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Sunday shows: Health officials anticipate vaccine distribution, warn of worsening pandemic

Health officials took to the Sunday morning political shows to express anticipation of a COVID-19 vaccine that could be days away from approval by emergency authorization and distributed to high-risk populations before the end of the year.

At the same time, they urged the public to wear masks and continue to practice social distancing, warning of dire months to come.

Separately, two senators said they were optimistic a coronavirus deal put together by centrists could win passage in the House and Senate.

The other big topic on Sunday was the presidential election and President TrumpDonald TrumpWhite House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine Poll: 30 percent of GOP voters believe Trump will 'likely' be reinstated this year Black Secret Service agent told Trump it was offensive to hold rally in Tulsa on Juneteenth: report MORE's appearance at a rally in Georgia on Saturday, where he continued to claim he won a state where President-elect BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE took more votes.

Several officials appearing on Sunday shows had pushed back at Trump's claims, with some expressing worry Trump could be hurting the GOP's chances to win two Senate runoff elections in January.

Read The Hill's complete coverage below.

Azar calls Biden claim on vaccine plan 'nonsense'
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said President-elect Joe Biden’s statement that there "is not plan" to deliver a vaccine for the coronavirus to people across the country “nonsense” during an appearance Sunday on "Fox News Sunday."
Read the full story here
 
 
Slaoui on minority skepticism of vaccine: 'Nobody's being used as a guinea pig'
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN
 
The Trump administration’s vaccine czar Moncef Slaoui addressed minority skepticism of the coronavirus vaccine, saying “Nobody’s being used as a guinea pig.”
Read the full story here
 
 
Birx says it's 'frustrating' to hear public 'parrot back' false COVID-19 claims
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN
 
Deborah BirxDeborah BirxEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Tulane adds Hunter Biden as guest speaker on media polarization The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Supreme Court announces unanimous rulings MORE, the coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said Sunday that it’s “frustrating” to hear the public “parrot back” false claims about COVID-19, including that masks do not work. 
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Azar tells Chris Wallace COVID-19 spikes about behavior, not Trump
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Fox’s Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceSunday shows - Biden foreign policy in focus Pompeo defends Trump on Russia in Chris Wallace interview Lewandowski says Trump has not spoken to him about being reinstated MORE pressed Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday about whether President Trump’s vocal skepticism about face masks had exacerbated the coronavirus pandemic.
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Operation Warp Speed chief predicts spring return to normality
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Operation Warp Speed chief adviser Moncef Slaoui predicted Sunday that things will start to return to normal after the pandemic by April or May after a coronavirus vaccine likely is widely available. 
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Centrist senators express optimism their COVID-19 relief bill will become law
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
A Senate Republican and Democrat each expressed confidence another coronavirus relief package would pass the chamber in interviews Sunday.
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ABC's Stephanopoulos to GOP senator on presidential race: 'Why can't you accept the results'
BY DOMINICK MASTRANGELO
 
ABC news anchor George StephanopoulosGeorge Robert StephanopoulosFacebook VP says 2-year suspension of Trump from platform 'justified' Commerce secretary on cyberattacks against corporations: 'This is the reality' Collins 'optimistic' Jan. 6 commission can pass Senate with modifications MORE pressed Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunIU parents protest school's vaccine mandates Rick Scott introduces bill banning 'vaccine passports' for domestic flights Braun-McConnell bill would protect Americans from IRS surveillance MORE (R-Ind.) on Sunday about why he and many of his Republican colleagues have not publicly accepted the result of the 2020 presidential race. 
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Georgia lieutenant governor says Trump claims will hurt GOP candidates in runoff
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN
 
Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) said Sunday that he is worried President Trump’s continued claims to have won an election he lost will hurt the state’s Senate GOP candidates in their Jan. 5 runoff by making GOP voters less likely to turn up at the polls.
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Wallace interrupts Azar over Biden's title: 'He's the president-elect'
BY DOMINICK MASTRANGELO
 
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace interrupted Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar on Sunday after Azar referred to Joe Biden as "vice president" rather than "president-elect." 
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GOP election official in Georgia says Trump's false election statements 'game of whack-a-mole'
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN
 
A top Georgia election official said Sunday that President Trump’s false election statements presented a “game of whack-a-mole” for the state’s officials.
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Brennan has no problem with probe into Russia investigation extending into 2021
BY ZACK BUDRYK
 
Former CIA director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanFive things to know about the new spotlight on UFOs Extraordinary explanations for UFOs look increasingly plausible Why does the hard left glorify the Palestinians? MORE said Sunday he did not object to U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamGarland stresses independence in first speech at DOJ Senate votes to confirm Garland as attorney general Special counsel investigating Russia probe to retire as US attorney MORE’s probe into the origin of the FBI’s Russia investigation extending into next year.
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