WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he has fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper. It's a stunning move on the heels of Trump’s failed reelection bid. It could also unsettle U.S. allies and partners. The conventional wisdom is that stability atop the Pentagon and the military be maintained during a possible transition to a new administration. Esper was Trump's second defense secretary, succeeding Jim Mattis, who resigned in 2018. Trum p announced the news in a tweet, saying that “effective immediately” Christopher Miller, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, will serve as acting secretary
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President-elect Joe Biden is imploring Americans to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus — even as he cheered news about the promising development of a vaccine being developed by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer. Biden, in remarks after meeting with his newly formed coronavirus advisory board, cautioned that Americans still face “a dark winter” and need to be aggressive about mask wearing and social distancing as infections continue to surge around the country. Even if Pfizer gets approval from regulators for emergency use of a vaccine, Biden noted it could be months before the vaccine is widely available.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has tested positive for the coronavirus. Carson is the first member of President Donald Trump’s cabinet known to have tested positive. The department’s deputy chief of staff, Coalter Baker, said Monday that Carson is “in good spirits and feels fortunate to have access to effective therapeutics which aid and markedly speed his recovery.”
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s largest county offered a dire warning to its 1 million residents on Monday: New restrictions will be necessary unless the coronavirus surge is brought under control. St. Louis County already requires face coverings and has imposed other restrictions, but Democratic Executive Sam Page said at a news conference that with cases rising again and hospitals filling quickly, more drastic measures could be announced next week. Missouri is among dozens of states seeing a big increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. After reaching new records in cases several times last week the state health department reported better numbers Monday — 3,244 new cases and no new deaths.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Heavy rain from Tropical Storm Eta is causing dangerous flooding across Florida’s most densely populated urban areas. The system stranded cars and swamped entire neighborhoods with fast-rising water that had no place to drain. The system made landfall Monday in the Florida Keys and posed a serious threat across South Florida, which was already drenched from more than 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain last month. Forecasters say Eta could dump an additional 6 to 12 inches (15 to 30 centimeters).