Coronavirus updates: US death toll surpasses World War II combat fatalities; Pfizer vaccine clears final review before FDA authorization

Written by on December 11, 2020

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We requested you to inform us your largest questions concerning the COVID-19 vaccines. Listed here are some solutions. USA TODAY

The U.S. dying toll from COVID-19 surpassed the variety of World Battle II fight fatalities on Thursday evening, simply hours after a committee of main U.S. vaccine scientists really helpful the Meals and Drug Administration authorize the first COVID-19 vaccine for Americans.

The vaccine, although, will not assist quickly sufficient, stated Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, warning that the nation’s each day dying depend will possible rival nationwide tragedies such because the 9/11 terror assaults and Pearl Harbor for months.

“We’re within the timeframe now that most likely for the subsequent 60 to 90 days we’ll have extra deaths per day than we had at 9/11 or we had at Pearl Harbor,” Redfield stated throughout at an occasion hosted by the Council on International Relations, The Hill reported.

At some point after reporting greater than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths for the first time, the U.S. topped 292,00Zero complete deaths, a number of hundred greater than the variety of battlefield deaths in WWII, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Johns Hopkins College information dashboard reported 3,124 deaths on Wednesday, a single-day toll worse than 9/11, when about 2,900 folks have been killed, and Pearl Harbor, which resulted in about 2,400 deaths.

New infections are booming, with some hospitals working out of beds, prompting stay-at-home orders in some locations and mask mandates in 38 states.

Different information that you must know immediately:

  • A CDC scientist advised a Home committee that she was ordered to destroy an e mail concerning makes an attempt by political appointees to intrude with the publication of weekly CDC stories. 
  • The European Union company answerable for approving vaccines stated it has been the subject of a cyberattack. The European Medicines Company stated it “swiftly launched an investigation” however offered no particulars.
  • The variety of folks making use of for unemployment help jumped final week to 853,000, the most since September. Earlier than the coronavirus paralyzed the financial system in March, weekly jobless claims sometimes numbered solely about 225,000.
  • Some states proceed to extend restrictions. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has imposed an in a single day curfew, beginning at 12:01 a.m. Monday. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday introduced a sequence of restrictions, together with shutting down indoor eating and on-site alcohol consumption. 

📈 At the moment’s numbers: The U.S. has reported greater than 15.5 million instances and 292,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The worldwide totals: 69.5 million instances and 1.58 million deaths.

📰 What we’re studying: It might not have began right here, however the novel coronavirus became a US tragedy. Within the earliest days of a historic pandemic, the virus had unfettered entry into and all through america.

This file might be up to date all through the day. For updates in your inbox, subscribe to The Daily Briefing e-newsletter.

Key committee endorses Pfizer vaccine for FDA authorization

A committee of main U.S. vaccine scientists really helpful Thursday that the Meals and Drug Administration authorize the first COVID-19 vaccine for Americans. The endorsement paves the way in which for a ultimate determination by the FDA.

Mass vaccinations might start inside days in 1000’s of frontline heath care staff and nursing houses residents.

After an day-long public listening to, the impartial Vaccines and Associated Organic Merchandise Advisory Committee voted 17 to 4, with 1 abstention, to advocate the vaccine made by Pfizer and its accomplice BioNTech referred to as BNT162b2. The FDA is predicted to clear the vaccine for emergency use as early as Friday.

One final vital assembly will happen Sunday, when an advisory committee to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention meets to make a ultimate advice on who the vaccine ought to go to first. Whereas the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices doesn’t have regulatory energy, suppliers receiving COVID-19 vaccine signal agreements to adjust to ACIP pointers. Thursday’s assembly of VRBPAC (pronounced verb-pack) got here a day after the U.S. set a brand new each day file for COVID-19 deaths, topping 3,000.

– Elizabeth Weise and Karen Weintraub

Each US county has now had a minimum of one COVID-19 case

A county in Hawaii grew to become america’ ultimate county to have a resident take a look at constructive for COVID-19, the Maui News reported Thursday. An grownup resident of Kalaupapa, Hawaii, has develop into the primary individual to contract COVID-19 in Kalawao County, reportedly the final county within the U.S. and not using a case in eight months of the pandemic, in response to the Hawaii Division of Well being, the Maui Information stated.

