US covid cases top 11 million. States clamp down own closures

Covid cases have topped 11 million in the US with 100,000 new cases per day. Each day an average of over 900 deaths are reported. By Sunday, Nov. 15, the total had climbed to 246,210 fatalities since the pandemic erupted. These soaring figures find America also in the throes of a rocky transition between presidents. Donald Trump Sunday acknowledged that Joe Biden had won – but only because “the election was rigged.” He again refused to concede the vote.

With regard to covid, the Trump administration struck an optimistic tone on Friday, saying they hoped to distribute 20 million doses of an approved vaccine in December, and for each month after that – although no vaccine has yet got official FDA approval. Biden’s advisers warned that the transition delay could further jeopardize the battle against the rampaging coronavirus, including vaccine distribution planning, and urged Congress to immediately pass bipartisan financial relief even before a new president takes office on January 20. While the Pfizer news of a vaccine boosted Wall Street, health experts warning that it would take months to gain approval and overcome distribution hurdles for widespread use.

President Donald Trump again ruled out putting the US into lockdown, but many states are introducing their own restrictions as fast-rising cases threaten to overwhelm their healthcare systems. They are especially concerned about the forthcoming winter holiday season, starting with next week’s Thanksgiving, when, going by past history, coronavirus tends to spike substantially.

The latest states to act autonomously are Michigan and Washington. Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the state was “at the precipice” and could soon suffer 1,000 coronavirus-related deaths a week unless action was taken. As well as suspending in-person teaching and indoor dining, she closed indoor entertainment, – gyms, cinemas, theaters and museum for three weeks.

Similar curbs went into effect in Washington State on Monday evening and will last a month. “Today, Sunday, November 15, 2020, is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state’s history,” Governor Jay Inslee said. “A pandemic is raging in our state. Left unchecked, it will assuredly result in grossly overburdened hospitals and morgues; and keep people from obtaining routine but necessary medical treatment for non-covid conditions.”

California on Friday became the second state, after Texas, to reach one million Covid cases, prompting local officials to hit pause on reopening efforts. New York ordered bars and restaurants to close by 22:00 local time; gatherings limited to 10 people; and schools possibly closed on Monday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, in a tweet, said public schools would remain open there on Monday if infection positivity rates stayed below a three-percent threshold.

The city of Chicago has a stay-at-home advisory, and non-essential businesses must close by 23:00 local time; gatherings are limited to 10 people. The city of Detroit moved all students to remote learning due to the virus spikes

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