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November 21 coronavirus news

Updated 7:25 PM EST, Sun November 22, 2020
38 Posts

Here's the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in the US as the country hits 12 million cases

The coronavirus pandemic

As coronavirus cases rise across much of the US, an expert says the virus is spreading “faster” than ever before. The US surpassed 12 million coronavirus cases Saturday — an increase of more than 1 million cases in less than a week.

Here’s the latest on the pandemic across the US:

  • Surging cases across the US: On Friday, more than 195,500 new infections were reported — the country’s highest for a single day, and far beyond what the nation was seeing just weeks ago. The highest number of single-day cases during the country’s summer surge was a little more than 77,100 in July, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
  • Long lines at food banks: With less than a week until Thanksgiving, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is forcing some Americans to go to food banks for the first time. At a food drive in DeKalb County, Georgia, people lined up at 5:30 a.m. ET today for an event that was not supposed to start until 10 a.m., CNN’s Natasha Chen reported. Meanwhile, at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles, volunteers are working to ensure residents do not go hungry this Thanksgiving. They expected about 1,000 people to line up today. If you are facing food insecurity today, learn how to get help here.
  • About Thanksgiving travel this year: The CDC  this week urged against Thanksgiving holiday travel. The nation’s top health experts are urging Americans to alter their holiday plans this year, too: White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Americans should limit indoor gatherings to immediate households this Thanksgiving. And Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’ll be having a Thanksgiving Zoom call with his three daughters.
  • The good news? Experts say promising vaccines are on the horizon. On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Earlier this week, Pfizer said a final analysis of the Phase 3 trial of the vaccine showed it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns.

US surpasses 12 million coronavirus cases

There have been at least 12,019,960 cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

The US has added about 2 million new coronavirus cases in the past 12 days.

Johns Hopkins recorded the first case of coronavirus in the United States on January 21. After that…

  • 98 days later, on April 28, the US hit 1 million cases 
  • 44 days later, on June 11, the US hit 2 million cases 
  • 27 days later, on July 8, the US hit 3 million cases 
  • 15 days later, on July 23, the US hit 4 million cases 
  • 17 days later, on August 9, the US hit 5 million cases 
  • 22 days later, on August 31, the US hit 6 million cases 
  • 25 days later, on September 25, the US hit 7 million cases 
  • 21 days later on October 16, the US hit 8 million cases 
  • 14 days later, on October 30, the US hit 9 million cases 
  • 10 days later, on November 9, the US hit 10 million cases 
  • 6 days later, on November 15, the US hit 11 million cases
  • 6 days later on November 21, the US hit 12 million cases

At least 255,414 people have died in the United States from coronavirus since the pandemic began.

World Health Organization head urges G20 leaders to allocate coronavirus vaccines fairly 

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged world leaders to allocate coronavirus vaccines fairly today during a virtual G20 summit.

Tedros said there is a need for an immediate investment of $4.5 billion for vaccines.

The Group of 20, or G20, summit is a gathering of world leaders to discuss international issues.

Tedros noted that the G20 — which represents two-thirds of the world’s population and 80% of the global economy — will play a vital role in not only ending the coronavirus pandemic, but preventing future pandemics.

“To prevent future outbreaks and their impact on lives, livelihoods and economies, all countries must invest in preparedness and universal health coverage,” he said.

If you have to fly this Thanksgiving, here's how to reduce your risk

Travelers walk through Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, on November 21.
Travelers walk through Newark International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, on November 21.
PHOTO: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

The US Centers for Disease Control and prevention has urged against Thanksgiving holiday travel this year as coronavirus cases continue to climb across the US.

But what if — despite your best efforts to avoid air travel — it does become a necessity to fly?

Here are experts tips on how to reduce your risk of catching Covid-19 along your journey:

