November 25 coronavirus news

By Ben Westcott, Adam Renton, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:59 a.m. ET, November 27, 2020
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3:01 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

California eclipses daily record with 18,350 new Covid-19 cases

From CNN's Cheri Mossburg

People wait in lines for coronavius tests at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site on November 24 in San Fernando, California.
People wait in lines for coronavius tests at a walk-up Covid-19 testing site on November 24 in San Fernando, California. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

California has set a Covid-19 daily case record again, adding a staggering 18,350 new cases, nearly 3,000 more than the previous record set less than a week ago.

Cases climbed by 1.6% overnight, according to new data published by the California Department of Public Health. The total number of cases in the Golden State is 1,144,049. 

California’s 14-day positivity rate has swelled to 5.9%, having risen a full point in just one week. The seven-day rate is even higher, at 6.5%.

The surge continues in hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions. Currently, more than 7,000 people are hospitalized with Covid-19, a nearly 6% jump from Tuesday. Fewer than 2,000 ICU beds are available statewide.

Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a surge plan Monday that could add 11 facilities and another 2,000 hospital beds within a matter of days.

More than 94% of the state’s population is living in areas under the state’s most restrictive guidelines, yet the surge in cases advances.

Health officials continue to urge residents to keep Thanksgiving celebrations to their own household, and suggest moving events outside and wearing face coverings to mitigate the spread.

Note: These numbers were released by the California Department of Public Health and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project.

6:03 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Residents in 2 Atlanta-area counties got pre-Thanksgiving coronavirus warnings on their cellphones

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch and Roxanne Garcia 

Georgia's Fulton and DeKalb counties sent alerts to residents' cellphones ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, reminding them to safeguard against Covid-19.  

This is the message Fulton County sent:

“Fulton Board of Health: STAY AT HOME this Thanksgiving & stay safe from COVID-19 & flu. Keep your distance from anyone outside of your household. Celebrate virtually or outdoors, if possible. To stop the spread: wear a mask, wash your hands, & stay 6 feet from others. Remember, people without symptoms can still spread COVID-19 or flu.”

The alert includes a link the Fulton County Board of Health website. 

Meanwhile, DeKalb County sent a similar alert to residents for the holiday reminding them to wear masks.  

Here's that message: 

“Emergency Alert: Official Message from DeKalb County Government: As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving, please continue to follow DeKalb County’s mask ordinance when in public and CDC guidance to enjoy hosting safely: Don’t travel; wear a mask; host gatherings outdoors; wash your hands often, and practice social distancing. After the turkey is gone, get tested!”

 Both Fulton and DeKalb counties are in the Atlanta area.

6:03 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

States are negotiating for coronavirus vaccine distribution ahead of authorization, Illinois official says

From CNN’s Maggie Fox

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, speaks during an interview on November 25.
Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, speaks during an interview on November 25. CNN

States are negotiating to get their shares of any coronavirus vaccine that may be distributed, once one or more are authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration, Illinois’ state health officer told CNN Wednesday. 

Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said she asked for 400,000 doses of vaccine from the federal government but has been told they will get fewer. 

“We have had a readjustment of the numbers that were quoted to us and I have talked to other state health officials – all of them have a proportional decrease in their counts,” Ezike told CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson on “Inside Politics.”

“We are still waiting to see answers, and understand maybe why that is, but it seems that the initial allotment we thought would be ready to go out – that number has decreased. So as a result, all the states are going to get a smaller amount.”

The FDA has yet to authorize any vaccine but has scheduled a meeting for Dec. 10 for its advisers to consider Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine. Federal officials have said they would start rolling out vaccine within 24 hours of emergency use authorization, and predict they would have 40 million doses ready for the country in December.

In the meantime, hospitals are filling up and staffing is short, Ezike said.

“We have hospitals reaching out, saying that they have had large number of staff that are either infected themselves or on quarantine,” she said.

“There are numbers of individuals in the emergency room that are waiting to get a bed to be transferred for the continuation of care. So we are starting to see that. So we really need to stop the number of infections on the front end so that we can give a break to our amazing hospital workers who did this in the first wave and are starting this again.”

She hopes people stay home Thursday for Thanksgiving.

“I’m still making the urgent plea imploring people to reconsider their plans. If they were planning a larger gathering, if they were planning plan on mixing households, mixing extended family, people who are not already within your home, we don't want to infect the ones we love,” Ezike said.

“We want to protect the ones we love and we can do that by sacrificing the way we do Thanksgiving. We’re not cancelling Thanksgiving but we do need to transform it into something that respects what Covid can do and has done, and not make this Thanksgiving holiday one that we will regret in years to come because of what happened at this day of Thanksgiving.”

6:06 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

An ICU doctor wanted to send a powerful warning. So he made this video simulating an intubation.

From CNN's Adrienne Vogt

Dr. Ken Remy, a St. Louis critical care physician, speaks during an interview on November 25.
Dr. Ken Remy, a St. Louis critical care physician, speaks during an interview on November 25. CNN

Dr. Ken Remy, a St. Louis critical care physician, made a video simulating a Covid-19 patient being intubated as a warning, saying, “I hope that the last moments of your life don't look like this.”

“I’ve just seen too many people die and lose their life from this disease,” he said in an interview on CNN. ”And frankly, after calling almost 11 families last week and telling their loved ones in the middle of the night that their loved one has passed or died, it's just real difficult to continually do this.”

“The only way that I know, outside of when you get to the ICU, to protect your life is to keep you out of the ICU,” Remy added.

