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Trump steps up effort to overturn the election as Covid-weary Americans make alternative Thanksgiving plans

Pfizer announced it will apply to the Food and Drug Administration Friday for emergency use for its Covid-19 vaccine.
Image: Rudy Giulian
Sweat runs down the face of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani during a chaotic news conference Thursday where he alleged without evidence that voter fraud in the presidential election was widely coordinated among disparate groups from antifa and Venezuela to George Soros. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

Good morning, NBC News readers.

A hand recount of votes in Georgia confirms President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state, the CDC is urging Americans to stay put for Thanksgiving and Pfizer is going to apply for emergency use authorization of its Covid-19 vaccine today.

Here is what we're watching this Friday morning.

Georgia hand count affirms Biden's victory as Trump continues efforts to overturn election loss

After a hand recount of nearly 5 million votes cast in the presidential election, Georgia election officials confirmed President-elect Joe Biden won more votes than President Donald Trump in the state.

Trump picked up about 1,300 votes in the recount, leaving Biden with a margin just over 12,000 votes, the Georgia secretary of state's office reported.

The recount stemmed from an audit required by a new state law, not from any suspected problems with the state's results or an official recount request.

Nevertheless, the Trump campaign rejected the outcome as the president's team stepped up its effort to overturn the presidential election results.

In an extremely bold move, Trump has invited Michigan Republican lawmakers to the White House Friday in an attempt to stop the state from certifying Biden's win.

Even though Biden leads Trump by almost 160,000 votes in the state, Republican leaders in the state Legislature are being pressured to appoint pro-Trump electors who would change Electoral College votes in his favor.

Rudy Giuliani also sweat his way through a chaotic, disjointed and free-wheeling news conference Thursday in which he baselessly alleged that voter fraud was nationally coordinated.

Trump's moves to upend the will of the voters and reverse the election outcome prompted growing alarm. Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah spoke out against the effort.

"Having failed to make even plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, the President has now resorted to overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and overturn the election," Romney said in a statement Thursday. "It is difficult to imagine a worse, more undemocratic action by a sitting American President."

Biden also appeared to be losing patience with the White House Thursday and tore into Trump for refusing to concede and formally commit to a peaceful transfer of power.

Biden called Trump's actions "totally irresponsible" and said that they are sending "an incredibly damaging message" to the rest of the world about how democracy functions.

This Thanksgiving, many opt for 'a plate at the door and some elbow bumps'

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, the nation's top public health officials are urging people not to travel or hold large gatherings so they don't contribute to the spike in coronavirus cases across the country.

"We know this is a painful decision to make, given how isolated and lonely many people have been throughout the pandemic," said Tener Goodwin Veenema, a professor and visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. "But with numbers surging, hospitalizations surging, we are forced to really look at implementing some serious disease containment strategies."

With small gatherings at private residences contributing to an explosion in Covid-19 cases, experts say the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is with members of your own household, or via Zoom if you want to connect with family and friends elsewhere.

For many, it's a heartbreaking decision, but they are heeding the advice.

"Is sharing pumpkin pie together worth that being the last piece of pumpkin pie that you share with a family member?" Michelle Preble of Clackamas County, Oregon, asked.

For her and many others this year, the tough answer is a firm "no."

Pfizer to apply for emergency use for its Covid-19 vaccine

Pfizer announced it will submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration Friday for an emergency use authorization for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine.

Early results from Pfizer's phase 3 clinical trials have yielded promising news: Two shots, given three weeks apart, appeared to be 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech are poised have 50 million doses available this year and 1.3 billion in 2021, using facilities both in the U.S. and Belgium.

“Our work to deliver a safe and effective vaccine has never been more urgent, as we continue to see an alarming rise in the number of cases of COVID-19 globally," said Dr. Albert Bourla, Pfizer chairman and CEO, in a news release.

Follow our live blog for all the latest Covid-19 and developments.

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THINK about it

Georgia's Republican senators betrayed their constituents to support Trump's election fraud tale, Stuart Gerson and Edward Larson write in an opinion piece.


Take the day off: Why ordering takeout this Thanksgiving is a win-win.


Whether you’re looking for tech or items for your pets, here are Black Friday sales available.

One 'friluftsliv' thing

If the thought of winter sends shivers down your spine, you're not alone. Maybe we all need a little more "friluftsliv" in our lives.

The Norwegian principle, loosely translated to "free air living," is a unique approach to winter that includes embracing cold, dark days.

NBC News' Molly Hunter speaks to Norwegian adventurer Alexander Read and his daughter Mina about the importance of spending time in nature as a way to find happiness even in the harshest winter months.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

I hope you have a safe and restful weekend.

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Thanks, Petra