  • Plan your transportation to the airport: If you have to take an Uber, Lyft or taxi to the airport, make sure you, your family and the driver are all masked throughout the journey — and be sure to roll down the windows to encourage air flow, according to Joseph Allen, who directs the Healthy Buildings program at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. said. You can also drive yourself and the people in your “pod” to the airport and leave the car parked. Even then, Allen said, roll down the windows.
  • Wear a proper mask, the proper way, for the entire journey: Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose throughout your flight and stay seated as much as possible. “You want to have a minimum two-ply mask, preferably a three-ply mask,” said Allen, who has focused his career on “sick buildings” and how they affect worker performance and productivity.
  • Consider a face shield: If you’re high risk, you might consider adding a face shield over the face mask, said Dr. Henry Wu, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta.  “We don’t quite have the data yet to say how much additional protection it offers,” Wu said, “but it may have some additive value, particularly in terms of larger respiratory droplets directly getting into your eyes.” But don’t rely on a shield alone, Wu cautioned: “Wearing a face shield does not negate the need to wear a face mask.”
  • Carry the essentials: Along with that highly protective mask, you should definitely bring disinfecting wipes and a 3-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. That’s the level needed to kill most coronaviruses, according to the CDC.
  • Stay in your seat if you can: Getting up and moving around puts you closer to others on the plane, and visiting the bathroom opens up a whole new set of potentially germy things to touch. Try to prepare for that in advance, Henry Wu, an associate professor of infectious diseases at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta said, by “having your meals before the flight and doing your bathroom breaks on the layovers.”
  • Quarantine upon arrival — both ways: “Don’t rely on a negative test on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and think that clears you to be with your family,” pediatrician Dr. David Rubin said. “Quarantining for a week and a half when you arrive is your best way to assure that you’re likely to be negative.”

Read more about flying during a pandemic here.

California reports record number of new coronavirus cases for the second day in a row

A medical worker places test tubes into a cardboard box at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in San Francisco, California, on November 19.
A medical worker places test tubes into a cardboard box at a drive-thru coronavirus testing site in San Francisco, California, on November 19.
PHOTO: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The California Department of Public Health announced 15,442 new Covid-19 cases in a press release Saturday.

This marks a record high in newly reported cases in the state, shattering Friday’s highest case count of 13,005. The previous high was reported in July with 12,807 new cases. 

There have now been a total of 1,087,714 confirmed cases in California, the release said. 

The seven-day positivity rate is 6.1% and the 14-day positivity rate is 5.4%, according to the release.

How to say "no" to a Thanksgiving invite because of Covid-19, according to etiquette experts

With Thanksgiving just days away, coronavirus cases are continuing to rise in many parts of the US.

Health experts have urged Americans to alter their holiday plans this year, encouraging people to celebrate with just those in their own households or host socially distant gatherings outdoors.

But if you need to decline a Thanksgiving invite, etiquette experts have some advice: They said it’s a good idea to express your choice as a personal one.

Using “I statements,” or statements that start with the first-person pronoun, make clear to loved ones that your decision has nothing to do with them, said Kianga Kelley-Crowley, founder and owner of Simply a Lady, an etiquette and communications consulting company in Wichita, Kansas.

Lisa Mirza Grotts, who calls herself the “Golden Rules Gal,” added that her buzzword of the season is risk.

The etiquette expert said she has focused on explaining her decisions only in terms of potential danger — nothing else. This approach has made it easier for her to communicate unpleasant news, she noted. 

“When you share your feelings in the context of risk — ‘I don’t want to be a virus spreader and put others at risk’ — the sentiment is very straightforward,” said Grotts, who is based in San Francisco. “This is one of the easiest outs there ever will be. It’s not about you. It’s about others and what you can do to them.”

How US medical experts are spending Thanksgiving during the pandemic

As Americans prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, some doctors shared what they’re planning for the holiday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NPR’s Rachel Martin on Morning Edition Tuesday that his Thanksgiving will be “significantly” different this year than previous holidays.

His three adult daughters — who live in separate parts of the country — said that they did not want to put him, as an elderly person, at risk. Fauci is 79 years old. 

He and his wife will have a meal and Zoom with his daughters to spend time with them.

“I don’t like it that way, but I think they’re making a prudent decision in trying to protect their father and I’m proud of them for that,” he said. 

CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta also said he won’t be visiting family this year.

And CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen — who has urged Americans to skip indoor gatherings, but said it’s possible to visit family by socializing outdoors — described how she has hosted outdoor get-togethers.

“I like to have a big table in the middle, where I put all the drinks and plates,” she said. “I also have chairs set up so that every household is spaced at least 6 feet apart. I’ll pour drinks and then have people come up, individually, to pick them up. Food should be plated separately; no buffets or people reaching into a common bowl. We won’t share food or drinks.”

The US is approaching 12 million coronavirus cases

According to Johns Hopkins University’s latest tally, there have been at least 11,963,509 cases of coronavirus in the US since the pandemic began. At least 254,897 people have died in the US from coronavirus.        

The total includes cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.         

As of 1 p.m. ET today, 52,651 new cases and 484 new deaths have been reported in the US since midnight. 

This New Jersey city is asking residents to shelter in place for 10 days around Thanksgiving

Police officers remind a woman on November 12 in the doorway of a Newark, New Jersey, restaurant of the new curfew and dining regulations in an area where coronavirus cases have recently spiked.
Police officers remind a woman on November 12 in the doorway of a Newark, New Jersey, restaurant of the new curfew and dining regulations in an area where coronavirus cases have recently spiked.
PHOTO: Seth Wenig/AP

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is asking the residents of the New Jersey city to shelter in place for 10 days to help combat the spread of Covid-19, according to a video posted on the mayor’s Facebook page. 

