Christianna Silva | New Hampshire Public Radio

Christianna Silva

Moncef Slaoui, the chief scientific adviser for Operation Warp Speed, says that some Americans could start receiving a COVID-19 vaccine by the second week of December.

Cases of COVID-19 are rising at an alarming rate in nearly every state as the nation approaches Thanksgiving.

The cumulative case count passed 12 million on Saturday, six days after the previous million mark was crossed, which was six days after the previous million.

Journalist John Yang volunteered to take part in a Phase 3 COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial not for "great altruistic reasons," but because he wanted to get a vaccine sooner rather than later.

"It started off with self-interest — I wanted to get the vaccine sooner," Yang, special correspondent for the PBS NewsHour, tells NPR's All Things Considered. "Then when I found out that it was the Moderna trial, a new technology, one that has never been approved for a human vaccine before, I got sort of excited. It sort of piqued the science nerd in me."

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

Hospitals are nearing capacity in North and South Dakota, two states where coronavirus has hit disproportionately hard for their small population size and where cases continue to rise daily.

Dr. Taison Bell, the director of the medical intensive care unit at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, was doing rounds in the COVID-19 ICU, caring for about 20 patients, when he noticed that his unit was full almost entirely of Black and Latinx people, despite the fact that Charlottesville is 70% white.

Bell, who grew up just an hour away from the hospital, says he "just couldn't escape the thought of this virus disproportionately killing people in my community."

Democrats and Republicans are reacting to news that former Vice President Joe Biden and California Sen. Kamala Harris were elected to the White House on Saturday, narrowly defeating President Trump in an election that hinged on several swing states.

On Sunday and Monday, families across Mexico, the U.S. and elsewhere are observing Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives and honors the memory of those who've passed on.

And each year, the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago has a special exhibition for the holiday.

But the coronavirus pandemic has made the usual programming impossible. This year, the museum is going virtual, with a Day of the Dead exhibition that pays tribute to the people in Mexico, the U.S. and around the world who have died of COVID-19.

As cold weather envelops Illinois, the state is experiencing a massive upsurge in coronavirus cases, part of a trend across Midwest states.

The new film The Trial of the Chicago 7 may be focused on the antiwar protests of the 1960s, but it draws distinct parallels to the protests in the streets, complaints about police violence and divisive politics that the U.S. faces today.

The film — which was written and directed by Aaron Sorkin and is out now on Netflix — follows eight different men who protested the Vietnam War at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

Ambassador John Bolton, who worked as national security adviser to President Trump from 2018 to 2019, told NPR's All Things Considered that he does not believe the United States is safer today than it was four years ago.

"I think unfortunately it's not safer, which is not to say that there haven't been some important positive decisions made and some important accomplishments," he said, including withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and from a Cold War-era nuclear arms control treaty with Russia.

Hygiene and self care are vital — even in zero gravity. Which is why astronauts on the International Space Station are preparing for a fun delivery: a skincare serum from the cosmetics maker Estée Lauder, as well as a new and improved toilet.

The fires in Washington are largely under control now, but the state has been experiencing dangerous, even deadly, wildfires for years, something Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee says are only made worse by climate change.

Vice President Pence — who has tested negative for the coronavirus — has been working from home rather than going into the White House complex since President Trump was diagnosed with the virus late on Thursday, a senior administration official told NPR.

Months after dropping out of the Democratic presidential primaries, Pete Buttigieg is back with a warning: America, he says, is facing a crisis of trust. And he says building that trust, in both American institutions and fellow citizens, is the only way to address the other challenges facing the country.

Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., called trust one of his "rules of the road" during his presidential campaign.

New Yorkers have been watching with alarm as COVID-19 cases have begun to climb in the city, particularly in areas that Governor Andrew Cuomo has called hotspots, several of which are in predominantly Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn and Queens.

Yvette Gentry will become the third police chief in the city of Louisville, Ky., since the police killing of Breonna Taylor in March.

After serving in the department for two decades — including time as a deputy police chief — Gentry retired in 2014. She will be the first Black woman to lead the department and will serve on an interim basis.

The Glass Fire has prompted the evacuation of thousands of residents in California's Napa and Sonoma counties and caused the destruction of dozens of buildings.

Since igniting in the wine country on early Sunday, wind-fueled flames have engulfed 48,440 acres and consumed more than 50 homes and buildings, according to CalFire. As of late Wednesday morning, the fire was only 2% contained.

With COVID-19 continuing to spread, and millions of Americans still out of work, one of the nation's most urgent problems has only grown worse: hunger.

After a Kentucky grand jury declined to charge any officers with the actual shooting of Breonna Taylor, protesters now want to see the court transcripts that led to this decision — and so does Gov. Andy Beshear, a Democrat who previously served as the state's attorney general.

Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Sunday that she will not support nominating a successor to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court before the 2020 presidential election. The announcement makes her the second Senate Republican to publicly take that position.

Twitter and Facebook both flagged posts by President Trump on Saturday that encouraged Americans to vote by mail as early as possible and then follow up that vote by going to the polls on Election Day to check that it was counted — action that could cause unnecessarily long lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since it was first popularized by Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in the 1920s, fascism, and accusations of it, have been a common theme in American political discourse.

Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot by police in Wisconsin last month, spoke from his hospital bed about the pain of recovery and his hope for the future in a video posted to Twitter by his attorney on Saturday.

Updated at 7:41 p.m. ET

The New York attorney general announced on Saturday that she is putting together a grand jury as part of her office's investigation into the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died of asphyxiation after being restrained by police in March.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is asking states to have a plan in place to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as late October — but that doesn't mean an effective treatment will be ready quite so soon.

In separate interviews Thursday with NPR, the chief scientific adviser to the Trump administration's vaccine development effort and the former director of the CDC's office of public health preparedness cautioned that an effective vaccine is likely still months away.

Across the country, colleges and universities are struggling to decide how to teach students in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools have turned to remote learning; some have attempted to reopen campus with various precautions in place. Others are trying a mix of both.

For the municipalities that are host to colleges and universities, these decisions can be costly. Whether it's curtailing the spread of the virus in their communities, or losing the typical influx of student spending that arrives each fall, these cities and towns are bracing for a challenge.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is continuing to investigate the police shooting of Jacob Blake days after he was shot seven times in front of his three sons by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. He was left paralyzed from the waist down.

A new show, called "Love in the Time of Corona," is a series of interwoven stories about people in quarantine trying to find love and stay connected. And the cast are actual couples, families or friends, in real life, who have been quarantining together during the pandemic.

The U.S. Postal Service is suddenly at the center of a political firestorm.

The government agency — which doesn't receive taxpayer funding — is hemorrhaging money. House Democrats included $25 billion for the Postal Service in a coronavirus relief package in May but are far from reaching agreement with Republicans.

And last week President Trump said he opposes that extra funding for the Postal Service because he wants to make it harder to expand voting by mail.

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