December 7 coronavirus news

By Julia Hollingsworth, Adam Renton, Meg Wagner and Mike Hayes, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, December 8, 2020
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6:35 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Trump will sign executive order tomorrow to prioritize shipment of Covid-19 vaccine to Americans 

From CNN's Jim Acosta 

President Trump is expected to sign an executive order Tuesday aimed at prioritizing the shipment of the coronavirus vaccine to Americans before other nations, a White House official confirmed.

Trump is planning on signing the order at a vaccine summit at the White House Tuesday. 

“The priorities of the administration and this President since day one have been to put America first. This executive order reemphasizes that saying that, saying that we are going to ensure access to free, safe, and effective Covid vaccines to the American people,” the official said. 

“Once we've ensured the ability to meet the needs of the American people, it would be been in the interest the United States to facilitate international access to Covid vaccines. That's what we're doing. The executive order also comes with accompanied framework, which provides the guidelines for the interagency to execute that that directive,” the official added.

It is hoped the executive order will allay fears that there will not be enough doses of the vaccine to go around after distribution begins. 

4:47 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Pennsylvania will run out of hospital beds and have to turn people away if infections continue to climb

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf spoke bluntly Monday, describing an increasingly "dire" scenario where sick Pennsylvanians could be turned away from hospitals due to lack of beds if Covid-19 hospitalizations continue to increase.

The Commonwealth reported that at least 5,421 people were hospitalized due to the virus as of noon Monday, according to the state's Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine.

The 14-day moving average of hospitalized patients per day had increased by 4,000 since the end of September, she added.

Wolf warned of hospitals that were already diverting patients to other facilities due to "full emergency rooms and overwhelming needs."

“If the worst happens, hospitals will not be able to treat all sick Pennsylvanians," Wolf said. "They’ll be forced to turn away people who need treatment, and that means more Pennsylvanians will die.” 

The latest numbers: There were at least 6,330 new cases of Covid-19 from Sunday, and approximately 8,630 from Saturday. There were a total of 111 new deaths over the weekend, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The statewide positivity rate for the week of Nov. 27 through Dec. 3 was 14.4%, according to the department. 

Note:These numbers were released by the Pennsylvania 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. 

4:21 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Here's why there probably won't be a more detailed stimulus proposal today

From CNN's Lauren Fox

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress as they announce a proposal for a Covid-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill on December 1, in Washington.
Sen. Joe Manchin speaks alongside a bipartisan group of Democrat and Republican members of Congress as they announce a proposal for a Covid-19 relief bill on Capitol Hill on December 1, in Washington. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The bipartisan group of senators working on a coronavirus relief package will have another call this evening in an attempt to iron out differences on liability insurance, a Democratic aide tells CNN. That remains the key sticking point in the negotiations.

As a result of the call, don’t expect to see a more detailed proposal, outline or summary of the other pieces of the bill they are working on today. 

The thinking is that there really is not a full agreement until everything is worked out. While aides feel good about the progress that has been made to settle state and local funding, the liability piece is still unresolved. And, without liability, there isn’t likely to be a deal. 

Remember, last week Sen. Joe Manchin said the goal was release legislative text today. But, now that there is going to be a one-week continuing resolution, that does give the bipartisan group more time to figure out a path forward on liability.

3:05 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

South Dakota resident says nearby facilities were so full, she was sent out-of-state for Covid-19 treatment

From CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

CNN
CNN

South Dakota resident Rose Mary Kor was rushed to the ER when she was struggling to breathe.

At the ER, Kor was diagnosed with Covid-19-related pneumonia and was told she needed to be treated in a more sophisticated facility, but because the nearest facility was full, she would need to be sent for treatment in Wyoming, CNN’s Brooke Baldwin reported.

“They said, ‘we're going to try to send you to Wyoming and the two options are Gillette and Casper, we'll see who will take you.’ And as it turned out, Wyoming Medical Center in Casper was the one that could take me,” Kor explained.