The shelter in place would begin the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and end Dec. 4, the mayor said. 

“We want people to shelter in place for 10 days,” the mayor said, adding that people are urged to come out only for essential purposes.  

At this time, Baraka has not issued an executive order or a stay-at-home advisory. CNN has reached out to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s office for comment. 

The mayor’s request for residents to stay home is the latest coronavirus-related measure the city has taken. In October, Newark issued a curfew for all non-essential businesses.

Food bank volunteers plead for Congress to act on stimulus funds ahead of Thanksgiving

With less than a week until Thanksgiving, the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is forcing some Americans to go to food banks for the first time. 

At a food drive in DeKalb County, Georgia, people lined up at 5:30 a.m. ET for an event that was not supposed to start until 10 a.m., CNN’s Natasha Chen reported.

And as expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire in the next few weeks, food drive volunteers and local officials are urging the US government to act.

Meanwhile, at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles, volunteers are working to ensure residents do not go hungry this Thanksgiving. They expect about 1,000 people to line up today.

“These are unprecedented times, and whether it’s a holiday or whether it’s another Saturday, it’s now up to volunteers to feed the people. This is an essential service…that’s being handled by volunteers because the federal government is failing to address basic safety nets for people,” organizer Trinity Tran said to CNN’s Paul Vercammen. 

If you are facing food insecurity today, learn how to get help here.

Watch more:

Hong Kong reports highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in 3 months

Hong Kong recorded 43 new coronavirus cases on Saturday — the biggest daily jump in more than three months, according to a statement from the city’s Centre for Health Protection (CHP). 

Of the newly reported cases, 36 were locally transmitted, the statement said. 

“Given that the situation of COVID-19 infection remains severe and that there is a continuous increase in the number of cases reported around the world, members of the public are strongly urged to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong,” the CHP spokesperson was quoted saying in the statement. 

The CHP also called on members of the public to avoid going out, having social contact and dining out.

The announcement of the new cases comes after Hong Kong postponed a much-hyped “travel bubble” with Singapore due to a rise in coronavirus cases in the city. 

Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, announced the two-week delay during a press conference on Saturday. 

“We had planned to launch the HK-Singapore travel bubble tomorrow,” Yau said. “But in the light of the recent upsurge of local cases, we have decided together with Singapore government that we would defer the launching of the Air Travel bubble by two weeks.”

How to host a socially distanced Thanksgiving outside this year

Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, and CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen is urging Americans to skip visiting family and friends to have holiday dinners around indoor dining tables.

She said people can still visit family by socializing outdoors and described how Americans can host outdoor gatherings.

Here’s what she said:

If you’re the host, set up chairs and tables in advance. I like to have a big table in the middle, where I put all the drinks and plates. I also have chairs set up so that every household is spaced at least 6 feet apart. I’ll pour drinks and then have people come up, individually, to pick them up. Food should be plated separately; no buffets or people reaching into a common bowl. We won’t share food or drinks.

Make sure to keep an eye on the kids. To be safe, put masks on the kids if they’re playing together, though be sure to enforce physical distancing. If they are sharing toys, apply hand sanitizer frequently. We try to do it every 30 minutes.

Designate a bathroom for guests. Guests should go indoors, one at a time. No gathering indoors. Everyone should wear masks while using the restroom. Open windows and doors leading to the restroom if possible.

Trump appears to be skipping a G20 session focused on pandemic preparedness

President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, November 21.
President Donald Trump plays golf at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia on Saturday, November 21.
PHOTO: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

It does not appear President Trump will participate in a side-event at the G20 virtual summit focused on pandemic preparedness.

The event — which is due to begin this hour — will feature remarks from the leaders of Germany, France, South Korea and Argentina.

The goal of the event is to “foster international cooperation and to find solutions that protect people’s lives and livelihoods,” the Saudi release says.

Trump has just arrived at his golf course in Virginia and does not appear on the list of speakers at the event.

Trump earlier this morning appeared at the virtual summit. He and the rest of the G20 leaders appeared on small windows on the screen.

Baltimore high schools cancel 101st annual Thanksgiving football game because of Covid-19

Two Baltimore County, Maryland, high schools have canceled their long-standing rivalry football game to abide by Covid-19 restrictions, according to a joint statement from the schools. 

The Calvert Hall College High School and Loyola Blakefield teams had played each Thanksgiving morning for 100 years.

