WTF Just Happened Today

Your essential guide to the daily shock and awe in national politics.


Day 1400: "The American way."

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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1/ The CDC warned Americans against traveling for Thanksgiving, citing record rises in new coronavirus cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Despite the guidance, around 50 million Americans are expected to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday next week. Officials said they were alarmed to see more than 1 million new cases reported across the U.S. within the past week. Nearly 80,000 patients are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. – another record. The CDC also projected that “newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with 7,300 to 16,000 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending December 12, 2020.” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, meanwhile, called the new guidelines and restrictions “Orwellian,” adding “that’s not the American way.” (New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)

  • ???? Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
  • Global: Total confirmed cases: ~56,076,000; deaths: ~1,347,000

  • U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~11,486,000; deaths: ~251,000

  • Source: Johns Hopkins University

  • Live Blogs: New York Times / Washington Post / CNBC / NBC News / NPR / CNN / Wall Street Journal

  • The states that imposed fewer coronavirus-related restrictions now have the worst outbreaks. Outbreaks are comparatively smaller in states where efforts to contain the virus were stronger over the summer and fall. (New York Times)

  • Trump’s top medical adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Scott Atlas, has not attended White House task force meetings in person since late September. Atlas, however, has continued to spread misinformation about the worsening health crisis. (NBC News)

2/ More than 743,000 workers filed new unemployment claims – an increase of 31,000 from the previous week. An additional 320,000 claims were processed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the program for gig and self-employed workers. Roughly 20.3 million people are claiming some form of unemployment insurance. About 12 millions Americans are scheduled to lose their jobless benefits the day after Christmas unless Congress passe...

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