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November 25, 2021
Whitmer responds to Atlas suggestion that Michigan should 'rise up'

What you need to know about coronavirus on Monday, November 30

America’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, warned Sunday of a potential “surge superimposed upon that surge that we’re already in,” as the US topped more than 100,000 new cases for the 27th consecutive day.
Fauci and other government health experts implored anyone who traveled to self-isolate and get tested. White House coronavirus taskforce member Dr. Deborah Birx told CBS that if a family has traveled, they should assume that they were exposed, and should be tested in the next week. “You need to assume that you’re infected and not go near your grandparents and aunts and others without a mask,” Birx said.
Their unity of messaging was remarkable and ominous — and only emphasized the silence of President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly lied about the US “rounding the corner” on the crisis, Stephen Collinson writes. President-elect Joe Biden promises a science-based approach to the pandemic, but he can only do so much before January 20 — when the health crisis and economic toll are likely to be far worse.

With Trump absent, it will fall to governors and mayors to pick up the mantle of leadership again. But it is not too late for average Americans to stem the tide, Fauci told NBC. Those traveling back home can take precautions — wear masks, social distance, and avoid crowds.

YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED

Q: Is it safe to ski in a pandemic?

A: “Everything you do has a risk, a benefit and a potential hazard,” said Dr. Joshua Rosenberg, an infectious disease specialist at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. That includes skiing, which is inherently risky even without a raging pandemic.

The key is to avoid indoor exposure and to keep your time in indoor settings in resorts to a minimum. An avid skier himself, Rosenberg plans to hit the slopes this season. Here’s what he recommends if you want to join him and stay safe.

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.

WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY

Pressure mounts on Congress to strike a deal to help struggling Americans

Pressure is rising on Congress to break out of its partisan stasis and agree on a Covid-19 funding package, which could help millions of Americans who are out of work because of the pandemic, and ensure there are enough dollars for cash-strapped states to distribute the vaccine. But they’ll have to move quickly to pass a spending package to avert a partial government shutdown by December 11, which could once again distract from the need for Covid-19 relief, Maeve Reston reports.

Congress’ inability to act has left not only those jobless workers facing an end-of-the-year financial crash, but also many state officials worried about whether they will have the resources to train workers and effectively distribute a vaccine — from tracking and corralling patients back to get the second shot, as some of the vaccines require, to being able to procure enough dry ice and enhanced storage capabilities to keep vaccines like Pfizer’s candidate at the right temperatures once it is delivered.

Kim Jong Un is cutting off his economic lifeline, China, to stave off Covid-19

Kim Jong Un appears to have kicked North Korea’s pandemic prevention plan into overdrive, further tightening the country’s nearly impassible borders, cutting off nearly all trade with China, and even allegedly executing a customs official for failing to handle imported goods appropriately, Joshua Berlinger writes.

China, North Korea’s biggest trading partner, exported just $253,000 worth of goods to Pyongyang in October — a drop of 99% from September to October. The new customs figures, if accurate, show that Kim appears to be willing to pare back — or even cut off — trade with China to prevent the virus from entering North Korea, even if it means risking the country’s food and fuel supply.

In Japan, more died from suicide last month than from Covid in 2020. And women have been impacted most

Japan suffers from one of the highest suicide rates in the world, which had been decreasing in the last decade. But the pandemic reversed that trend, and the rise in suicides has disproportionately affected women — who make up a large percentage of part-time workers in the badly-hit hotel, food service; and retail industries.

Government statistics in Japan show suicide claimed more lives in October than Covid-19 has over the entire year to date, Selina Wang, Rebecca Wright and Yoko Wakatsuki report. The monthly number of Japanese suicides rose to 2,153 in October. As of Friday, Japan’s total Covid-19 death toll was 2,087.

ON OUR RADAR

TOP TIPS

How to set up a home gym space that works for you

To meet our fitness needs while gyms were closed for prolonged periods in the pandemic, many of us started working out at home. Some got creative, using household items for our workouts, while others ordered home gym equipment online. Now, after getting a taste of at-home training, more people are considering making it a permanent practice.

If you’re currently weighing the benefits of creating a dedicated space for your own home gym and wondering how you can make it work for your lifestyle, click here.

TODAY’S PODCAST

“One portion of the country may be spending big this holiday season, while the other struggles to get by.” — CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans

In today’s episode, Romans explains how the entire holiday shopping window is different this year and what that means for all of us. Listen Now.