Coronavirus Live Updates: Moderna Vaccine Nearly 95% Effective, Early Data Shows

HuffPost reporters are tracking the latest news on the coronavirus.

The coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life around the globe, with more than 54.5 million people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January.

But on Monday there was potentially good news: Moderna released preliminary data from its vaccine trials, saying its vaccine candidate was more than 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19. A week earlier, Pfizer said its candidate was more than 90% effective.

News of a potential vaccine comes as the U.S. is repeatedly breaking records. More than 133,000 new cases of the virus were diagnosed Nov. 15, and more than 11 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.3 million people worldwide, including more than 246,000 Americans, have died.

Read the latest updates below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)

Fauci Applauds Early Data From Moderna, Pfizer Vaccines Showing High Efficacy — 11/16/20, 7:30 a.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House’s coronavirus task force, applauded early data from biotechnology company Moderna and pharmaceutical company Pfizer that show their respective coronavirus vaccines are highly effective.

“The data are striking,” Fauci told NBC’s “Today” about the Moderna data, released earlier Monday. “They’re really quite impressive. ... Now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective. So I think this is a really strong step forward to where we want to be about getting control of this outbreak.”

Fauci said he expects the Food and Drug Administration to grant emergency use authorizations for the vaccines. “Doses could be available to high-risk individuals by the end of December,” he told NBC.

— Hayley Miller

Moderna Coronavirus Vaccine Nearly 95% Effective, Early Data Shows — 11/16/20, 7:15 a.m. ET

For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday its shots provide strong protection, a dash of hope against the grim backdrop of coronavirus surges in the U.S. and around the world.

Moderna said its vaccine appears to be 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company’s still ongoing study.

A week ago, competitor Pfizer Inc. announced its own COVID-19 vaccine appeared similarly effective — news that puts both companies on track to seek permission within weeks for emergency use in the U.S.

Read more here.

— Hayley Miller

U.S. Adds 1 Million COVID-19 Cases In A Week — 11/16/20, 6:45 a.m. ET

The U.S. has passed 11 million coronavirus cases, with more than 1 million of them added in a week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

In the week of Nov. 8 to Nov. 14, the U.S. added 1,041,075 coronavirus cases, a new record high. The country recorded 7,723 new deaths in the week.

“Record cases over the past week will be record hospitalizations soon,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned in a tweet. He urged Americans to wear masks when outside the home and limit social interactions to ease the burden on hospitals.

Liza Hearon

Michigan Governor Announces New COVID-19 Restrictions For Schools And Restaurants Amid Surge — 11/15/20, 7:08 p.m. ET

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced new restrictions on Sunday aimed at schools and restaurants, among others, as the state grapples with an exponential increase in coronavirus cases.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ new regulations take effect Wednesday and will run for at least three weeks.

They suspend in-person learning at Michigan high schools and colleges, indoor dining at restaurants and bars, organized sports and group exercise classes and all business at casinos and movie theaters. Gyms can remain open for individual exercise with rigid safety measures, and professional and college athletics can continue.

“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve and saved thousands of lives together,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, front-line workers and small businesses.”

Whitmer’s announcement comes as Michigan last week saw its worst seven-day stretch of illness, with more than 44,000 new COVID-19 cases and 416 deaths.

The governor previously faced attacks from the right for her swift responses to the pandemic and at one point became the target of a kidnapping plot by supporters of President Donald Trump.

The new announcement comes less than two months after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 — the law Whitmer used to issue pandemic-related emergency orders in the summer and fall after the GOP-controlled state legislature refused to extend existing declarations.

The governor has since relied on the state’s Public Health Code to continue implementing pandemic-related safety protocols and restrictions.

Sanjana Karanth

Boris Johnson Self-Isolating After Being Exposed To COVID-19 — 11/15/20, 6:04 p.m. ET

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Sunday he is self-isolating after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.

“I have no symptoms but am following the rules and will be working from No. 10 as I continue to lead the government’s pandemic response,” Johnson tweeted, referring to the prime minister’s residence at No. 10 Downing St. in London.

The prime minister met with a small group of lawmakers for about half an hour on Thursday, including one who subsequently became symptomatic and tested positive for the coronavirus. Johnson said that the National Health Service’s test and trace system notified him Sunday of the exposure and told him he should self-isolate because of factors such as the meeting’s length.

