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USA TODAY

The top U.S. infectious disease expert is shrugging off sharp criticism from President Donald Trump while the U.S. is keeping its borders with Canada and Mexico closed for another month in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tapped “The Godfather” in describing his relationship with Trump.

“It’s like in ‘The Godfather’ – nothing personal, strictly business as far as I’m concerned,” Fauci told Southern California AM radio station KNX1070. “I just want to do my job and take care of the people of this country.”

Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said restrictions on non-essential travel will be extended through Nov. 21. The announcement comes days after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it would keep its borders closed until the U.S. gains control of the coronavirus.

Some significant developments:

  • Fargo became the first city in North Dakota to issue a face mask mandate on Monday amid the state’s rising coronavirus caseload.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “strong recommendation” for people to wear a mask on trains, planes, buses and other transportation.
  • As states finalize their distribution plans for a COVID-19 vaccine, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state will independently review any FDA-approved vaccines before passing one out.

📈 Today’s numbers: The U.S. has reported more than 8.2 million cases and 220,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data. The global totals: More than 40.5 million cases and 1.1 million deaths.

📚Read this: The latest in USA TODAY’s Deadly Discrimination series looks at the 10 U.S. counties with the highest death rates from COVID-19. Seven have populations where people of color make up the majority.

🗺️ Mapping coronavirus: Track the U.S. outbreak in your state.

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Data reflects boom in new cases

Sixteen states set records for new cases in the seven-day period ending Monday, another sign that infections across the nation are booming, a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins reveals. And 42 states had more cases in the latest week than in the week before, while 34 states had a higher rate of people testing positive than the week before, an analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows.

North Dakota is reporting cases on a per-capita basis at a rate about two-thirds higher than any state had during the spring or summer surges. Health officials said the daily positivity rate is just under 20%. The World Health Organization has recommended the number be under 5% before governments ease major restrictions.

More ominous news: New daily hospitalizations reached 37,744, the most in a single day since August 25.

Michael Stucka

Who can persuade Americans to get a vaccine? CDC, yes; Trump