The entire U.S. is on high alert over coronavirus, with the White House coronavirus task force issuing one of its strongest warnings yet, that ‘the COVID risk to all Americans is at an historic high,’ in its latest situation report to states.
‘We are in a very dangerous place,’ the task force said in the report, sent to states Tuesday, and obtained by
The report is sent every week to U.S. states and regularly paints a much darker picture of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. than is presented by the public faces of President Trump’s task force. It warned that the post-Thanksgiving surge of infections and hospitalizations threatens to ‘compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall.’
New cases per capita are shown on a gruesome map in the report, in which nearly the entire U.S. appears as one giant hotspot, with 19 states including North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and New Mexico, ranking as top areas of concern after reporting at least 500 new cases per every 100,000 residents last week.
A second map shows 27 states, including the Dakota, New Mexico and Montana, suffered more than 100 deaths per 100,000 residents last week.
It comes after Dr Scott Atlas, President Trump’s divisive appointee to the task force resigned on Monday – the same night that the president hosted the first of his 20 planned lavish Christmas parties, where Trump teased a 2024 election run in front of a crowd of mostly maskless guests.
The White House task force went so far as to tell local health officials that they ‘must’ alert the public of the risk of coronavirus directly if state officials don’t enact policies and recommendations to protect people from coronavirus, effectively directing health officials to go over the heads of other government authorities.
On Tuesday, U.S. recorded its highest single-day death toll since April 30 with 2,597 fatalities, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
For the fourth day in a row, the number of Americans hospitalized for COVID-19 hit a record-high on Tuesday, with 98,691 people getting inpatient treatment, data from the Covid Tracking Project show.
‘I have no doubt that we’re going to see a climbing death toll…and that’s a horrific and tragic place to be,’ Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told the AP.
‘It’s going to be a very dark couple of weeks.’
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr Robert Redfield issued a still more dire warning, said that winter could be ‘the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation’ on Wednesday.
‘The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times.’
Climbing deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S. underscore the urgent need to get a coronavirus vaccine approved – but Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisors aren’t scheduled to decide whether to give emergency authorization to Pfizer’s jab until next week, despite the shot getting the green light from officials in the U.K.
In the meantime, CDC officials shortened quarantine times for people who have been exposed to coronavirus from two weeks to seven days with a negative test or 10 days without a test – but warned Americans not to travel for the upcoming holidays in a feeble attempt to prevent another ‘superspreading’ event after Thanksgiving.
The White House coronavirus task force’s latest report warns that ‘the COVID threat to all Americans is at an historic high’ as it reveals that 19 US states saw more than 500 new cases for every 100,000 residents last week
A second map from the White House report shows 27 states, including the Dakota, New Mexico and Montana, suffered more than 100 deaths per 100,000 residents last week
The U.S. recorded 2,597 new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday – the highest single-day death toll since April 30, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University
More than 180,00 new infections were reported on Tuesday, but multiple states told the Covid Tracking Project that they were reporting data from multiple days, which was delayed by the Thanksgiving holiday
‘The national daily COVID incidence after Memorial Day, but before the summer surge, was fewer than 25,000 new cases/day and is now more than 180,000 new cases/day; COVID inpatients then were fewer than 30,000 but are now more than 90,000; fatalities have more than doubled,’ the White House report says.
Federal officials have largely taken a hands-off approach, urging state authorities to get the spread of coronavirus under control, but not actively overseeing measures to do so.
This week’s report demands that health officials go over the heads’ of their governmental leaders.
‘If state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must alert the state population directly,’ the report says.
‘It must be made clear that if you are over 65 or have significant health conditions, you should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered.’
It comes as the director of the CDC admitted that the U.S. was caught on its back-foot by the pandemic.
‘This nation was severely underprepared for this pandemic, I think we got to call it the way it is,’ said Dr Robert Redfield during a Chamber of Commerce Foundation event on Wednesday.
‘When I became CDC director, I wasn’t prepared to understand how little investment had been made in the core capabilities of public health, and what it is the premier public health institution in our nation.
‘I had some states that their public health contact tracing workforce was less than 50 people, so there’s a huge lack of investment, which I hope this pandemic will change that.’
The number of Americans hospitalized for coronavirus hit an all-time high of nearly 99,000 on Tuesday, setting a record for the fourth day straight
Yet much of the pandemic response has been left to the states, many of which have flailed.
More than 180,000 new infections were recorded across the country on Tuesday, with states including Kentucky, California, Delaware, Tennessee, Texas and Arizona hitting single-day highs for new cases, while Florida became the third state in the nation to hit one million coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.
Nursing homes in the U.S. saw more new coronavirus infections last week than they have since the spring surge, according to an American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living report released Tuesday. There were 16,257 new infections the week of November 15 alone, and more than 2,000 nursing home residents died that week.