He said he was spurred to make and post the video on social media after he witnessed his colleagues’ sadness when a patient died. 

Remy said health care workers will “first and foremost” take care of patients and their loved ones during the pandemic. 

“But my hope is that we can get to a place where everyone realizes that it's much more comfortable to wear a piece of cloth on your face than it is for me to put a piece of plastic into your airway,” he said. 


1:26 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

West Virginia governor says wearing a mask is "the only bullet in the gun"

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during a press conference on November 25.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during a press conference on November 25. WV Governor's Office

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice pleaded with his residents to wear a mask to curb Covid-19.

Wearing a mask is “really the only bullet in the gun,” Justice said during a news conference Wednesday. “Whether you believe in or don't believe in it, we're all inconvenienced by it. ... What's the downside?”

The governor said he is not in favor of shutting down businesses or schools — but wearing a mask can help stop the spread of the virus. Masks are required to be worn in public places, according to an executive order.  

West Virginia's numbers: There are at least 510 Covid-19 patients currently hospitalized — which is a record high, Justice said. Of those patients, 144 are in intensive care. 

The governor said there were 28 reported deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday and the state added 967 new cases in the last 24 hours.

Justice asked residents as they celebrate Thanksgiving to “have common sense.” 

“Just be safe and be smart and enjoy the holiday and love your family because it’s a really, really important time," he said.

“We'll get through this. We'll get through this and there'll be a lot, a lot, a lot of bright days ahead. But we want to be at our best — at our best when things are tough — and right now things are tough,” Justice said. “Just try as best you can to enjoy tomorrow.”

6:06 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Trump trade adviser again calls for a "fiscal bridge" stimulus

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 28.
Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, speaks to members of the media outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on August 28. Stefani Reynolds/Sipa/Bloomberg/Getty Images

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro echoed remarks from last night during a Wednesday appearance on Bloomberg, calling for additional stimulus to help the economic recovery.

He noted today’s “uptick” in jobless claims and personal income levels going down.

He declined to say whether he supports Mnuchin’s decision to end emergency lending programs at the end of the year.

“That’s for Sec. Mnuchin to have that conversation,” he said, calling for a targeted phase four relief bill that could include a “top up” of the Paycheck Protection Program and extending unemployment insurance.

“People are hurting, that’s going to hurt consumer spending and the like,” he said. “What we need is a fiscal bridge to the point where the vaccines kick in.”

He told reporters afterward that the jobless claims are a “good, bad, and an ugly story,” citing additional data on homebuilding and other metrics.

The uptick in jobless claims is “of concern,” he said as PPP and compensation programs get exhausted.

“What I’m worried about is there’s millions of Americans who are at risk for falling into this chasm where they don’t have sufficient support, and this is why a phase four program on a bipartisan level is so important,” he said – neglecting to mention that the Trump administration has been part of the negotiation stalemate. 

He declined to take a question on government funding or stimulus talks, saying he wasn’t privy to those conversations.

“There’s clearly some issues ahead that we need to deal with now,” he said.


6:06 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

There's a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases in US nursing homes, health group CEO says

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury


Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association, said he's "extremely concerned" about holiday gatherings because "the rapid increase in [Covid-19] cases across the country has led to a rapid increase of cases in nursing homes."

The American Health Care Association represents more than 14,000 long-term health care facilities across the country. Parkinson told CNN's Kate Bolduan that last week 12,500 people in nursing homes were diagnosed with coronavirus "and the tragedy of that is that we know that 20% of them will die."

Parkinson urged the general public to consider the lives impacted by the pandemic when making plans for Thanksgiving weekend.

"The decisions that we all collectively make over the next four days will determine whether thousands of more people die or whether we will make the small sacrifices we need to make to keep them alive. And as Dr. [Anthony] Fauci has said, in just a few more months, once we have the vaccine, to get together and celebrate then. It's really up to us," Parkinson explained.

He added that the virus "is so contagious that even under the best of infection control, we’re not able to keep it out. The answer is socially distancing in the general public. Celebrate Thanksgiving, but celebrate it at home with people that you live with."


6:06 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

FDA says starting Friday, public can provide comment for Covid-19 vaccine meeting

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine vials.
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine vials. Pfizer

The US Food and Drug Administration has posted to Twitter more details about an upcoming meeting of its outside advisory committee to discuss Pfizer and BioNTech's emergency use authorization application for a coronavirus vaccine candidate.

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

"Starting Friday, the public will be able to submit comments to the public docket for this meeting, and those comments will be reviewed by the FDA," the agency tweeted on Wednesday. "Although the VRBPAC members provide advice to the agency, which may include advice on the safety and effectiveness data submitted in the EUA request, final decisions on whether to authorize the vaccine for emergency use are made by the FDA."

In a series of tweets, the FDA also noted that the committee is made up of scientific and public health experts and the committee meeting will be live-streamed on the agency's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter channels and from the FDA website.

12:23 p.m. ET, November 25, 2020

Your Thanksgiving Day Zoom call won't be subjected to the company's 40-minute time limit

From CNN's Marika Gerken

The holidays are upon us and one tech company is already in the giving spirit.

Zoom announced earlier this month it will lift its timed meeting limit on Thanksgiving so "your family gatherings don't get cut short."

The video communications company announced in a tweet that the 40-minute time limit it usually has on its free meetings will be lifted globally on Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving Day).

If you're hosting a Zoom Thanksgiving this year, read up here on how to make it a holiday to remember.