Officials told The Associated Press that they will discuss with parliamentary authorities how Johnson can participate remotely in Parliament’s business. They said the prime minister plans to “continue speaking to the country during his self-isolation period,” according to the AP.

In April, Johnson was hospitalized for three nights in intensive care after testing positive for COVID-19. The prime minister thanked health care workers for saving his life and said that, for 48 hours during his hospitalization, “things could have gone either way.”

Sanjana Karanth

Gov. Jay Inslee Orders Sweeping COVID-19 Restrictions In Washington — 11/15/20, 5 p.m. ET

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) ordered broad restrictions and shutdowns on Sunday as coronavirus cases surge in the state.

The governor’s restrictions apply to restaurants, theaters, gyms and all indoor gatherings. Restaurants and bars must halt indoor service and limit outdoor service to groups of five people at most. Indoor gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, bowling alleys and museums must also shut down.

Indoor gatherings with those outside a person’s immediate household will be banned unless attendees have quarantined for at least one week and tested negative for COVID-19. Inslee said the new regulations will begin at 11:59 p.m. Monday except for restaurants and bars, for which restrictions will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday — and be in place for at least four weeks.

Despite having a statewide mask mandate and current restrictions on businesses, Washington has been breaking previous COVID-19 infection records almost daily for the last two weeks, according to The Seattle Times. Daily infections for the state stood at 2,286 on Nov. 14, a 50% increase from its then-record of 1,469 cases on Nov. 3.

“Today … is the most dangerous public health day in the last 100 years of our state’s history,” Inslee said in a news conference Sunday. He added: “And it means, unfortunately, the time has come to reinstate restrictions on activities statewide to preserve the public’s well-being and to save lives.”

— Sanjana Karanth

Trump Hasn’t Attended Coronavirus Task Force Meeting In ‘Several Months,’ Fauci Says — 11/15/2020, 10:15 a.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert on the White House coronavirus task force, said Sunday that President Donald Trump hasn’t attended a meeting of the group in “several months” as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide.

“The last time the president was physically at a task force meeting was several months ago,” Fauci told CNN’s “State of the Union,” after noting that Vice President Mike Pence leads the task force meetings and then “translates” the information to Trump.

Fauci said it’s possible another 200,000 people in the U.S. could die from COVID-19 in the next few months unless more Americans consistently wear masks, social distance and following other federal coronavirus guidelines. Though a vaccine will likely be available for the highest-priority people by late December, it won’t be widely available to the majority of Americans until sometime next year, he said. Once vaccinated, people should continue to adhere to public health measures since the vaccine likely won’t work for 5% to 10% of the population, Fauci added.

― Hayley Miller

Biden COVID-19 Task Force Member: U.S. Health Care System May Begin ‘Breaking’ — 11/15/2020, 9:55 a.m. ET

Epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, a member of President-elect Joe Biden’s recently announced coronavirus task force, warned Sunday that the U.S. health care system could begin “breaking” if the infection rate doesn’t slow in the next few weeks.

“Our future is in our hands,” Osterhold told NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “We’re going to be heading to a vaccine in the next few months where we could start to imagine having summer baseball back, barbecues, etc. But in the meantime, we are in a very dangerous period.”

“My worst fear is what we saw happen in other countries,” Osterholm said. “People literally were dying in the waiting room of emergency rooms after waiting 10 hours to be seen. ... That’s going to start happening here. ... I think it is the health care system breaking ― literally breaking ― that will unfortunately bring us to a sense of reality of what we must do in the short term.”

COVID-19 cases have surged nationwide in recent weeks as public health experts like Osterholm warn the country is headed for a nightmare scenario in the next few months. More than 1 in every 400 Americans tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, according to The New York Times.

― Hayley Miller

Navajo Nation Reinstates Stay-At-Home Order Amid Rising Infections — 11/15/2020, 8:45 a.m. ET

The Navajo Nation announced plans to reinstate a stay-at-home order for the entire reservation while closing tribal offices and requiring new closures and safety measures for businesses due to rising COVID-19 cases.

The lockdown will go into effect Monday for a three-week period, tribal officials said Friday night.

Much of the Navajo Nation was closed between March and August as the coronavirus swept through the vast reservation that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah in the U.S. Southwest.

