All Things Considered

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One week ago, President Trump fired his defense secretary, Mark Esper, and quickly installed Christopher Miller, a relatively low-profile counterterrorism official, in the role on an acting basis. Trump then shifted key loyalists into other senior Department of Defense jobs.

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Well, joining us now to talk more about the potential vaccine and what's happening with the coronavirus around the country is NPR science correspondent Richard Harris.

Hi, Richard.

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: Hello, Ari.

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When President-elect Joe Biden delivered his acceptance speech, he gave this shoutout.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOE BIDEN: For American educators, this is a great day for you all.

(CHEERING)

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Here are a few song recommendations to help you soothe your nerves.

The COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. is getting worse by nearly every metric. On Friday alone, there were more than 184,000 new confirmed cases and 1,400 deaths, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reported. Hospitals are reaching capacity.

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President Trump has been unusually silent since he lost the election. It's been more than a week since he's spoken publicly.

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Now to a more personal story about loss and the pandemic.

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A lot changed in the 26 years that Randy and Elisa Hinojosa were married, but not their song.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEON MOON")

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On the last edition of Play It Forward, All Things Considered's chain of musical gratitude, Philly-bred multi-instrumentalist Laraaji spoke about Los Angeles singer-songwriter Mia Doi Todd.

Across the U.S., coronavirus cases are surging and pushing the health care system to its limits.

Every day since Election Day, more than 100,000 people in the country have tested positive for the virus.

In many places, there aren't enough nurses and doctors to handle the rising caseloads, and staffing agencies are slammed with requests for more.

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A couple of weeks ago, House Republicans were in the minority and forecasts showed that they could lose even more seats in a Democratic wave.

That's not what happened.

Although results continue to trickle in, the Democrats still hold the House majority, but Republicans managed to win back some competitive seats and hold on to some that they had feared losing.

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In Utah, new cases of the coronavirus surged for more than two months, but what was once a hotspot has become a raging fire. In response, Governor Gary Herbert has introduced new measures to help fight the pandemic's hold on his state.

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