Pfizer says its vaccine is 95% effective: Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are planning to apply for emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to start churning out that sweet, sweet vaccine. The two-dose vaccine reportedly has no serious side effects and is effective in mild and severe COVID-19 cases. If the FDA grants its approval, Pfizer could have "up to 50 million doses available by the end of the year, and up to 1.3 billion by the end of next year," according to the New York Times. The U.S. will only receive half of that supply, however. Get ready for the fight over who receives the very-limited first round of vaccines.
Skagit County's COVID-19 testing woes: The testing sites up north in Skagit County are too in demand and the county's public health department can't keep up. The county is now asking people who don't have symptoms but still may have been exposed to COVID-19 to not get tested so as not to exhaust the testing site. On top of that, the federal funding paying for Skagit County's test site runs out on Nov. 30. Unless more aid comes in, the sites only have enough funds to operate through December.
Guess where the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world is: Go on. Guess. You're right. The world's highest COVID-19 mortality rate is in North Dakota! The state, which has a population of under 2 million people, has a mortality rate of 18.2 deaths per 1 million people. Not to be outdone, South Dakota isn't far behind and is boasting a mortality rate of 17.4 deaths per million. That's only the third highest mortality rate in the world, though. Second place belongs to Czechia.
The White House's official take on COVID-19 restrictions: Is that they're "Orwellian."
McEnany dismisses public health guidelines to slow the spread of coronavirus as "Orwellian" pic.twitter.com/S70IbQIce6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 18, 2020
Everything is bad: From Axios: "In the past two weeks, 83% of U.S. counties have seen their coronavirus cases increase, by an average of 156%." Check out their map detailing new infections across the country. Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. topped 250,000 today.
Wow, we really are back in March: Three Amazon sellers allegedly price-gouged some hand sanitizer. According to NBC News, "In one case, a seller charged Amazon shoppers $79.99 to $129.99 for 2-liter bottles of Purell, which are typically priced between $20.87 to $35.00." The New York Attorney General fined the sellers.
Rain, rain, rain: I can hear a train whistle blowing over and over in the dark, wet morning. Car tires on wet pavement. The rain streaking down my window and my fingers tap-tapping on my laptop keys. A little soggy morning symphony.
Another round of showers is in store for the area today, with the more steady rain occurring at the coast currently. A slight chance for thunderstorms is still in the forecast, primarily for the coast. #wawx pic.twitter.com/3TVivufkuL
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) November 18, 2020
Two attorneys shot in El Paso: Over the weekend, someone shot a married couple in their home. Both worked as attorneys in the Texas Attorney General's Office. The woman was shot dead, and the man is still hospitalized but is in stable condition. Police have not arrested anyone yet.
Last night, Chase caught you up on how Trump's crack team of lawyers is doing in all their voter fraud cases: In case you missed that, they're doing poorly. Here are some screenshots from the It's Always Sunny in Philadephia episode where Charlie Kelly, the illiterate character, pretends to be a lawyer. The only change is that Charlie's quotes have been replaced with things actual lawyer Rudy Giuliani actually said in court yesterday.
Charlie Kelly pretending to be a lawyer, except it’s things Rudy Giuliani actually said in court today pic.twitter.com/lGwSSPLnUw
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 18, 2020
For some reason today's date is lodged in my brain: It's my seventh-grade science teacher's birthday today. Happy birthday, Mrs. Reynolds.
Boeing 737 Max is back in the sky: The Federal Aviation Administration allowed Boeing's embattled plane to take to the skies again. The 737 Max, you'll recall, had two fatal crashes in the span of five months. The FAA grounded the plane after the second crash in March 2019. Boeing worked to fix safety concerns and technical flaws within the 737 Max. The FAA is satisfied and I guess that's that. Maybe whenever we get around to flying again we'll all be flying on 737 Maxes.
A woman jumped off the ferry: On Monday, a woman jumped off the state ferry Chimacum. She was found in the water by two fishermen who brought her to a Bremerton hospital. She was in stable condition.
White giraffe needs to be GPS-tracked: He is the last all-white giraffe. Poachers killed the last all-white female giraffe and her calf back in March. To avoid the same fate for this giraffe, wildlife rangers attached a GPS tracker to his horns that will send them his location every hour.
Clearly, what you need this morning is to watch a 105-year-old woman tandem paraglide:
Yu Te-Hsin, who is 105 years old, set a new Guinness World Records title by becoming the oldest person to tandem paraglide pic.twitter.com/JccHygmcRV
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 18, 2020
Ugh, again? The House just re-elected Nancy Pelosi, 80, as speaker of the House. This is her fourth term in the role. A full House vote will happen once the new Congress is sworn in.
Grocery store apologizes for bad messaging: Giant Food included an ad in its magazine Savory that had the tagline "Hosting? Plan a Super Spread.” Giant apologized for the ad that "used the language Super Spread to describe an abundance of food."
California's governor is facing heat for attending a birthday party: Gov. Gavin Newsom attended a birthday dinner at a Napa Valley restaurant at the beginning of November. At the same time, six California legislators went to a conference in Maui. Meanwhile, California's COVID-19 cases increased by 102%.
A crossword for your Wednesday: I swear this isn't an ad, I just like doing crosswords.
Today, in 1993: Nirvana recorded MTV's Unplugged. It was Nirvana's final full-length recording before Kurt Cobain's death.
TODAY IN 1993: Nirvana tapes its legendary "MTV Unplugged" concert in NYC. "In the moment, you weren’t aware you were taping what was Nirvana's last album," producer @alexcolettiprod once said. "It was only in hindsight that it became what it became."pic.twitter.com/91ynoC8Oyu
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) November 18, 2020