The Navajo Nation Department of Health on Wednesday warned residents of new “uncontrolled spread” of the virus in 34 communities on the reservation.

Read more here.

― Hayley Miller

Governor Orders Mask Mandate As Cases Surge In North Dakota — 11/14/20, 12:53 p.m. ET

COVID-19 cases are surging in North Dakota, leading Gov. Doug Burgum to announce several new measures Friday, including a mask mandate requiring people to wear face coverings indoors at businesses and in indoor public settings. People must also wear face coverings in outdoor public settings where “physical distancing isn’t possible.”

Other measures include limiting bars and restaurants to 50% capacity and a maximum of 150 patrons and closing in-person service between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

The measures come as the coronavirus situation in North and South Dakota is “as bad as it gets anywhere in the world,” Dr. William Haseltine, president of the think tank ACCESS Health International, told USA Today.

Over the past month, North Dakota’s 14-day average positive test rate has risen to 15.6%. The state has 10,500 active positive cases and 700 deaths.

Hospitals in both Dakotas are nearing capacity. “I think what has surprised me is that really, just in a matter of days, it’s like we opened up a spigot and a huge number of patients influx to us,” Dr. Doug Griffin, chief medical officer at Fargo’s Sanford Medical Center, told NPR.

—Hilary Hanson

U.S. Sees Record Case Count, Increasing Hospitalizations — 11/14/20, 12:10 p.m. ET

The United States tallied a record 184,514 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. There were also 1,431 new deaths — lower than the record daily death count of 2,606, which occurred on April 15. Friday was the fourth consecutive day that set a national daily case count record.

Current hospitalizations are also at a record high, with 68,516 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 infections, according to The COVID Tracking Project, a data collection effort from The Atlantic. The number of total hospitalizations in the U.S. first exceeded April’s grim numbers earlier this week.

—Hilary Hanson

Several States Tightening COVID-19 Restrictions Amid Surge — 11/13/20, 5:15 p.m. ET

As COVID-19 cases continue to surge nationwide, several states announced new restrictions on Friday in an effort to stymie the spread of the virus.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced a two-week “shelter in place” order which will go into effect on Nov. 16. All nonessential businesses will need to cease in-person activities and on-site dining will be prohibited, among other restrictions, Grisham said.

Oregon too announced a similar two-week “freeze,” which will take effect on Nov. 18.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Friday that his state would also be tightening its coronavirus restrictions, including reducing the number of people allowed at gatherings — both outdoors and indoors — from 250 to 25 and lowering the age at which children need to wear masks from 10 to 5.

In West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice (R) announced a new “ultra mandatory” mask policy, which would require people over the age of 9 to wear face coverings in public buildings at all times.

— Dominique Mosbergen

Biden Urges ‘Robust And Immediate Federal Response’ To ‘Alarming’ Virus Surge — 11/13/20, 4:35 p.m. ET

Biden called on the Trump administration to take swift action against the spread of coronavirus after meeting with the three co-chairs of his COVID-19 transition advisory board on Friday.

“The facts they presented were alarming,” Biden said. “This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking. I am the president-elect, but I will not be president until next year. The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar; it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration — starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”

He specifically pointed to the need for personal protective equipment for frontline workers and surge capacity for hospitals that are rapidly running out of beds. Yet “every American,” Biden said, has a role to play in containing the virus “regardless of where they live or who they voted for” by washing their hands consistently, using masks and social distancing — measures he has strenuously underscored as he prepares to move into the White House.

“Together, we have the power to rein in this virus. And I promise you, from the moment I am sworn in on January 20, I will do everything in my power to lead this unified national effort,” Biden said.

Sara Boboltz

More than 130 Secret Service Officers Quarantined After Trump’s Whirlwind Campaign Travel — 11/13/20, 10:48 a.m. ET

More than 130 Secret Service officers — or around 10% of the agency’s core team — have been ordered to quarantine after either testing positive for COVID-19 or being in close contact with someone who did, The Washington Post first reported Friday. Many of the officers are charged with protecting the White House and the president, whose grueling schedule of last-minute campaign events across the country is at least partly to blame, according to the Post, citing three people with knowledge of the agency.

