CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 11,036,935 and the nation’s death toll stands at 246,214, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nation’s leading infectious-disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said during an appearance on CNN’s “Face the Nation” yesterday that efforts to combat the pandemic in the U.S. will be limited until health officials are allowed to work with President-elect Joe Biden’s team. President Trump has not cooperated while contesting election results… The governors of Michigan and Washington have announced new restrictions amid the outbreak. Beginning Wednesday, Michigan will ban indoor dining at restaurants, in-person instruction at high schools and colleges, and gatherings of over two households for at least three weeks. Washington has instituted new restrictions on gatherings that will remain in effect through December 14.
TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES LOSS… President Trump yesterday went on Twitter to offer his first acknowledgement that he lost the presidential election to Joe Biden but reiterated his false claims that the vote was rigged. Trump has yet to concede the election despite Biden claiming 36 Electoral College votes more than he needed to win the presidency. Trump’s campaign yesterday dropped a major part of a lawsuit it brought seeking to stop Pennsylvania from certifying its results. Pennsylvania officials have asked a judge to toss Trump’s lawsuit due to its false claims. President-elect Biden’s incoming chief of staff Ron Klain urged the federal government yesterday to sign off on the transition team efforts to receive national security briefings and address COVID-19.
ASTRONAUTS LAUNCHED TO ISS… A team of four astronauts aboard the Crew Dragon capsule powered by SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket launched last night for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. The astronauts include Victor Glover, the first Black extended crew member on the ISS. The crew is expected to arrive on the ISS tonight and join three other astronauts.
STORM PUMMELS MIDWEST, NORTHEAST… High winds and rain pounded the Midwest and Northeast yesterday. The storm that formed Saturday over the Great Plains is blamed for power outages affecting 750,000 customers as of yesterday. Forecasters expect and flooding along the shores of the Great Lakes. Buffalo, New York; Michigan City, Indiana; and Benton Harbor, Michigan, were expected to be among hardest-hit areas.
BOY SCOUT ABUSE CLAIMS TOP 81K… The New York Times reports that more than 81,500 people have come forward claiming they were sexually abused while they were involved with the Boy Scouts of America over the past few decades. Claims have been pouring in ahead of today’s deadline by a Delaware bankruptcy court, where the Boy Scouts initiated a Chapter 11 filing earlier this year. The national organization claims it seeks a process where survivors could receive compensation. Lawyers working on the claims say the number eclipses the sexual abuse and molestation accusations filed against the Catholic Church.
ARIANA GRANDE REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART… Ariana Grande’s ‘Positions” sold 82,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars, Aim for the Moon” jumped into second place after selling 57,000 units. The Kid Laroi’s “F*ck Love” finished in third place on sales of 52,000 copies. Luke Combs’ “What You See Is What You Get” stayed at No. 4 with 46,000 units sold. King Von’s “Welcome to O’Block” capped the top five with sales of 44,000 copies.
STALLONE JOINS ‘SUICIDE SQUAD’ CAST… Director James Gunn has confirmed that Sylvester Stallone is joining the cast of “Suicide Squad.” Gunn also said cast additions would include Idris Elba. Returning castmembers include Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Joel Kinnaman and Viola Davis. The next installment in the franchise is scheduled for a 2021 release.
DETROIT 30 – Washington 27… Matt Prater’s 59-yard field goal as time expired lifted the Lions (4-5) over Washington (2-7). Matthew Stafford threw touchdown passes to three different receivers.
GREEN BAY 24 – Jacksonville 20… Aaron Rodgers had two touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Packers (7-2) held off the Jaguars (1-8). Marquez Faldes-Scantling had four receptions for 149 yards and a score.
Tampa Bay 46 – CAROLINA 23…. Tom Brady passed for 341 yards and three touchdown in leading the Buccaneers (7-3) in their rout of the Panthers (3-7). Ronald Jones ran 98 yards for a score.
N.Y. GIANTS 27 – Philadelphia 17…Wayne Gallman Jr. scored on a pair of touchdown runs to help the Giants (3-7) grind out a win over the Eagles (3-5-1). Daniel Jones threw for 244 yards and ran for a score.
CLEVELAND 10 – Houston 7… The Browns (6-3) overcame wild weather in Cleveland to hold off the Texans (2-7). Nick Chubb rushed for 126 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. Kareem Hunt added 104 rushing yards.
ARIZONA 32 – Buffalo 30… Kyler Murray connected with DeAndre Hopkins with a desperation 49-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play to send the Cardinals (6-3) past the Bills (7-3). Murray ran for two scores. Hopkins finished with seven catches for 127 yards.
MIAMI 29 – L.A. Chargers 21… The Dolphins (6-3) fought their way past the Chargers (2-7) for their fifth straight win. Tua Tagovailoa threw two touchdown passes.
LAS VEGAS 37 – Denver 12… The Raiders (6-3) made it three straight wins by rolling past the Broncos (3-6). Josh Jacobs ran for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Devontae Booker added two scoring runs. Defensively, Oakland forced five turnovers.
NEW ORLEANS 27 – San Francisco 13… The Saints (7-2) handled the 49ers (4-6) despite playing the second half without injured quarterback Drew Brees. Alvin Kamara ran for two scores and had a touchdown reception.
L.A. RAMS 23 – Seattle 16… The Rams (6-3) got a pair of touchdown runs from Malcolm Brown and another from Darrell Henderson in fighting off the Seahawks (6-3). Jared Goff passed for 305 yards. Darious Williams intercepted two Russell Wilson passes.
PITTSBURGH 36 – Cincinnati 10… Ben Roethlisberger passed for 344 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Steelers (9-0) past the Bengals (2-6-1). Chase Claypool had two TD catches. Diontae Johnson had six receptions for 116 yards and a score.
NEW ENGLAND 23 – Baltimore 17… The Patriots (4-5) surprised the Ravens (6-3) in a contest played among high wind and rain in Foxborough. Cam Newton threw for a score and ran for another. Damien Harris rushed for 121 yards.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
Minnesota (3-5) is at Chicago (5-4)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS… The University of South Carolina has fired football coach Will Muschamp. His dismissal comes after three straight losses have dropped the Gamecocks to 2-5 on the season. Muschamp was in his fifth season at South Carolina. His teams went 28-30 overall.
DUSTIN JOHNSON WINS MASTERS… Dustin Johnson shot a 4-under 68 yesterday to win his first Masters title by five strokes. His 268 72-hole total broke the Masters record of 270 set by Tiger Woods in 1997. Australian Cameron Smith and South Korea’s Sungjae Im finished five strokes off the lead.