But this year’s “Turkey Bowl” — what would have been the 101st annual game — has been canceled after Baltimore County officials issued an executive order restricting outdoor gatherings, including high school athletics, the release said. 

This year’s game was scheduled to be played at Calvert Hall’s Paul Angelo Russo Stadium.

Thanksgiving in Canada could be a cautionary tale for the US

As Americans get ready to celebrate Thanksgiving next week, they can turn to Canada for a cautionary tail.

Canada saw a spike in cases just three weeks after their country celebrated its Thanksgiving holiday on October 12.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s provincial health officer, said she pleaded with people to keep their gatherings small. She also announced a ban on inviting more than six people into a home.

One Thanksgiving party with an extended family actually led to 10 Covid-19 infections, including three babies, according to York Region Public Health, a health unit north of Toronto.

The virus also spread to another household, infecting four more people, and to a workplace where two more people were infected with the virus.

Cases like that and other helped fuel the spike in cases.

“I think we need to consider all the celebrations that are coming up whether it’s Diwali, or Hanukkah, or Christmas,” Henry said, “and look at how we can regroup and focus on our immediate families and making sure we can support each other to do it safely.”

Here's who will receive a Covid-19 vaccine first, according to a CDC immunization expert

High-risk groups will receive a coronavirus vaccine first, according to the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. 

People such as health care providers, hospital employees and nursing home residents will be vaccinated before the larger US population, Dr. Jose Romero said to CNN’s Michael Smerconish in an interview. 

“Our focus is on the high-risk groups at this moment,” said Romero, who is also the Arkansas secretary of health.

Romero said people who have been vaccinated will be tracked.

There is “wiggle room” for different states in deploying a vaccine, Romero said. 

“States may prioritize individuals as they feel important, due to local issues. For the most part, ACIP recommendations are followed, so, I think that states will adhere to the recommendations,” he said.

Romero said he does have some concern that people will not take a vaccine even when it is ready and safe to do so.

“We know that there is some reluctance for accepting a new vaccine among different population groups — it can be as high as 50%, depending on the surveys. … I want to stress that the issue of safety of the vaccine has been paramount throughout the process,” he said. 

Watch more:

EU Commission leader calls for "global solidarity" on vaccines

PHOTO: Olivier Matthys/AP

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for “global solidarity” on coronavirus vaccines, tests and treatments during the virtual G20 summit on Saturday.

The EU chief appeared alongside world leaders at the virtual G20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia in a family photo on Saturday. 

The Access to Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, is a global collaboration launched to accelerate development, production and equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

“Covid-19 taught us that we need to step up global preparedness,” von der Leyen added in a tweet. Next year she and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will “convene a Global Health Summit under the Italian G20 Presidency,” she said. 

“We’ll discuss the lessons learned from the crisis to better protect humanity against pandemics,” von der Leyen added.

Another college football game postponed because of Covid-19 concerns

lmson and Florida State will not play their scheduled football game today.

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced the game has been postponed after “both teams’ medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game.” 

The game was originally scheduled to be played at noon local time in Tallahassee, Florida.

Some background: This is the 18th game postponed or canceled as a result of coronavirus health concerns. 

This is also the second straight week college football has lost double-digit games to its schedule. With cases surging around the country, fans should brace for the possibility of more canceled or postponed games.

These are the low-risk ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, according to the CDC

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance on holiday gatherings and what Americans need to be aware of before traveling, hosting or attending parties — or just gathering with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Here’s a look at what the CDC describes as low-risk holiday activities:

  • The lowest risk for contracting the highly infectious virus or spreading it is simply celebrating Thanksgiving in your own home with members of your household and/or virtually with extended family, the CDC said.
  • People can prepare holiday food for non-household family members — especially those at higher risk of contracting Covid-19, and neighbors — and deliver it without contact. They can also host a virtual dinner as a means of mitigating any risk.
  • Shopping online instead of heading to malls and stores for holiday sales the weekend after Thanksgiving is a safer way of grabbing those deals.
  • The CDC suggests watching sports events, parades or movies from home as another low-risk holiday activity.

Saudi king to G20 leaders: We must prepare for future pandemics

Members of the media watch on a projected screen at the International Media Centre in Saudi Arabia
Members of the media watch on a projected screen at the International Media Centre in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh as Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz gives an address opening the G20 summit on November 21.
PHOTO: Fayez Nureldine/AFP via Getty Images

This weekend’s virtual G20 summit is underway, and Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud opened the event by telling leaders they must prepare for any future pandemics.

