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People are waiting on long lines for coronavirus tests ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday

covid test us
People stand in line at a clinic in Long Beach, California offering quick coronavirus testing for a fee, on Monday, June 29, 2020.
  • Health officials are asking people to avoid large gatherings this week, but people are lining up to get tested in droves ahead of the holiday.
  • About 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.
  • Photos from cities across the US show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus ahead of the upcoming holiday.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, people all over the country are waiting in lengthy lines to get tested for the coronavirus.

Normally, millions of Americans travel and gather with their extended family members and friends. But this year, health officials are urging citizens to do the opposite and avoid large gatherings.

Coronavirus cases have been surging in recent weeks across the US, and demand for tests has spiked as many Americans still plan to gather for the holiday. 

In an effort to limit movement and curb the spread of the virus, multiple states have enacted restrictions discouraging people from traveling out of state. But health officials fear those restrictions may not be enough. They're asking the public to downsize holiday plans. Among those sounding the alarms is the nation's top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci.

"If you have people like elderly, or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don't know what the status of everybody in that pod that you've created is?" he said last month in conversation with the peer-reviewed JAMA.

Fauci emphasized that among current case counts, "many of the infections are in small family and friend gatherings, such as dinner parties and small social gatherings." 

His concerns are backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has urged Americans to make alternative Thanksgiving plans like hosting a virtual gathering or delaying travels.

However, about 40% of people responding to a poll conducted by Ohio State University said they are planning to gather in person with 10 or more people this week. A third of respondents said they would not require people attending these gatherings to wear a mask.

These photos show some of those people waiting to get tested for the coronavirus in cities across the US ahead of the upcoming holiday.

New Yorkers waited in lines stretching around city blocks, like this one outside of a CityMD urgent care clinic.
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People lined up at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site in Miami Beach, Florida, on November 17, 2020.
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A Covid-19 walk-up test site in Los Angeles, California, attracted lines on November 17, 2020.
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Those at the Judiciary Square Covid-19 testing site in Washington, DC, were met with workers in blue protective gear on November 18, 2020.
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People waited in long lines in Boston, despite temperatures in the 30s.
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Members of the Utah National Guard gave COVID-19 swab tests to people in their cars at the Utah County Health Department on November 20, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
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Ted Cruz suggests he won’t give up Thanksgiving plans as his home state of Texas sends in the National Guard to process dead bodies

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Sunday.
  • As Texas reels from surging coronavirus cases and deaths, Sen. Ted Cruz is focused on making sure his Thanksgiving holiday goes as planned.
  • Cruz, whose home state is Texas, posted on Twitter an insensitive graphic depicting a turkey with the words "come and take it" below it, suggesting he has no intention of following the advice of health officials this coming holiday. 
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci and other experts have warned that large, in-person gatherings this fall could spread the coronavirus and create another uptick in cases.
  • Meanwhile, Texas is struggling to deal with the surges it's had in recent weeks. Morgues in Texas are full, for example, and thousands of people are lining up for food rations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted out a graphic on Saturday that suggested he would not alter his Thanksgiving plans, despite recommendations from health officials to avoid or limit in-person gatherings this year due to rising coronavirus cases.

The graphic shows a turkey with a star representing Texas above it and the words "come and take it" below it. 

 

Twitter users characterized his post as offensive, taking it to mean that the senator is refusing to ease up on his own holiday plans while his home state of Texas struggles to respond to surging coronavirus cases.

In one Texas city, the morgues can't keep up with the rate of dying people. In an attempt to alleviate some of the pressure, the state government decided to send in the National Guard to El Paso to process bodies.

CNN reported that thousands of people in Texas last weekend waited in line to receive food rations and groceries for the holiday. The pandemic, which has shuttered small businesses nationwide and forced millions of Americans to live off unemployment benefits, has made it difficult for families to consistently put food on the table. 

"Forty percent of the folks coming through our partners' doors are doing so for the first time," Anna Kurian, a spokesperson for North Texas Food Bank, told CNN. 

Less than two weeks ago, Texas became the first state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases.

And KVUE, an ABC affiliate, reported that 135 counties in the state are at a high-risk level, which could be cause for a necessary stay-at-home order.

Health officials have for weeks cautioned that cases will rise through the holiday season, as families and friends gather in large, in-person groups. 

