The federal government plans to send 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine to communities across the United States within 24 hours of regulatory clearance, with the expectation shots will be administered quickly to front-line health-care workers, the top priority group, officials said Tuesday.
Which Trump official has coronavirus now? This reporter always seems to know first.
By Elahe Izadi
If you want to find out who in the Trump administration has tested positive for coronavirus, you should probably just set an alert for Jennifer Jacobs’s tweets.
The Bloomberg reporter has emerged as the preeminent source for intel on covid-19 cases in and around the White House. Before she helped break the story on Friday that Donald Trump Jr. tested positive, she was the one who first told the world — and many in the White House — about the positive diagnosis of Trump’s close aide Hope Hicks in early October, a watershed revelation followed hours later by President Trump disclosing his own positive test result.
It’s an only-in-2020 beat, covering the health emergencies of White House officials, many of whom have bucked their own administration’s public safety recommendations, such as mask-wearing, as the virus has spread within one of the world’s most secure office spaces.
Covid Thanksgiving inspires new reasons for gratitude
By Paul Schwartzman
In any given year, Stephanie Coleman can recite reasons she is thankful on Thanksgiving, a list that includes her three children, her husband, friends, extended family and the six chickens in her backyard.
This year? She is grateful for the lock on the door to her attic, where she flees to escape her family. She is grateful for her Honda Pilot, which she drives around her Northeast Washington neighborhood to regain the composure necessary to return to the demands of pandemic motherhood.
The holidays are that season when tradition encourages a humble tolling of all that should be appreciated, a confection of home and family and a future shimmering with promise.
But divining that list can be challenging when your home has turned into a minimum-security prison and your people — that once-fascinating partner or those once-adorable urchins — won’t go away. Ever.
As with most aspects of life, the coronavirus has done a number on what deserves appreciation. The most prosaic of routines can now deliver delight. Like a bona fide night of restful sleep. Or a prolonged moment of enriching silence.
For many students and, often, their teachers, there is nothing more welcome than a snow day. The pre-snow day rituals themselves are a magical event for kids, whether they toss an ice cube down the toilet or jump on the bed with their pajamas inside out. Once snow is on the ground, snow days mean sledding, hot chocolate and, most importantly, no school.
But could distance learning put a crushing end to this cherished tradition? Not entirely and not yet. But, in some jurisdictions, school officials are mulling and implementing plans to start scaling them back.
During the coronavirus pandemic, platforms like Zoom, Blackboard, and Microsoft Teams have demonstrated that schools are able to reach students synchronously — and at least somewhat reliably — even when they are outside the classroom.
NFL Thanksgiving game still on even as players are added to covid-19 list
By Mark Maske
The NFL said Tuesday that the Baltimore Ravens’ game at the Pittsburgh Steelers remains scheduled for Thursday night, but the league seemed to leave open the possibility of the matchup being rescheduled if needed, based on subsequent results of daily coronavirus testing of the Ravens.
“We will continue to monitor developments in consultation with our medical experts,” the NFL said in a statement. “Our foremost concern is the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel. There’s no change to the status of the game.”
The Ravens, who returned to conducting team operations remotely Tuesday, placed linebacker Pernell McPhee on their covid-19 reserve list. That list is for players who test positive for the coronavirus and those determined through contact tracing to have been exposed to it. Through a spokesman, the Ravens declined to specify how many members of the organization have tested positive this week.
The last covid-free places on earth have something in common: Travel shutdowns
By Shannon McMahon
Before 2020, the remote islands of the South Pacific were more accessible to leisure travelers than ever before. Thanks to affordable global air travel, little-known places such as Tonga, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands welcomed thousands of visitors annually from all over the world — up until the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Now those islands are some of the only remaining corners of the globe where the coronavirus doesn’t exist, thanks to their total suspension of inbound tourism and other nonessential travel.
Maryland public defender complains of ‘superspreader’ court hearings
By Paul Duggan
After Maryland recently stopped scheduling jury trials amid a nationwide surge in coronavirus infections, the state’s chief public defender says lawyers, clients and others remain at risk of catching the virus because some courts are still holding in-person hearings that amount to “superspreader events.”
Paul DeWolfe, who oversees public defenders in all Maryland jurisdictions, complained in a letter to the state’s chief judge last week about a failure to “scale back on judicial proceedings” in Maryland’s district courts, where judges handle minor cases that DeWolfe said should be postponed or dismissed as a public health measure.
These hearings “are indoors for extended periods of time in contravention to the now-universal guidance to avoid such interactions unless essential,” he said in a letter to Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera. “My staff has been on the frontlines providing representation in criminal cases, and exposing themselves to increased risk of contracting the virus” at in-person hearings on “nuisance” matters.
Planning on Thanksgiving holiday travel? Many in the D.C. area are staying put.
By Lori Aratani
The Washington region is in the midst of a Thanksgiving travel season like no other.
Amid an alarming spike in new coronavirus cases, governors and local health officials are urging people to stay home. Health experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have “strongly recommended” people avoid traveling during the holiday.
