Joe Biden, Coronavirus Surge, Thanksgiving: Your Friday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

In Georgia, Mr. Biden’s lead was so narrow that state officials said a recount was inevitable. In Arizona, Mr. Biden maintained his lead; his advantage shrank slightly, but not by as much as Republicans had hoped.

Mr. Biden plans to make a nationally televised address tonight.

2. President Trump’s advisers vowed to continue legal fights over the tabulation of votes in closely contested states. Above, his supporters in Phoenix.

The Trump campaign picked David Bossie to lead the charge on its postelection battles after the White House said it was looking for a “James Baker-like” figure to help find a way to win a second term. Mr. Baker, who led the Republican charge during the Florida recount in 2000 that secured the presidency for George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump should not try to stop the count.

On Thursday evening, in his first public appearance since late on election night, Mr. Trump said, without evidence, that he was the victim of a wide-ranging conspiracy to steal the election.

Separately, Steve Bannon, the former adviser to Mr. Trump, said the heads of the F.B.I. director and Dr. Anthony Fauci should be put on pikes. Twitter banned one of his accounts.

3. With control of the Senate hanging in the balance, both Senate races in Georgia appear to be headed for runoffs.

Senator David Perdue, a Republican, and his Democratic opponent, Jon Ossoff, currently each have less than 50 percent of the vote, which would trigger a runoff. And the special election between Senator Kelly Loeffler, a Republican, and the Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, has been destined for a runoff since Tuesday. Democrats would need to win both seats on Jan. 5 to draw the Senate to a 50-50 tie.

At the center of Georgia’s blue wave is Stacey Abrams, above, a former minority leader of the Georgia House and a candidate for governor in 2018, who has spent nearly a decade reconstituting the multiracial coalition for voting rights. Ms. Abrams helped register an estimated 800,000 new voters and fought “exact match” rules that disqualified ballots for typos and minor errors.

4. As America is transfixed by the presidential election, the coronavirus situation is only getting worse.

The number of new infections is climbing in nearly every state: The U.S. recorded at least 121,000 new infections on Thursday, more than any other day during the pandemic. Hospitals in El Paso, above, are so overwhelmed with coronavirus patients that the Department of Defense sent three medical teams to help with the deluge.

There has been one possible bright spot: Since Hawaii welcomed tourists back in mid-October — as long as they had a negative coronavirus test — more than 100,000 people have rushed to the islands from mainland states. The travel industry and the islands’ authorities say it may be a model for reopening international travel. But some locals object to being part of the experiment.

5. Across the Atlantic, the situation doesn’t look any better.

More Europeans are seriously ill with the coronavirus than ever before, new hospital data for 21 countries shows, surpassing the worst days in the spring. The swell threatens to overwhelm stretched hospitals and exhausted medical workers. More than twice as many people in Europe are hospitalized with Covid-19 as in the U.S., adjusted for population.

New lockdowns have not yet stemmed the current influx of patients. In fact, the first hours of a nationwide lockdown in England looked very little like a lockdown at all.

And in Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged, China is pumping out propaganda. New television shows have paid tribute to the city, focusing on residents’ heroism and glossing over official mistakes.

6. The unemployment rate in the U.S. is falling rapidly as companies bring back laid-off workers — but with a potentially troubling trend.

7. A federal panel declined to endorse a controversial but promising Alzheimer’s drug, saying the evidence wasn’t persuasive enough for it to be approved.

The drug, aducanumab, would be the first new Alzheimer’s treatment in nearly two decades. While the nonbinding vote does not mean the Food and Drug Administration won’t approve the drug, it does signal that many Alzheimer’s experts are not convinced of its effectiveness.

Aducanumab will not stop or cure Alzheimer’s, but there is some evidence to suggest it can slow cognitive declines in people with early symptoms. The drug — given as a monthly intravenous infusion — will also cost about $50,000 a year.

8. The Los Angeles Lakers will start their title defense sooner rather than later.

Players tentatively approved the league’s plan to start the 2020-21 season on Dec. 22, which would require them to report for training camp on Dec. 1 — giving top teams barely seven weeks to recover from the end of the last season.

Negotiations are likely to continue, with questions about coronavirus protocols as teams play in their home arenas — not in a restricted-access bubble as they had last season. League officials are hoping to avoid a $500 million loss in 2020-21.

And, in addition to the uncertainty of the pandemic, baseball has to address an expiring collective bargaining agreement as it considers its next season.

9. The whole point of Thanksgiving is to go big. That probably won’t be the case this year.

The holiday is still weeks away, but our Food desk has been busy coming up with alternatives for your holiday table. Tiny is the new big, and making a small meal can be just as festive — and a whole lot easier — as a feast. It’s simply a matter of scaling the proportions way down.

Follow Melissa Clark’s menu, which delivers all of the traditional flavors in a smaller package. She shared tips for scaling down beloved dishes.

No matter what, you will need this apple pie, which Genevieve Ko calls “the dessert equivalent of work-from-home sweatpants.” The key: use as many apple varieties as possible.

Join our Food team on Tuesday for a live discussion about how to cook Thanksgiving during a pandemic.

10. And finally, coping with color in challenging times.

Gray is out; warm, earthy tones like Aegean Teal, above, are in. Repainting your home can make your home office more pleasing (if not productive), bring a desperately needed feeling of nature into your living room, or simply provide a little fun and uplift during a gloomy time.

We talked to a few color experts on how to create the perfect palette. Joa Studholme, the color curator for the English paint company Farrow & Ball, suggested creating two very different areas in the house, somewhere bright to work in the day and something darker and luxurious for the evening to provide a natural flow of the hours.

“It’s about trying something that gives you a great big hug,” she said.

Have a colorful weekend.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

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