The individual obtained a constructive take a look at end result after returning on an area flight to Kalaupapa and is now in self-isolation with no signs. 

On-line reserving agency BookIt settles with clients for $550,000

A web-based journey company accused of leaving travelers stranded on holidays initially of the pandemic has agreed to pay back more than $550,000 in a civil settlement in Massachusetts.

Commonwealth Lawyer Common Maura Healey introduced Florida-based BookIt.com and its CEO Arthur Paul Finlaw will reimburse 539 Massachusetts shoppers for canceled journeys.

“Sadly, we’ve seen journey corporations reap the benefits of the COVID-19 disaster by dishonest shoppers and pocketing funds for canceled journeys,” Healey stated in Wednesday’s announcement of the settlement over alleged unfair and misleading acts.

Massachusetts is the primary to win a considerable authorized motion in opposition to BookIt after it sued the corporate in June. Client safety officers there say they obtained greater than 60 complaints concerning the single firm.

– Nick Penzenstadler

Bipartisan group of governors rally behind complete plan

For the primary time for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started, a bipartisan group of governors has vowed to place politics apart to difficulty a complete plan to defeat COVID-19 across state lines. The plan focuses on 5 key pillars as a part of an efficient response to the pandemic: testing, contact tracing, public well being and social measures, vaccines and coverings, and customary measures of success.

The decision to motion was developed and launched by the COVID Collaborative, a nationwide meeting that has introduced collectively main specialists and establishments throughout well being, training and the financial system to help state and native leaders. As a part of the plan, the Nationwide Governors Affiliation and Duke-Margolis Heart for Well being Coverage launched a assessment of state vaccine distribution plans that spotlight challenges and methods to assist states refine their efforts.

– Adrianna Rodriguez

Ellen DeGeneres exams constructive however ‘feels wonderful’

Ellen DeGeneres has tested positive for COVID-19 however is “feeling wonderful proper now,” she introduced Thursday. Manufacturing on “The Ellen DeGeneres Present” has been paused till January, a Telepictures spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY. The tv host, 62, stated in a tweet that “anybody who has been in shut contact with me has been notified, and I’m following all correct CDC pointers.” In October, “The Ellen DeGeneres Present” grew to become one of many first TV productions to return to inviting a restricted variety of in-studio viewers members. On Oct. 28, 40 followers attended the “Ellen” taping in individual in a studio usually holds about 300.

“I am going to see you all once more after the vacations,” DeGeneres stated. “Please keep wholesome and protected.”

Hannah Yasharoff

HHS: US to supply 180M N95 masks month-to-month beginning in January

U.S. manufacturing of N95 masks will attain 180 million monthly in January, up from 20 million a yr in the past, federal officers stated Thursday. About 150 million of the U.S.-made masks are being produced now, senior Well being and Human Providers officers stated in a press name.

“Anybody can discover a disgruntled nurse on the road to speak about somebody not getting an N95 masks. We are able to’t account for that,” stated Paul Mango, deputy chief of employees for coverage at HHS. “We’re in a considerably higher place than we’ve ever been, and a dramatically higher place than we have been in in January 2020.”

Earlier than the pandemic, the nation’s Strategic Nationwide Stockpile, which harbors emergency medical provides, contained lower than 13 million N95 masks, stated Brigadier Common David Sanford, director of the Provide Chain Activity Pressure. It now comprises “15 occasions that variety of masks,” between the stockpile and FEMA counterparts, Sanford stated.

Grace Hauck

CDC scientist ordered to destroy e mail proof, Home probe finds

The chairman of a Home subcommittee is demanding extra data after a Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention scientist advised the committee this week that she was ordered to destroy an e mail concerning makes an attempt by political appointees to intrude with the publication of weekly CDC stories.

Panel Chairman Rep. James Clyburn revealed the data in a letter despatched to CDC Director Robert Redfield and HHS Secretary Alex Azar on Thursday searching for to interview Redfield concerning the allegation.

Dr. Charlotte Kent, chief of the Scientific Publications Department and editor-in-chief of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on the CDC, advised the committee she was instructed to delete an Aug. eight e mail despatched by HHS senior adviser Dr. Paul Alexander, and that she understood the route got here from Redfield, in response to the letter.

Within the e mail, Alexander demanded that the CDC insert new language in a beforehand revealed scientific report on coronavirus dangers to kids or “pull it down and cease all stories instantly,” in response to the letter. 

