowledgment of the election results despite President Trump’s insistence that he will win. Republicans have sought to delegitimize Biden’s victory, amplifying Trump’s baseless claims about widespread election fraud and endorsing the president’s legal challenges as he refuses to concede. Only four of the 53 Senate Republicans have congratulated Biden. But several Republicans said Thursday that Biden should be afforded some of the privileges of an incoming president while still declining to say he won.” See also, Small Cracks Emerge in Republican Support for Trump’s Baseless Fraud Claims, The New York Times, Shane Goldmacher and Emily Cochrane, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “The first small cracks have begun to appear in the Republican wall of support for President Trump and his unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election, with a growing number of elected officials and party leaders signaling on Thursday that they would indulge Mr. Trump’s conspiracy theories for only so long. A few were willing to openly contradict him. Gov. Mike DeWine of Ohio said that it was time to call Joseph R. Biden Jr. the ‘president-elect.’ The Republican attorney general of Arizona said that Mr. Trump would not end up winning his state, despite the president’s protestations. And on Capitol Hill, several Republican senators have begun, in measured tones, to say that Mr. Biden should be entitled to classified intelligence briefings as the incoming commander in chief or that it is time to recognize he will soon be certified as president-elect. Asked when he believed Mr. Trump should accept the result, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, even set a deadline for the president to acknowledge reality: Dec. 13 — the day before the Electoral College delegations cast their votes for president. Influential party financiers and strategists have begun to weigh in, as well. ‘The president does a disservice to his more rabid supporters by insisting that he would have won the Nov. 3 election absent voter fraud,’ said an editorial in The Las Vegas Review-Journal, a newspaper owned by the family of the Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. ‘That’s simply false.’ Mr. Adelson and his wife, Miriam, have given more than $75 million to super PACs supporting Mr. Trump.”

More than 150 former national security officials warn of risks in delaying the Biden presidential transition, Politico, Natasha Bertrand, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “A group of more than 150 former national security officials who served under President Donald Trump and other Republican and Democratic administrations is warning that the government’s delay in recognizing Joe Biden as president-elect poses a ‘serious risk to national security.’ In a letter sent to the General Services Administration on Thursday and obtained by POLITICO, the former officials urged the agency to officially name Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the apparent president-elect and vice president-elect so that they can access information ‘needed to address pressing national security issues, such as the President’s Daily Briefing and pending decisions on possible uses of military force.’ The letter comes as Trump continues to refuse to concede the election, resulting in the presidential transition effectively being put on hold for the first time in two decades. It was signed by 161 former officials, including former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel; former CIA and NSA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; retired Gen. Wesley Clark; former Deputy NSA Director Chris Inglis; and former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 12 November 2020: Pandemic Shatters More Records in the U.S., as States and Cities Tighten Restrictions. Eight days after the U.S. hit 100,000 cases in a day for the first time, the number topped 160,000 on Thursday. Dr. Anthony Fauci called on the country to “double down” on precautions. The New York Times, Thursday, 12 November 2020:

  • The U.S. again broke records for new cases — more than 160,000 — and hospitalizations.

  • Fauci urges Americans to ‘double down’ on the basics as virus cases spike.

  • The Ivy League canceled winter sports and delayed spring sports over coronavirus concerns.

  • Thousands of Philadelphia area nurses plan to strike as virus cases surge and their working conditions worsen.

  • Children’s visits to the emergency room for mental health issues have risen sharply, the C.D.C. says.

  • California reached a new milestone: 1 million coronavirus cases.

  • Representative Don Young of Alaska, the oldest member of the House, says he has tested positive for the virus.

  • New York City schools are likely to close again soon, despite success in limiting transmission.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic for Thursday, 12 November 2020: Lockdowns possible as Illinois, Maryland, and Washington governors weigh more restrictions, The Washington Post, Meryl Kornfield, Jacqueline Dupree, Jennifer Hassan, Adam Taylor, Brittany Shammas, Kim Bellware, and Hamza Shaban, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “Some state officials mused aloud about the possibility of a fresh round of shutdowns, measures that health experts said could be avoided with widespread use of face coverings and stronger social distancing habits. The warning came as the United States set new highs for cases and hospitalizations, with more than 152,000 daily infections and 66,000 hospitalizations, according to The Post’s latest data.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Governors for Illinois, Maryland and Washington said Thursday that they have not ruled out ramping up restrictions or enforcement, even if that means forcing businesses to close to reduce the spread of the virus.
  • The record-breaking surge in cases is being driven to a significant degree by casual occasions that may feel deceptively safe, officials and scientists warn.
  • Congressional Democratic leaders accused Republicans of refusing to confront the dramatically worsening pandemic.
  • The Ivy League is the first Division I college athletics conference to cancel its winter sports seasons.
  • As Georgia starts its laborious audit of the presidential race, its secretary of state entered quarantine Thursday after his wife tested positive for the coronavirus.

Democrats allege Republican refusal to accept election results is imperiling U.S. coronavirus response, The Washington Post, Erica Werner, Thursday, 12 November 2020: “Congressional Democratic leaders accused Republicans on Thursday of refusing to confront the dramatically worsening coronavirus pandemic and instead acquiescing to President Trump’s false insistence that he won last week’s presidential election. Republicans dismissed the attacks and Trump didn’t weigh in at all, with his only public comments coming through a series of Twitter posts that included false claims of electoral success. As Washington has become paralyzed over the past 10 days, 1 million new people have tested positive for the virus as death numbers are climbing rapidly. President-elect Joe Biden joined congressional Democratic leaders on Thursday and demanded a new economic relief package to address the dramatically worsening coronavirus pandemic before the end of the year.”