Scott Atlas apologizes for appearing on RT, saying he did not realize the television network is a registered foreign agent. He misrepresented the effectiveness of masks, suggested that lockdowns kill, and discouraged testing asymptomatic people. This he does not apologize for. He also dismissed the U. of Washington IHME forecasts of 400K deaths in the US by Feb. 1 under current conditions, arguing that "anybody who's even focusing on models has not learned from the past." In July, the IHME model predicted 208K Americans would die from coronavirus by Nov. 1. The actual total is over 230K.
Two days after a Biden campaign bus traveling to Austin got surrounded by cars and trucks adorned with Trump flags and screaming profanities, resulting in passengers (which included US Rep. Lloyd Doggett) having to call 911 for a police escort, Trump tweets: "I LOVE TEXAS." During the incident, the trucks slowed to 20 mph after boxing in the bus. It is being investigated by the FBI.
One day before the general election in the United States, a daily caseload of 100,233 is reported by Reuters. This demonstrates that the long-expected six-figure increase per day has been reached in the nation's third COVID-19 surge. Dr. Anthony Fauci made such a prediction just days earlier, and this still-increasing surge had itself been long predicted for the fall. It is furthermore anticipated that the pandemic will worsen in the USA in winter, with a surge in deaths expected to naturally follow the surge in cases.
Global fatalities saw their deadliest week since April as the world's death toll now surpasses 1.2 million. US deaths are reported to be nearly 240,000, but numerous estimates suggest a more comprehensive and accurate tally would place the total at about 300,000.
In the wake of Trump's refusal to change his policies, Dr. Fauci, a leading member of the government’s coronavirus response team, says the United States needed to make an “abrupt change” in public health practices and behaviors. Fauci's criticism of the White House's COVID response evokes a "Fire Fauci" chant at a Trump campaign rally. Trump's response is to quip, "Don’t tell anybody, but let me wait until a little bit after the election.” As supporters cheer, Trump adds, “I appreciate the advice."
Election Day 2020. The referendum on the Trump presidency takes place. Large numbers of votes are cast via mail-in ballots, so it is certain that the results cannot be known on the night of the election. Polls show it is virtually certain that Joe Biden will win the popular vote handily. The nature of the electoral college ensures a great advantage to small rural states, which have tended to vote Republican, and have supported Trump's policies throughout the pandemic. All of the top ten states in the surge voted in 2016 for Donald Trump: North Dakota (currently the leading state), followed by South Dakota, Wisconsin, Montana, Wyoming, Iowa, Alaska, Utah, and Idaho.
Election results show that nine of those top ten surging states vote for Trump again in 2020. The only exception: Wisconsin.
Despite Trump's often-repeated claims at rallies that the pandemic would vanish on November 4 (and the media would stop covering it), COVID case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths, in fact, continue to rise. Pundits also point out that Dr. Anthony Fauci is not subject to dismissal by Trump, despite threats to that effect, because (like all civil servants who are government employees and not political appointees) cause must be shown for firing, and standard procedures followed.
Trump continues to demand that vote counts in the nation be halted, claiming he has won the election. There is no justification for halting the counting of votes. Since the beginning of the American republic, the process has taken many days to complete. Trump is currently losing the popular vote by ~4 million, a margin almost certain to be the final result. Legal challenges are filed by Trump in several states. Biden remains in need of just one of the four states still undecided to become president-elect.
In the aftermath of the presidential election, 23 states over the past week reach a record number of coronavirus cases.
The US gains 121,054 new cases nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins U, with at least 1,187 reported deaths. These figures represent a 20% increase from the same date last week. Health experts warned weeks ago that the nation's daily cases would reach six figures, but those figures hit sooner than some expected. COVID-19's death toll may officially reach 265,000 by month's end, according to a new CDC forecast.
Twitter suspends consultant/strategist Steve Bannon's podcast account after Bannon said that a second Trump term shouldn’t just start with firing FBI Director Chris Wray and top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on national TV. He noted it should then move on to their beheading: “I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put the heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.” Bannon stressed his insistence on loyalty to Trump by adding: “You either get with the program or you’re gone."
The pandemic continues to not miraculously disappear after the election. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows has tested positive for coronavirus, though it is unclear when he was tested. Meadows traveled with Trump November 2nd and attended the WH party on election night, where he was in close contact with the First Family. Officials are concerned that Meadows was likely around other staffers this week while contagious.
The United States crosses the threshold of 10 million COVID-19 cases. Texas becomes the first state to hit the benchmark of 1 million cases.
Several nations in Europe are seeking to battle a second wave of coronavirus by drafting their militaries to help overburdened healthcare systems. Across the continent, armed forces members have been taking on roles ranging from supporting hospital staff to the disinfecting of testing sites to directly transporting patients. Such actions are not even being discussed in the USA.
