“Why every state should adopt a mask mandate, in 4 charts” – Vox / Data: Carlos Zambrana and Donna K. Ginther, University of Kansas

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

U.S. stock futures rose Monday morning following trial data from pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech indicating that their coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19. The drugmakers said the preliminary data marks a “great day for science and humanity” and that they plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of the month. 

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. hurdled toward another milestone of 10 million cases over the weekend, marking a continued resurgence this fall that public health experts say will only get worse. Utah’s governor issued a state of emergency late Sunday, banning social gatherings, mandating masks and suspending youth extracurricular activities. 

Stocks were already poised for a strong opening after Democrat Joe Biden defeated President Donald Trump in the presidential race to become president elect on Saturday.  Biden on Monday announced his coronavirus task force made up of doctors and public health experts, saying that voters sent him a mandate to take action. Biden’s plans also focus on empowering the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to set national guidance and investing in vaccine distribution, testing and contact tracing.

Trump has so far refused to concede the election and the majority of Republican leaders have remained silent instead of offering customary congratulations to Biden. Trump’s campaign has filed lawsuits in numerous states disputing the results and plans to demand recounts in states where the margin is less than 0.5%. Legal experts say most of the lawsuits are unlikely to affect the projected result in the Electoral College.

Corporate leaders are counting on more predictability with a Biden presidency, voicing support for additional stimulus and measures to stop the spread of the virus. Biden’s only chance at a Democratic majority in Congress hinges on a pair of runoff elections for two Senate seats in Georgia. Republicans are poised to hold at least 50 of the Senate’s 100 seats next year, meaning the runoff elections in January will determine whether Biden faces a divided government.

Coronavirus testing sites, beaches and public transportation were closed on Monday in the Florida Keys, where Hurricane Eta made landfall. The hurricane proved devastating in Central America, leaving 150 dead or missing in Guatemala after torrential rains triggered dangerous mudslides. 

Fans of Jeopardy! are mourning the loss of Host Alex Trebek, who died on Sunday morning following a years-long battle with cancer. Trebek began hosting the hybrid trivia quiz and IQ test TV show 20 years after it began and was admired by fans across the nation.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

COVID-19 is reducing the number of job opportunities for America’s college graduates – World Economic Forum – 11/9/2020
Compared to 63,555 expected hires in the previous Collegiate Employment Research Institute annual Recruiting Trends survey from Michigan State University, more than 1,000 companies responding to this year’s 2020-2021 survey report new hires will near 59,000, says Phil Gardner, author of the survey and the Institute’s director.

Three ways the US CDC can regain the public’s trust – Quartz – 11/9/2020
Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that, for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost everything that could have gone wrong has. Issues with CDC-designed test kits, combined with supply shortages, meant the country was slow to start testing for Covid-19 when other countries were doling them out at scale.

Coronavirus: believing in conspiracies goes hand in hand with vaccine hesitancy – The Conversation – 11/9/2020
While developing an effective vaccine probably won’t bring an immediate end to the pandemic, it’s clear that things can’t begin to return to normal without one. Anything that reduces a future vaccine’s effectiveness will be a problem. This includes vaccine hesitancy – when people are reluctant or refuse to be vaccinated.

‘I’ve never worked harder’: the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine – Nature – 11/9/2020
Since mid-January, my laboratory at the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, UK, has had a clear focus: developing a vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The −80 °C freezers in the background contain blood and serum samples from volunteers who have received a trial vaccine.

Helping Children With Anxiety in the Pandemic – The New York Times – 11/9/2020
Yes, this is an anxious time, and yes, everyone is anxious, but it is particularly hard to be an anxious kid in an anxious time. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders in children and adolescents (and this was true before the pandemic), and they can be linked to other mental health issues, notably depression.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

NYT Health @NYTHealth 8 Nov Used to randomly screen students and staff members who did not feel sick, a rapid test detected only 32 percent of the positive cases identified by a P.C.R. test.

Stars and Stripes @starsandstripes 9 Nov Coronavirus testing for 135,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan has been handed off to private laboratories under a pair of $13 million contracts, officials said Monday.

Max Roser @MaxCRoser 9 Nov These are the positive rates of some of the countries that are among those with the highest case rates in the world right now.Their case counts are high despite not testing nearly enough. This is very bad obviously.[Data for other countries is here

Nicole Neuman @NicoleNeumanTV 8 Nov BREAKING: Governor Gary Herbert declares a new State of Emergency due to hospital overcrowding amid the Coronavirus pandemic. There is now a statewide mask mandate, two-week restrictions on casual social gatherings and extracurricular activities and plans for increased testing.

BetterHomes&Gardens @BHG 8 Nov From testing to traveling, here’s what America’s top doc has to say about family gatherings.

CONTENT FACTS

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