Among those sounding the alarms is the nation's top infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci. 

"If you have people like elderly, or individuals who are compromised because of underlying conditions, you want to take a couple of steps back and say, is it worth it for this year to bring those people together when you don't know what the status of everybody in that pod that you've created is?" he said last month in conversation with the peer-reviewed JAMA.

"If you look around the country now, many of the infections are in small family and friend gatherings, such as dinner parties and small social gatherings," he added.

His concerns are backed up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is urging Americans to make alternative Thanksgiving plans like hosting a virtual gathering or delaying travels.  

Cruz has previously skirted safety measures against the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing a mask. He was photographed mask-less on a flight in July. 

More recently, Cruz mocked a Senate colleague for asking another colleague to wear a mask while speaking. Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio asked Sen. Dan Sullivan to put on a face covering on the Senate floor last week. 

"This is idiotic. @SherrodBrown is being a complete ass," Cruz tweeted in response.

Health officials and the CDC have for months been urging people to follow protective measures such as mask-wearing and practicing social distancing to limit the spread of the virus.

The disease has infected more than 12.1 million people in the United States, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 256,000 Americans have died from it. The United States is the country that leads with both the most coronavirus cases and deaths.

Cruz's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Republican Gov. Larry Hogan is ’embarrassed that more people in the party aren’t speaking up’ against Trump’s refusal to concede

Larry Hogan
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.
  • Republican Gov. Larry Hogan said on Sunday that he's "embarrassed" members of his own party are staying silent while President Donald Trump continues to refuse to concede to Joe Biden. 
  • "It's time for them to stop the nonsense," Hogan said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It just gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."
  • Hogan's remarks come as the latest in a growing list of Republicans who are calling on the president to concede.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Another Republican is urging President Donald Trump to concede the 2020 election.

Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland said on Sunday that he wishes more Republicans would speak up against Trump, who has repeatedly declined to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden as the victor.

"I have confidence that on January 20th, the president-elect is going to be sworn in," Hogan said on CNN's "State of the Union." "But I'm not sure I could say that I'm confident that the president's going to do the right thing."

"We used to go supervise elections around the world. And we were the most respected country with respect to elections and now we're beginning to look like we're a Banana Republic," he added. "It's time for them to stop the nonsense. It just gets more bizarre every single day, and frankly, I'm embarrassed that more people in the party aren't speaking up."

Business Insider and Decision Desk HQ called the race for Biden on Friday, November 6. One day later, other major outlets called the election in Biden's favor as well. But since then, Trump has repeatedly insisted that the result is not yet final.

The Trump campaign has filed dozens of lawsuits alleging voter fraud, most of which have so far been denied, dismissed, or withdrawn.

After the results were called, a group of international election observers announced it found no instances of voter fraud. The Organization of American States said in a preliminary statement that a team of 28 experts who observed the election across the country didn't witness any fraud or irregularities, despite Trump's claims.

Lawyers at firms working on Trump's challenge efforts told the New York Times that they were worried the lawsuits they were bringing against election results are not based on evidence.

The Times also reported that the outlet contacted election officials in every state, each of which said there is no evidence that fraud influenced the presidential election.

By coming out against Trump's attempt to derail his White House exit, Hogan joins a growing list of Republicans who are calling on the president to concede. First lady Melania Trump is one of those people, according to a CNN report on growing concerns within Trump's inner circle. The outlet has also reported that Trump's eldest daughter and advisor Ivanka is among those telling him to accept the results.

Meanwhile, others close to the president — including lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz — are urging him to keep fighting.

Last week, Trump appeared to concede, saying Biden "won" for the first time. But he quickly walked back those comments.

Trump lashed out at Hogan almost immediately after his remarks, calling him a RINO (Republican in name only). 

 

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Trump skipped a coronavirus meeting with G20 leaders to play golf

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President Donald Trump golfs at Trump National Golf Club on November 21, 2020 in Sterling, Virginia.
  • President Donald Trump was noticeably absent from a coronavirus meeting with this year's G20 Summit world leaders. 
  • CNN reported that leaders from Germany, France, South Korea, and Argentina were scheduled to participate in the event.
  • But Trump was noticeably absent and White House pool reporters said during a meeting focused on coronavirus preparedness Trump had arrived at one of his golf courses. 
  • The United States, with more than 11.9 million cases and 255,000 deaths, makes up the largest share of global coronavirus cases. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

While world leaders met on Saturday to discuss preparation efforts to contain and alleviate the coronavirus pandemic in the next few months, President Donald Trump appeared to be golfing.