An HHS spokesperson stated in an announcement Thursday that the subcommittee’s “characterization of the dialog with Dr. Kent is irresponsible” and that releasing the complete transcript of Kent’s testimony would present no political interference. Redfield stated in an announcement that he had instructed CDC employees to disregard Alexander’s e mail and was “totally dedicated to sustaining the independence of the MMWR.”

Grace Hauck

Viral hoaxes greet first vaccinations – and it could possibly be only the start

Hours after Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from the UK, grew to become the primary individual to get the COVID-19 vaccine, anti-vaxxers heated up social media with claims that Keenan didn’t exist, that she was lifeless or that she was a part of a Invoice Gates scheme to implant microchips.

Researchers warn that is only the start of viral hoaxes on social media that may feed off the unknowns of the virus and the vaccines to undercut public belief within the coming wave of immunizations.

“I’m deeply involved,” stated Emerson Brooking, resident fellow on the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Analysis Lab. “The identical data marketing campaign which initially downplayed the severity of COVID-19, downplayed the variety of instances, then downplayed the variety of deaths is now shifting to give attention to the vaccine.”

Vaccines: Do not forget that second dose

Individuals who get one of many new COVID-19 vaccines might be anticipated to get their second shot 21 or 28 days after the primary one, relying on the producer. However what occurs if somebody misses that deadline by a day, a week or even longer?

Moncef Slaoui, co-leader of Operation Warp Pace, the federal authorities’s vaccine improvement effort, says that from a scientific perspective, such precision will not be that vital and the immune system usually responds higher when there is a wider hole between vaccinations. However throughout a pandemic, when the danger of an infection is excessive, he famous that individuals are higher off getting the second shot – and being totally protected – in response to the approved schedule.

“If there may be vital transmission of illness, as is the case right here, we should always completely get the second dose precisely as has been studied,” he stated.

Karen Weintraub

As states prioritize the vaccine line, school college students current a quandary

States are prioritizing frontline well being staff and different susceptible populations as the primary to be immunized, however remaining unclear is the place in line for school college students. The overwhelming majority of younger adults aren’t among the many nation’s most susceptible. However college students fueled a number of the nation’s prime outbreaks this fall, and they’re anticipated to return to campuses early in 2021. 

Will they — can they — be required to get the vaccine as soon as it is available? And why are school college students completely different than schoolchildren? It is sophisticated, training specialists throughout the nation say — and we’re a good distance from solutions.Read more here.

Lindsay Schnell

First in line: For some well being care staff, thanks however no thanks

Tens of millions of well being care staff are slated to obtain the primary batch of probably lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines by the tip of this month. However not all of them want to be first in line. Just one-third of a panel of 13,00Zero nurses stated they might voluntarily take a vaccine, one other third stated they wouldn’t and the remainder stated they have been uncertain, in response to a late October survey by the American Nurses Affiliation.

“I truly even hate getting a flu shot, however I’ve needed to get one yearly since I grew to become a nurse,” stated Nina Siegrist, a registered nurse with Hospice of the Piedmont in Charlottesville, Virginia. “If my medical director says, ‘Hear, all hospice clinicians are going to get vaccinated,’ then I’ll get vaccinated. However I undoubtedly need to learn the small print on the scientific trials first.”

Christine Vestal, Stateline

America’s worst day: 1 died each 28 seconds

The U.S. reported a file 3,124 deaths Wednesday, that means about 130 folks died of the virus each hour or one died each 28 seconds. That is far worse than any day of the spring or summer time surges. And one other darkish file was damaged – most deaths over a seven-day interval. The 15,927 deaths equals 95 per hour, or one dying each 38 seconds, breaking a file set in April.

On the present tempo, the U.S. dying toll from your entire pandemic may attain 300,00Zero in only a few days.

The U.S. additionally reported 227,828 new coronavirus instances Wednesday, the second-worst day on file. And the variety of infections in per week set a file of virtually 1.5 million, 145 new instances per minute.

Wednesday additionally noticed a file in present hospitalizations, with 106,688. Hospitalizations by no means reached 60,00Zero on the peak of the spring or summer time virus surges.

Mike Stucka

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COVID-19 assets from USA TODAY 

Contributing: The Related Press

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