COVID-19 Update: President-elect Biden Urges Americans to Mask Up for 100 Days; UK Receives First Batch of Pfizer Vaccine; and More

On Friday, December 4, 2020, here are the latest COVID-19 numbers around the world, according to statistics aggregator, Worldometer.

  • World Cases: Over 65.7 million.
  • World Deaths: 1,515,584 deaths.

Countries Outside of the US with Most Infections:

  • India: 9,590,086 confirmed cases; 139,433 deaths.
  • Brazil: 6,487,516 confirmed cases; 175,307 deaths.
  • Russia: 2,375,546 confirmed cases; 41,607 deaths.
  • France: 2,244,635 confirmed cases; 53,816 deaths.
  • Spain: 1,682,533 confirmed cases; 45,784 deaths.

UK to Begin Vaccinating with Days

The United Kingdom became the world’s first nation to authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 for use and could start dispensing shots within days, according to a report from the Associated Press. “This is a day to remember, frankly, in a year to forget,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

National News

Friday, December 4, 2020

  • US Cases: Over 14.5 million.
  • US Deaths: 283,519.

US States with Most Confirmed Cases:

  • Texas: 1,317,457 confirmed cases; 22,279 deaths.
  • California: 1,291,214 confirmed cases; 19,588 deaths.
  • Florida: 1,029,030 confirmed cases; 18,874 deaths.
  • Illinois: 759,562 confirmed cases; 13,625 deaths.
  • New York: 713,587 confirmed cases; 34,829 deaths.

Biden Urges Americans to Don Masks for 100 Days

President-elect Joe Biden is urging Americans to wear masks for the next 100 days to reduce the spread of COVID-19. “Just 100 days to mask, not forever. One hundred days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction,” Biden told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

COVID-19 the Leading Cause of Death in the US This Week

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death in the US this week – surpassing heart disease, and cancer. There were an average of 1,660 deaths per day across America this week, according to the  Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and the University of Washington.

Fauci Apologizes for Suggesting UK Rushed Vaccine

Dr. Anthony Fauci today apologized for suggesting British regulators had not scrutinized the disease closely enough. There really has been a misunderstanding, and for that, I’m sorry and I apologize for that. I do have great faith in both the scientific community and the regulatory community at the UK,” Fauci told the BBC. “I do have confidence. It came out wrong and that was not the way I meant it to be,” he added.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

UK Did Not Scrutinize Pfizer Vaccine Trial as Well as US FDA Did, Says Fauci

British health regulators who authorized the Pfizer vaccine did not scrutinize the trial data as closely as the US FDA is doing in its review, according to Dr. Fauci. “The way the FDA is, our FDA is doing it, is the correct way,” Fauci said in an interview on Fox News.

“We really scrutinize the data very carefully to guarantee to the American public that this is a safe and efficacious vaccine,” he said. “I think if we did any less, we would add to the already existing hesitancy on the part of many people to take the vaccine because they’re concerned about safety or they’re concerned that we went too quickly.”

Moderna Expects 100-125 Million Doses of Vaccine Globally in Early 2021

Moderna said on Thursday it expects between 100 million and 125 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine available by the first quarter of 2021. “Today, Moderna re-affirmed its expectation of having approximately 20 million doses available in the U.S. by the end of 2020,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, the Company expects to have between 100 million and 125 million doses available globally in the first quarter of 2021, with 85-100 million of those available in the U.S. and 15-25 million of those available outside of the U.S. These expected first quarter doses are inclusive within the 500 million to up to 1 billion doses that the Company expects to manufacture globally in 2021.”

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

First Shipments of Pfizer Vaccine to be Delivered on Dec. 15

The first shipments of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be delivered on December 15, according to Operation Warp Speed and reported by CNN. The date is still contingent upon a decision by the US Food and Drug Administration to authorize each vaccine for emergency use. Pfizer submitted an application to the FDA on November 20, and Moderna submitted its application 10 days later, on November 30.

CDC Advisory Panel Votes on Who Gets Vaccine First

A panel of advisers to the US CDC voted 13-1 to recommend that both health care personnel and residents of long-term care facilities to be first in line for any COVID-19 that receives emergency use authorization from the FDA.

CDC Director Suggests Mandating COVID-19 Vaccine for Certain Industries

Certain occupations and populations may benefit from a coronavirus vaccine mandate, according to CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield. “It will be a decision, I think, each industry will make,” Redfield said. “I do think there are certain industries where I think it would be important to protect their workforce, and some other industries where it may be important to make sure that they protect their costumers and consumers.”

US Surpasses 100,000 Hospitalizations

The US surpassed 100,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday, according to a report from the COVID Tracking Project (CTP).

Almost 50 NBA Players Test Positive

According to the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), of the 546 players tested for COVID-19 during this initial return-to-market testing phase, 48 have tested positive. The league reported that anyone who has returned a confirmed positive test during this initial phase of testing in their team’s market will be isolated until they are cleared for leaving isolation.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CDC Shortens Virus Quarantine Time

The CDC will issue new guidelines that recommend people who come in contact with a person infected with COVID-19 should quarantine for 10 days after exposure – down from the previous 14 days that government currently recommends.

All Americans Who Want to Be Vaccinated Can Be By June

An official with the White House’s Operation Warp Speed said today that any American who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have one available to them by June. “A hundred percent of Americans that want the vaccine will have had the vaccine by that point in time,” said Lt. Gen. Paul Ostrowski, director of supply, production and distribution for Operation Warp Speed.

US Nursing Home Cases Surging

Nursing homes in the US have reported their highest daily cases of COVID-19 since the spring, according to a report from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). “Our worst fears have come true as COVID runs rampant among the general population, and long term care facilities are powerless to fully prevent it from entering due to its asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic spread,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL, in a statement.

COVID-19: October/November Round-up

 

COVID-19: August/September Round-up

The COVID-19 Pandemic: June/July Round-up

The COVID-19 Pandemic: May Round-up

The COVID-19 Pandemic: April Round-up