CNN reported that leaders from Germany, France, South Korea, and Argentina were scheduled to participate in the event. But noticeably absent was Trump, the leader of the country making up the largest share of confirmed coronavirus cases and deaths in the world.

Leaders met to "foster international cooperation and to find solutions that protect people's lives and livelihoods," CNN reported.

The G20 Summit is the main event on Trump's Saturday schedule, starting from 8 a.m. ET with no end time listed.

But during a meeting focused on coronavirus preparedness, White House pool reporters said Trump had arrived at one of his golf courses.

CNN reported that Trump's name was not on the list of event speakers. The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.

World leaders met virtually for the G20 Summit, an event that's been happening regularly every year for over a decade.

The White House confirmed Trump's participation late Friday afternoon, according to the Washington Post, less than a day before the summit was scheduled to begin.

The countries that make up the G20 "represent around 80% of the world's economic output, two-thirds of global population and three-quarters of international trade," an information page for the summit says. "Throughout the year, representatives from G20 countries gather to discuss financial and socioeconomic issues.​"

Trump had appeared at one of the G20 meetings Saturday morning. At one point during the summit, he suggested he'd see the world leaders again next year, despite his loss to President-elect Joe Biden.

"It's been a great honor to work with you," he said. "And I look forward to working with you again for a long time."

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Donald Trump Jr. said he’s been ‘totally asymptomatic’ and is spending his time in quarantine polishing his guns

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Donald Trump Jr. speaks during a Students for Trump event at the Dream City Church in Phoenix, Arizona, on June 23, 2020.
  • Donald Trump Jr. said on Friday that he's "totally asymptomatic" after having tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. 
  • To pass the time, Trump Jr. reached out to his Instagram followers and asked them for movie and book recommendations. 
  • Trump Jr. also said he's going to polish his guns while under quarantine. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

In an update posted to Instagram, Donald Trump Jr. said on Friday that he's not feeling the symptoms of the coronavirus and is passing the time under quarantine by cleaning his guns. 

The president's son announced he had tested positive for the virus earlier this week.

"Apparently I got the 'rona," he said on Friday. "You wouldn't know it based on anything that I've felt or have seen. I guess I've been totally asymptomatic."

"But out of an abundance of precaution, I'll quarantine," he added. "I'll follow the regular protocols, you know, take it seriously. No reason to do anything otherwise. But again, totally asymptomatic, which is what's weird about it."

Trump Jr. got tested because he had been planning to go on a trip with his son, he said in the Instagram post. He has not exhibited any symptoms and is wondering whether the test was a false positive. 

"But I'll follow the protocols, take a little bit more time," he said. "Maybe get another couple tests and hopefully if I can test a couple times in a row negative before the holidays." 

His father early Saturday also provided an update on Trump Jr.'s health. 

"My son Donald is doing very well. Thank you!" the president tweeted.

Trump Jr. has been quarantining in his cabin, according to his spokesperson. 

To pass the time, he asked his Instagram followers for movie and book recommendations. He also said he's going to spend a considerable amount of time polishing his guns. 

"By the way, if you have any good Netflix recommendations, anything as it relates to movies or any good ebooks since I can't go out and buy a book, give me your thoughts because I may have a couple days of solo time and there's only so many guns I can clean before that gets boring," he said. "I'll get to go through my safe, which will be fun. Do a little 2A stuff. But in the meantime, I look forward to your recommendations."

By testing positive, Trump Jr. joins the legion of people within Trump's orbit who announced they also tested positive for the coronavirus. Trump Jr.'s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, was among the people who tested positive and recovered. 

