Here's the biggest news you missed this weekend

Editors, USA TODAY
·5 min read

A deadly winter awaits as COVID-19 surges nationwide

Experts warn COVID-19 testing numbers are likely to be erratic over the next week or so after a long Thanksgiving weekend where fewer people got tested and sites observed shorter hours. The holiday will also exacerbate record-keeping discrepancies, artificially depressing the reported numbers for four or five days before spiking as test results catch up. It's a similar pattern that unfolds on many weekends, with case numbers dropping each Sunday and Monday, only to peak on Tuesday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci issued another warning Sunday to wear masks, observe social distancing measures and suppress the urge to gather for the holidays. The alternative? Face a winter of staggering infections, hospitalizations and more deaths. In November alone, the U.S. recorded more than 4 million new cases. The nation also surpassed 200,000 daily cases for the first time Friday. Current hospitalizations have climbed to a record 91,635.

Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26 in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Joseph Varon hugs and comforts a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit (ICU) during Thanksgiving at the United Memorial Medical Center on November 26 in Houston, Texas.

Biden fills top media posts with women as he nurses hairline fractures in foot

President-elect Joe Biden on Sunday named senior communications staff, choosing a team of all women led by Jen Psaki, a veteran of President Barack Obama's administration, as press secretary. Biden also tapped top campaign aides Kate Bedingfield as White House communications director and Symone Sanders as senior adviser and chief spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris. Other hires: Elizabeth Alexander, communications director for first lady Jill Biden; Ashley Etienne, communications director for Harris; Karine Jean-Pierre, principal deputy press secretary; and Pili Tobar, deputy White House communications director. Meanwhile, after Biden slipped and sprained his right foot Saturday while playing with his dog, his doctor Kevin O'Connor reported finding hairline fractures in the middle of his foot. The president-elect will likely need to use a walking boot for several weeks.

FAA confirms first 'mass air shipment' of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine

Chartered flights bringing Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine to the United States from Belgium began on Friday, the start of what the Federal Aviation Administration calls the first "mass air shipment." There are no authorized coronavirus vaccines in the U.S. yet, but preparations for distribution are ramping up. Under FDA rules, vaccines cannot be shipped to actual administration sites until they have been either licensed or authorized by the FDA. Pfizer's vaccine is anticipated to be authorized by the Food and Drug Administration by mid-December.

Trump doesn't plan to stop false election fraud claims

In his first broadcast interview since Election Day, President Donald Trump on Sunday continued to protest the election results despite no evidence. Trump would not say when he might drop election lawsuits and challenges that have been largely met with defeat. "My mind will not change in six months," Trump told Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures," noting his unverified complaints might last past the Dec. 14 vote of the Electoral College and even the Jan. 20 inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. A steady stream of judges and election officials across the country, including Republicans, have declared the elections fairly run, and criticized Trump's legal team for filing specious complaints.

Real quick

Mike Tyson fights Roy Jones Jr. to draw in his return to boxing ring

Mike Tyson returned to the professional boxing ring for the first time in 15 years on Saturday night, but did not secure a knockout against Roy Jones Jr. The 54-year-old former heavyweight world champion looked aggressive from the outset and stalked Jones, 51, through most of their eight-round exhibition fight at the Staples Center. But Jones remained on his feet when the final bell rang, and three former WBC champions scored the bout a draw. USA TODAY Sports scored the fight 78-74 for Tyson. "I'm glad I got this under my belt," said Tyson, who also said he was good with the draw "because I entertained the crowd."

Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion at age 20 in 1986. Now he's returning to the ring.
Mike Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion at age 20 in 1986. Now he's returning to the ring.

Black Friday in-store shopping dropped as online sales broke records

Even with a month of sales dubbed "Black Friday," online sales still broke records this weekend as shoppers continued to scoop up deals from home. The digital sales boost came as fewer shoppers ventured out to stores this year with preliminary data from Sensormatic Solutions showing in-store Black Friday traffic dropped by 52.1%.​​Consumers spent $9 billion online, according to Adobe Analytics, a nearly 22% increase over the $7.4 billion in 2019 online Black Friday sales. And shoppers aren't done yet. Cyber Monday 2020 is expected to break more records and keep its top spot as the busiest online shopping day, with shoppers expected to spend as much as $12.7 billion or 35% more than in 2019.

Customers shop at Macys department store in New York on Black Friday, November 27, 2020. - The coronavirus is clouding "Black Friday" much as it has overshadowed 2020 in general, but some leading experts still expect strong overall sales even as shopping patterns are altered.
Customers shop at Macys department store in New York on Black Friday, November 27, 2020. - The coronavirus is clouding "Black Friday" much as it has overshadowed 2020 in general, but some leading experts still expect strong overall sales even as shopping patterns are altered.

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This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Contributing: Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID-19, vaccine, Trump, election, Biden, Mike Tyson: The weekend's biggest news