Morning Briefing Nov. 20, 2020: Michigan GOP lawmakers to meet with Trump, Pfizer seeks emergency use of its vaccine

Here are this morning’s top stories

FILE - In this May 6, 2020, file photo, Michigan Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, left, and Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield announce a lawsuit to combat the coronavirus pandemic orders at the Capitol building in Lansing, Mich. President Donald Trump summoned Michigan's Republican legislative leaders to the White House for a meeting Friday, Nov. 20, amid a GOP push to overturn the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's victory in the battleground state. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File) (David Eggert, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

What to know today 🌅

Michigan GOP lawmakers expected to meet with President Trump at White House

In midst of the election certification process, President Donald Trump has asked Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield to meet with him at the White House on Friday.

There has been some suggestion from a few GOP activists that the state legislative leadership could change the state’s electors. Shirkey has said that that will not happen.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the meeting in her Thursday COVID-19 briefing.

“All the meetings in the world though can’t take away from the fact that Joe Biden won Michigan by over 150,000 votes,” Whitmer said.

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Jocelyn Benson says Lee Chatfield texted her he hasn’t confirmed meeting with Trump

During an interview with CNN Friday morning, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she had not spoken with state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield about their invitation to meet with President Trump in Washington.

However, during the live interview Benson said Chatfield texted her that “he hasn’t confirmed with anyone that he’s going or not.”

See the interview clip here and read more about the meeting.

Pfizer seeking emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in US

Pfizer said Friday it is asking U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine, starting the clock on a process that could bring limited first shots as early as next month and eventually an end to the pandemic -- but not until after a long, hard winter.

The action comes days after Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech announced that its vaccine appears 95% effective at preventing mild to severe COVID-19 disease in a large, ongoing study.

The companies said that protection plus a good safety record means the vaccine should qualify for emergency use authorization, something the Food and Drug Administration can grant before the final testing is fully complete. In addition to Friday’s FDA submission, they have already started “rolling” applications in Europe and the U.K. and intend to submit similar information soon.

Read more here.

Coronavirus in Michigan 🦠

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 285,398 as of Thursday, including 8,324 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update represents 7,592 new cases and 134 additional deaths, including 61 from a Vital Records review. On Wednesday, the state reported 277,806 total cases and 8,190 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan. Testing has increased in recent weeks, with more than 45,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, but the positive rate has increased to above 13% over the last week. Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last five weeks, including upticks in critical care and ventilator use.

READ: Michigan hospitals filling up as COVID-19 case, positivity rates continue to soar

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 6,932 on Wednesday, near the highest it has ever been. The 7-day death average was 58, the highest since May. The state’s fatality rate is 2.9%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 130,000 on Wednesday, near its highest mark on record. More than 138,800 have recovered in Michigan.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

Weather forecast

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.