Tribune News Service

News Budget for Sunday, November 22, 2020


Updated at 2 p.m. EST (1900 UTC).


Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^US vaccine train won't be derailed, Warp Speed leader says<

^CORONAVIRUS-US-VACCINE:BLO—<Efforts to speedily develop and distribute a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. won't be derailed by a change in administration, said the head of Operation Warp Speed, the federal government's program aimed at accelerating a COVID-19 jab.

"All decisions are made, the train is running. Whether one administration or the other doesn't, frankly, make a difference," Moncef Slaoui said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

The operation "has been isolated from the administration, from the political environment, and the political context," said Slaoui, a former head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccines operation.

450 by Elizabeth Dexheimer. MOVED


^Fear of flying is a COVID-era conundrum<

^CORONAVIRUS-AIRTRAVEL:KHN—<The holidays are approaching just as COVID-19 case rates nationwide are increasing at a record-breaking pace, leading to dire warnings from public health experts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued cautions and updated guidelines related to family gatherings. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a White House coronavirus adviser and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in interviews that his kids won't be coming home for Thanksgiving because of coronavirus risks. "Relatives getting on a plane, being exposed in an airport," he told CBS News. "And then walking in the door and saying 'Happy Thanksgiving' — that you have to be concerned about."

Are Americans listening? Maybe not. Especially as airlines, reeling from major revenue blows since the pandemic took hold in March, tell passengers they can travel with peace of mind and sweeten the deal with special holiday fares.

1500 by Victoria Knight. MOVED


^World leaders praise Paris climate pact as Trump justifies exit<

^G20:BLO—<World leaders urged countries not to lose sight of climate goals in the coronavirus pandemic, endorsing the aims of the Paris agreement amid hopes that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden will rejoin the accord.

Participants on the second day of a virtual Group of 20 summit of rich nations discussed climate change in a session hosted by Saudi Arabia, holder of the forum's presidency. The U.S. formally exited the Paris accord, which pledges limits on fossil-fuel pollution, earlier this month.

550 by John Follain and Kait Bolongaro. MOVED



^Hospitals brace for holiday COVID surge, fearing staff shortages and burnout<

^CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-HOSPITALS-HOLIDAYS:LA—<Since the middle of October, doctors and nurses at Loma Linda University Medical Center had been warily watching news reports of a spike in COVID-19 patients in the Midwest. They knew that, sooner or later, their own hospital would be hard hit. They just didn't know when.

Last week, they found out. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 15 COVID-19 patients were admitted to Loma Linda, in what Dr. Michael Matus, chief of hospitalist medicine, described as "a huge rush of patients."

"We immediately filled one ward and half of another," Matus said. "It immediately strained the nursing staff. And then the physicians. We try to keep the physicians seeing up to 16 patients. That day, it was up to 24 . It was our biggest day in the last month."

A new surge of COVID-19 is battering Southern California, bearing down on exhausted health care workers, raising anxiety levels on hospital wards and stoking fears that there might not be enough staff and supplies for the difficult weeks ahead. The coming holidays only make the situation more dire.

1500 by Maria L. La Ganga, Brittny Mejia. MOVED


^'No beds anywhere': Hospitals strained to limit by COVID-19<

^CORONAVIRUS-MINN-HOSPITALS:MS—<One walk through Regions Hospital's COVID-19 intensive care unit reveals the scope of the medical crisis emerging from a fast-spreading pandemic.

Sixteen sliding glass doors are all closed, and behind each lies a patient struggling to breathe. Almost all are on ventilators because their lungs are too weak to work on their own. Clear tubes carry oxygen into their throats and chests, which mechanically rise and fall as their bodies lie still.

On this Thursday morning, 28 COVID-19 patients are in intensive care, with 12 spilling beyond the designated unit to areas designed for heart problems, strokes and surgical recoveries. A total of 97 COVID-19 patients have been admitted to Regions, which is almost full.

1400 by Jeremy Olson in Minneapolis. MOVED


^Daily California coronavirus cases triple as pandemic dramatically worsens<

^CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-CASES:LA—<California's average daily number of coronavirus cases has tripled in the last month, a Times analysis has found, as pandemic conditions deteriorated dramatically around the state.

The coronavirus is now infecting more Californians daily than at any previous point in the COVID-19 pandemic, raising concerns about a new peak in coronavirus-related deaths by Christmas.

As of Saturday night, California was averaging more than 11,500 new coronavirus cases a day over the last seven days, more than triple the number a month earlier, on Oct. 21, which was nearly 3,200, according to a Times analysis.

1700 (with trims) by Rong-Gong Lin II. MOVED


^Mass COVID-19 vaccination gets a dry run in a Louisiana parking lot<

^CORONAVIRUS-VACCINE-TRIALRUN:BLO—<A COVID-19 vaccine may be months from reaching millions of Americans. Getting all those shots into arms will be a monumental task. Shreveport, Louisiana, is getting ready now.

