WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A little-known agency that keeps the U.S. federal bureaucracy running is the biggest impediment to new efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak, Democratic President-elect Joe Biden said on Wednesday.
“There’s a whole lot of things that we just don’t have available to us,” Biden said, including real-time data on personal protective equipment and the distribution plan for COVID-19 vaccines.
Emily Murphy, administrator of the General Services Administration, must “ascertain” the winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election between Biden and Republican President Donald Trump. That is a condition of releasing funds and resources to the winner, but she has so far not done so.
Despite a clear margin of victory for Biden, Trump has refused to concede, and his legal challenges are fizzling.
Murphy has sole authority to release salaries, office space, official email addresses and intelligence briefings to an incoming administration, which formally takes over with Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
The case is detailed in an online preprint, a study that has not yet been peer reviewed before officially being published.
The case involves a 25-year-old man living in Reno, Nevada, who first tested positive for COVID-19 in mid-April. He recovered, but got sick again in late May. The second time around, his illness was more severe, the case report said.
From midnight on Wednesday, residents will be confined to their homes for six weeks – unless undertaking essential business such as travelling to work, studying, shopping for food or attending medical appointments – as officials scrambled to contain a coronavirus outbreak.The decision was announced on Tuesday, hours before the busy border between Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, and New South Wales is scheduled to close for the first time in a century.
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — President Donald Trump launched his comeback rally Saturday by defining the upcoming election as a stark choice between national heritage and left-wing radicalism. But his intended show of political force amid a pandemic featured thousands of empty seats and new coronavirus cases on his own campaign staff.
Trump ignored health warnings to hold his first rally in 110 days — one of the largest indoor gatherings in the world during a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 120,000 Americans and put 40 million out of work. The rally was meant to restart his reelection effort less than five months before the president faces voters again.
CHARLESTON, W. Va. (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at a West Virginia church has caused at least 17 virus cases, prompting the governor to call in the National Guard for decontamination work, state officials said Saturday.
The Greenbrier County church has closed for 14 days, and health officials started contact tracing to try to contain the virus’s spread, the Department of Health and Human Resources said.
It’s the most recent of five confirmed COVID-19 outbreaks at churches in West Virginia, officials said.
“I want to strongly encourage all West Virginians, especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines and use every other pew, maintain social distancing and please wear masks,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a release. “A lot of the attendance at our churches are those that are elderly and at higher risk, so we are cautioning everyone to strictly follow our guidelines.”