The nation reported more than 6.1 million new infections and more than 74,140 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The latest totals make December the deadliest month of the COVID-19 -19 pandemic in the United States, surpassing April, when more than 60,738 Americans lost their lives to the coronavirus.
In a recorded message released Thursday, Trump took the lion's share of the credit for the unprecedented speed in the development of vaccines calling the feat a “medical miracle.” “We're doing numbers now like nobody's ever seen before, including having the highest stock market in the history of the world,” Trump said, adding “the best is yet to come” in his sign off.
Trump, who spent the past week vacationing at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida, returned to the White House on Thursday as lawmakers debated legislation that would increase COVID-19 relief payments to $2,000 amid historic unemployment and business closures. Trump, despite a slew of failed legal challenges, has not conceded the election to Democrat Joe Biden, who will be inaugurated Jan. 20.
The president's refusal to address other aspects of the unfolding public health disaster comes as the governors of Colorado and California confirm a new and potentially more infectious strain of COVID-19 -19 in their states. But health officials have warned that a vaccine won't give the country immediate relief from the outbreak.
The nation's health officials have previously said their goal is to vaccinate at least 20 million Americans with their first shots before the end of the year. Instead, the president spent the month obsessing over unfounded claims of a stolen election and lashing out at members of his own party.
And, on Thursday, the last day of the month and the year, Trump tweeted a video in which he boasted about his administration's response to the pandemic. USA TODAY is keeping track of the news surrounding COVID-19 -19 as a pair of vaccines join the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed more than 350,000 Americans since the first reported fatality in February.
Keep refreshing this page for the latest updates surrounding the coronavirus, including who is getting the vaccines from Pfizer and Modern, as well as other top news from across the USA TODAY Network. Citing an unidentified person close to the family, CNN said King is undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Andrew Cuomo said the state has surpassed 1 million confirmed COVID-19 -19 cases, joining California, Texas and Florida. Hospitals struggling to provide enough oxygen for the sickest coronavirus patients in the Los Angeles area received some relief Saturday when U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews arrived.
Gavin Newsom’s office says crews helped some aging hospitals update their oxygen delivery systems. Today's numbers: The U.S. has more than 20.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 351,400 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
“We express our gratitude to the doctors, medical professionals, scientists, policemen and all corona warriors for their exceptional service in adverse conditions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. The U.S. fell far short of the goal of vaccinating 20 million front-line workers and the elderly in December, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
“Because the variants spread more rapidly, they could lead to more cases and put even more strain on our heavily burdened health care systems,” said Dr. Henry Walk, incident manager for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 -19 response. As communities across the country feel the pain of a surge in coronavirus cases, funeral homes in the hot spot of Southern California say they must turn away grieving families as they run out of space for the bodies piling up.
Donald Trump may be dreaming of hitting the fairway at one of his UK golf resorts after admitting defeat in his bid to retain the US presidency. The Transport Secretary mocked the under-fire US leader as he confirmed he would need to follow the same rules as other travelers to the UK, meaning he faces having to show a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed in.
The Transport Secretary mocked the under-fire US leader as he confirmed he would need to follow the same rules as other travelers to the UK, meaning he faces having to show a negative COVID-19 test result before being allowed in His comments came days after Nicola Sturgeon warned Mr Trump he would not be allowed into Scotland if he tried to visit to play golf instead of attending Joe Biden's inauguration.
The Transport Secretary has said nobody will be able to depart for Britain by plane, train or ferry unless they present a 'recognized' test result at check-in along with a valid passport and visa if required. Mr Shapes declined to give his backing to calls to remove the Republican by invoking the 25th Amendment over concerns about his fitness to remain in office.
US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged vice-president Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to declare Mr Trump unable to perform his duties. The move would require Mr Pence, who was an unwavering ally of the president until this week, defying his final attempt to overturn the election, and at least eight cabinet members to invoke the amendment.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned Mr Trump's incitement of supporters to descend on the Capitol as 'completely wrong', while Home Secretary Priti Patel said the president's incendiary comments 'directly led to the violence'. President Trump received mostly the same treatment as anyone would get for COVID-19 -19, except for one experimental drug and the speed of his care.
But Trump was tested and his positive diagnosis confirmed on Thursday, within 24 hours of first feeling fatigued on a flight back to Washington, D.C., from a rally in Minnesota. He rapidly received the one nonstandard drug, a combination of so-called monoclonal antibodies, and was hospitalized “out of an abundance of caution” on Friday afternoon, less than 48 hours after his diagnosis.
Most Americans can get a medical professional on the phone in that time frame, but would likely be told to stay at home, take a fever-reducer like Tylenol, and monitor their breathing. President Donald Trump returns to the White House on Oct. 5 after leaving Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Trump's doctors have been somewhat cagey about the president's early symptoms, other than to describe a high fever and low energy. Before Trump headed to the hospital, less than 48 hours after his first symptoms, he had already received a dose of a monoclonal antibody made by Regeneration, a New York biotech company.
The drug, REGN-COV2, is intended to mimic the natural process of the immune system, providing it with molecules called antibodies the body normally manufactures to fight off specific diseases. It is currently being tested in people at various stages of the disease, including patients who have been diagnosed and are symptomatic but not hospitalized, as was Trump.
This drug and similar monoclonal antibodies, including one made by Eli Lilly and Co., of Indianapolis, remain under development and are not yet approved for use in the U.S. or elsewhere. Trump was able to get it under a “compassionate use” exemption, which the company said it has granted to fewer than 10 people so far, after requests from their doctors and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a process that typically takes days to weeks.
The drug, made by Gilead Sciences of California, was developed to treat Ebola but has been repurposed to use against COVID-19 -19. But remdesivir has to be delivered intravenously at the moment (it may eventually be available in an inhaled form or as a pill), so most of the people who have taken it, and nearly 90% of the patients studied in the trial were defined as having “severe disease,” so were likely far along in their infection.
“Gilead is now meeting real-time demand for Very in the United States and anticipates meeting global demand for Very in October, even in the event of potential future surges of COVID-19 -19,” according to a company news release from last week. It's a good drug, but not a game changer, said John Wherry, director of the Penn Institute of Immunology, at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Researches have predicted 5,000 lives could have been saved had the drug been used to treat patients in the UK at the start of the pandemic. This drug, though cheap and accessible, is usually reserved for people with very low oxygen saturation levels or those on ventilators.
Steroids do not provide a benefit when given to people in earlier stages of COVID-19 -19, studies have shown, and can even be dangerous because they tamp down the immune system's ability to fight off the virus. Learning about their effectiveness, especially for especially ill patients, has been a boon to COVID-19 -19 treatment everywhere, said Dr. Roger Shapiro, an infectious disease specialist at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, all in Boston.
“Across the country, we've gotten better at treating people,” said Dr. Mark Rump, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Doctors also have learned about treatments that aren't helpful, like a combination of HIV drugs tested early on and shown to be ineffective.
“What we call 'compassionate release of medications' is really not always compassionate,” he said, warning that doctors who provide such overtreatment can endanger people in their care. On Monday, Conley, Trump's physician, said the president was healthy enough to go home, an assurance that concerned many health professionals who saw him later on a White House balcony, apparently struggling to breathe.
“Though he may not be entirely out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations, and most importantly, his clinical status, support the president's safe return home,” Conley said. Health and patient safety coverage at USA TODAY is made possible in part by a grant from the Massimo Foundation for Ethics, Innovation and Competition in Healthcare.