Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Biden inauguration will be scaled down amid COVID, aide says
The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden will be a scaled-down version of the usual traditions that will not endanger Americans health amid the coronavirus pandemic, a top aide said on Sunday. "I think it's going to definitely have to be changed," incoming White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said. "Obviously, this is not going to be the same kind of inauguration we had in the past."
Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19, says spokesman
Donald Trump Jr., the son of U.S. President Donald Trump, tested positive for COVID-19 this week, although he is experiencing no symptoms, according to his spokesman. Trump Jr. tested positive at the start of the week and has been "quarantining at his cabin since the result," the spokesman said.
CDC raises warning on cruise line travel to very high risk for coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Saturday it recommended that all people avoid cruise ship travel as the risk of COVID-19 on liners is very high. The CDC advised passengers who decide to go on a cruise should get tested 3-5 days after their trip and stay home for 7 days after travel, even if they test negative. https://bit.ly/2US9P5O
Panic buying of toilet paper hits U.S. stores again with new pandemic restrictions
Toilet paper aisles are emptying again as COVID-19 curfews and shutdowns in states from California to New York send pandemic-weary shoppers on a new scramble for essentials. Walmart on Friday said it was "seeing pockets of lower than normal availability" for toilet paper and cleaning supplies in some communities as infections rage virtually unchecked across most of the United States.
CDC reports 255,076 deaths from coronavirus
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 12,028,081 cases of the novel coronavirus, an increase of 184,591 cases from its previous count, and said that the number of deaths had risen by 1,476 to 255,076. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 pm ET on Nov. 21 versus its previous report a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/36sYS1R)
First Americans could get COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December, top health official says
The first Americans could receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as 24 hours after the FDA grants approval, which would kick off the largest inoculation campaign in U.S. history starting in mid-December. "Within 24 hours from the approval, the vaccine will be moving and located in the areas where each state will have told us where they want the vaccine doses," Dr. Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for the government's "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine program, told NBC's "Meet the Press."
Another college football game postponed amid COVID-19 surge in U.S.
Saturday's game between Clemson University and Florida State University was postponed hours before it was set to kick off due to health concerns, the 18th college football game called off this week amid a spike in COVID-19 cases across the United States. The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) said the decision to postpone the Florida State home game against No. 4 Clemson was made after a conference call during which "both teams' medical personnel were unable to mutually agree on moving forward with the game."
Biden to unveil first Cabinet picks on Tuesday, envisions scaled-down inauguration
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet appointments on Tuesday and is planning for a scaled-down inauguration due to the coronavirus pandemic, aides said on Sunday, as he lays the foundation for his new administration despite President Donald Trump's refusal to concede. Since Biden, a Democrat, was declared the winner of the Nov. 3 election two weeks ago, the Republican president has launched a barrage of lawsuits and mounted a pressure campaign to prevent state officials from certifying their vote totals, suffering another emphatic legal setback on Saturday in Pennsylvania.
Ice Bucket Challenge co-creator Patrick Quinn dies at age 37
Patrick Quinn, whose personal battle with ALS helped power the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising campaign, died on Sunday at age 37, seven years after his diagnosis, supporters announced on Facebook. Quinn, who was born and grew up in Yonkers, New York, was co-founder of the campaign that raised more than $220 million for medical research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, his Facebook page said.
Republicans ask Michigan election board to delay certification for two weeks, audit Detroit votes
The Republican National Committee and the Michigan Republican Party wrote to Michigan's state board of canvassers on Saturday asking it to adjourn for 14 days to allow for an audit of ballots in the state's largest county. A Michigan official said such an audit was not permitted under Michigan law.