Most seem to be heeding that advice.
Even before the CDC issued its updated recommendations, surveys by AAA Mid-Atlantic showed many people already had decided not to travel. About 83 percent of D.C. residents said they planned to stay home this Thanksgiving holiday. When asked why they had decided not to travel, 65 percent cited the coronavirus pandemic. A similar number of Virginia residents, 84 percent, said they would be staying put.
Inside the cold, complex world of getting a covid-19 vaccine into arms
By Lee Powell
Family of dead Publix worker says grocery chain stopped him from wearing a mask
By Meryl Kornfield
When Florida-based grocery chain Publix began requiring employees to wear masks in late April, it was too late for deli worker Gerardo Gutierrez.
By then, the 70-year-old father of four was already infected with the coronavirus and would die alone in a hospital eight days later. His family and friends said their goodbyes over Zoom.
In March, as the virus was spreading rapidly across the country, Gutierrez asked his employer whether he could wear a face covering at his South Beach store, but he was denied, according to a lawsuit his daughter filed Monday in a Miami court on his behalf.
U.S. records highest number of daily deaths since early summer spike
By Reis Thebault and Jacqueline Dupree
Tuesday was the deadliest day in the coronavirus pandemic since early summer — a troubling sign that the worst is still on the horizon.
The country reported nearly 2,100 covid-19 deaths Tuesday, according to data tracked and analyzed by The Post. It’s the highest mark since May 6, when states reported a combined 2,611 virus fatalities.
The recent record is yet another reminder of the pandemic’s unrelenting toll. And after days of record-setting levels of new infections, experts fear the situation will only get more dire. Deaths are the last of three primary indicators of virus severity: First, cases rise; then hospitalizations; finally, a couple of weeks later, fatalities follow.
For weeks, rates of new cases and the number of coronavirus inpatients have increased dramatically. Tuesday was also the 43rd straight day that the country set a record in its seven-day average of new infections. Predictably, the number of people hospitalized for the virus has also risen to record highs and now stands at nearly 88,000. Deaths have begun a similar trajectory.
Nine states — including Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio — reported a record number of deaths Tuesday, according to The Post’s analysis.
Experts fear that increased levels of holiday travel, pandemic restriction fatigue and more time spent indoors will continue driving these metrics higher.
YouTube suspends One America News, a Trump favorite, for peddling covid misinformation
By Craig Timberg
YouTube said it suspended right-wing channel One America News for one week, beginning Tuesday, for violating its policy against misinformation related to the covid-19 pandemic and temporarily stripped the channel of its ability to make money from other videos.
YouTube spokeswoman Ivy Choi said OAN, which has 1.2 million subscribers on the video service and sees some of its posts reach hundreds of thousands of viewers, violated the policy against portraying a covid-19 remedy as a cure for the illness that has killed more than 258,000 Americans and 1.4 million people worldwide.
In addition to losing the ability to post new videos for the coming week, OAN has been suspended from YouTube’s “Partner Program,” which allows monetization of videos through advertisements and can be a significant source of revenue to online operations. The reason, Choi said, was “repeated violations” of YouTube’s policies against covid misinformation.
Analysis: Nearly a sixth of the Senate Republican caucus has tested positive for coronavirus
By Philip Bump
Since the novel coronavirus emerged in the United States, more than 12.5 million Americans have been confirmed to have been infected by it. The actual number is unquestionably far higher than that, given the slow rollout of effective testing for the virus. But even by itself, that number constitutes nearly 4 percent of the population.
In the Senate, the rate of infections is even higher. As of writing, eight senators have tested positive for the virus, according to data compiled by GovTrack. That’s an 8 percent infection rate, more than twice the national measure.
All eight of those infections, though, are among members of the Republican caucus, which currently numbers 53 senators. In other words, nearly 1 in 6 Republican senators has contracted the virus — about 15 percent of the caucus.
Republicans in the Senate have been about four times as likely as Americans overall to contract the virus.
A 70-year-old came out of retirement to teach nursing. She died of covid-19.
By Andrea Salcedo
At 70 years-old, Iris Meda knew that returning to work in the middle of the pandemic was risky. She had retired as a nurse in January, but when the coronavirus arrived two months later, she decided that she had no choice but to return to a teaching role, to help train young students who might someday help battle the virus.
For months, she taught nursing basics to dozens of students in person at Collin College in suburban Dallas. But in October, a student exposed her to the virus, the school said, and last month, Meda died of complications from covid-19.
First 6.4 million doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine could go out in mid-December
By Lena H. Sun
The federal government plans to send 6.4 million doses of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine to communities across the United States within 24 hours of regulatory clearance, with the expectation shots will be administered quickly to front-line health-care workers, the top priority group, officials said Tuesday.
Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s effort to speed up treatments and vaccines, told reporters that state officials were informed on Friday night of the allocation, which is based on each state’s overall population.
The amount would cover only a portion of the nation’s 20 million health-care workers, let alone the U.S. population of 330 million. But Perna said “a steady drumbeat” of additional doses will be delivered as manufacturing capacity ramps up in each successive week.