The dramatic spike in cases among those in the Secret Service comes after several others in Trump’s orbit announced their diagnoses in recent days. Chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump campaign adviser David Bossie and Housing Secretary Ben Carson are among them. The president’s travels and his aides’ disregard for the basic safety measures that health experts have plugged for months are thought to have been to blame.

Members of the Secret Service — who rarely, if ever, vocalize criticisms of the president — have reportedly been deeply frustrated with Trump’s refusal to follow safety procedures, such as consistently wearing face masks, as they work to protect him.

Sara Boboltz

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Hit New Single-Day High — 11/13/20, 9:10 a.m. ET

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States, the country set yet another single-day record for new cases Thursday, continuing a week of alarming record-setting. At least 153,496 people are confirmed to have COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The United States has added nearly 1 million new cases in the last week alone — a frightening trend as winter approaches.

Sara Boboltz

California Becomes Second State To Pass 1 Million Cases — 11/13/20, 7 a.m. ET

California has become the second state after Texas to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There have been more than 18,000 deaths in the state.

The state saw some initial success in keeping the pandemic in check but the recent trends have been worrying. Officials urged residents not to travel for Thanksgiving, and if they travel out of state, to quarantine for 14 days upon return, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hard-hit areas like Los Angeles County won’t see restrictions reversed any time soon and economic reopenings have been rolled back in other parts of the state as officials grapple with what to do.

Liza Hearon

Mississippi Governor Won’t Listen If Biden Issues National Lockdown — 11/12/20, 4:45 p.m. ET

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) said Thursday that under his leadership, his state will not cooperate with a national lockdown order, should President-elect Joe Biden implement one next year.

One of Biden’s newly appointed COVID-19 task force members, Michael Osterholm, floated the idea of a four-to-six-week lockdown to finally get the coronavirus under control during an interview Wednesday, saying the U.S. was well positioned for the move financially.

“We have a big pool of money out there that we could borrow. The historic low interest rates by the federal government, we could pay for a package right now to cover all of the [lost wages] for individual workers, for our losses to small companies to medium sized companies, for city states, county governments. We could do all of that,” said Osterholm, who also serves as the director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

“We are not going to participate in a nationwide lockdown,” Reeves said in response, according to local NBC affiliate WLBT. Shuttering businesses for an extended period would be “totally and completely beyond reasonableness,” he added.

Like nearly every state in the union, Mississippi is grappling with rampant community spread of the virus.

Biden unveiled the members of his coronavirus task force on Monday, as his team works to transition into the White House. He has repeatedly assured Americans that he will heed the guidance of scientists and medical experts, saying in a statement earlier this week that “[d]ealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face.”

He said during his campaign that he would do “whatever it takes” to contain the virus — including a potential lockdown, if the situation warranted it.

Sara Boboltz

Chicago Issues Stay-At-Home ‘Advisory’ As Cases Surge Again — 11/12/20, 3:10 p.m. ET

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued a stay-at-home “advisory” on Thursday and put a mandatory 10-person limit on social gatherings as coronavirus cases in the city, state and region surge past the rate of the first wave.

In a news conference, the mayor said that the advisory and 10-person limit takes effect on Monday and will last 30 days. Chicago residents should only leave the house for work, school, medical appointments, groceries, picking up takeout and trips to the pharmacy. Nonessential, out-of-state travel should be avoided, as well as at-home gatherings with people outside of one’s immediate household.

Lightfoot asked Chicagoans to shake off “COVID fatigue” and resist inviting extended family to their homes for Thanksgiving. She said that “if we continue on the path we’re on and you, me and others don’t step up and do more … we could see at least a thousand more Chicagoans die” by the end of the year.

Chicago Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said that the city’s 14.1% positivity rate is a steep increase from 10.9% just a week ago. The average daily caseload is at about 1,920 — 36% higher than a week ago and the city’s highest rate since the pandemic began — but the commissioner said Chicago could see 4,000 daily cases by Thanksgiving. The number of hospitalizations, those in intensive care and deaths have tripled in the past month, according to Arwady.

Almost every state in the U.S. is trending in the wrong direction in the pandemic. Illinois is among at least five states to surpass single-day new caseload records on Tuesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The other states include Colorado, Montana, Ohio and Wyoming. At least five states — Alaska, Missouri, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming — set records for COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday.

Sanjana Karanth

First Cruise Ship To Sail In The Caribbean Since Pandemic Reports Coronavirus Case — 11/12/2020, 12:23 p.m.

