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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 TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE's appearance at a rally in Georgia on Saturday, where he continued to claim he won a state where President-elect BidenJoe BidenBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Myanmar military conducts violent night raids Confidence in coronavirus vaccines has grown with majority now saying they want it 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."
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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.”
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Birx says it's 'frustrating' to hear public 'parrot back' false COVID-19 claims
BY JUSTINE COLEMAN
 
Deborah BirxDeborah BirxFauci defends Birx: 'She had to live in the White House' CNN's Brianna Keilar calls out Birx 'apology tour' Biden to name nurse as acting surgeon general: report 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) WallaceWarner: White House should 'keep open additional sanctions' against Saudi crown prince Rick Scott acknowledges Biden 'absolutely' won fair election Bill Gates: Goal of eliminating emissions by 2030 'completely unrealistic' 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 StephanopoulosKhashoggi colleague: 'Why are we making an alliance with a dictator?' Fauci on Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 'Just be really grateful' Portman on Trump's dominance of GOP: Republican Party's policies are 'even more popular' MORE pressed Sen. Mike BraunMichael BraunSenate braces for 'God-awful,' 'stupid' session ahead of COVID-19 relief vote Murthy vows to focus on mental health effects of pandemic if confirmed as surgeon general GOP senators question Amazon on removal of book about 'transgender moment' 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 BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' MORE said Sunday he did not object to U.S. Attorney John DurhamJohn DurhamSpecial counsel investigating Russia probe to retire as US attorney Biden administration withdraws from Connecticut transgender athlete case Garland seeks to draw sharp contrast with Trump-era DOJ MORE’s probe into the origin of the FBI’s Russia investigation extending into next year.
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