In South Dakota, where the COVID-19 death rate is among the worst in the world, emergency room nurse Jodi Doering says she’s treated many patients who deny that COVID-19 is making them ill even as they’re hospitalized. In a now-viral thread on Twitter, Doering wrote, “These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated.” She spoke with CNN.
Jodi Doering: “Their last dying words are 'This can't be happening. It’s not real.’ And when they should be spending time FaceTiming their families, they’re filled with anger and hatred. And it just made me really sad the other night, and I just can’t believe that those are going to be their last thoughts and words.”
In Delaware, President-elect Joe Biden spoke of a “very dark winter” ahead as the U.S. continues to lead the world in coronavirus infections and deaths. Biden was asked what will happen if President Trump continues to prevent Biden’s transition team from coordinating with the outgoing administration.
President-elect Joe Biden: “More people may die, if we don’t coordinate.”
Biden called on Senate Republicans to pass a COVID relief package like the $3 trillion HEROES Act approved by House Democrats last May. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris noted the pandemic has had a far greater impact on communities of color.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris: “Black Americans and Latinos are three times as likely to contract COVID as others and more likely to die. Native Americans are more than four times as likely to be hospitalized as others. And last month the unemployment rate for Black Americans was almost twice the rate of others.”
Hurricane Iota made landfall Monday afternoon on Nicaragua’s Caribbean Coast as an extremely dangerous Category 4 storm. Much of the city of Puerto Cabezas has been left without power, with the roofs of homes and a makeshift hospital ripped off by heavy winds and rain. Iota is the strongest hurricane ever observed this late in the season. It hit Central America just days after Hurricane Eta devastated communities across the region, killing at least 150 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. We’ll have the latest on the Central American hurricanes — fueled by the climate crisis — later in the broadcast.
President Trump continues to refuse to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. On Monday, Trump tweeted that Ohio’s next Republican gubernatorial primary would be “hotly contested” after Republican Governor Mike DeWine publicly acknowledged Biden’s victory. On Monday, Trump’s campaign gave up major parts of its federal lawsuit challenging election results in Pennsylvania, a state Biden won by over 73,000 votes. Trump supporters also dropped lawsuits challenging results in Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin.
Georgia’s Republican secretary of state says members of his own party are pressuring him to exclude legally cast ballots from a hand recount of the November 3 election results. Speaking from quarantine after his wife tested positive for coronavirus, Brad Raffensperger said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, urged him to throw out all mail-in ballots in certain counties. And Raffensperger blasted Georgia Republican Congressmember Douglas Collins for accusing him of capitulating to Democrats. Raffensperger said, “I’m an engineer. We look at numbers. We look at hard data. I can’t help it that a failed candidate like Doug Collins is running around lying to everyone. He’s a liar.” Georgia’s initial count showed Joe Biden won by over 14,000 votes — a result that’s extremely unlikely to change significantly after a recount.
The New York Times reports President Trump has inquired about bombing Iran’s main nuclear site in the coming weeks. Trump raised the issue during a meeting Thursday with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and top military officials including Christopher Miller, the new acting defense secretary. The Times reports the advisers attempted to dissuade the president, warning that a strike could escalate into a broader conflict. But officials told the Times that Trump may still be looking for ways to attack Iran or Iranian assets before his term ends. Thursday’s meeting was held a day after international inspectors reported Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile is growing again following Trump’s abandonment of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran is enriching the uranium at a level suitable for nuclear power plants but not nuclear weapons.
The New York Times is also reporting Trump is expected to soon order the withdrawal of thousands of troops from Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. The proposed plan would leave about 2,000 troops in Afghanistan and 2,500 troops in Iraq. The withdrawal has been opposed by some top military officials. Shortly before he was fired, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper sent a classified memo to the White House opposing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
The Ethiopian Air Force bombed the capital of the semi-autonomous northern state of Tigray Monday as part of a new offensive in the nearly two-week conflict. This comes as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed — who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year — is rejecting calls to de-escalate. Hundreds of people have died since Ethiopian troops began the attack on Tigray on November 4. More than 25,000 refugees have fled into Sudan.
Peru’s Congress on Monday selected the country’s third leader in just the past week. Francisco Sagasti’s rise to power came a day after interim President Manuel Merino resigned amid ongoing mass protests in which at least two people were killed. Merino was appointed after what opponents are calling a “legislative coup” against former President Martín Vizcarra, who was impeached and removed as he’s being investigated for corruption allegations. At least half of Peru’s congressmembers are also under investigation for corruption.
In Brazil, local election results in the country’s main cities show candidates backed by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro have lost across the board. Among the victories is the election of Mônica Benício to the Rio de Janeiro City Council. Benício is the widow of Marielle Franco, a vocal Black, LGBTQ rights activist and a longtime critic of police brutality. While in office, Franco was the only Black woman in Rio’s City Council. She was assassinated in 2018. Her murder remains unsolved.
Back in the United States, nearly 93,000 claims of sexual abuse have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America. Monday was the deadline for victims to submit claims against the now-bankrupt organization. Andrew Van Arsdale, a lawyer with the group Abused in Scouting, said sexual abuse was an “unspoken norm” within the Scouts.
The New York Times reports most serious misconduct charges against New York City police officers were met with lenient punishments as the department constantly ignored or downplayed the need for stricter response. Of nearly 7,000 misconduct charges against officers, the department overruled harsher punishments in about 70% of cases, including officers accused of physically assaulting people. Meanwhile, New York City simultaneously paid millions of dollars to settle lawsuits that stemmed from those same abuse complaints. This comes as New York City added another 900 cops to the police force last month. Over the weekend, dozens of people in New York City took to the streets protesting ongoing police killings and abuse. This is Robert Cuffy, an organizer with the Democratic Socialists of America.
Robert Cuffy: “At the end of the day, the police cannot fulfill the main demand of our movement, which is to stop killing Black people. … Since this movement has launched, like, they killed David McAtee in Kentucky. They killed Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. So, there are going to be more and more flashpoints, but there’s a sustained movement because of the daily presence of these people in our lives.”
Last week, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a pilot program that would remove police officers from responding to mental health calls.