"'What is happening?' Is what I was thinking. 'How could this be? Do you guys know how far away Casper is?'" Kor told Baldwin.

The facility is about a 3-hour drive from Kor's home and 200 miles away, she said.

Kor added that she doesn't know what would happen if she required additional treatment.

Kor said she would have to see her doctor at the nearby clinic, but doesn't know "what would happen, if they would have to ship me somewhere else. It just seems like our system is not prepared for the scope of what this virus is doing."

Kor's message to fellow residents in South Dakota is to take the pandemic seriously.

"If you're not thinking this is real, that you don't need a mask, that you don't need to be careful, you're living in some sort of alternate reality," she said.

3:01 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Former FDA commissioner says he "will not eat indoors in a restaurant" during the pandemic 

From CNN's Andrea Diaz

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC's Andrew Sorkin on Monday that he has avoided indoor dining and will continue to do so during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“On a personal level, I’ve gone to many big box stores properly masked, and I wear a high-quality mask when I go out. I will not eat indoors in a restaurant,” Gottlieb said.

Gottlieb said he has been eating outdoors since the summer. The risk is too high to be in a confined space without a mask on, he said.

"We need to understand what we’re looking at right now is going to get progressively worse over the next four to six weeks. Infections are going to continue to grow for at least four weeks, and the number of deaths and hospitalizations are going to continue to grow for probably the next six weeks,” Gottlieb said. 

2:44 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Fauci wants Biden administration to focus on "efficient and equitable" distribution of Covid-19 vaccines

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Monday that the first thing he would like the incoming Biden administration to do is "get the efficient and equitable distribution of vaccines" to as many people as possible.

"So if there's one thing we want to jump all over is – literally do a full-court press – to get out there, engage the community," Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.

"Because if we could get 75% to 85% of the people in the United States vaccinated, we could crush this outbreak," Fauci said. "We really have the capability of doing it."

Under the Biden administration, Fauci will be staying in his current role and will also become a chief medical adviser for Biden on the Covid-19 pandemic.

2:23 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Resources should be made available to keep children safely in school, Fauci says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Milken Institute
Milken Institute

If schools have the resources, children can be kept in school safely, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday.

"We should be making resources available so we can keep children, safely, in school," Fauci told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.

"It looks like now that the test positive of children in school compared to the comparable community is really relatively low," Fauci said. "The safer place to be for the children would be in school, because the test positivity is really relatively low."

Fauci added that one of his own daughters is a school teacher.

2:12 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Fauci affirms he's willing to take Covid-19 vaccine publicly

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday that he is willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine publicly once one is authorized in the United States.

"I'd be more than happy to do it publicly," Fauci told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.

"When I see the FDA with their career scientists say that a vaccine is safe and effective, I will take it myself when my time comes," Fauci said. "And I will recommend it to all people, including my friends President Clinton, Obama, Bush and others to take the vaccine because I would feel comfortable."

Former Presidents Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George W. Bush have all said that they are willing to take the Covid-19 vaccine in public settings.

 

2:11 p.m. ET, December 7, 2020

Fauci says US still hasn't seen the "full brunt of the Thanksgiving holiday" Covid-19 trends

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Milken Institute
Milken Institute

The United States still hasn't seen the full impact that Thanksgiving gatherings likely will have on rising Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday.

"The blip from Thanksgiving isn't even here yet," Fauci told CBS' Norah O'Donnell during the Milken Institute Future of Health Summit.

"So we're getting those staggering numbers of new cases and hospitalizations before we even feel the full brunt of the Thanksgiving holiday," Fauci said, adding that the US could see a rise in cases and hospitalizations due to the holiday — and the nation needs to be mindful of following guidelines during the upcoming winter holidays.

"For the first time in more than 30 years I’m not spending the Christmas holidays with my daughters,” Fauci said.

He said political leaders who call for the public to stay home but don't follow those guidelines themselves are setting "a bad example."

"That's a bad example," Fauci said. "Several of them, as we know from the news – I was watching the news last night – unfortunately, some of them did but they were caught."