Stories by associated press

Viral Spread: Americans Paying the Price for Thanksgiving

In this Nov. 25, 2020, file photo, travelers wait to check-in for their flights ahead of Thanksgiving at LaGuardia Airport, in the Queens borough of New York. (AP Photo / John Minchillo, File)

Across the country, contact tracers and emergency room doctors are hearing repeatedly from new coronavirus patients that they socialized over Thanksgiving with people outside their households.

Sen. Durbin Poised for Key Biden Role on Judges, Immigration

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin speaks with “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. (WTTW News)

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is poised to become the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, making him a key ally of Joe Biden as the president-elect navigates an increasingly partisan climate and some of the most contentious policy areas in Congress. 

US Panel Endorses Widespread Use of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

Plus: Dr. Emily Landon discusses the approval with ‘Chicago Tonight’

Documents created by Pfizer for the meeting with the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel, as Pfizer seeks approval for emergency use of their COVID-19 vaccine, are seen on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (AP Photo / Jon Elswick)

Shots could begin within days, depending on how quickly the Food and Drug Administration signs off, as expected, on the expert committee’s recommendation.

One-day US Deaths Top 3,000, More Than D-Day or 9/11

In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo, Kyla Harris, 10, writes a tribute to her grandmother Patsy Gilreath Moore, who died at age 79 of COVID-19, at a symbolic cemetery created to remember and honor lives lost to COVID-19 in the Liberty City neighborhood of Miami. (AP Photo / Lynne Sladky, File)

The crisis across the country is pushing medical centers to the breaking point and leaving staff members and public health officials burned out and plagued by tears and nightmares.

AP Source: Emanuel’s Cabinet Prospects Increasingly Unlikely

Mayor Rahm Emanuel appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Monday, May 13, 2019.

Former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, among multiple candidates in the running for the Cabinet position, appeared to slip down the list in the last two weeks after progressive leaders criticized the prospect of nominating him for the post.

No Drama Corona-Christmas Has Some Secretly Jumping For Joy

Corritta Lewis, center, and her wife Mea pose with their son Caleb, 2, in Oceanside, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2020. (Corritta Lewis via AP)

Though Thanksgiving pleas to stay put were ignored by thousands, many around the world are gleefully looking forward to spending the December holidays at home without the expense, drama and travel headaches they normally endure.

Jury Convicts Illinois Man In Minnesota Mosque Bombing

This undated file photo provided by the Ford County Sheriff's Office in Paxton, Ill., shows Michael Hari. (Ford County Sheriff's Office via AP File)

A jury on Wednesday convicted the leader of an Illinois anti-government militia group of several civil rights and hate crime charges in the 2017 bombing of a Minnesota mosque.

Boeing 737 Max Back in Air 2 Years After Grounded By Crashes

A Gol Airlines Boeing 737 Max plane approaches to land at the international airport in Guarulhos, near Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. (AP Photo / Andre Penner)

Commercial flights with Boeing 737 Max jetliners resumed Wednesday for the first time since they were grounded worldwide nearly two years ago following two deadly accidents.

UK Probing If Allergic Reactions Linked to Pfizer Vaccine

A nurse prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at Guy’s Hospital in London, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, as the U.K. health authorities rolled out a national mass vaccination program. (AP Photo / Frank Augstein, Pool)

Britain’s medical regulator warned Wednesday that people with a history of serious allergic reactions shouldn’t get the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. The advice was issued on a “precautionary basis.”

New White House Offer Adds $600 Checks to COVID-19 Relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky talks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (Greg Nash / Pool via AP)

The Trump administration dove back into Capitol Hill’s confusing COVID-19 negotiations on Tuesday, offering a $916 billion package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that would send a $600 direct payment to most Americans.

Trump Hails Vaccine ‘Miracle,’ With Millions of Doses Soon

Plus: Illinois Congress members weigh in on ‘Chicago Tonight’

President Donald Trump speaks during an “Operation Warp Speed Vaccine Summit” on the White House complex, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump celebrated the expected approval of the first U.S. vaccine for the coronavirus Tuesday as the White House worked to instill confidence in the massive distribution effort to come.

Chicago 7-Year-Old Raises Money for Hospital’s Pandemic Gear

Hayley Orlinsky poses for a portrait Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020, with several colorful rubber band bracelets she makes in her Chicago home. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Hayley Orlinsky has spent most of the coronavirus pandemic crafting colorful bracelets as a fundraiser to buy personal protective equipment for a children’s hospital. So far, the endeavor has generated nearly $20,000.