Joe Biden is declared the victor in the US Presidential race. His campaign notes that dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is his top priority.
The day before, the US again broke the record for new COVID cases with more than 126,000.
A Biden deputy campaign manager announces on "Meet The Press" the selection of Vivek Murthy, former surgeon general, and David Kessler, former FDA commissioner, to co-chair the new administration's task force on COVID. It is expected that, when the announcement is made, Marcella Nunez-Smith, Yale physician and professor, will be named as the third chair. Both Murthy and Kessler spoke out in recent months about a need for the FDA to avoid perceptions of political interference as COVID vaccines are evaluated. Murthy was forced out of his position just three months into the current administration for holding views Trump did not like on such things as vaccinations.
Demonstrations by Trump supporters - fueled by misinformation spread via social media - continue to follow the line that the election has been stolen from him. No credible evidence has been presented to support this. Trump refuses to acknowledge he has lost, and encourages lawsuits in numerous states, so there is no cooperation between outgoing and incoming administrations on COVID or anything else.
President-elect Biden officially announces a COVID-19 advisory board of science-driven clinicians, health policy experts, and scientists. Among them: Zeke Emanuel, Obama health advisor; Dr. Celine Gounder, medical journalist experienced in combating HIV; and immunologist Rick Bright, director of the government's agency tasked with disease countermeasures - until he blew the whistle on efforts to push hydroxychloroquine and was ousted. The Biden announcement signals that fighting the pandemic will indeed be the top priority of his new administration, in marked contrast to the current one.
Dr. Ben Carson, Trump's HUD Secretary, tested positive for COVID. Carson’s deputy said he was “in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.” Carson attended the same election night party at the White House as WH chief of staff Mark Meadows, who has also tested positive.
In a significant update to its recommendations on face coverings, the CDC notes that wearing a mask protects the wearer - not just those around the wearer. The agency also pointed out that multiple studies now confirm the benefit of “universal masking policies.”
Coronavirus cases grow in Europe as multiple countries struggle with surges in hospitalizations. Belgium leads in the rate of deaths. Blame for this centers on an incoherent COVID response from a caretaker government after 2019 elections produced no ruling coalition until September 2020. Without federal leadership, provinces and local communities adopted conflicting measures, much like the USA under Trump. Belgium's COVID advisory body removed scientists in favor of business leaders opposed to efforts to mitigate the virus - a parallel to efforts in the USA and, again, with similar results.
Coronavirus infections hit 140,000 cases over the last day. Cases have topped 100,000 cases per day, every day, for the first ten days of November, as the fall surge accelerates.
Hospitals in North Dakota, currently the US's worst hit state, are at 100% capacity. Staffing shortages are so severe that the Governor has issued orders allowing workers with active infections to continue at their jobs in COVID units, so long as they lack symptoms and take "extra precautions" (despite the fact that they are actively infectious). There is still, however, no requirement to wear a mask in the state.
One of the last remaining COVID-free countries in the world - the island nation of Vanuatu - announces its first positive test. Prime Minister Bob Loughman told a press conference that an indigenous man returned from the United States infected.
Just one week after hitting 100,000 cases a day for the first time, the US hits a new record of 160,000 cases of COVID-19. California joins Texas as the second state with over 1M cases of coronavirus.
As the fall surge continues, reports emerge that despite having 9 months to prepare for the need, the United States has not produced enough personal protective equipment. Hospitals in New York are again facing the prospect of recycling masks and gowns in the wake of shortages.
Trump and his administration have responded to the above with.... no response at all. Their concern instead appears to be how the election results can be overturned, a task made much more difficult by the calling of Arizona and Georgia for Biden today, giving him 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232, with 270 required to win.
Overturning the election now requires Trump flipping enough states to change 37 electoral votes - and countering Biden's popular vote plurality (currently at 5,320,000 votes) in the court of public opinion.
Despite warnings that it was premature to do so, the administration authorized resumption of cruise ship activity at the beginning of this month. The first ship to do so is today reporting at least five cases of COVID aboard. The ship remains docked in Barbados as passengers and crew undergo testing.
US COVID deaths top the quarter million mark in official totals, though many experts estimate the actual number to be closer to 350,000.
Over the prior week, the United States has added another 1 million cases, to top 11M.
Dr. Fauci notes that Trump has not attended a coronavirus task force meeting since June. Trump continues non-cooperation with the incoming administration on pandemic management... and everything else.
Dr. Scott Atlas tweets that citizens in Michigan should "rise up" against new restrictions being instituted in that state following a sharp increase in case numbers.
As Trump's GSA administrator refuses to take the needed steps to begin the transition process, Biden's team continues to lack a budget, and remains unable to work directly with federal agencies. The president-elect warns that such actions could hamper the incoming administration's ability to rapidly distribute a coronavirus vaccine. Said Biden bluntly, "More people may die if we don't coordinate."