Trump himself tested positive for the coronavirus in October, along with first lady Melania and their son, Barron

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Russia wants to distribute its questionable coronavirus vaccine to other countries: report

Russian President Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to distribute its questionable Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries, Reuters reported Saturday.
  • Russia first approved Sputnik V in August, but experts and health officials were skeptical the vaccine would work since it did not go through necessary phase 3 trials. 
  • The Kremlin also kept important information relevant to the vaccine's success out of the public's eye. This included its methodology.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that the country is hoping to distribute its controversial Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to other countries, according to Reuters

Russia announced a successful coronavirus vaccine in August, but Sputnik V was approved under questionable circumstances. It was released before it went through phase 3 trials. In the United States, phase 3 is a requirement before a drug or vaccine can be vetted and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

As Business Insider's Susie Neilson previously reported, the vaccine's early-trial results had not undergone peer review. Russia had also not revealed its methodology, further enshrouding Sputnik V in secrecy.

The rushed timeline led health officials to speculate whether the Kremlin coerced vaccine makers into putting out Sputnik V quickly to gain a leg up in the global race for a cure to the coronavirus.

Speaking at the annual G20 Summit, Putin said Saturday that Russia is in the process of creating a second and third vaccine in response to the coronavirus, Reuters reported Saturday.

Putin also said restated his goal to mass-produce the vaccine for other countries. For months, the Russian president has been pushing other countries to take his vaccine seriously.

Russia in August said it would start the mass production process in September, despite the uncertainty that plagued Sputnik V.

Earlier this month, the Kremlin announced that preliminary data showed the vaccine had a 92% effectiveness rate at preventing the coronavirus. But the data was based on just 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to a press release.

Putin told news reporters in August that he had offered to help the United States develop a coronavirus vaccine, but the White House declined.

Putin, however, maintains the assertion that the vaccine has "passed all the needed checks," even adding at one point that he had his own daughter take it.

There are two coronavirus vaccines that have proven to have a high success rate at fighting the coronavirus. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotech group Moderna announced earlier this month that they've developed vaccines with at least a 94.5% success rate at preventing the coronavirus in clinical trials. 

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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flubs and says the White House is ‘working on a mass distribution of the virus’

steven mnuchin
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
  • In what appeared to be bungled remarks, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday that the White House is working to spread the coronavirus.
  •  "We're working on a mass distribution of the virus," Mnuchin said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street." 
  • Presumably, Mnuchin meant to say the White House is working toward a mass distribution of a vaccine. 
  • But people on Twitter are heralding his flubbed remarks as a way to characterize the US response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin bungled his remarks in an interview Friday, saying the White House is working to spread the coronavirus. 

Mnuchin, appearing on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," presumably meant to say the White House is working on a vaccine.

CNBC's David Faber cautioned that "the next few weeks could be really ugly," according to a transcript of the conversation with Mnuchin.

"Well, we hope it won't and again you know we're working on mass distribution of the virus," Mnuchin replied. 

 

Earlier on in the interview, Mnuchin said the White House is working toward achieving "mass distribution of the vaccine." 

"We have two companies that have vaccines that have been approved, we have more in the works," he said. "We're going to have mass distribution of vaccines. We have massive amount of testing, we have ready testing that can be done now in 15, 20 minutes with very, very high certainty."

Mnuchin's flub, however, did not go unnoticed. 

The Huffington Post noted that multiple people began to circulate his quote, treating it as fact and suggesting that it's accurate based on the US response to the coronavirus. 

"Yeah dude, we noticed," replied Oliver Willis, a writer at progressive outlet the American Independent.

 

 

The Twitter clapbacks echoed the poor marks given to the White House for its handling of the disease.

About 46% of respondents in an Axios-Ipsos poll conducted last month said the US response to the pandemic has gotten worse. Only 26% said the opposite. 

The coronavirus has infected more than 11.9 million Americans, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 254,000 people have died from the disease.

The Treasury Department did not immediately reply to Business Insider's request for comment asking about Mnuchin's flub. 

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Ben Carson says he’s ‘out of the woods’ after taking an unproven coronavirus treatment recommended by the MyPillow CEO

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Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson speaks during a briefing on coronavirus in the Brady press briefing room at the White House, Saturday, March 14, 2020, in Washington.
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said he is feeling better after a weekslong battle with the coronavirus.
  • Carson said he used an extract from a toxic plant to fight the disease, at the recommendation of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
  • Lindell does not have a background in medicine or science. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said on Friday that he is "out of the woods" after fighting the coronavirus using an unproven treatment. 

Carson tested positive for the virus earlier this month, after having attended a White House election watch party. Over the past few weeks, Carson has been relying on an experimental treatment to deal with the virus. 

