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G-20 Leaders Discuss Post-coronavirus World As U.S. Cases Top 12 million

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Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies are holding a two-day virtual meeting via video-conference due to the pandemic.

Leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies continued to discuss how to distribute vaccines, drugs and tests around the world on Sunday, so that poorer countries are not left out as nations look for ways to manage a post-coronavirus recovery.

The two-day virtual meeting via video-conference due to the pandemic began Saturday under the chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, which holds the rotating presidency of the G-20 until the end of November.

The United States topped 12 million Covid-19 cases on Saturday, according to NBC News’ tally. The total number of deaths is 255,567.

NY Gov. Cuomo says he will prioritize keeping K-8 schools open
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Sunday he will prioritize keeping kindergarten through eighth grade classes in-person open as Covid-19 cases rise in the state.

The governor said schools in the “red zone,” which mandates they go remote, can reopen under a “test out” option, where the students are all tested and allowed to return to in-person instruction. He also said he would prioritize getting younger kids in school, saying high schoolers are “less responsible” and tend to have higher infection rates.

“Leading experts say keep K-8 schools open,” Cuomo said. “It’s safer for children to be in schools than in the community.”

The governor also said that up to a three percent positivity rate, school districts can control what they do.

Incoming White House chief of staff says Biden planning scaled-back inauguration
Incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday that Americans can expect to see a scaled-back inauguration on Jan. 20 due to the continued surge in Covid-19 cases across the U.S.

“I think it’s going to definitely have to be changed,” Klain said. “We started some consultations with House and Senate leadership on that. Obviously, this is not going to be the same kind of inauguration we had in the past.”

Klain said President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are “going to try to have an inauguration that honors the importance and the symbolic meaning of the moment, but also does not result in the spread of disease.”

“I think we’ll have some mix of those techniques, some mix of, you know, scaled-down versions of the existing traditions,” Klain added. “People have a lot to celebrate on January 20th.”

WHO Covid envoy fears third wave, calls Europe response ‘incomplete’
A World Health Organization (WHO) special Covid-19 envoy predicted a third wave of the pandemic in Europe in early 2021, if governments repeat what he said was a failure to do what was needed to prevent the second wave of infections.

“They missed building up the necessary infrastructure during the summer months, after they brought the first wave under the control,” the WHO’s David Nabarro said in an interview with Swiss newspapers.

“Now we have the second wave. If they don’t build the necessary infrastructure, we’ll have a third wave early next year,” Nabarro said.

Nabarro lauded the response of Asian countries like South Korea, where infections are now relatively low, saying Asia did not relax restrictions prematurely.

“You must wait until case numbers are low and stay low,” he said. “Europe’s reaction was incomplete.”

France to start easing lockdown rules in three steps
France will start easing coronavirus lockdown rules in coming weeks, carrying out the process in three stages so as to avoid a new flareup in the pandemic, the government said Sunday.

“There will be three steps to (lockdown) easing in view of the health situation and of risks tied to some businesses: a first step around Dec. 1, then before the year-end holidays, and then from January 2021,” government spokesman Gabriel Attal told Le Journal Du Dimanche.

With recent data showing France on track to rein in a surge in coronavirus infections, the government is under pressure from shops and businesses to ease restrictions in time for the Christmas shopping season.

President Emmanuel Macron has said that France’s second national lockdown, which started on Oct. 30, would last at least four weeks. He is expected to announce a partial relaxation of restrictions on Tuesday.

Ben Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after battling virus
Housing Secretary Ben Carson is crediting unapproved, experimental treatments with saving his life after he became “desperately ill” following his infection with the coronavirus.

There is no medical evidence that the treatments Carson cited worked.

A retired neurosurgeon, Carson said Friday that he believes he’s “out of the woods.” He disclosed that his wife, Candy, also had COVID-19, the disease the coronavirus causes. Carson tested positive earlier this month.

Most people recover from the disease, which has killed more than 250,000 Americans and sickened nearly 12 million, including President Donald Trump and members of his family.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Carson said he was “extremely sick” but saw “dramatic improvement” after taking a botanical treatment derived from the oleander plant. Carson said he has underlying conditions, which he did not specify, “and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill.”

NBC News

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