CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 12,226,643 and the nation’s death toll stands at 256,745, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The pharmaceutical company Pfizer and its partner BioNTech have submitted an application for emergency authorization in the U.S. of their Covid-19 vaccine, which has been shown by tests to be 95 percent effective. Pfizer hopes to produce up to 50 million doses by the end of the year. A Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisory committee is set to meet on December 10 to discuss whether to authorize the vaccine… Los Angeles County has issued an order that restricts in-person dining at restaurants, breweries, wineries and bars for a minimum of three weeks. The order becomes effective Wednesday at 10 p.m.
BIDEN TO START NAMING CABINET APPOINTMENTS… President-elect Joe Biden will announce the first of his Cabinet appointments tomorrow and is planning for a scaled-down inauguration due to the coronavirus pandemic, his aides revealed yesterday. The New York Times and Bloomberg reported that former deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State. Bloomberg also reported that Jake Sullivan, a former aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be named national security adviser.
TRUMP YET TO CONCEDE… President Trump has yet to concede the presidential election despite his legal team compiling a 2-34 record in post-election court challenges. He is facing mounting pressure by allies in his own party to accept the results and press on in serving Americans amid a pandemic. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Senator Kevin Cramer are among the most recent Republicans who have urged Trump to move on. Ron Klain, who is Biden’s choice as White House chief of staff, called on the General Services Administration to formally recognize Biden’s victory and unlock resources for the transition process. Meanwhile, the Trump campaign distance has apparently split from attorney Sidney Powell, whose recent public appearances have included incorrect statements about the voting process, baseless and wide-ranging conspiracy theories and a threat to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.
McMASTER WARNS AGAINST AFGHANISTAN WITHDRAWAL… President Trump’s former national security adviser H.R. McMaster warned yesterday that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan will empower the Taliban. The retired lieutenant general called the plan “abhorrent” The withdrawal of about 2,000 troops from Afghanistan would leave 2,500 U.S. troops in country. It was announced earlier this month after Trump fired Defense Secretary and named Christopher Miller as his replacement.
ARREST IN WISCONSIN MALL SHOOTINGS… Police in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, last night announced the arrest of a 15-year-old suspect in connection with Friday’s shootings that left eight people injured at a mall. Officers also found a firearm that the boy allegedly used during the incident, police said. Investigators say it appears the shootings were the result of a dispute between two groups rather than a random act. Authorities said four “innocent bystanders” suffered what were believed to be non-life threatening injuries.
TAYLOR SWIFT WINS BIG AT AMA AWARDS… Taylor Swift won Artist of the Year and Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist at last night’s 2020 American Music Awards. Justin Bieber, Dan + Shay and the Weeknd were also three-time winners. The Weeknd’s wins included Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist, Favorite Soul/R&B Album for “After Hours” and Favorite Soul/R&B Song for “Heartless.”
AC/DC TOPS ALBUM CHART… AC/DC’s “Power Up” sold 117,000 copies to debut atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. Future and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Pluto x Baby Pluto” opened in second place with 105,000 units sold. Chris Stapleton’s “Starting Over” debuted in third place on sales of 103,000 copies. Last week’s champ, Ariana Grande’s “Positions,” dropped to fourth place after selling 75,000 units. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” capped the top five with 53,000 copies sold.
NEW ORLEANS 24 – Atlanta 9… Taysom Hill replaced the injured Drew Brees at quarterback and rushed for two touchdowns in leading the Saints (8-2) past the Falcons (3-7). Michael Thomas had nine catches for 104 yards.
WASHINGTON 20 – Cincinnati 9… Washington (3-7) rallied in the second half to get past the Bengals (2-7-1). Rookie running back Antonio Gibson ran for 94 yards and a score. The loss was especially painful for Cincinnati, which will be without rookie quarterback Joe Burrow for the rest of the season after he was carted off the field with a knee injury in the second quarter.
CAROLINA 20 – Detroit 0… The Panthers (4-6) recorded their first shutout since 2015 in blanking the Lions (4-7). P.J. Walker passed for 258 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start. D.J. Moore had seven receptions for 127 yards.
CLEVELAND 22 – Philadelphia 17… Linebacker Sione Takitaki returned a second-quarter interception 50 yards to open the scoring and the Browns (7-3) held off the Eagles (3-6-1). Defensive end Olivier Vernon recorded three sacks of Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz, one of which went for a third-quarter safety.
Pittsburgh 27 – JACKSONVILLE 3… Terrell Edmunds and Minkah Fitzpatrick each had two interceptions as the Steelers (10-0) smothered the Jaguars (1-9). Ben Roethlisberger threw touchdown passes to Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron. Diontae Johnson had 12 catches for 111 yards.
HOUSTON 27 – New England 20… Deshaun Watson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another in the first half and the Texans (3-7) fought off the Patriots (4-6). Watson passed for 344 yards on the day.
Tennessee 30 – BALTIMORE 24 (OT)… Derrick Henry’s 29-yard touchdown run with 5:21 remaining in overtime lifted the Titans (7-3) over the Ravens (6-4). Henry finished with 133 yards on 28 carries. Ryan Tannehill had a pair of scoring tosses. Corey Davis finished with five receptions for 113 yards.
Dallas 31 – MINNESOTA 28… Andy Daulton’s 2-yard touchdown pass with 1:37 remaining sent the Cowboys (3-7) past the Vikings (4-6). Daulton also hit CeeDee Lamb and Ezekiel Elliott with scoring strikes. Elliott rushed for 103 yards.
DENVER 20 – Miami 13… Justin Simmons’ interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the end zone with 1:03 left sealed the win as the Broncos (4-6) topped the Dolphins (6-4). Denver sacked Miami starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa six times and knocked him out of the game earlier in the fourth quarter. Melvin Gordon rushed for a pair of touchdowns.
L.A. CHARGERS 34 – N.Y. Jets 28… Justin Herbert completed 37 of 49 passes for 366 yards and three touchdowns and the Chargers (3-7) handled the Jets (0-10). Keenan Allen hauled in a franchise-record 16 receptions for 145 yards and a score.
INDIANAPOLIS 34 – Green Bay 31 (OT)… The Colts (7-3) rallied from a 28-14 halftime deficit to outlast the Packers (7-3). Rodrigo Blankenship’s fourth field goal of the game came from 39 yards out with 7:10 to go in overtime. Philip Rivers threw touchdown passes to three different receivers.
Kansas City 35 – LAS VEGAS 31… Patrick Mahomes connected with Travis Kelce on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining to give the Chiefs (9-1) a last-minute win over the Raiders (6-4). Kelce finished with eight catches for 127 yards. Tyreek Hill had 11 receptions for 102 yards and a score. Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for two TDs.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
the L.A. Rams (6-3) are at Tampa Bay (7-3)
AP TOP 25 COLLEGE FOOTBALL RANKINGS… Alabama is the unanimous No. 1 in this week’s Associated Press college football poll. The Crimson Tide received all 62 first-place votes after beating Kentucky 63-3 on Saturday. The top eight teams in this week’s poll held their spots.
- Notre Dame
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
- Coastal Carolina
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina