Monday morning news – November 23, 2020

Trump campaign appeals dismissal of Pennsylvania case » President Trump’s campaign continues to press its courtroom battle over election results in several states. 

The president and other plaintiffs are appealing a federal judge’s decision to toss out the campaign’s case , seeking to block Pennsylvania from certifying its votes. 

Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis said the campaign didn’t get a chance to fully present witness testimony in court. 

ELLIS: We have to appeal, and we have to go through that whole process before ultimately, the Supreme Court could overturn that, and then we would get an evidentiary hearing.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that in his view Trump had asked the court to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters. 

With the judge’s ruling, Pennsylvania Replican Senator Pat Toomey said it’s time to congratulate Joe Biden on his victory and for President Trump to “accept the outcome of the election.”

North Dakota GOP Senator Kevin Cramer said he still fully supports Trump’s right to exhaust all legal options. But… 

CRAMER: Frankly do think it’s time—well it’s past time—to at least cooperate with the transition. I’d rather have a president that has more than one day to prepare. 

Former Trump White House adviser Chris Christie and former national security adviser H.R. McMaster are also among those calling on the president to work with Biden’s transition team. 

Health officials renew warnings about holiday gatherings » Health officials are renewing their warnings this week about gathering with family and friends for Thanksgiving. 

Top U.S. infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that we won’t see a huge spike of new cases or hospitalizations during the Thanksgiving holiday.

FAUCI: You’re not going to see an increase until weeks later. Things lag. 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. 

If you are going to gather for the holiday, officials say try to keep those gatherings as small as possible and try to spend more time outdoors. 

Those warnings come as cases continue to surge. On Saturday, COVID-19 deaths topped 2,000 in the United States for the first time since May 7th. 

Americans could receive first vaccine doses by Dec. 11 » But the good news for Americans is that a coronavirus vaccine is likely just weeks away. 

It may still be spring or summer before life returns to normal. But the first Americans to get vaccinated could receive their first of two doses by December 11th. 

Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna both have vaccines that appear to be safe and effective.

The head of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, Dr. Moncef Slaoui told ABC’s This Week

SLAOUI: We know that these vaccines are highly effective. They are as safe in the short term as any other vaccine that is already approved. 

Slauoi said he’s concerned that politics have fueled skepticism over the safety of the vaccines. 

Officials cannot yet guarantee their long-term safety, but Slauoi said he believes the risks to be very low. And he said he won’t hesitate to receive either vaccine or for his children to receive it. 

Dr. Tom Inglesby is Director for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He told Fox News Sunday he is very optimistic about the vaccines.

INGLESBY: I wouldn’t call this good news. I would call this great news. We have two vaccines that are making their way through the approval process that may be as high as 95 percent effective.  

Pfizer and Moderna are waiting for FDA authorization. 

FDA authorizes emergency use of COVID-19 therapeutic » In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration has given the green light for emergency use of a COVID-19 therapeutic.

The drug from biotech firm Regeneron is the same one President Trump received after his diagnosis last month. 

The FDA is allowing the antibody drug for high risk patients, age 12 and over. They’ll receive it as a one-time treatment through an IV.

The authorization allows doctors to start prescribing it as studies continue to establish safety and effectiveness. The FDA says results so far suggest it can cut down on hospitalizations and severe illness. 

Regeneron is making 300,000 initial doses available through a federal government program. 

Trump defends climate accord pullout during G20 Summit » President Trump told world leaders Sunday that bowing out of the Paris Climate Accord was the right move for America. 

TRUMP: I refused to surrender millions of American jobs and send trillions of American dollars to the world’s worst polluters and environmental offenders. And that’s what would have happened.

In a video statement during the virtual G20 Summit, he called the accord “one-sided” and “unfair” to the United States. And he said it was designed to cripple the U-S economy, not save the planet.

The president said since pulling out of the agreement, the United States has reduced its carbon emissions, while making America energy independent. 

But Joe Biden says leaving the accord was a mistake. He plans to rejoin the global pact, which the Obama administration helped to forge five years ago.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a news conference with the coronavirus task force at the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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