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Today’s Headlines: Trump resists transition, despite risks

President Trump in a garden.
President Trump arrives to speak in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

Amid the worsening coronavirus crisis, the Trump administration is still blocking President-elect Joe Biden’s team from a formal transition of power.

TOP STORIES

Trump Resists Transition, Despite Risks

With public health experts forecasting a dire new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, calls have intensified for the start of a formal transition to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden.

But President Trump is still refusing to concede defeat, tweeting conspiracy theories and trying to overturn the election results in the courts, as a once-obscure Trump appointee has blocked the official start of the presidential transition process.

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The nationwide virus caseload last week touched unprecedented heights of more than 180,000 new daily infections, and Biden’s incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, said the president-elect’s team urgently needs to begin coordinating with experts inside the government. “Joe Biden’s going to become president of the United States in the midst of an ongoing crisis,” Klain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” citing the necessity of preparations to widely distribute a vaccine beginning early next year.

The Biden team remains cut off from key government experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease specialist.

Although almost all Senate Republicans have fallen in line with Trump’s refusal to concede the election, a few GOP governors have been somewhat bolder in their language in calling for a transition to begin.

So Much for Party Unity

Even though Biden is president-elect, many Democratic politicians are stewing over the unexpected losses they endured in Congress and state legislatures.

Democrats had hoped to capture the Senate and bolster their House majority. Instead, the loss of so much ground in Congress has touched off an intense volley of finger-pointing, insults and plotting by factions to keep the other out of party leadership posts.

The intraparty clash is compounded by divisions over structural issues in a party still run by an aging old guard that campaigns in a way that proved ineffective in key races.

More From Washington

— Biden is expected to take a historic step in selecting Michele Flournoy, a politically moderate Pentagon veteran, to head the Department of Defense, shattering one of the few remaining barriers to women in the department and the presidential Cabinet.

— On Saturday, several thousand Trump supporters, GOP voters, white nationalists, militant groups and conspiracy theorists descended on Washington for the “Stop the Steal” march. Trump drove past and waved at protesters on his way to the golf course.

Republican leaders in four critical states won by Biden say they won’t participate in a legally dubious scheme to flip their state’s electors to vote for Trump.

— News analysis: It’s not just Trump. This whole century has been politically stormy.

For more news and analysis, sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter, sent to your inbox three days a week.

Is a Curfew Coming?

A fresh surge of coronavirus cases on Saturday and Sunday has alarmed Los Angeles County officials, who say they may consider imposing a curfew and other health measures in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

The county Department of Public Health is expected to propose a set of recommendations for the Board of Supervisors this week. “Potential options could be instituting a curfew so businesses do not have to completely close down again, but are more limited to essential activities,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said in a statement.

L.A. County remains in the strictest tier of the state’s four-phase reopening plan. Still, officials relaxed some rules over the last couple of months, including permitting hair salons and barbershops to operate indoors with certain precautions and allowing family entertainment centers to reopen outdoors.

The increase in new cases could jeopardize those gains. At the same time, officials could also face a backlash. State officials are already urging residents not to travel out of state for the holiday and recommending that those who do quarantine when they return.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

“I hope you die a miserable death” and other words of encouragement from readers to columnist Steve Lopez.

— Celebrating Diwali, some see Kamala Harris’ rise reflected in stories of good over evil.

— Making history: Three Korean American women, two representing California, have won seats in Congress.

— In L.A., not every moral crusade over real estate is Darth Vader versus Luke Skywalker, columnist Gustavo Arellano writes.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

On this date in 1960, Elgin Baylor scored a then-record 71 points in one game, on the road in New York. It came during the Lakers’ first season in Los Angeles.

As one of the greatest and most exciting players in NBA history, Baylor became the first star basketball player to compete in Los Angeles. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound forward displayed a combination of size and grace like no other player before him.

Elgin Baylor in 1969
The Lakers’ Elgin Baylor fires a jump shot against the Boston Celtics in the seventh and final game of their NBA playoff series at Los Angeles, May 5, 1969. Others are Boston’s Same Jones, extreme left, and Emmette Bryant, right, and Lakers’ Jerry West.
(Harold P. Matosian / Associated Press)

Want more of the Los Angeles Times archives? We’re on Instagram.

CALIFORNIA

— Gov. Gavin Newsom said he should have stayed home and not attended a dinner with other households at an upscale Napa Valley restaurant as COVID-19 cases soar across the state.

— A year after the deadly Saugus High School shooting, students look back as they move forward.

— Costa Mesa’s Fairview Park Wetlands, once seen as a “perfect marriage” of engineering and ecology, is bogged down by deficiencies.

— Sunday was hot in L.A., but it wasn’t that hot in the scheme of things. Today’s temperature could set a record.

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NATION-WORLD

— For the second time this month, there’s promising news from a COVID-19 vaccine candidate: Moderna said Monday that its shots appear to be 94.5% effective.

North Dakota nurses are worrying about working with coronavirus-infected colleagues after the governor allowed the state’s beleaguered hospitals to use infected but asymptomatic workers to treat COVID-19 patients.

— A federal judge in New York ruled that Chad Wolf, the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, assumed his position unlawfully. That determination invalidated Wolf’s suspension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields young people from deportation.

Azerbaijan postponed taking control of a territory ceded by Armenian forces in a cease-fire agreement but denounced civilians leaving the area for burning houses and committing what it called “ecological terror.”

Peru’s interim president announced his resignation as the nation plunged into its worst constitutional crisis in two decades.

— Officials said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after being told he came into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus. In April, Johnson was hospitalized in intensive care for three nights after contracting COVID-19.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

“The Mandalorian” is off to find a major “Star Wars” character. Here’s her back story.

— Showrunner Krista Vernoff knows all of “Grey’s Anatomy’s” secrets. And she’s ready to talk.

— How “The Crown” captured Princess Diana’s evolution from shy teen to style icon.

— Amid nationwide theater reclosures, the film “Freaky” took in just $3.7 million in domestic box office.

BUSINESS

— Six months after launching astronauts for the first time, SpaceX is sending another crew to the International Space Station. Sunday’s launch is expected to usher in new and additional commercial opportunities in low-Earth orbit.

— General Motors is recalling nearly 69,000 Chevrolet Bolt electric cars worldwide because the batteries have caught fire in five of them.

SPORTS

— Former Dodgers manager Tom Lasorda has been hospitalized and is in intensive care in Orange County, the team announced.

Dustin Johnson, the world’s No. 1 golfer, won his first Masters title with a record-setting score.

— The Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks with stingy defense to move to the top of the NFC West.

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OPINION

— We turned over our letters page to pro-Trump readers for a day. Here’s what they wrote.

— Biden’s foreign policy won’t be Obama 2.0, and that might be a good thing, writes columnist Doyle McManus.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Former President Obama identifies the greatest threats to the American experiment and explains why he’s still hopeful. (The Atlantic)

Fossil auctions often make paleontologists nervous; private buyers can shut down access to researchers and the public. (Atlas Obscura)

ONLY IN L.A.

Florist Nemuel DePaula bought a gray van on Craigslist for $6,000, fixed it with the help of his twin brother and a mechanic, and painted it pink. Now the immigrant from Brazil has a flower truck business in L.A. that pays tribute to his family: He uses his mother’s image and name in the advertising. He collaborates with his sister and his brother. And he names the floral arrangements after his female relatives. Here’s how he encourages people to “stop and smell the flores.”

Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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