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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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. 

10:15 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

Here's how US medical experts are celebrating Thanksgiving this year

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.

"I have three daughters, and with my elderly parents living in a different state, this is usually the time of year when we get to see each other," he wrote in an article explaining why he's staying home. "But this holiday season, our interactions will be on screens -- with promises and hopes that next year will be different."

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."

10:12 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

White House vaccine czar says political pressure had nothing to do with Operation Warp Speed timeline

From CNN Health’s Naomi Thomas

The expedited timeline of Operation Warp Speed has had nothing to do with political pressure, its chief scientific officer, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on State of the Union on Sunday. 

“One hundred percent,” Slaoui told Tapper when asked if the timeline was due to health reasons, not because of pressure from any politician. “The operation has operated on full speed, based on science, focusing on patients and people’s need. No political interference, no bureaucracy, no red tape.” 

He continued to tell Tapper it’s been “an incredible visionary approach to put together science and the Department of Defense and industry in incredible partnership, frankly it’s been, it’s been exceptional.” 

9:31 a.m. ET, November 22, 2020

More than 1 million Americans traveled by air on Friday ahead of Thanksgiving

From CNN's Chuck Johnston

Ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, more than 1 million passengers traveled through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at US airports on Friday, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

This is only the second time during the pandemic that the US saw that high passenger volume. The TSA topped 1 million passenger screenings at the end of the long Columbus Day weekend.

Here's a look at the numbers this weekend:

  • On Friday, 1,019,836 passengers went through TSA checkpoints across the US. 
  • On Saturday, 984,369 passengers went through TSA checkpoints across the US. That’s the third most passengers since the beginning of the pandemic.  

March 16 was the last day going into the pandemic that the US routinely had 1 million passenger days, according to the TSA. On March 16, 1,257,823 passengers traveled through TSA checkpoints. The following day, March 17, that number dropped below a million passengers with 953,699 passengers.