November 22 coronavirus news

By Nectar Gan, Jenni Marsh, Rob Picheta, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, November 23, 2020
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1:15 p.m. ET, November 22, 2020

New York state reports more than 5,000 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Sheena Jones

New York State is reporting 5,391 new cases of Covid-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted today.

The overall statewide test positivity rate is 2.74%, and within the cluster zones, the positivity rate is 4.39%. 

On Sunday, the state reported at least 2,562 people were hospitalized because of Covid-19 and 30 people died from the virus on Saturday, the governor tweeted.

Read the tweet:

One thing to note: These numbers were released by the state’s health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and our Covid tracker.

12:53 p.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Here's how you can host a socially distanced, outdoors Thanksgiving this year

From CNN's Katia Hetter

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.

12:32 p.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Fauci says mitigation measures "can blunt curves" as we get "into the colder season"

From CNN Health’s Leanna Faulk

from CBS
from CBS

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Face The Nation on Sunday, that implementing mitigation efforts can help flatten the curve leading up to the holiday season.

Fauci says implementing mitigation measures — such as universal mask wearing, physical distancing, closing bars and avoiding crowds — “can blunt curves and as we're getting into the colder season.”

“Those are relatively easy things to do,” he said. “The fact is we know when you do that and when you do things like limit capacity and restaurants and stay away from bars and even closed bars – it does have an impact,” he added. 

“I would hope that the people who are pushing back on the recommendations for mitigation measures just look at the numbers – look at the facts,” he said. 

12:27 p.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Fauci says he would have "no hesitation" to take a Covid-19 vaccine

 From CNN's Naomi Thomas

from CBS
from CBS

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have the ultimate determination for recommendations on who gets a Covid-19 vaccine first, and that he would have no hesitation in taking it if he was in that group. 

“The CDC has the ultimate determination for the recommendations,” he told CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Face the Nation on Sunday. “They do that closely with an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which is also being complemented by recommendations from the Nation Academy of Medicine, but at the end of the day it’s the CDC.” 

Fauci explained that the CDC will make recommendations after an emergency use authorization is implemented as they will know what was discussed with the FDA. 

“They’ll be able to say okay, on the basis of our determination and our advisory committee, this is the prioritization of people who will get it,” he said, adding that that if things go well, “and I think that they will,” and the vaccines get the EUA which is expected, “we will have maybe 20 million people will be able to get vaccinated by the middle to the end of December and then as we get into January, February, even more.” 

“Would you take it next month?” Brennan asked him. 

“Yeah, if I’m within the group that’s recommended, definitely I would. I would look at the data, I mean right now, the FDA will make that determination,” he responded. “But I would have no hesitation to take it, nor would I have any hesitation to recommend it to my family.” 
12:24 p.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Fauci: "We need to get as many people as possible vaccinated"

 From CNN's Naomi Thomas

from CBS
from CBS

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that there are two things that make a vaccination program effective: the efficacy of the vaccine and how many people take it. 

Fauci was speaking to CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Face The Nation on Sunday. Brennan quoted Operation Warp Speeds chief scientific advisor, Moncef Slaoui, saying “we could have true herd immunity take place somewhere in the month of May as the vaccine is distributed.”

Brennan then asked Fauci if America goes back to normal life in May.

“You know, I don’t think so, unless we do, and I believe you’re referring to Moncef Slaoui who said that,” Fauci said, adding “and I totally agree with him,” after Brennan confirmed. 

“If you have a highly efficacious vaccine, and only a relatively small 40, 50% of the people get vaccinated, you’re not going to get the herd immunity you need,” Fauci said. “What we do need is we need to get as many people as possible vaccinated.”  

This is why, he explained, “we want to be very transparent” and for people to understand the independent, transparent process which led to the point of the US Food and Drug Administration, along with independent advisory committees, saying that the vaccines are safe and effective with an EUA and ultimately a license. 

“When the American public hears that, you should be assured that that is the case and if you get an overwhelming majority of the people vaccinated with a highly efficacious vaccine, we can reasonably quickly get into herd immunity that would be a blanket of protection for the country,” Fauci said. 

11:50 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Dr. Fauci warns public about the risk for infection at "seemingly innocent" family holiday gatherings

from CBS
from CBS

In anticipation of the upcoming holiday season, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is warning Americans about the risk of infection at friends and family gatherings. 

“One of the spots, if you want to call them, where you have a risk is seemingly innocent family friends get togethers indoors and it seems like the most natural thing,” Fauci said Sunday on CBS’s Face the Nation.

“When you're eating and drinking, obviously you have to take your mask off,” he said. “We know now that those are the kinds of situations that are leading to outbreaks.”

 Fauci said he is concerned about people traveling through crowded airports. 

“When you get on a crowded plane, you're in a crowded airport, you're lining up, not everybody's wearing masks – that puts yourself at risk,” he said. 

He also said that the he is concerned about a possible spike in cases leading up to Christmas.

“You're not going to see an increase until weeks later – things lag,” he said. “So what you don't want to see is another spike in cases as we get colder and colder into December and then you start dealing with the Christmas holiday – we can really be in a very difficult situation.”

“So you want to tell people to please, seriously consider decisions that you make,” he added. 

11:43 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

What the White House's vaccine czar said about the vaccine process this morning


Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the head of the government's effort to develop a vaccine against Covid-19, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" this morning to answer questions about the US's race to develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine.

Here are the key takeaways from his interview:

  • The first Americans could be vaccinate next month: Slaoui said he hopes for the first people to be vaccinated for Covid-19 on day two after FDA approval, and that based on plans. An FDA vaccine advisory committee is slated to meet on Dec. 10, so he said, he expects "maybe on day two after approval, on the 11th or the 12th of December," vaccinations could begin.
  • Children could start to be vaccinated next year: Slaoui said he expects children will be able to receive the coronavirus vaccine some time in the middle of next year. He said said the government is planning to run clinical trials into younger adolescents, and then toddlers and infants on "an expedited basis" in the coming months.
  • The quick timeline isn't because of political pressure: The expedited timeline of Operation Warp Speed has had nothing to do with political pressure, its chief scientific officer, Slaoui told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “One hundred percent,” Slaoui told Tapper when asked if the timeline was due to health reasons, not because of pressure from any politician
10:59 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Here's where coronavirus cases are rising in the US

The US is seeing an unprecedented pandemic resurgence, and nearly a quarter of all Covid-19 cases reported in the United States so far were recorded in November.

Records are being set in some states: Mississippi reported a single day record in the state with 1,972 cases on Saturday, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.

In New Mexico, records were set on Saturday with 825 hospitalizations, a tweet from Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said.

Overall, 37 states are reporting more coronavirus cases in the past week than they did in the previous week. Another eight are seeing a steady number of new cases, and just five are seeing declining numbers.

Here's a look at where cases are rising:

10:44 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

GOP senator who campaigned with Loeffler will stay at home until she gets her Covid-19 results

From CNN’s Caroline Kenny

Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue wave to supporters at a campaign rally in Canton, Georgia, on November 20.
Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Sen. David Perdue wave to supporters at a campaign rally in Canton, Georgia, on November 20. Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Sen. David Perdue campaign spokesperson Casey Black says the Georgia senator will remain at home until Sen. Kelly Loeffler receives confirmation of her test results. 

What is this about: As CNN reported Saturday, Loeffler’s campaign confirmed that the Georgia Republican tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday but a subsequent test came back as inconclusive on Saturday evening.

Loeffler was maskless with Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Perdue during campaign events most of the day Friday. The trio rode on a bus from the airport to two campaign events for Georgia senate seat runoff elections.