Dick Allen, Fearsome Hitter and 7-Time All-Star, Dies at 78

Former Philadelphia Phillies’ Dick Allen waves to the crowd before a baseball game against the New York Mets in Philadelphia, in this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017, file photo. (AP Photo / Matt Slocum, File)

The Philadelphia Phillies, the team Dick Allen started out with, announced his death Monday. The seven-time All-Star, 1964 NL Rookie of the Year and 1972 AL MVP started out with the Philadelphia Phillies, who retired his No. 15 in September.

EU Invites Biden to Usher in New Era for Trans-Atlantic Ties

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks with the media as he arrives for a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday Dec. 7, 2020. (John Thys, Pool via AP)

The European Union on Monday invited U.S. President-elect Joe Biden to help mend tattered trans-Atlantic ties and urged him to join it in a long-term “strategic dialogue” that would address global issues ranging from COVID-19 to climate change.

Trump Ratchets Up Pace of Executions Before Biden Inauguration

In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo, a no trespassing sign is displayed outside the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy, File)

As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is ratcheting up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of coronavirus cases in prisons, announcing plans for five starting Thursday.

Trump Expected to Flex Pardon Powers on Way Out Door

In this Nov. 26, 2020, photo, President Donald Trump speaks with reporters after participating in a video teleconference call with members of the military on Thanksgiving, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

Advocates and lawyers anticipate a flurry of clemency action from President Donald Trump in the coming weeks that could test the limits of presidential pardon power.

Trump Lawyer Rudy Giuliani Tests Positive for COVID-19

In this Nov. 19, 2020, file photo, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, speaks during a news conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters, in Washington. (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin, File)

President Donald Trump said Sunday his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the coronavirus, making him the latest in Trump’s inner circle to contract the disease that is now surging across the U.S.

Trump Challenges Vote Results While Urging Turnout in Georgia

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally for Senate Republican candidates, Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., at Valdosta Regional Airport, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, in Valdosta, Ga. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump is pressing his grievances over losing the presidential election, using a weekend rally to spread baseless allegations of misconduct in last month’s voting in Georgia and beyond.

Inauguration Planners Rethink How To Party in Age of Virus

In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, inaugural preparations continue on the West Front of Capitol Hill in Washington, looking at the National Mall and Washington Monument. (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, File)

Public health guidance to avoid big parties in the age of coronavirus is about to collide with what is typically one of America’s biggest celebrations of all: the swearing-in of a new president.

Virus Cases Continue Climbing in US During Holiday Season

Holiday travelers check in at kiosks near an airline counter at Orlando International Airport Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo / John Raoux)

Coronavirus infections across the U.S. continue to rise as the country moves deeper into a holiday season when eagerly anticipated gatherings of family and friends could push the numbers even higher and overwhelm hospitals.

Trump Presses Georgia Governor To Help Overturn Election

President Donald Trump listens during a ceremony to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz, in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo / Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump fruitlessly pressed Georgia’s governor on Saturday to call a special legislative session aimed at overturning the presidential election results in that state.

COVID-19 Relief: What’s on the Table as Congress Seeks Deal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, of Calif., speaks during her weekly briefing, Friday, Dec. 4, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo / Jacquelyn Martin)

Under pressure from moderates in both parties, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have initiated late-game negotiations. Here are the top issues for the end-stage COVID-19 relief talks.

Data Shows Americans Couldn’t Resist Thanksgiving Travel

In this Nov. 25, 2020, file photo, air travelers line up to go through a a security checkpoint at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo / Rick Bowmer, File)

The nation’s unwillingness to tamp down on travel offered a warning in advance of Christmas and New Year’s as virus deaths and hospitalizations hit new highs a week after Thanksgiving.

Facebook to Remove COVID-19 Vaccine-related Misinformation

This March 29, 2018 file photo shows the Facebook logo on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square. (AP Photo / Richard Drew, File)

In the coming weeks, the social network will begin taking down any Facebook or Instagram posts with false information about the vaccines that have been debunked by public health experts.

As Hospitals Cope With a COVID-19 Surge, Cyber Threats Loom

In this photo provided by the University of Vermont Health Network, IT staff at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt., continue work to scan thousands of the hospital's computer systems for malware on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. (Ryan Mercer/University of Vermont Health Network via AP)

By targeting health care providers with attacks that scramble and lock up data until victims pay a ransom, hackers can demand thousands or millions of dollars and wreak havoc until they’re paid.

Among First Acts, Biden to Call for 100 Days of Mask-Wearing

President-elect Joe Biden departs a news conference after introducing his nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

The president-elect has frequently emphasized mask-wearing as a “patriotic duty” and during the campaign floated the idea of instituting a nationwide mask mandate.