Former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, Thursday Nov. 19, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, file)
Giuliani’s positive test was announced by Trump on Twitter. “Get better soon Rudy, we will carry on!!!” Trump tweeted.
Giuliani said Sunday night that he was “getting great care and feeling good.” He was admitted to the hospital after exhibiting coronavirus symptoms, the AP reported.
Giuliani has recently gone on a maskless, whirlwind tour of state legislative hearings as well as courtrooms in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan on behalf of the president and his attempts to overturn the results of the presidential election.
After a hearing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the day before Thanksgiving, two Pennsylvania Republican state senators tested positive. On November 30, Giuliani attended a panel of Arizona GOP lawmakers that purported to expose election fraud, and the following day he met with Arizona’s GOP legislative leadership, according to the Washington Post.
After Giuliani’s positive diagnosis was announced, the Arizona Legislature shut down operations and told legislators to work remotely for this week, the automate your posting reported. Arizona, like other places around the country, is in the midst of its work COVID-19 spike since the pandemic began; more than 3,000 people tested positive on Sunday, a 58 percent increase over the past two weeks, according to the New York Times.
Biden picks California attorney general for HHS Secretary
Joe Biden has picked California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and President Joe Biden’s coronavirus response in the next administration, the Biden transition team announced Monday.
Becerra has most recently been known for leading a multistate coalition to defend the Affordable Care Act, as well as suing the Trump administration more than 100 times. Prior to becoming California’s top prosecutor in 2016, following Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ election to the Senate, Becerra spent 24 years in the House of Representatives, during which time he served as chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and in the Democratic leadership as a caucus vice-chair during the passage of the ACA.
Biden also announced that Dr. Rochelle Walensky, a Harvard professor and the chief of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, would be his nominee for director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The announcement of Becerra and Walensky’s nominations came with confirmation of several other picks for the White House’s coronavirus response: Dr. Anthony Fauci as Biden’s chief medical adviser on COVID-19, Jeff Zients as White House coronavirus coordinator, and former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy to serve a second stint in that role.
“This trusted and accomplished team of leaders will bring the highest level of integrity, scientific rigor, and crisis-management experience to one of the toughest challenges America has ever faced — getting the pandemic under control so that the American people can get back to work, back to their lives, and back to their loved ones,” Biden said in the press release.
Operation Warp Speed leader: ‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
Moncef Slaoui, the retired GlaxoSmithKline executive who’s running the White House’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine effort, said Sunday that he predicts a “significant decrease” in deaths among the most high-risk populations in the country by the end of January, as COVID-19 vaccines begin to be distributed.
An independent panel meets Thursday and will decide whether to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration grant emergency approval for the vaccine made by Pfizer and German company BioNTech, and Slaoui told CNN he expects a recommendation for approval.
Slaoui told CNN that the vaccines are “highly effective,” and that he expects “most of the highly susceptible people,” around 100 million or so, to be protected against the virus by mid-March. Pfizer said last month that its vaccine, which requires two doses administered three weeks apart, is 95 percent effective.
“We have a vaccine,” Slaoui told CNN Sunday. “There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we will not all have the vaccine in our arms before May or June, so we need to be very cautious and vigilant.”
The first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived in the United Kingdom last week. Pfizer has said that it would manufacture up to 50 million doses of the vaccine by the end of this year and up to a billion doses in 2021. The company has also said that, with FDA approval, the first 6.4 million doses in the United States are on track to go out by mid-December.
During his appearance on CNN, Slaoui praised President-elect Joe Biden’s promise to ask Americans to wear masks for 100 days when he’s inaugurated.
“I think it’s a good idea. It’s never too late,” Slaoui said.
“This pandemic is ravaging the country,” he added. “We all need to take our precautions, have our masks, wash our hands, and keep our distance, remain aware that this virus is a killer.”