"I was extremely sick and initially took Oleander 4X with dramatic improvement," he said in a Facebook post  on Friday. Oleander is an extract taken from a toxic plant. Carson said he used the extract at the recommendation of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who doesn't have a background in either medicine or science. Lindell, a close ally of President Donald Trump, has been pushing the extract as a cure for the coronavirus for months.

Carson, 69 and a neurosurgeon, added in the Facebook post that he was authorized to receive the same treatment Trump had upon testing positive for the coronavirus in October.

"I have several co-morbidities and after a brief period when I only experienced minor discomfort, the symptoms accelerated and I became desperately ill," Carson said. "President Trump was following my condition and cleared me for the monoclonal antibody therapy that he had previously received, which I am convinced saved my life."

The treatment, created by the biotech company Regeneron, is experimental and has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Regeneron asked the FDA in October to authorize its treatment as an option for emergency use.

"President Trump, the fabulous White House medical team, and the phenomenal doctors at Walter Reed have been paying very close attention to my health and I do believe I am out of the woods at this point," Carson added. "I am hopeful that we can stop playing politics with medicine and instead combine our efforts and goodwill for the good of all people." 

Read more: We made a graphic to show just how bad the COVID-19 outbreaks in Trump's circle are

There are two coronavirus vaccines that have proven to have a high success rate at combating the coronavirus. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer and biotech group Moderna announced earlier this month that they've developed vaccines with at least a 94.5% success rate at preventing the coronavirus in clinical trials. 

In recent weeks, several people within Trump's orbit announced they tested positive for the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, said he actively avoids going to the White House because "of all the infections there."

The coronavirus has infected more than 11.9 million Americans, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 254,000 people have died from the disease.

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Tulsa mayor says Oklahoma governor and surrounding communities are ignoring the pleas for help coming from overburdened hospitals

A woman holds a sign in the parking lot of Integris Baptist Medical Center during a "Headlights for Hope" event in Oklahoma City, in a show of support for healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
A woman holds a sign in Oklahoma City in a show of support for healthcare workers amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Tulsa's hospitals are urging neighboring cities and the governor's office to enforce mask-wearing, but nobody is taking their pleas seriously, Mayor G.T. Bynum told Business Insider.
  • Oklahoma is one of the states that in recent weeks has seen a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
  • Hospitals in Tulsa are overburdened and unable to meet the demands, Bynum said.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Hospitals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, are overburdened as the number of coronavirus cases surges in the state — but neither the governor nor the communities relying on these hospitals are paying attention to cries for help. 

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum told Business Insider that the number of confirmed cases is rising too quickly for hospitals to meet the demands. Tulsa represents one of the many cities whose hospitals are becoming dangerously overwhelmed as coronavirus cases continue to spike nationwide.

Tulsa hospitals typically become short-staffed between October and February, Bynum said, because flu season brings in an influx of people looking for care. But this year has been particularly difficult as the state grapples with both the seasonal flu and an uptick in coronavirus cases.

On Monday night, the city reached its intensive-care unit capacity and was forced to reroute people to regional hospitals outside Tulsa, Bynum said. 

Last week, Adam Paluka, an official with Tulsa's Emergency Medical Services Authority cautioned that health officials might have to work with regional hospitals to find patients an ICU bed if they need one. "If there weren't any in the county, then they would just go further out until they found one," he said, according to the Tulsa World.

According to Bynum, only about a third of the patients relying on hospital care in the city are from Tulsa. The other roughly 68% of people occupying Tulsa hospitals are from outside it.

These are "people that live in communities that are outside our ability to regulate, other communities around the state of Oklahoma," Bynum said. 

The rising cases are harming the ability of city employees to receive care. Bynum said one employee was denied hospital care until they developed pneumonia, and another was sent home with a 106-degree fever.

Pleas for a mask ordinance

Tulsa is one of the only Oklahoma cities that has a mask ordinance, requiring its citizens to wear a face-covering when social distancing is not possible. Neighboring cities and towns generally do not enforce mask-wearing, and there is no statewide order. 

"The city of Tulsa is really an anomaly in that regard," Bynum said. 

He believes that a statewide mask order would help curtail the spread of the coronavirus, which has infected at least 296,000 people, but Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Still has thus far failed to issue one. . 

Stitt did issue a mandate ordering restaurants and bars to close by 11 p.m., but Bynum says that's just one step toward successfully stopping the spread of the virus. 