Addressing the leaders by video conference, King Salman said “although we are optimistic about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools for Covid-19, we must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples. At the same time, we must prepare better for any future pandemic.” 

Saudi Arabia is hosting this year’s virtual summit. US President Trump and the rest of the G20 leaders appeared on small windows on the screen with King Salman at the center, and his son Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman right by his side.  

Thanksgiving is next week. Can we visit family during the pandemic?

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we asked CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Leana Wen if it’s possible to visit family this holiday season.

Here’s what she said: 

No, not the way that we would normally visit family, staying in one another’s homes and having holiday dinners around the dining table. That’s because Covid-19 is surging all across the country to the point that most communities within the United States are coronavirus hotspots. It is not safe to gather indoors with extended family and friends.

That said, you can still visit family by socializing outdoors. People not in the same household must stay 6 feet apart at all times. Bundle up, like people do when they play outside in winter, and you can do it.

If you do want to get together indoors, the safe way to do this is by everyone quarantining for 14 days and then getting tested. That’s going to be very difficult for most people, in which case you should see extended family and friends outdoors only.

I know this is very hard but getting Covid-19 could be worse. So many people have suffered a lot already, and it’s during times of stress that we want to be with our loved ones more than ever. Remember that help is coming. There is very promising news about vaccines, and by spring or summer 2021, we could well have a vaccine and better therapeutics. We need to get through this winter.

Wen answered more of our questions about the holidays and the pandemic. You can read up here.

President Trump says son "is doing very well" following coronavirus diagnosis

President Trump tweeted this morning that his son Donald Trump Jr. is doing “very well” after he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier in the week.

The President’s tweet comes after Trump Jr. posted a video on his Instagram account on Friday evening updating his followers after his positive coronavirus diagnosis. 

Trump Jr. said he has been “totally asymptomatic,” but is self-isolating and following the “regular protocols.” He told followers he found out he was positive for the virus after getting tested ahead of a planned trip with his son.

He later speculated that maybe the test he took was a “false positive,” adding that he would continue to follow safety protocols for now and “maybe get another couple tests” to see if he will be able to spend the holidays with his family. 

“You know take it seriously,” he said, speaking about the precautions he was taking. “No reason to do anything otherwise, but again totally asymptomatic, which is what’s weird about it.”

Remember: Trump Jr. has spread a significant amount of misinformation about the coronavirus, including on his Instagram account. Late last month, he told Fox News that the number of deaths from Covid-19 is “almost nothing” at a time when 228,000-plus Americans had succumbed to the virus.

Here's the latest on the pandemic in the US as the nation prepares for Thanksgiving

It’s Saturday morning in the US, and coronavirus cases are surging. The country reported reported more than 195,000 new Covid-19 cases yesterday — a record one-day total for the second straight day.

Here’s a look at the latest news on the pandemic:

  • Staggering new numbers: Almost every single state has sounded the alarm on a rapid surge in cases and nationwide numbers have been climbing much faster than ever before — with the country reporting a staggering 2.7 million infections since the beginning of the month. And while infections continue to soar, hospitalizations are also hitting grim records, with now more than 82,100 Covid-19 patients across the US, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
  • Spread from people without symptoms: Most coronavirus infections are spread by people who have no symptoms, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in newly updated guidance. It’s one of the main reasons mask use is so important, the CDC said.
  • About Thanksgiving: The CDC  this week urged against Thanksgiving holiday travel. The nation’s top health experts are urging Americans to alter their holiday plans this year, too: White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said Americans should limit indoor gatherings to immediate households this Thanksgiving. And Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’ll be having a Thanksgiving Zoom call with his three daughters.
  • The good news? Experts say promising vaccines are on the horizon. On Friday, Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate. Earlier this week, Pfizer said a final analysis of the Phase 3 trial of the vaccine showed it was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns.

UK PM to urge G20 leaders to take action on Covid-19 and Climate Change

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said he will urge fellow G20 leaders to make “bold pledges” on climate change and to work together to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic when the nations meet over the weekend.

In a video released ahead of the virtual summit, Johnson said: “It’s only by joining forces and working together that we will defeat coronavirus and build back better from this crisis. Our fates are in each other’s hands.

“The UK has committed to equitable global access for any vaccine and I would like to see the G20 nations collectively step up and support that effort.”

Earlier this week, Johnson announced significant new investment to power the “green industrial revolution” of the UK economy. 

The summit is being hosted by Saudi Arabia, but many meetings will take place virtually.

Russia reports a new record single-day increase of Covid-19 cases

Russia reported 24,822 new cases of coronavirus on Saturday, the highest number of cases it has ever reported in a single day, according to data from the country’s coronavirus response center. 