Single-day death toll records were also set in Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin on Tuesday and hospitalizations reached record highs in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, among others.
State officials are citing delays in reporting due to the Thanksgiving holiday as bloating the official tallies, but Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) documents obtained yesterday by CNN showed that the federal government considers almost the entire U.S. a coronavirus ‘hotspot.’
New nursing home infections hit a record high since the spring surge the week of November 15, with more than 16,000 new cases reported in seven days
North Dakota tops the White House’s list for most concerning states after it reported more than 500 cases per capita last week. New infections, hospitalizations and deaths are finally trending downward after the state spent weeks as a top hotspot
South Dakota had the second-highest rate of new coronavirus cases in the nation last week, according to the new White House report. Yesterday, it saw more than 1,200 new infections and a record number of new deaths, though new cases and hospitalizations have fallen this week
The Covid Tracking Project clarified: ‘A handful of states reported data for more than one day today, a result of data disruptions caused by the Thanksgiving holiday.
‘On the other hand, CO, NJ, TX, WA, and WY only published partial updates today.’
Nearly 37,000 Americans died of COVID-19 in November, the most in any month since the dark early days of the pandemic, engulfing families in grief, filling newspaper obituary pages and testing the capacity of morgues, funeral homes and hospitals.
Amid the resurgence, states have begun reopening field hospitals to handle an influx of patients that is pushing health care systems – and their workers – to the breaking point. Hospitals are bringing in mobile morgues. And funerals are being livestreamed or performed as drive-by affairs.
Health officials fear the crisis will be even worse in coming weeks, after many Americans ignored pleas to stay home over Thanksgiving and avoid people who don’t live with them.
November’s toll was far lower than the 60,699 recorded in April but perilously close to the next-highest total of almost 42,000 in May, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths had dropped to just over 20,000 in June after states closed many businesses and ordered people to stay at home.
More than 838,000 new infections have been recorded since Thanksgiving, which former medical adviser to the White House, Dr Jonathan Reiner, told CNN could be ‘the mother of all superspreader events’ as an estimated 50 millions Americans took to the skies, roads and rails to travel for the holiday, despite warnings against gathering from the CDC and Dr Anthony Fauci.
Dr Fauci warned on Monday that the US could see ‘surge upon surge’ leading into the coming Christmas, Hanukkah and New Years. He noted in a Tuesday interview with WNBC that the virus will likely continue to spread rapidly for months to come, until between 75 and 85 percent of Americans get a coronavirus vaccine.
Despite being the least populous state in the US, Wyoming is the third hardest hit state in the nation, according to the White House report. Hospitalizations are just under Monday’s record high at 239 and 15 residents died there on Tuesday
Kentucky reported record-high cases, hospitalizations and deaths on Tuesday
Although Florida has gotten a handle on coronavirus since it became the nation’s top hotspot in the summer, the state became the third in the nation to hit one million total infections since the pandemic began, following California and Texas
He estimated that, with that level of uptake, normalcy might return in the late summer or fall, and that the willingness of New Yorkers to get vaccinated would be particularly important.
‘Since New York has many tourists, it probably is going to be the entire country,’ he told the outlet.
But a vaccine is still at least a week away – and likely more.
Pfizer applied for emergency use authorization of its vaccine on November 20, but the FDA won’t meet to discuss whether or not to approve the request until December 10.
In a bout of mixed messaging, Operation Warp Speed head Dr Moncef Slaoui said Tuesday that the vaccine would be in Americans’ arms starting within 24 to 48 hours of emergency approval. Yet Warp Speed documents obtained by CNN said that the shots were expected to be delivered on December 15, with a four-day window for ‘review.’
Coronavirus cases are on the rise again in New York, with nearly 9,00 new infections reported yesterday and 69 deaths on Tuesday. Dr Fauci said that vaccinations among New Yorkers will affect case rates across the nation because the state sees so many travelers
California recorded more infections on Tuesday than it has since the pandemic began, despite being largely locked down
It’s unclear which the real delivery date will be, or what more FDA regulators would be reviewing after the public discussion of the shot on the tenth.
Operation Warp Speed has already announced that it will have 40 million doses of vaccine ready to ship by the end of the month and alerted states to be ready for the arrival of doses on December 15, drawing concern that the federal initiative, created by President Trump, is pressuring regulators.
‘It is a white board plan,’ said Operation Warp Speed’s operations chief, Army General Gustave Perna during a Wednesday press briefing.
‘It is meant to help us prepare. But it is not constraining to execution. And there is 100 percent, without question, no interference with the FDA and their very deliberate, arduous effort to make sure we have the right solution if and when they do approve EUA.’
Meanwhile, the UK has already approve the same shot, based on the same data, as of Wednesday. The country also lifted its national lockdown on Wednesday, and Brits will start getting vaccines next week.
