The Wider World

Virus surges, vaccine nearing

THE NUMBER of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. is now at 237,600 (Shutterstock).

Politics and the coronavirus pandemic shared the spotlight on Monday as President-elect Joe Biden announced some of his plans to battle COVID-19 while both good and bad news on the battle surfaced.

Biden outlined his proposal to create a coronavirus advisory board staffed mostly by scientists and medical doctors, and planned to make the battle against the virus the top priority of his administration when it takes office on Jan. 20.

“The challenge before us right now is still immense and growing, and so is the need for bold action to fight this pandemic,” Biden said, according to the Associated Press. “We are still facing a dark winter.”

Encouraging news came from Pfizer Inc., which announced Monday that it has a COVID-19 vaccine that was 90 percent effective. The company is planning on applying for emergency use approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It’s considered unlikely any doses will be available in 2020 and those which are ready for public use will initially be reserved for those considered to be at the greatest risk, including the elderly, medical care and first-responders such as public safety workers.

The bad news is that the U.S on Monday passed a total of 10 million COVID-19 cases, with five straight days of more than 100,000 new cases each day, according to United Press International. Total deaths in the nation from the virus are put at 237,600 people, John Hopkins University reports.

The News:  Trump not giving up on election

President Donald Trump continued to resist the idea that Joe Biden won the presidency in a fair and free election. His campaign has filed over a dozen lawsuits alleging fraud or other irregularities in the swing states that gave the Democratic candidate the victory. So far, legal challenges from the president’s attorneys have been rejected by courts. • Secretary of Defense Mark Esper was fired from his post on Monday by President Trump. • Wall Street generally reacted positively both to the results of the election and Pfizer’s announcement about a vaccine. The Dow was up 834.57 points and the S&P 500 was up 41.06. Nasdaq, however fell by 181.45 points.

Weather: Not cold but sort of cool

Assuming you’re not venturing out much at night, temperatures will be cooler, but not quite as cold as last week. Highs in the West Orange County area will be in the high 60s this week, dropping slightly toward the weekend with sunny skies. Overnight lows will be in the high 40s and low 50s, with a 20 percent chance of rain Thursday night.

Sports: Rams are back in action

Looking ahead to sports action this week, the Los Angeles Rams (5-3) are back in action after a bye, hosting the Seattle Seahawks (6-2) at SoFi Stadium in a key NFC West matchup on Sunday. The Los Angeles Chargers (2-6) are on the road, visiting the Miami Dolphins (5-3). They’re not quite out of the playoff race, but a loss would do it.

UCLA’s home football opener at the Rose Bowl against Utah has been moved up to Saturday from Sunday. The Bruins are 0-1 and the Utes are 0-0. USC (1-0) visits Arizona (0-0) on Saturday.

Leave a Reply