CNN 5 Things to Know for November 19th, 2020

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5 things to know for November 19: Covid, transition, Florida shooting, Iota, vaccines

1. Coronavirus

In less than 10 months, coronavirus has killed more than 250,000 people in the United States. That’s more than strokes, suicides and car crashes typically do in a full year — combined. Medical staff are overwhelmed with record hospitalizations, governors are rushing to issue restrictions on gatherings, and deaths are averaging the highest in months. Infections are mounting in major cities, a major setback after a spring spent battling the ravaging virus nationwide. The Texas border city of El Paso is paying inmates $2 an hour to help the Medical Examiner’s Office move bodies of coronavirus victims. New York City’s school system — the largest in the country with over 1 million students — is closing and transitioning students  to remote learning. Health experts are warning that if Americans don’t get more serious about wearing masks and avoiding careless socializing, the rate of deaths will increase.
New York City schools close as coronavirus cases climb

2. US presidential transition

Election 2020 A handful of current Trump administration officials are quietly reaching out to President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, sources say. The move is a sign that President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede the election is beginning to frustrate even those affiliated with him. The General Services Administration has yet to acknowledge his loss and begin the formal transition. As a result, Biden and his team have no access to federal agencies, funding to help with hiring for the new administration and access to classified intelligence briefings. The conversations are not as detailed as formal briefings would be under the officially sanctioned transition, but they’re giving the Biden team a sense of what their priority issues will be after taking office, sources said.
Trump remains at White House amid troop announcement

3. Florida shooting

After four days of public outcry, Florida authorities released a 56-second dashcam video of a deadly encounter with a sheriff’s deputy that left two Black teens dead in the coastal city of Cocoa. The video offers a glimpse of what happened after deputies attempted to pull them over last week during what the sheriff described as an investigation into a possible stolen vehicle. Before the release of the video, authorities had provided few details about the deaths of the two young men identified as Sincere Pierce, 18, and Angelo Crooms, 16. The deaths occurred as the nation grapples with protests following the police killings of several African Americans, including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.
Florida teens killed during encounter with sheriff's deputy

4. Hurricane Iota

Hurricane Iota left swaths of destruction and killed at least 26 people in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Colombia. About 99% of properties on the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast are without electricity, and residents are wading through the wreckage of two storms in weeks. First, Hurricane Eta struck Nicaragua on November 3 as a Category 4 storm, causing landslides and flooding that displaced thousands and left scores dead or missing. Just 15 miles away from Eta’s landfall, Iota struck this week — also as a Category 4. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has been historically active with 30 named storms so far, the most ever. Iota is still hovering over the region and has dissipated quickly to winds near 40 mph.
Residents devastated after Iota leveled their communities

5. Children’s vaccines

Children in the United States are on track to miss 9 million vaccine doses this year, risking outbreaks from contagious diseases like measles, whooping cough and polio, a new report says. Nearly half of the parents and legal guardians said the pandemic interrupted their children’s vaccine schedules, according to data from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. It said the vaccinations went down by as much as 26% compared with last year. “The US is on the precipice of a severe immunization crisis among children,” said Dr. Vincent Nelson, chief medical officer at BCBSA. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2019, measles cases reached the highest number in over two decades.
Health experts push to change laws on child flu vaccines