It has left many Americans wondering why they must wait at least a week for FDA approval for US firm Pfizer’s coronavirus jab. Data on Moderna’s jab will be reviewed on December 17.
A vaccine advisory panel to the CDC met Tuesday and recommended that shots go first to health care workers and long-term care facility residents first in ‘phase 1a’ of distribution. Those recommendations will become policy after a vaccine is authorized, and with the approval of Director Redfield.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said Tuesday that it will reconvene later to make recommendations about who should be included in the next round of vaccinations.
It could include non-health care essential workers, like grocery store clerks, people with chronic conditions that put them at risk for severe COVID-19 and elderly people, beyond just those in long-term care facilities.
Dr Redfield hinted that vaccines could be mandated for some industries during the Chamber of Commerce event.
‘It will be a decision, I think, each industry will make,’ he 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.’
California will receive the greatest number of coronavirus vaccine doses of any state. Coronavirus cases there continue to surge despite the state being under a lockdown
Operation Warp Speed officials have promised that the first rollout of vaccines will go simultaneously to all 50 states. Although the CDC will issue a policy on who gets vaccinated first, it will ultimately be up to states to decide who gets the vaccines first.
After considering more complicated criteria for how many doses of coronavirus a state will receive, the federal government has now decided it will dole out the shots based purely on adult population. It has already told states how many doses they are set to receive.
That means that California will receive more shots than any other state in the nation. Currently, a record 9,049 people are hospitalized for coronavirus there and yesterday the state reported 12,221 new infections. It broke its record for new cases on Monday.
Texas will receive the second highest number of vaccine doses – and it could use them. Texas reported a record 15,182 new coronavirus cases yesterday. It was the first state in the nation to hit one million total infections and also has a record 9,047 people hospitalized for COVID-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
More than 21,000 Texans have died in the pandemic, including 170 on Tuesday.
This allocation plan could pose a problem to some less populous states, which have been hit particularly hard in recent months.
As shown by the new White House report, North Dakota saw more new infections last week than any other state in the U.S. Yesterday the state, with a population of just 760,000 saw 486 new infections and 12 deaths. That means that about one in every 800 people living in the rural state have died of coronavirus.
Neighboring South Dakota is second on the report’s list of hardest-hit locations. The state reported 1,047 new confirmed cases and 244 new probable infections on Tuesday. So far, 955 people have died there.
On a brighter note, the state saw a record number of recoveries yesterday. South Dakota still doesn’t have a mask mandate and is set to receive 7,800 doses of coronavirus vaccine.
Weekly coronavirus cases in nursing homes hit the highest peak since spring with more than 16,000 infections and 2,000 deaths over just seven days, new report finds
WEEKLY CORONAVIRUS CASES IN NURSING HOMES HIT THE HIGHEST PEAK SINCE SPRING WITH MORE THAN 16,00 INFECTIONS AND 2,000 DEATHS
During the week of November 15m the latest for which data is available, more than 16,000 cases were recorded in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) revealed on Tuesday.
In addition to levels not seen since late May, it also represents a 177 percent increase in cases from mid-September.
What’s more, there were more than 2,000 COVID-related deaths in nursing homes, the highest figure seen in more than four months.
The report coincides with the imminent arrival of coronavirus vaccines as an advisory panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended on Tuesday that long-term care facility residents be the first – along with healthcare workers – to receive the jabs.
Additionally, CVS Health Corp said on Wednesday it would administer Eli Lilly’s recently authorized antibody treatment to COVID-19 patients in their homes and in long-term care facilities through a US government-backed pilot project.
During the week of November 15, more than 2,000 COVID-related deaths occurred at nursing homes, the highest figure since the week of June 7
A new report found more than 16,000 coronavirus cases were recorded at US nursing homes during the week of November 15, the highest levels since the spring
‘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
‘Our health care heroes are doing everything they can to prevent it from spreading further, but this level of COVID nationwide puts serious strain on our workforce, supplies, and testing capacity.’
The report uses data from the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) between May 31, when cases began being tracked in nursing homes, and November 15.
After seven weeks of declining infections in nursing homes through mid-September, cases began increasing in nearly all 50 states.
During the week of November 15, cases rose to 16,257. That’s the highest number seen since the spring.
Between mid-September the week of November 15, data revealed a 177 percent rise in weekly cases across the country.
The rise is correlated with the recent spike in new COVID cases in the general population with weekly cases among the public increasing 330 percent to 1,043,040 the week of November 15.
Additionally, 2,016 deaths were recorded the week of November 15. It marks the first time since the week of June 7 that fatalities surpassed 2,000.
Experts say it is unsurprising that nursing home residents are more vulnerable to death from COVID-19 due to multiple risk factors such as being older and having chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
However, mortality rates have decreased since the spring, from 31.7 percent to 12.4 percent.