The city recently completed a test run, one of about a dozen across the state. Health officials there organized the community's first-ever drive-thu flu shot clinic in the massive parking lot of the Louisiana state fairgrounds.

Drivers rolled down their windows and rolled up their sleeves as they pulled up to tents for the largest vaccination event the regional health department has ever hosted. Cheerful and fast-working nurses jabbed them with vaccines. Within about five minutes, people were on their way, exiting the parking lot while passing a row of food stands selling corn dogs, roasted nuts and lemonade.

In the near future, that's just the way officials hope it will go for a COVID-19 vaccine.

1200 (with trims) by Angelica LaVito in New York. MOVED



^Trump aide tells Vietnam to curb China shipments to avoid duties<

^USVIETNAM-CHINA:BLO—<U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told Vietnamese leaders they must curb illegal rerouting of Chinese exports and purchase more U.S. goods such as liquefied natural gas and military equipment in order to avoid American tariffs, the aide to President Donald Trump said in an interview.

The Commerce Department this month imposed preliminary anti-subsidy duties on Vietnamese car and truck tires, citing the nation's "undervalued currency" among the reasons. Cracking down on Chinese trans-shipments and easing the U.S.'s trade deficit with Vietnam "could be the basis for a reversal" of the tariffs, O'Brien said he told the government's top leaders during his weekend visit to Hanoi.

250 by Jennifer Jacobs. MOVED



^Sidney Powell's road from UNC to defending Trump's supposed 'landslide' reelection<

^ELN-POWELL:CH—<Growing up in the Triangle, Sidney Powell never missed an episode of Perry Mason. Now she's starring in her own prime-time legal drama.

On Thursday Powell stood alongside former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as they argued for 90 minutes that President Donald Trump had won the election in "a landslide," only to have the results marred by fraud.

"(W)e are going to reclaim the United States of America for the people who vote for freedom," said Powell, part of what Giuliani calls Trump's "elite strike force team."

Hours later she was ripped by conservative Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

1100 by Jim Morrill in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED


^Republican women helped chip away Democratic House majority<

^HOUSE-GOP-WOMEN:BLO—<Democrats retook the House majority in 2018 in part by running a record number of female candidates. This year, Republicans took a page from that playbook to win back some seats.

The GOP sliced into the Democrats' advantage in the House in the Nov. 3 election, powered by their own 2020 class of recruits that will add at least 15 women to their ranks when the next Congress is seated in January.

"Every single seat that we flipped was either won by a woman, a minority or a veteran," New York Republican Elise Stefanik, who led an effort to recruit female candidates, said in an interview.

800 by Josyana Joshua in Washington. MOVED



^The small Michigan village that washed away is fighting back<

MICH-FLOODING-VILLAGE:DTN — The first three days after the flood, after picnic tables and recycling bins went floating past his house, Aaron Lindgren was so broken he couldn't talk on the phone.

"Text me," he told everyone, because that way a guy who's spent his life getting things done didn't have to try to explain the desolation of not knowing how or where to start.

Now he's good. Thursday marked six months since the Edenville Dam breached 10 miles north of Sanford and unleashed millions of gallons of chaos downstream. Earlier, this month, his sister had just repainted the living room, and Lindgren and a buddy were re-siding his house.

The bad news remains easy to spot in the Village of Sanford, home to a shade fewer than 1,000 resilient souls northwest of Midland. There are concrete slabs in the spots where 20 or 30 houses used to stand. Where Sanford Hardware reigned as the center of commerce downtown, there's a rectangle of mud.

But there's plenty of good news, too, or at least better news.

2350 by Neal Rubin in Sanford, Mich. MOVED


^From a crab shack to Hyundai, China's wrath over a US missile defense system still weighs on South Korea<

SKOREA-CHINA:LA — A few years ago, Kim Kyoung-chul's once-thriving crab restaurant on a balmy island off the southern coast of South Korea unwittingly became a casualty of escalating tensions between global powers.

Hundreds of miles and a sea crossing away from his touristy street lined with bling, fashion and cardboard cutouts of K-pop stars, South Korea was installing an American missile interceptor over China's objections that it threatened its national security. The interceptor's radar, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the time in 2016, "goes far beyond the defense need of the Korean Peninsula. It will reach deep into the hinterland of Asia, which will directly damage China's strategic security interests."

Kim had little idea how deeply the geopolitical dispute would impact his small business. Beijing's harsh and swift economic retribution against South Korea — the repercussions are felt to this day — took a toll on economic matters including K-pop groups, exporters and a department store conglomerate. Chinese tourism to South Korea evaporated overnight.

2250 by Victoria Kim in Jeju Island, South Korea. MOVED




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