The Monday Politics Thread is Just Sitting Here, Popcorn in Hand

Arizona legislature shuts down after Giuliani tests positive for coronavirus

The two chambers of the Arizona state legislature will suspend their work this week after former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani tested positive for the coronavirus less than a week after spending hours testifying in front of Republican legislators in a futile bid to overturn the state’s election results.

Spokespeople for the state House and Senate confirmed to The Hill Sunday that the two chambers would cancel their planned meetings this week because of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus. 

President Trump tweeted that Giuliani tested positive for the virus Sunday, and reports said he is receiving treatment at a Washington-area hospital.

The Hill

Xavier Becerra to be nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services

Becerra, 62, has served as California’s top prosecutor since 2017 when he succeeded now-Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the role. He served in Congress for more than 20 years and was once seen as a potential House Speaker.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Becerra would be the first Latino to hold the role — a symbolic nomination at a time when Latinos are disproportionately affected by the medical and economic affects of the coronavirus pandemic.

CBS News

Orange County sheriff says deputies won’t enforce SoCal’s new stay-at-home order

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said Saturday that his deputies would not be enforcing the regional stay-at-home order that has been issued for Southern California.

“Compliance with health orders is a matter of personal responsibility and not a matter of law enforcement,” Barnes said in a statement. “The Orange County Sheriff’s Department will remain consistent in our approach.

“Orange County Sheriff’s deputies will not be dispatched to, or respond to, calls for service to enforce compliance with face coverings, social gatherings, or stay-at-home orders only.”

ABC News

The U.S. Has Passed the Hospital Breaking Point

A month ago, in early November, hospitalizations passed 60,000—and kept climbing, quickly. On Wednesday, the country tore past a nauseating virus record. For the first time since the pandemic began, more than 100,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States, nearly double the record highs seen during the spring and summer surges.

The pandemic nightmare scenario—the buckling of hospital and health-care systems nationwide—has arrived. Several lines of evidence are now sending us the same message: Hospitals are becoming overwhelmed, causing them to restrict whom they admit and leading more Americans to die needlessly.

The Atlantic

Survivors to remember Pearl Harbor at home this year amid coronavirus

Navy sailor Mickey Ganitch was getting ready to play in a Pearl Harbor football game as the sun came up on Dec. 7, 1941. Instead, he spent the morning — still wearing his football padding and brown team shirt — scanning the sky as Japanese planes rained bombs on the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Seventy-nine years later, the coronavirus pandemic is preventing Ganitch and other survivors from attending an annual ceremony remembering those killed in the attack that launched the United States into World War II. The 101-year-old has attended most years since the mid-2000s but will have to observe the moment from California this year because of the health risks.


Tim Stanley: 79 years after Pearl Harbor sinking, project to identify USS Oklahoma’s dead nearing its end

The name “Pearl Harbor” didn’t mean anything to most Americans when it crackled over their radios for the first time in December 1941.

Before the Japanese attack of Dec. 7, few had ever heard of it.

But for Oklahomans at least, one name in the news reports that followed rang a definite bell.

Word that the battleship USS Oklahoma was among the vessels sunk was a blow that just added to their already profound shock.

Tulsa World