Moscow, the worst-affected city, accounted for 7,168 cases, also a new daily record for the Russian capital. 

The total number of coronavirus cases in Russia as of November 21 is 2,064,748.

The number of deaths due to coronavirus in Russia increased by 467 – another record daily increase. The country’s coronavirus response center reports an overall death toll so far of 35,778.

CNN investigation earlier this week revealed that official Russian coronavirus death figures may grossly understate the real toll by excluding people who are presumed to have Covid-19 post mortem and even those with pre-existing conditions that proved fatal due to the infection.

Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble postponed due to rise in cases after authorities U-turn

A traveler arrives at the departure hall of Changi Airport Terminal 3 in Singapore, on November 11.
A traveler arrives at the departure hall of Changi Airport Terminal 3 in Singapore, on November 11.
PHOTO: Ore Huiying/Getty Images

Hong Kong has postponed a much-hyped travel bubble with Singapore due to a rise in coronavirus cases in the city, just hours after their counterparts in Singapore said it would go ahead.

Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s secretary for commerce and economic development, announced the two-week delay during a press conference on Saturday. 

“We had planned to launch the HK-Singapore travel bubble tomorrow,” Yau said. “But in the light of the recent upsurge of local cases, we have decided together with Singapore government that we would defer the launching of the Air Travel bubble by two weeks.”

“We will make further announcements perhaps by early December on the formal launching of the scheme,” he added.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung also announced in a Twitter post that the bubble has been delayed.

But hours earlier, Singapore had said the bubble would go ahead despite the spike in Hong Kong, with extra precautions added to ensure safety.

The “Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced that the Singapore-Hong Kong Air Travel Bubble (ATB) will be launched as scheduled, with arriving passengers subject to an on-arrival test as a further precaution,” Ong explained on Saturday.

“Given the evolving situation in Hong Kong, Secretary Edward Yau and I discussed further this afternoon, and decided that it would be better to defer the launch of the ATB, by two weeks. We will review within two weeks on the new launch date and update again,” Ong said.

Hong Kong has experienced a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the last few days after weeks of steadily low cases loads. 

“The scale of the increase is very alarming,” said Doctor Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the Communicable Disease Branch at Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection. She warned on Saturday that this new increase in cases will be “very difficult to control.”

The spread in the US could be "faster, broader and longer" than before, expert warns

A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment administers a Covid-19 test at the Alemany Farmers Market in San Francisco, California, on November 19.
A medical worker wearing personal protective equipment administers a Covid-19 test at the Alemany Farmers Market in San Francisco, California, on November 19.
PHOTO: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

November has been a month full of devastating Covid-19 records in the US.

Almost every single state has sounded the alarm on a rapid surge in cases and nationwide numbers have been climbing much faster than ever before – with the country reporting a staggering 2.7 million infections since the beginning of the month.

On Friday, more than 195,500 new infections were reported – a level many could not imagine just weeks ago. The highest number of single-day cases during the country’s summer surge was a little more than 77,100 in July.

But despite the alarming numbers, multiple experts this week predicted things will likely get worse before they get better.

The virus is still running unabated in the US and the rate of rising cases is now “dramatically” different from what it was before, White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx told CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Louisiana’s health department announced that about 90% of new cases reported were community spread, while 10% of them were in congregate settings. Colorado officials said a new modeling report estimates about one out of every 49 residents in the state is infected with Covid-19 – by far the highest prevalence since the virus arrived there. In Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee said the “state is on fire,” with the virus “raging” across its communities.

Those announcements come ahead of Thanksgiving week, when health officials fear many Americans will opt to visit family and friends and further fuel the spread of the virus – many times, without knowing it.

The world's scramble for dry ice is just one headache in getting Covid-19 vaccines where they need to go

An employee fills a clinical and pharmaceutical product shipping box with dry ice at the Va-Q-Tec AG factory in Wurzburg, Germany, on November 18.
An employee fills a clinical and pharmaceutical product shipping box with dry ice at the Va-Q-Tec AG factory in Wurzburg, Germany, on November 18.
PHOTO: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Vaccines like to be kept cool, none more so than the Pfizer candidate for Covid-19, which has to be deep-frozen. And that’s going to be an issue for developing countries – and for rural areas in the developed world.

The “cold chain” is just one of the challenges in distributing vaccines worldwide.

There are plenty of others: decisions about priority populations and databases to keep track of who’s received what vaccine, where and when. Additionally, different vaccines may have more or less efficacy with different population groups; and governments will need PR campaigns to persuade people that vaccines are safe.

