Hospital Puc de Campinas (SP) in Brazil on October 2 received doses of the new vaccine against coronavirus from the American company Johnson & Johnson, which will be tested on 1,000 volunteers from the Campinas region.

Hospital Puc de Campinas (SP) in Brazil on October 2 received doses of the new vaccine against coronavirus from the American company Johnson & Johnson, which will be tested on 1,000 volunteers from the Campinas region. Leandro Ferreira/Sipa via AP Images

Coronavirus Roundup: CDC Developing App for Tracking Vaccine Side Effects; Biden Plans to Create His Own COVID Task Force If Elected

There's a lot to keep track of. Here’s today’s list of news updates and stories you may have missed.

The Labor Department reported on Friday morning that the unemployment rate in the United States declined 1 percentage point from September to October (putting the total at 6.9%) and 638,000 jobs were added in October. “These improvements in the labor market reflect the continued resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,” said the press release. “In October, notable job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, retail trade and construction. Employment in government declined.” The department said the 138,000 decrease in federal government jobs was due to the loss of temporary 2020 Census workers. Here are some other recent headlines you might have missed. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed a smartphone app to track any side effects of the coronavirus vaccine if and when one is approved, The Wall Street Journal reported. “The CDC plans to send daily texts to people who get vaccinated, steering them to web surveys to self-report chills and other potential symptoms following vaccination,” according to the report. “The smartphone-based system, V-SAFE, will send the surveys to anyone vaccinated who provides contact information, officials said. The surveys will be sent out daily for the first week post-vaccination, then weekly for six weeks.” Vaccine manufacturers are also developing their own monitoring systems for vulnerable groups to supplement the federal government’s efforts. 

If he wins the presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden is planning to create his own coronavirus task force to advise his transition officials, Politico reported. Some of the officials slated to be on the task force have been advising the Biden campaign for months. “The transition team has also discussed contingency plans for the possibility that the Trump administration would refuse to cooperate and share information during a transition,” the report said. “The prospect of dueling task forces in both outgoing and incoming administrations could create tension as the country races to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, as one or more of the candidates currently in clinical trials could be approved during the transition.”

Steve Bannon, former Breitbart News executive and White House chief strategist, said on YouTube on Thursday that Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Christopher Wray, FBI director, should be beheaded "as a warning to federal bureaucrats,” Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media watchdog organization reported. YouTube removed the video and Twitter suspended Bannon’s account as a result. A spokesperson for Bannon told CNBC his “commentary was clearly meant metaphorically.” 

The Army-Air Force football game was postponed due to the pandemic. “As many as seven Air Force players would be unavailable for the contest” and “there are 110 cadets quarantined on the West Point post due to COVID tracing of other individuals but with no cadets testing positive,” Military Times reported

Federal News Network interviewed John Barsa, acting administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, about how the agency is providing international aid and how he is managing the USAID workforce during the pandemic. “From my first day of work on April 13, the pandemic was really starting to hit us hard,” he said. “I laid out three priorities,” which were: protecting the health and safety of the workforce; ensuring the agency “did not retreat from any corner of the globe,” through expanding its telework abilities; and giving flexibilities to USAID’s foreign service nationals who work in the field. 

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered the Small Business Administration to release all the information on the recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, following a lawsuit from The Washington Post and other outlets, The Center for Public Integrity reported. The agency has until November 19 to release the information. 

Today’s GovExec Daily podcast episode is an update on the 2020 election and presidential election and the implications for federal employees. 

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