A World Health Organization panel recommends against the use of remdesivir for COVID-19. The panel of experts “concluded that remdesivir has no meaningful effect on mortality or on other important outcomes for patients, such as the need for mechanical ventilation or time to clinical improvement.” Their report did not rule out using the drug, but said evidence was lacking to recommend usage.
Recent promising announcements from Pfizer and Moderna have raised vaccine hopes, but many state officials now say they need federal government money to ensure distribution once vaccines are released. The states say they need more funding to hire staff to administer the vaccines, develop information systems to track doses, and promote the need to get vaccinated. Despite this, officials at Operation Warp Speed insist that vaccine distribution will begin within 24 hours of an Emergency Use Authorization.
Trump participates in a virtual G-20 summit with a message sent from the White House Situation Room during the opening session. He tweets messages on election fraud just 13 minutes later. A side session on global pandemic preparedness convenes later in the afternoon, including speeches by Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel. By this time, Trump is playing golf at his private course. Trump reportedly used his address to the summit to complain about the Paris climate accord, and state he was right to withdraw from it.
The fall COVID surge continues to accelerate. Johns Hopkins University reports that, in just three weeks this month, nearly a quarter of all cases in the United States have been recorded - 2.8M of the nation's 12M total. Under the circumstances, health officials across the country are counseling people to consider skipping the Thanksgiving holiday, given the strong possibility that indoor gatherings will make matters even worse.
The head of the US's COVID-19 vaccination plan, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, says that if all things go according to plan, first responders could receive vaccine injections as early as the second week of December. Were everything to continue to go well, he estimates that enough of the population could be vaccinated for life to return to normal by May. Issues remain on distribution networks, and how the vaccines can be kept cold enough to remain effective.
The General Services Administration finally authorizes the start of the process of presidential transition. Trump has heretofore been blocking the coalition of federal agencies overseeing vaccine distribution plans from communicating with the Biden-Harris team. Three weeks after the election, the White House is now giving formal approval for the president-elect to receive the President's Daily Brief, classified information and analysis on national security matters. Trump has still not acknowledged his electoral defeat.
Health authorities across the nation urge families to limit the number of people gathered for the Thanksgiving holiday as the number of COVID-19 patients in US hospitals hits a record for the 16th straight day, at approximately 90,000. Many medical centers across the nation note that they are running out of beds.
The case rate in the US increases from about 90,000 cases a day to over 200,000. By month's end, the number of Covid-related hospitalizations in the US exceeds 98K per day. It is widely predicted that the Thanksgiving holiday will produce a further acceleration in cases given the country's disjointed and piecemeal approach to public health actions.
The planned commencement of vaccinations in the USA gets closer to being a reality, but the lack of a unified national response - and continued resistance in some circles to employ such basic health measures as masking, social distancing, and restricted business operations - costs the nation tens of thousands of lives during the month.
The deployment of resources and institution of comprehensive actions avowed by President-elect Biden are curtailed throughout the month by Trump, who refuses to allow coordination of planning between the outgoing and incoming administrations.
Despite presenting no evidence in support of his claim, Trump claims he actually won the election, both in the popular vote and electoral college. His efforts are directed at lawsuits in dozens of jurisdictions claiming fraud. All are thrown out due to lack of evidence and specious legal reasoning. The Supreme Court supports court rulings unfavorable to Trump. Biden proceeds to plan for an assumption of presidential power Jan 20, and a new attitude towards addressing and fighting the pandemic. Trump meanwhile attempts to influence state legislators to appoint electors who will vote for him despite his loss of the vote in those states.
The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be dealt with in a manner that is inadequate at best, and counterproductive at worst, in the United States. Other nations with poor responses, like Belgium and Brazil, also suffer from excessive numbers of cases and deaths. States most supportive of Donald Trump (which followed his leadership most closely) lead the states with the worst rates of disease transmission, hospital overloading, and death.
Even with the more aggressive approach anticipated by the incoming administration, it is certain that the winter months will produce high numbers of cases and fatalities. As the number of American deaths approaches 300K, it can be reckoned that over 200K of those deaths could have and would have been avoided through standard methods of epidemiology -- i.e., extensive testing, contract tracing, and quarantine in conjunction with limitations on public interactions. These deaths can, and should, be blamed on the gross mismanagement of the pandemic by the President of the United States, who has at every point lied to the public about the seriousness of the disease and downplayed effective actions to deal with it, all the while promoting ineffective measures and a notion that the disease will go away on its own. At no point has he admitted to mistakes. At all points he has blamed others for problems.
We call for Donald Trump to be held legally accountable for his disastrous misbehavior once he is removed from power.