But the logistics of transporting and storing vaccines – getting them from the factory gate to the patient’s arm – are critical. And as most vaccines are likely to require two doses, the whole chain needs must be repeated within weeks.

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Hong Kong-Singapore travel bubble to go ahead with additional measures despite rise in cases

Travelers push their luggage in the departure hall of Hong Kong International Airport on October 19.
Travelers push their luggage in the departure hall of Hong Kong International Airport on October 19.
PHOTO: Jerome Favre/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Flights between Singapore and Hong Kong will go ahead as part of the planned travel bubble which begins November 22, despite a recent rise in Covid-19 cases in Hong Kong.

There will be additional measures, however, according to Singapore’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAAS.)

Travelers from Hong Kong will be required to take a Covid-19 PCR test upon arriving at Changi Airport that will cost 196 Singapore dollars ($145), except for the first week, to give travelers time to “adjust to this change.” Travelers will need to self-isolate until they receive their results, which will take about six to eight hours.

The travel bubble will be suspended if the seven-day average of unlinked cases, or cases with an unknown origin, exceeds five per day, CAAS added. Hong Kong’s current average is 2.14. 

“The threshold will be exceeded if there are more than 22 unlinked cases in Hong Kong over the next three days. This will trigger a two-day notice period, after which suspension will come into effect,” a news release from the CAAS said.

If this happens, there will be a two-day notice before the bubble is suspended and a seven-day Stay Home Notice (SHN) will be applied for travelers from Hong Kong into Singapore. 

“Hong Kong has a comprehensive public health surveillance system and the overall incidence rate is still low,” CAAS said.

US reports more than 195,000 new Covid-19 cases -- a record one-day total for the second straight day

The United States reported 195,542 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, the second consecutive day that the country has posted its highest one-day total of the pandemic.

The previous daily high was recorded on Thursday with 187,833 cases.

A further 1,878 virus-related fatalities were also reported Friday.

At least 11,910,858 Covid-19 cases, including 254,413 deaths, have now been reported nationwide.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

CNN is tracking the US cases:

Navajo Nation reports a record number of new Covid-19 cases

The Navajo Nation reported 351 new coronavirus cases Friday, surpassing the previous one-day record set in May by 47%.

It comes as the Navajo Nation is under a three-week “stay-at-home lockdown,” with most businesses closed and residents told to remain in their homes, except for emergencies and essential activities.

The nation’s total number of positive cases since the start of the pandemic is 14,441. The Navajo Nation is located within parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah.

“Our health care system is struggling and may soon be overwhelmed,” said Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer. “We have to do everything within our power to protect our children, elders, and those with existing health conditions.”

Most coronavirus cases are spread by people without symptoms, CDC now says

A sign reminding people to wear masks is seen by the pier on September 7 in Manhattan Beach, California.
A sign reminding people to wear masks is seen by the pier on September 7 in Manhattan Beach, California.
PHOTO: Chris Delmas/AFP/Getty Images

Most coronavirus infections are spread by people who have no symptoms, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in newly updated guidance.

It’s one of the main reasons mask use is so important, the CDC said.

“Most SARS-CoV-2 infections are spread by people without symptoms,” the agency said in a section of its website devoted to explaining the science of how to use masks to control the spread of the virus.

According to the CDC, 24% of people who transmit the virus to others never develop symptoms and another 35% were pre-symptomatic. It also said 41% infected others while experiencing symptoms.

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Japan reports new daily high of Covid-19 cases for a third straight day

Commuters queue in line to wait for a bus during rush hour in Tokyo, Japan on November 20.
Commuters queue in line to wait for a bus during rush hour in Tokyo, Japan on November 20.
PHOTO: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

Japan recorded a daily high increase of new coronavirus cases for the third day in a row on Friday.

The country’s Health Ministry announced there had been 2,427 new coronavirus infections and 20 deaths in the past 24 hours.

The nationwide toll currently stands at more than 128,377 Covid-19 cases and at least 1,976 fatalities.

Osaka prefecture also reported another daily high with 370 new cases.

Osaka Gov. Yoshifumi Yoshimura asked residents Friday to avoid dining with more than five people and for longer than two hours for the next two weeks. The Osaka government also asked that high-risk elderly citizens only make essential outings during the same period.

Japan’s capital Tokyo added 522 new cases, bringing the city’s total to 36,778. 

The US has reported more than 193,000 cases so far for Friday-- a new daily high for the second straight day

A healthcare worker administers a free Covid-19 test to a person in a car at the Columbus West Family Health and Wellness Center in Columbus, Ohio on November 19.
A healthcare worker administers a free Covid-19 test to a person in a car at the Columbus West Family Health and Wellness Center in Columbus, Ohio on November 19.
PHOTO: Stephen Zenner/AFP/Getty Images

The United States has reported 193,079 Covid-19 cases so far on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University, the highest one-day total of the pandemic for a second consecutive day.