The governor's office did not immediately return a request for comment.

The issue is "outside our ability to do anything, to act in a way that would cause mitigation strategies that can lessen the burden on our hospitals," Bynum added. He believes a coordinated statewide effort is the only way to stop the spread of the virus. "We've reached a point in this pandemic where we're beyond the ability of individual communities to effectively regulate this."

Tulsa hospitals have been sounding off, Bynum said, with health officials urging surrounding cities and the governor's office to enforce a mask mandate. 

"One thing that we pride ourselves on as Oklahomans is that we're a place where neighbors help each other out when they're in hard times. And when somebody asks for help, communities pull together and help them out," Bynum said. "And yet we're in a situation here where our hospitals, our medical professionals are on the front lines trying to combat this virus, and they're asking for help, and they're not getting it from so many areas. And that's not the Oklahoma that I believe we are." 

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The Biden administration will be hit with multiple crises from the get-go

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President-elect Joe Biden.
  • Once President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in January, he will have to respond to multiple crises defining the state of the US right now. 
  • Experts told Business Insider those crises include the coronavirus pandemic, racial inequality, and a rocky economy.
  • Biden will also have to think about how to restructure the White House to help him address these issues.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As soon as President-elect Joe Biden steps into the Oval Office in January, he will be hit with an onslaught of crises that will require immediate attention. 

The exiting Trump administration will leave behind a pandemic, a nation nursing the open wounds of racial inequality, and shaky economic prospects, according to transition experts. The Biden administration will have the added burden of trying to win over the roughly 73 million people who voted for the incumbent President Donald Trump.  

Those millions of votes are emblematic of a nation severely divided across partisan lines. Trump's term was at times marked by intense support from white nationalist groups. When Trump got elected in 2016, white nationalists hailed his victory with a Nazi salute

The prevalence of white nationalism is an issue that Biden might have to confront, said Dr. Rick Smith, a biocultural anthropologist at George Mason University.

"What we must be vigilant about in a Biden administration is the possibility of a return to a more diplomatic form of neoliberal white supremacy, a less easily recognizable form of state violence that does not come wearing a MAGA hat," Smith said.

Biden also faces pressure to return the office of the presidency back to what it used to be before Trump entered it after his inauguration in January 2017. 

Trump oversaw the White House like the head of a business, said Max Stier, CEO of Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that works with civil servants and government leaders and maintains a presidential transition center. 

Traditionally, the White House has dozens of leaders working both collaboratively and independently, Stier said. But "that was not something that aligned with President Trump's style." 

Biden, a career politician who's served in the White House before as vice president, will likely appoint "people who have experience in government and in large organization," Stier said, which will be a step toward the return to pre-Trump days.

Throughout his campaign, Biden also promised to immediately reverse Trump-era policies such as the decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Such promises signal that Biden might dedicate the first few months of his term just to getting out these executive orders.

"This transition period is a time in which the Biden transition effort can actually draft and produce those executive orders, so that they're ready to go," Stier said. 

Biden has already begun to tackle the coronavirus, which will likely be one of the biggest issues he'll have to contend with. He's formed a coronavirus task force and appointed Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff. Klain was the "Ebola Czar," said Martha Kumar, director of the White House Transition Project. "So he will be particularly important in tackling the virus." 

With it, the coronavirus brought on economic instability, forcing small businesses to close nationwide and a legion of companies to identify ways their employees can successfully work from home. In the months leading up to the height of the pandemic, the economy had been soaring, which Trump adopted as a personal achievement

Markets have mostly recovered, but the economic devastation from the coronavirus continues to pummel low-income people — a trend likely to persist beyond Biden's Inauguration Day, according to experts.

At the same time, Biden will have to think about how his policies will advance racial justice initiatives. 

A September poll from the Pew Research Center found that 86% of Black Americans do not think the country has made sufficient progress on racial equality. That's an increase of about 8% since January, the last time a similar poll had been conducted.

A well-oiled White House will aid him in forming cohesive strategies to respond to issues of racial inequality, economic turmoil, and the coronavirus, Stier said. 

"This issue of rebuilding our government is critical," he told Business Insider. "It may not grab the headlines, it really is vital that we have an effective government to address those issues."

The Biden transition team did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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