COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
Biden says he will ask Americans to wear masks for the first 100 days he's in office
"Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we'll see a significant reduction," Biden said for the first time in the interview with Tapper.

... The coronavirus pandemic has dominated Biden's transition, and the former vice president acknowledged that it will do the same during his first year in office, telling CNN that he has asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of Trump's coronavirus task force, to be a chief medical adviser and part of his Covid-19 response team when his administration begins next month.

... Biden said that where he has authority, like in federal buildings or in interstate transportation on airplanes and buses, he will issue a standing order that masks must be worn. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks can help protect both the people wearing them and those around them from transmitting the virus.

... Biden described his coronavirus plans as a balance between ensuring that Americans believe the vaccine is safe and instituting a number of plans that will curb the spread of the virus without shutting down the economy. Biden will take office amid the most extreme domestic circumstances of any president since Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, with sickness and death rampant, and millions of Americans unemployed, hungry or at risk of losing their homes. One American is now dying from Covid-19 every 30 seconds.

White House again flouts public health recommendations during holiday party season
There are some safety protocols in place for the events, but most, if not all, of the holiday parties will still flout US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for size restrictions, as well as Washington, DC, restrictions for indoor gatherings, which is currently capped at 10 people.

The Trump White House itself has already been the epicenter of at least three Covid-19 outbreaks among staff and allies, and a series of events such as holiday gatherings will likely put in peril several hundred more guests, workers and staff.

Hours after White House Christmas decorations were unveiled, first lady Melania Trump hosted a "thank you" party and tour for several dozen of the volunteers who helped decorate the people's house for the season, a White House official confirmed to CNN.

The volunteers, who traveled to the White House for the week from across the country, were tested as part of guidelines for decorating. However, publicly accessible social media images posted by partygoers indicate there was little social distancing at Monday's event and many guests were not wearing masks.

They clustered together tightly in the White House Cross Hall foyer, cell phones up to capture images of Melania Trump speaking from a podium at a staircase landing, in the social media posts viewed by CNN.

In the State Dining Room, guests milled around and sat at round tables sipping champagne and nibbling snacks. In the Red Room, they admired the tree with ornaments saluting essential workers, including doctors, nurses and scientists, many removing their masks as they held beverages.

Many of the volunteers posed for photos smiling without masks in front of the trees they spent the holiday weekend trimming.

Another upcoming holiday event is the Congressional Ball, set to take place December 10, according to the official. President Donald Trump and the first lady will host the ball again this year, and as of now, more than 50 invitees have responded they will attend, a source familiar with the planning told CNN. The White House official said the Republican Party coffers will pay for the Congressional Ball. The Washington Post first reported the date the Congressional Ball will take place.

A copy of the invitation seen by CNN makes no mention of mask-wearing or other coronavirus safety precautions.

That party comes in the wake of Brian Monahan, the US Congress attending physician, issuing a memo asking all members and congressional staff to practice social distancing, wear surgical masks and to avoid social gatherings.