The previous daily high was recorded on November 19, with 187,833 cases.

At least 11,908,395 Covid-19 cases, including 254,383 deaths, have now been reported nationwide.

The totals include cases from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and other US territories, as well as repatriated cases.

Note: The numbers are not the final count for the day, and could rise further.

CNN is tracking the US cases:

Canada's largest city is going into lockdown for at least 28 days

Shoppers walk through the Eaton Centre in Toronto on November 20. Retail will be allowed to operate for curbside pick-up or delivery only under lockdown rules that take effect Monday.
Shoppers walk through the Eaton Centre in Toronto on November 20. Retail will be allowed to operate for curbside pick-up or delivery only under lockdown rules that take effect Monday.
PHOTO: Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Toronto, Canada’s biggest city, is going into lockdown for at least 28 days to limit the spread of Covid-19, according to a news release from the Office of the Premier of Ontario published Friday. 

The lockdown will go into effect Monday and it includes Peel Region, which is part of the Greater Toronto Area. 

Ontario Premier Doug Ford said in the news release that Covid-19 numbers are “rising rapidly in certain regions,” adding the lockdown will protect “hospitals, long-term care and retirement homes, and every person in this province.” 

These are the lockdown rules:

  • Indoor social gatherings or events won’t be allowed except with members of the same household, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to no more than 10 people, according to the release. 
  • Wedding services, funerals, and religious ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained indoors or outdoors will also be limited to no more than 10 people. 
  • Retail will be allowed to operate for curbside pick-up or delivery only. Certain businesses such as grocery stores and pharmacies will be allowed to open at 50% capacity. 
  • Schools and childcare will remain open, and post-secondary education will move to virtual learning except for training that can only be provided in person. 

Other parts of the province will move to higher levels of restrictions starting Monday as well, according to the release. 

FDA announces advisory committee to meet to discuss Pfizer's vaccine application in December

The US Food and Drug Administration said Friday it has scheduled a meeting of its outside advisory panel to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech’s application for emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet on Dec. 10. 

The companies submitted their application for an EUA earlier Friday. It’s the first application for an FDA regulatory OK for a coronavirus vaccine.

“The FDA has been preparing for the review of EUAs for Covid-19 vaccines for several months and stands ready to do so as soon as an EUA request is submitted. While we cannot predict how long the FDA’s review will take, the FDA will review the request as expeditiously as possible, while still doing so in a thorough and science-based manner, so that we can help make available a vaccine that the American people deserve as soon as possible.”

The FDA is supposed to post the VRBPAC meeting schedule in the Federal Register at least two weeks ahead of time. The agency has promised to fully consider input from the committee, which is made up of vaccine experts and others with no ties to the companies submitting vaccines for FDA approval or authorization.

The FDA said it will livestream the VRBPAC meeting on the agency’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels and from the FDA website.

Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for coronavirus

Donald Trump Jr. attends a book signing to promote his book "Liberal Privilege"in Long Island, New York, on Sunday, October 18.
Donald Trump Jr. attends a book signing to promote his book "Liberal Privilege"in Long Island, New York, on Sunday, October 18.
PHOTO: Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr., President Donald Trump’s eldest son, has tested positive for the coronavirus, a personal spokesman told CNN on Friday.

Bloomberg was first to report Trump Jr.’s positive result.

Trump Jr. becomes the latest figure close to the President to test positive for Covid-19. In addition to himself, first lady Melania Trump, his youngest son Barron, his chief of staff Mark Meadows and a number of other top aides both in his campaign and in the White House have tested positive in recent months.

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Pfizer and BioNTech apply for FDA emergency use authorization for coronavirus vaccine

Pfizer and BioNTech on Friday submitted to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for their coronavirus vaccine candidate.

This is the first coronavirus vaccine to seek regulatory clearance in the United States.

The vaccine, known as BNT162b2, could potentially be available for use in high-risk populations in the United States by the middle to end of December, Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement earlier Friday. The vaccine requires two doses a few weeks apart, and protection is achieved 28 days after the first shot.

The submission to the FDA is based on results from the Phase 3 clinical trial of Pfizer’s vaccine, which began in the United States on July 27 and enrolled more than 43,000 volunteers.

The final analysis from the trial found the coronavirus vaccine was 95% effective in preventing infections, even in older adults, and caused no serious safety concerns, Pfizer and BioNTech said this week. The submission also includes safety data on about 100 children ages 12 to 15.

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