CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 12,414,292 and the nation’s death toll stands at 257,651, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The American Academy of Pediatrics revealed yesterday that there were more than 144,000 new cases among children last week,. The AAP says there has been a 28 percent increase in child Covid-19 cases over the last two weeks and children now account for more than 11 percent of all confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S.
PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION UNDERWAY… The General Services Administration has taken its first step toward beginning the formal transfer of power in the White House. GSA Administrator Emily Murphy sent President-elect Joe Biden a letter informing he that the formal transition process is underway and he has been granted access to briefings and funding. President Trump has yet to concede or acknowledge Biden’s victory despite a growing number of Republican leaders, business executives and national security experts who have urged the president to let the transition begin.
BIDEN FILLING POSITIONS… President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team has unveiled its first series of Cabinet nominations and White House assignments. Biden named Avril Haines as director of national intelligence and Alejandro Mayorkas as Department of Homeland Security secretary. Biden also has chosen former Secretary of State John Kerry as his special presidential envoy on climate with a seat on the National Security Council and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The president-elect has confirmed that he has named Antony Blinken as secretary of state and Jake Sullivan as national security adviser. Biden is expected to name former Fed chief Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary.
MOB BUST IN PHILLY… Federal prosecutors yesterday announced indictments for 15 alleged mafia members in South Philadelphia and southern New Jersey. Members allegedly belonging to “La Cosa Nostra” under 56-year-old mob-leader Steven “Stevie” Mazzone, 56, were charged with bookmaking and loan sharking in Philadelphia and Atlantic City beginning in October of 2015. Ten defendants are charged with racketeering and the other five are charged with running illegal gambling rings, extortion and conspiracy to sell illegal drugs. Prosecutors accuse some of the defendants of conspiring to kidnap and kill an associate who sold them fake drugs in Philadelphia. Other defendants included Domenic Grande, aka “Dom,” “Mr. Hopkins,” “Mr. Brown,” or “Dom14,” age 41 as well as Joseph Servidio, aka “Joey Electric,” 60; Salvatore Mazzone, aka “Sonny,” age 55; Joseph Malone, age 70; Louis Barretta, aka “Louie Sheep,” age 56; Victor DeLuca, aka “Big Vic,” age 56; Kenneth Arabia, aka “Kenny,” age 67; Daniel Castelli, aka “Danny,” aka “Cozzy,” aka “Butch,” aka “Harry,” age 67; Carl Chianese, age 81; Anthony Gifoli, aka “Tony Meatballs,” age 73; John Romeo, age 58; Daniel Malatesta, age 75; Daniel Bucceroni, age 66; and John Michael Payne, age 34.
GAS PRICES AT THEIR LOWEST IN 5 YEARS… AAA spread good news yesterday by noting that gas prices heading into Thanksgiving are the lowest they’ve been in five years. The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is about $2.11. The nation’s lowest average is in Missouri, where a gallon costs $1.75 per gallon. Hawaii has the most expensive gas at $3.25 per gallon.
‘THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT’ SETS NETFLIX RECORD… “The Queen’s Gambit” has become Netflix’s most-watched scripted limited series. The streaming service announced yesterday that the seven-episode series has been watched by 62 million households since its October 23 premiere. The series has ranked Netflix’s top 10 in 92 countries and No. 1 in 63 countries, including the United Kingdom, Argentina, Israel and South Africa.
KAITLYN BRISTOWE WINS ‘DANCING’… Kaitlyn Bristowe beat out fellow finalists Justina Machado, Nev Schulman and Nelly to win Season 29 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Bristowe was paired with professional dancer Artem Chigvintsev. Johnny Weir, Skai Jackson, A.J. McLean, Monica Aldama, Charles Oakley, Carole Baskin, Anne Heche, Jesse Metcalfe, Vernon Davis and Chrishell Stause were eliminated earlier in the season.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL…
L.A. Rams 27 – TAMPA BAY 24… Matt Gay booted a tie-breaking 40-yard field goal with 2:36 remaining and the Rams (7-3) held on to down the Buccaneers (7-4). Jordan Fuller’s second interception of a Tom Brady pass came in the final minute and sealed the victory. Jared Goff threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns.
NFL NEWS… Team officials have confirmed that Cincinnati Bengals rookie quarterback Joe Burrow tore his ACL and MCL and suffered other structural issues in his left knee in Sunday’s loss to Washington. Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner out of LSU, was carted off the field in the third quarter after he was sandwiched by two Washington tacklers. Burrow’s 2,688 passing yards are the fourth most ever by a rookie. He was on pace to break Andrew Luck’s record for most passing yards by a rookie (4,374).