The first cruise ship to sail in the Caribbean since the start of the pandemic has reported at least one case of coronavirus onboard, the ship’s captain announced Wednesday.

Travel reporter Gene Sloan, a passenger aboard the ship, was the first to report that the captain announced the infection Wednesday afternoon and asked passengers and crew members to isolate in their cabins after some passengers reported symptoms of the coronavirus.

The cruise line running the ship, SeaDream Yacht Club, had taken safety precautions, including testing passengers before boarding. But the company didn’t require passengers to wear masks until two days into the trip, Sloan reported.

According to other news outlets, 37 of the 53 passengers aboard were Americans.

The cruise ship is currently docked off the coast of Barbados. Passengers are being held on the ship as health officials conduct coronavirus tests before allowing them to disembark.

Ja’han Jones

Trump’s Refusal To Concede Could Slow Vaccine Distribution Process: Report — 11/12/20, 11:35 a.m. ET

Trump’s refusal to concede the presidential election could result in transition delays that keep President-elect Joe Biden’s administration from distributing a vaccine as quickly as possible, the Daily Beast reported.

That delay could lead to more COVID deaths, senior health officials told the Daily Beast.

Earlier this week, Biden revealed the doctors and health experts who make up his coronavirus task force, signaling a more science-based approach to getting the virus under control.

Read more here.

Paige Lavender

U.S. Coronavirus Cases Continue To Break Records — 11/12/20, 7:00 a.m. ET

The number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. kept climbing Wednesday to 144,133, according to Johns Hopkins University data. There were 1,984 deaths recorded.

Virtually every state is trending in the wrong direction in coronavirus cases and hospitalization rates. Around 62,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus, making hospital beds scarce in many places. Some local leaders are bringing in stricter restrictions such as a 10 p.m. curfew for bars and restaurants in Minnesota. But others have yet to issue any mandates.

Read more here.

Liza Hearon

Texas Passes 1 Million COVID-19 Cases — 11/11/20, 8 a.m. ET

Texas has surpassed 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The state has now had more cases than the entire country of Italy, one of the early epicenters of the virus that has about double the population of Texas.

More than 10,800 cases were reported Tuesday, and nearly 19,000 people have died in the state, CBS reported.

The surge in cases in Texas comes as the United States hits record highs for the numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. El Paso alone has more people hospitalized with COVID-19 than in some states, and is doubling its supply of mobile morgues.

— Liza Hearon

Fauci: High-Priority Coronavirus Vaccine Doses May Be Available By December — 11/10/20, 2:50 p.m. ET

Dr. Anthony Fauci said he expects that doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine will be available for high-priority recipients as early as December after tests showed “impressive” results this week.

In an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert said he expects that the U.S. pharmaceutical corporation will request and secure an emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration within the next week and a half.

“I believe, with the impressive nature of the data, that that should go through smoothly that by the time we get into December, we will be able to have doses available for people who are judged to be at the highest priority to get it first,” he said.

His optimistic timeline follows Pfizer on Monday releasing early test results that showed its vaccine may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.

— Nina Golgowski

Ukrainian President Zelensky Has Coronavirus — 11/10/20, 4:45 a.m. ET

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Monday he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will self-isolate.

“I will overcome COVID19 as most people do. It’s gonna be fine!” the 42-year-old former comedian said in a tweet.

COVID-19 began surging in Ukraine in late summer and has taken a toll on understaffed and underequipped hospitals.

The country, which has a population of about 42 million, has reported more than 483,000 cases and 8,800 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Liza Hearon

FDA Authorizes Emergency Use Of Antibody Treatment For COVID-19 — 11/9/20, 7:25 p.m. ET

The Food and Drug Administration gave authorization Monday for emergency use of an experimental coronavirus treatment, bamlanivimab, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy.

The drug regulator is allowing the use of the treatment, developed by Eli Lilly, for people older than 12 with mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19 who are at high risk for severe symptoms or hospitalization.

The treatment is similar to one President Donald Trump received when he was infected with the coronavirus, according to The New York Times.

The drug, which is still being researched, has been shown in clinical trials to reduce the need for hospitalization in patients at high risk for severe cases, according to the FDA. It is not allowed for patients who are already hospitalized or on oxygen due to coronavirus — researchers had previously found the drug is “unlikely to help” patients at advanced stages of the disease, reported NPR.

― Sarah Ruiz-Grossman

Dr. Anthony Fauci Says He Has ‘No Intention Of Leaving’ His Job ― 11/9/20, 7:23 p.m. ET

Despite President Donald Trump dropping hints that he wanted to fire him, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday he has no plans to leave as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I have no intention of leaving,” Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “This is an important job. I’ve been doing it now for a very long time. I’ve been doing it under six presidents. It’s an important job, and my goal is to serve the American public no matter what the administration is.”

― Lydia O’Connor

David Bossie, Who’s Leading Trump Challenges To Election Results, Tests Positive For COVID-19— 11/9/20, 2:55 p.m. ET

David Bossie, who is leading the Trump team’s legal efforts to challenge the U.S. election results in several states, tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday, Bloomberg and CBS reported Monday.

Bossie is among several people in President Donald Trump’s inner circle to test positive within the last week. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, have both tested positive, along with a number of White House and Trump campaign aides.

— Paige Lavender

Biden Implores Americans To Wear Masks — 11/9/20, 12:45 p.m. ET

On Monday, in his first remarks since declaring victory, President-elect Joe Biden implored Americans of all political leanings to wear face masks in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

“The election is over,” Biden said. “It’s time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric designed to demonize one another. ... We’re united in our shared goal: defeating this virus.”

“It doesn’t matter who you voted for, where you stood before Election Day,” the president-elect continued. “It doesn’t matter your party, your point of view. We could save tens of thousands of lives if we just wear masks for the next few months.”

Read more here.

— Hayley Miller

Ben Carson Reportedly Tests Positive For COVID-19 — 11/9/20, 11:24 a.m. ET

Ben Carson, the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, has tested positive for the coronavirus, ABC and Bloomberg reported Monday.

Carson is “in good spirits & feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery,” his deputy chief of staff told ABC’s Katherine Faulders.

Carson attended an election night party at the White House along with hundreds of other people, including Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, who also tested positive for COVID-19 within the last week.

— Paige Lavender

Biden Applauds Pfizer’s Ongoing Vaccine Development, Reminds Public To Keep Wearing A Mask — 11/9/20, 8:40 a.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden congratulated Pfizer on its ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, while reminding the general public that widespread vaccination is likely still months away and that face masks remain essential in preventing the spread of the virus.

“A mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine,” he said in a statement that cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s past recommendation to wear a mask.

Pfizer announced on Monday that early data suggests that its vaccine candidate, which continues to undergo a clinical trial, is 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. As Biden said, however, that does not mean a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 237,000 people in the United States, is imminent.

“Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact,” Biden said.

― Nina Golgowski

Pfizer Says Vaccine May Be 90% Effective Against COVID-19 In Early Report — 11/9/20, 6:50 a.m. ET

Pfizer released an early peek at data from its COVID-19 vaccine trials Monday and said its vaccine candidate was may be more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.

The interim analysis looked at 94 infections recorded among its around 44,000 vaccine trial participants in the U.S. and five other countries. It’s unusual for a company to release such data so early.

The data shows that the company seems to be on track to requesting emergency use authorization from the FDA later this month.

Pfizer won’t stop its trials until it records 164 infections among all volunteers, a number the FDA is enough to tell how the vaccine is working. The 90% initial rate could change as the study continues.

Liza Hearon

U.S. Reports New Daily Coronavirus High As Country Tops 10 Million Cases — 11/8/20, 6:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. recorded 126,742 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, a new high, and the country topped 10 million infections on Sunday, the latest evidence that the pandemic is far from over. The figures are stark and reflect soaring infections around the globe: The U.S. saw its latest million cases in just a 10-day period, and the 24-hour average for new cases over the last seven days has been over 100,000, higher than any other nation. Global cases have now exceeded 50 million.

— Nick Visser

Biden Campaign Asks Supporters To Celebrate Victory Safely — 11/8/20, 9:40 a.m. ET

President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is urging its supporters to practice social distancing and wear masks while celebrating his election victory after crowds flooded the streets of some cities a day earlier to revel in the historic moment.

“I know folks are excited,” Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But we’re imploring folks across the country to be safe, wear your mask, social distance. This virus is very real and it’s deadly.”

Read more here.

— Hayley Miller

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