Around 49% of all new COVID-19 nursing home cases were in Midwestern states the week of November 15
It comes the day after the CDC announced long-term care residents would be one of the first groups to receive coronavirus vaccines after they are approved. Pictured: A resident in a wheelchair at an assisted living facility in Boston, Massachusetts, September 2
The report also found that nursing homes in the Midwest were hit particularly hard by new cases and deaths.
During the week of November 15, nearly half – or 49 percent – of all new nursing home coronavirus infections were in Midwestern states.
In fact, nursing homes in the Midwest saw a more than 400 percent increase in weekly cases since mid-September.
Officials fear that the situation is only going to get worse after millions traveled and held gatherings over Thanksgiving.
‘With millions of Americans failing to heed advice from public health experts and traveling during Thanksgiving, we are extremely concerned that this situation will only get much worse,’ Parkinson said.
‘At this point, long term care facilities desperately need public health officials at every level to take emergency steps to get control of the community spread and ensure our facilities have the resources they need.
GIVE US WHAT THE BRITS HAVE GOT: AMERICA DEMANDS PFIZER’S COVID VACCINE BE ROLLED OUT NOW AFTER UK GIVES US FIRM’S SHOT THE GREEN LIGHT
Outraged Americans are demanding to know why the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the UK but not in the US, where it was developed and funded.
On Wednesday, British health authorities said they had approved the vaccine and that it will start being rolled out to the most needy patients imminently.
But in the US, the FDA says it won’t meet to even discuss emergency authorization for either Pfizer’s vaccine or the one that has been developed by Moderna until December 10.
Even then, it will take another five days for the first doses to start being rolled out, according to a document obtained by
Stephen Hahn, the head of the FDA, has said that they are taking longer because they look at the raw data and determine themselves whether or not it is safe, rather than relying on the drug company’s findings.
But with COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations at an all-time high and with millions of Americans desperate to get back to work, the urgency to approve it is unprecedented.
The vaccines are also being touted by the science community as being largely safe and effective.
Scientists from Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s COVID task force, have assured the American people that the science stands up.
Pfizer says its vaccine is 95% percent and Moderna says its is 94% effective which scientists say is a higher standard than most vaccines, especially given the size of the test groups they were used in. AstraZeneca, another brand, says its vaccine is 70% effective.
President Trump has put pressure on the FDA to act swiftly to get a vaccine out.
Sources say he and other White House officials are angry that it has been approved overseas before on US soil.
‘It’s crazy to imagine the European Union or U.K. may approve a vaccine developed in the United States before us though, right?’ one source said.
Dr Hahn was summoned to the White House on Tuesday to explain why it was taking so long for vaccines to be approved but so far, there has been no public explanation for it.
The administration did not immediately respond to inquiries on Wednesday morning.
There is already concern over how many Americans will willingly take the vaccine, given the heightened politicization it was developed under.
It became a focal point of Trump’s unsuccessful re-election campaign and many are worried that it was rushed out to be used as a campaign tactic.
Others are convinced the virus and entire pandemic is a hoax that was designed by the Democrats to encourage mail-in voting, rather than in-person voting, to steal the election from Trump via fraud.
There is no tangible evidence of that.
In an interview on Wednesday morning, one of Trump’s Operation Warp Speed advisors said there was ‘great concern’ over the reluctance of so many people to get the vaccine.
‘It is a big concern there has been frankly so much politicization of the development process it created a high level of … decreased trust. No corners have been cut.
HOW DO THE MODERNA AND PFIZER/BIONTECH VACCINES COMPARE?
Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech have both released interim results of the final stage clinical trials of their vaccines, with both suggesting they are extremely effective.
Here’s how they compare:
PFIZER (US) & BIONTECH (DE)
How it works:
mRNA vaccine – Genetic material from coronavirus is injected to trick immune system into making ‘spike’ proteins and learning how to attack them.
mRNA vaccine – both Moderna’s and Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines work in the same way.
How well does it work?
94.1% effective (90 positive in placebo group, 5 positive in vaccine group)
90% effective (estimated 86 positive in placebo group, 9 positive in vaccine group)
How much does it cost?
US has secured 100million doses for $1.525billion (£1.16bn), suggesting it will cost $15.25 (£11.57) per dose; $30.50 (£23.14) per person.
US will pay $1.95bn (£1.48bn) for the first 100m doses, suggesting a cost of $19.50 (£14.80) per dose; $39 (£29.61) per person.
Can we get hold of it?
Moderna will produce 20m doses this year, expected to stay in the US.
First vaccinations expected in December.
What side effects does it cause?
Moderna said the vaccine is ‘generally safe and well tolerated’. Most side effects were mild or moderate but included pain, fatigue and headache, which were ‘generally’ short-lived.
Pfizer and BioNTech did not produce a breakdown of side effects but said the Data Monitoring Committee ‘has not reported any serious safety concerns’.