WBEZ’s Rundown Of Today’s Top News: Illinois Asks Residents To Stay Inside

A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press
A public service announcement about coronavirus prevention is displayed on an electronic traffic message board as an ambulance travels northbound on Chicago's Dan Ryan Expressway. Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press

WBEZ’s Rundown Of Today’s Top News: Illinois Asks Residents To Stay Inside

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Good afternoon! It’s Wednesday, and a special shoutout to my dad — and all our vets — on Veterans Day. Thanks for your service. Here’s what you need to know today.

1. Illinois reports the most COVID-19 deaths since May

Illinois officials today announced 12,657 new COVID-19 cases — once again eclipsing the record for the most cases reported in a single day. The state also reported 145 new coronavirus-related deaths, the most since late May.

As cases continue to surge, the Illinois Department of Public Health today asked residents to limit travel for the next three weeks, work from home and only go out for things like “COVID-19 testing, visiting the pharmacy and buying groceries.” The agency hopes staying inside will “reduce transmission as we head into the holidays so businesses and schools can remain open.” [WBEZ]

The state is now seeing a weekly average of more than 10,000 cases per day, an increase of 127% from the average two weeks ago. [New York Times]

And COVID-19 hospitalizations are much higher in most parts of Illinois than during the first wave. [Capital News Illinois]

Nationwide, the U.S. reported 139,855 more COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours. Texas became the first state to exceed 1 million cumulative cases. [Axios]

Indiana reinstated some restrictions after weeks of sharp increases in hospitalizations and deaths. [AP]

And the Navajo Nation is facing an “uncontrolled spread” of the virus with 12,720 total known cases throughout the reservation, which spans more than 27,000 square miles in parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. [AP]

2. Trump advisors express pessimism about heading off Biden’s victory

As President Donald Trump’s campaign moves forward with lawsuits and demands for recounts, some of his advisors are skeptical that the administration can stop President-elect Joe Biden from taking over the White House, according to The Washington Post.

“Even some of the president’s most publicly pugilistic aides, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and informal adviser Corey Lewandowski, have said privately that they are concerned about the lawsuits’ chances for success unless more evidence surfaces,” people familiar with their views told the newspaper. [The Washington Post]

In Georgia, officials announced today the state would complete a recount by Nov. 20. [CNN]

While Pennsylvania’s chief election officer said only 10,000 ballots were received between Election Day and Nov. 6 — too few to undermine Biden’s margin of victory. [Politico]

Meanwhile, Trump’s visit today to Arlington National Cemetery was the first time he’s been seen in public since last Thursday, reports NPR’s Tamara Keith. [NPR]

And Biden has said he’d like to name several Cabinet nominees before Thanksgiving. Here’s a look at the contenders. [New York Times]

3. CPS agrees to mediation with teachers

Chicago Public Schools officials will meet with a mediator to “try to broker some details with the Chicago Teachers Union around the return to classrooms in the COVID-19 era,” reports Chalkbeat Chicago.

District officials have said they won’t negotiate whether to reopen school buildings, as CPS leaders want to start in-person instruction soon, particularly for pre-K and special education students. Union leaders have said they want to negotiate health and safety rules. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

Meanwhile, new data indicates reopening private schools in Chicago did not lead to major coronavirus transmissions. But the numbers are only through Oct. 17, prior to the second surge that recently hit the city. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

Here are six questions from preschool teachers — who could be among the first to return to in-person learning. [Chalkbeat Chicago]

For parents who plan to continue to keep their kids in remote learning, WBEZ reporter/mom Adriana Cardona-Maguigad asked an expert for advice on making e-learning work for preschoolers. [WBEZ]

4. CPD racked up so many complaints during summer protests that a special unit was created to investigate

Chicago’s Civilian Office of Police Accountability, which investigates complaints of officer misconduct, created a special unit to investigate the hundreds of complaints made against officers during summer protests.

Chief Administrator Sydney Roberts told aldermen yesterday the complaints include claims of excessive use of batons, verbal abuse and failure to use body cameras. Most of the complaints were from the July 17 protest at Grant Park’s Christopher Columbus statue and an Aug. 15 protest that ended with police officers “kettling” protesters in the Loop. [Block Club Chicago]

Meanwhile, many police officers still won’t wear masks despite orders from Mayor Lori Lightfoot. The department is hoping a new PSA will change that. [Block Club Chicago]

5. Hong Kong’s legislature quits en masse as Beijing cracks down

Fifteen of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy legislators resigned in protest after Beijing called four of their colleagues “secessionists,” removed them from office and barred them from running for reelection.

The mass resignation came after China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed a resolution that gave China the authority to bypass local courts and remove politicians seen as a threat to national security — essentially granting veto power over Hong Kong’s legislature.

NPR reports: “Though long expected, the timing of Beijing’s move after the U.S. presidential election seems aimed at testing how far it can go while Washington is distracted by legal fights.” [NPR]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Eta weakened to a tropical storm as Florida braces for a second hit. [AP]
  • Russia said its COVID-19 vaccine is 92% effective. [Reuters]
  • TikTok said the Trump administration has forgotten about trying to ban it and would like to know what’s up. [The Verge]
  • A study has found one-in-five COVID-19 survivors develop mental illness within 90 days. [Reuters]

Oh, and one more thing …

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, said he’ll leave his private law practice to focus on his role in the White House.

With future-first lady Jill Biden’s decision to keep her day job, we’ve reached a new moment for political marriages, reports the AP.

“We’ve been waiting for this sort of gender switch for decades now,” Kim Nalder, a professor of political science focused on gender, told the AP. “There is a lot of symbolism from a man stepping back from his high-powered career in order to support his wife’s career.”

Emhoff will also be the first Jewish spouse, and Biden will be the first Italian American spouse, of a president or vice president. [AP]

Tell me something good …

I’ve decided I want some holiday cheer right now, so I’m decorating my house for Christmas this week. Are you looking forward to a holiday tradition or celebration as 2020 starts to come to a close? Or perhaps trying something new this year?

Gene Tenner writes:

“I always look forward to Festivus, the Seinfeld-created Dec. 23 holiday for the rest of us. Fulfilling the five-step requirements is easy. I can usually find a (Festivus) pole in storage, grab a ground beef meal (meatloaf), air my grievances on Facebook, ride a bike (feat of strength) and celebrate the ride at my age as a Festivus miracle.”

And Leanne writes:

“I love Thanksgiving! We usually have friends and family and a big feast. This year will obviously be different. We are coordinating with friends and sharing the cooking! We are making the Turkey and stuffing, they are making sides, we’re both doing a different dessert — and we’ll share our fixings and enjoy as we Zoom with family.”

Feel free to email or tweet me, and your response might appear here this week.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! I’ll see you tomorrow.