North Jersey News Roundup for Nov. 23, 2020

OPINION: Its time for President Donald Trump to begin the Presidential transition process. Nearly three week since Election day, all President Trump and his lawyers, led by Rudy Giuliani, have offered are allegations tied to debunked conspiracy theories in their repeated attempts in court to overturn the 2020 Presidential result. Any candidate has the right to contest the election, even if the allegations have been rejected by judges time and time again. But for the sake of the country he claims to love more than himself, the time has come for President Trump to allow the transition of power process to begin to President-elect Joe Biden.

Former Gov. Chris Christie said the election was over and President Donald Trump lost to Joe Biden as the President has yet to provide any evidence of fraud that would put the outcome of the election in doubt. “If you’ve got the evidence of fraud, present it,” Christie said on Nov. 23. “Quite frankly, the conduct of the president’s legal team has been a national embarrassment. They allege fraud outside the courtroom, but inside the courtroom, they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud. If you’re unwilling to come forward and present the evidence, it must mean the evidence doesn’t exist.”

William McKoy is asking for a recount of the 9,016 ballots cast in Paterson’s 3rd Ward City Council election in an effort to overcome a nine-vote margin to Alex Mendez. McKoy’s petition for the recount said there were “errors committed by the arbiters of the election process … including abnormalities concerning tabulations … as well as mistakes in declaring the results.” McKoy’s court filing does not provide further details on exactly what went wrong in the counting of the votes. The Record

Gov. Phil Murphy put the onus on Republicans in the U.S. Senate to help small businesses hurting because of the coronavirus pandemic in New Jersey. “As long as Mitch McConnell is sitting on his hands and not getting behind a major stimulus…and you shut down without absolute evidence there is spread and transmission from non-essential workplace or indoor dining, you are basically putting a bullet in them,” said Murphy at a press briefing Nov. 20, who added there would be “is blood on our hands” if the state ordered those small businesses to close without aid.

An early analysis of AstraZeneca’s late-stage clinical trials showed its coronavirus vaccine was 70.4% effective in preventing COVID-19, suggesting that the world could eventually have at least three working vaccines to help curb the pandemic. The company, which has been developing the vaccine with the University of Oxford, conducted the tests in the United Kingdom and Brazil. AstraZeneca became the third major vaccine developer in this month to announce encouraging early results, following Pfizer and Moderna, which both said that their vaccines were about 95% effective in late-stage studies. The New York Times

A COVID-19 treatment from biotech company Regeneron received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. Doctors will now be able to use Regeneron’s antibody cocktail, used to treat President Donald Trump earlier this year, on high-risk coronavirus patients and patients who have mild to moderate symptoms. It has already reduced COVID-19-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits for patients across the U.S., according to company officials. News12 New Jersey

New Jersey is in a better place in its ability to report and track down the coronavirus as cases begin to rival those seen last Spring, according to Gov. Phil Murphy. “We are in a far, far different place than we were at the early stages of this pandemic,” said Murphy at a press briefing Nov. 20. “We have the resources to continue to not only ensure a full testing regime across the state, but to ramp up testing when hotspots emerge.”

The 10-day coronavirus lockdown Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said would be put in place for Thanksgiving is actually an ask rather than an order. No executive order was signed by Baraka to mandate compliance and there will be no additional enforcement for the advisory.

Five employees recently tested positive for COVID-19 at the New Jersey Veterans Home at Paramus. Two employees have COVID-19 symptoms while three are asymptomatic. All were quarantining off-site. All residents were tested for the virus and none came back positive. The Record

North Arlington High School will transition to remote-only instruction Nov. 23 after a member of the school community tested positive for the coronavirus. North Arlington Public Schools already had canceled in-person classes from Nov. 30 to Jan. 18 as coronavirus cases surge and hospitalizations and deaths rise in New Jersey. News12 New Jersey

Antony J. Blinken is expected to be nominated by President-elect Joe Biden to be his Secretary of State. Blinken, former deputy secretary of state under President Barack Obama, began his career at the State Department during the Clinton administration. Additionally, it is anticipated the President-elect will announce Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as U.N. Ambassador at the same time this week. The New York Times

Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. is calling for a widespread probe into President Donald Trump and members of his administration for allegedly committing crimes while in office. Pascrell pledged in 2021 a full investigation of the Trump Administration “by the Department of Justice and any other relevant offices,” demanding they be held accountable for financial and political wrongdoings. A failure to do so would “further embolden criminality by our national leaders” and continue “America down the path of lawlessness and authoritarianism,” said the Democratic congressman.

We the People NJ, a newly formed group opposed to what it calls an unconstitutional coronavirus crackdown, held their first gathering on Nov. 22, with a mile-long march and demonstration in Morris County that drew about 100 people. The group’s demonstration, led by Morris County surrogate and a former Freeholder Heather Darling, featured a series of speakers blasting measures imposed by Gov. Phil Murphy intended to curb the spread of the virus, which they believe violated constitutional rights and hurt businesses.

A coalition of executives from some of New Jersey’s largest companies are moving ahead with an initiative to get the state back to work. The New Jersey CEO Council pledged to hire 30,000 New Jersey workers from historically underserved communities by the end of the decade. Additionally, the group committed to spend $250 million on procurement with state-based, diverse companies by 2025.

This year’s budget pushed New Jersey’s annual appropriation for transportation investment to $2.6 billion, the most such spending for one year since the trust fund was reauthorized in 2016. Democrats added more than half a billion dollars to the line item for transportation projects for the current fiscal year with a little-noticed tweak in September, covering more than three dozen “shovel-ready” projects administered by the Department of Transportation, including bridge and road repairs, waterway dredging, and congestion-relief initiatives, among others, according to a list provided by the Murphy administration. NJ Spotlight News

And finally…A guide to where to cut down a fresh Christmas tree by county in New Jersey. The Record

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