CORONAVIRUS: The US just recorded about 166,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day. Plus 73,000 new hospitalizations - a record high. Cue states like Oklahoma and California intro’ing new restrictions. Also cue Prez-Elect Joe Biden grabbing the mic for his first economic address since winning the election. Spoiler: Biden asked Trump to pretty please start the transition process over concerns that further delays could lead to more coronavirus deaths. Oh, and he voiced his support for a national mask mandate and trillions of dollars in support for workers, bizes, and state and local govs. All this comes as stocks are climbing, in part due to news of apparently effective coronavirus vaccines. On that note: Hungary and Poland are holding up stimulus in the European Union. Tension, high.
POLITICS: ICYMI, already, two-thirds of the 5 million ballots cast in Georgia’s presidential election have been recounted by hand. Trump’s criticized the recount, which he demanded take place, as being a “scam.” That’s not the only thing making headlines in Georgia. See: the sec of state, who’s a Republican, said he’s facing pressure from other Republicans to find ways to exclude legally cast ballots from the recount. One of those Republicans allegedly includes Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC). In other news, Trump’s reportedly prepping to pull troops from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia. What else he’s prepping: the sale of oil rights in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Expect Dems to try to reverse this in 2021.
WORLD: Yesterday, Hurricane Iota made landfall along the coast of Nicaragua as a Category 4 storm, marking the 2nd hurricane to hit Central America in two weeks. Experts are warning the storm could bring some of the worst flooding in a thousand years. You read that right. This comes as the storm is petering out a bit to a Category 1, with the worst of the wind and rain apparently yet to come. Meanwhile, New Zealand just elected one of the world’s most diverse parliaments after re-electing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Yes, really. Think: about half of Parliament is made up of women. 11% identify as LGBTQ+. And New Zealand’s Indigenous Māori and people with Pacific Island heritage are repped at higher rates than in the general population.