The Wider World

Corona cases and deaths surging

CORONAVIRUS cases, deaths and hospitalizations are surging (Shutterstock).

Historic levels of deaths and hospitalizations from surging numbers of coronavirus cases have been reached.

The Johns Hopkins University reported that – as of Thursday – there were 65,220,566 cases of COVID-19 worldwide, of which 14,139,040 were in the United States. Global deaths have reached 1,506,157, of which 276,236 were Americans.

According to United Press International, about 200,000 new cases were noted nationwide on Wednesday along with 3,200 deaths, the most ever for one day. Additionally, 100,000 persons are hospitalized in the U.S. with the virus, of which about one-fifth are in intensive care units.

To build confidence in new vaccines expected to become available to the public on a limited basis in mid-December, president-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he’d join with former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in taking a dose in public to prove it was safe.

Biden also said in a television interview he has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, an expert on the pandemic, to become his chief medical advisor and serve on the new White House COVID-19 response team, according to USA Today.

Additionally, Biden said that he would ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days as one of his first acts as president, according to the AP. Such a request would not be a mandate, but a voluntary commitment.

The News: Your living room is new cinema

  • Warner Bros. on Thursday declared that all its films scheduled for release in 2021 would be available on its streaming service– HBO Max – and in movie theaters at the same time. “Wonder Woman 1984” will be available on Dec. 25 in both venues.
  • Thursday was another day of mixed results for Wall Street. The Dow Jones Average rose by 85.73 points, and Nasdaq went up by 27.8. But the S&P 500 declined by 2.29 points.
  • The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Thursday voted 4-3 to decline to hear a lawsuit from President Donald Trump’s seeking to disqualify over 200,000 ballots from the Nov. 3 election. The ruling was not on the merits of the case, but rather to indicate such a lawsuit would have to begin in the lower courts, reported the AP.

Weather: Winds getting calmer

The smoke plume over West Orange County from the Bond Fire in Silverado Canyon has faded somewhat by sunset today (Thursday), but windy and smoky conditions may continue through Friday, calming by Saturday, according to the National Weather Service. Highs will range from 75 to 70, with overnight lows from 50 down to 44. Coastal (Huntington Beach) highs will be lower, ranging from 69 on Friday to 64 on Sunday.

Sports:  They are all big games now

All things considered – the arrival of December, game cancellations and tight races – every major local college and pro football game from here on out is, by definition, a Big Game. Here’s how it looks.

  • Saturday: UCLA (2-2) can go over .500 for the first time in a long time with a win over Arizona State. 7:30 p.m.
  • Sunday. USC (3-0) will defend its status as the leader in the Pac-12’s South Division with a win over Washington State University (1-1) at 4:30 p.m. The Los Angeles Rams (7-4) need a win over NFC West division rival Arizona (6-5) at 1:05 p.m. to keep playoff hopes strong. • The Los Angeles Chargers (3-8) pretty much have a lost season, but if they want to save coach Anthony Lynn’s job, they will want to upset the New England Patriots (5-6) in the 1:25 p.m. game.


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