The United States surpassed a total of 17 million coronavirus cases on Thursday, with infections rising by more than a million a week during the initial winter surge, while it took the United States three months to accumulate its first million cases earlier this year. cases.
Almost a quarter of a million new coronavirus infections and more than 3,600 deaths had been reported on Wednesday alone, breaking previous records as the national Covid-19 vaccination campaign began rolling out across the country this week.
According to Johns Hopkins UniversityThe United States confirmed 247,403 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, and another 3,656 Americans died from the virus in a single day. Thursday’s unemployment report also showed that new jobless claims rose to 885,000 last week, representing the highest weekly number since September.
On a bittersweet day defined by hope and despair, some hospital pharmacists reported Wednesday that they received vials filled with surplus Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine., potentially providing millions more doses than expected.
Another Modern Shot – which is 94% effective – is also rapidly moving towards emergency clearance already this week. A 22-member expert panel will meet to discuss its efficacy and possible side effects on Thursday.
But no vaccine will be widely available to the American public for months, and in the meantime, overwhelmed hospitals across the country are treating more than 110,000 patients with coronavirus – a staggering number that has more than tripled since September, according to Washington Post analysis.
“It is absolutely imperative that we continue our work to wear masks, avoid crowded spaces, physically move away, avoid travel if possible, because until the vaccine goes mainstream, this remains our best measure to flatten the curve and save lives. , ”Admiral Brett P Giroir, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said on CNN.
“We can save tens of thousands of lives just by doing these simple things.”
Last week, 29 states saw increases in new cases, led by Washington state, Tennessee and California, where infections increased by 66.9%, 57.6% and 55.9%, respectively. Reuters reported. Increases were also reported in Washington DC and Puerto Rico.
Deaths are on the rise as well, and the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation currently projects that the U.S. will have lost more than 500,000 people per the virus in april.
“We are in the time frame now that probably over the next 60 to 90 days we are going to have more deaths per day than we had on September 11 or we had at Pearl Harbor,” Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease control and prevention, said last week.
Faced with a flood of infections with no immediate end in sight, some worst-hit states are reverting to strict measures to mitigate the spread, while others have decided not to intervene.
In California, where 5,000 new body bags are distributed, 60 refrigerated trailers have been repurposed as makeshift morgues and ICU availability statewide dropped to just 4.1%, a new series of blocking measures has closed beauty salons, bars and other non-essential businesses.
As new daily cases surpass even spring levels in New York, one of the virus’s earliest hot spots in the U.S., indoor dining has been banned in New York City and authorities threaten to another closing in January.
“It’s up to us. What will happen in three weeks? What will happen in four weeks? Tell me what you are going to do for the next three or four weeks, and I will tell you what will happen.”Andrew Cuomo, The New York Governor said Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, has falsely claimed that the closures are ineffective and opted instead to reverse reopenings regionally based on hospital capacity, despite state documentation more than 14,800 new cases on Wednesday. In Florida, where more than 1.1 million inhabitants have already been infected, Ron DeSantis, the governor, has also opposed a second confinement.
Experts fear the holiday season will only compound the problem, as an estimated 84.5 million Americans could still travel on Christmas and New Years. according to AAA. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, has warned that January will be “terrible”.
“You’re going to have the Thanksgiving surge superimposed on the Christmas surge,” he told Newsweek. “So it is perfectly conceivable that January is the worst.”
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