USA TODAY tracks the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of vaccines join the US war against a virus that has killed more than 330,000 Americans since the first reported death in February. Keep updating this page for the latest updates on vaccine deployment, including who’s getting the vaccines and where, plus other COVID-19 news across the USA TODAY network. Subscribe to our site Watch Coronavirus Newsletter To get updates directly to your inbox, Join our Facebook group Or scroll through Our in-depth answers to readers’ questions For everything you need to know about Coronavirus.
In the titles:
Officials in Canada have confirmed the first two known Canadian cases of a more contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first identified in the United Kingdom. The new strain appears to be more contagious But it doesn’t seem to make people more sick. It has also been discovered in several other countries, including Denmark, France, Belgium, Australia and the Netherlands.
► On the same day that the world surpassed 80 million, the death toll in the United States exceeded 330,000. This means that about 1 in 1,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
Unemployment benefits for the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet are set to expire at midnight Saturday — unless President Donald Trump signs a COVID relief and spending bill for the end of the year. This legislation was deemed a final agreement before his sudden objections.
Pope Francis has been avoiding the usual post-Christmas public appearances from the Vatican Palace overlooking Saint Peter’s Square to play his part in social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, it offers blessings and notes on TV from the Library of the Apostolic Palace.
► Countries across the European Union received a first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech. Authorities plan to give the first shots of the most vulnerable people in a concerted effort on Sunday. But officials in Hungary ignored the campaign and began giving vaccines on Saturday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a video posted on Facebook and Twitter That the number of California residents who are hospitalized with the Coronavirus could double within 30 days if current trends continue.
South Korea, previously a success story in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, is grappling with a spike in cases over the Christmas week: 1,241 on Christmas Day alone. This is the largest daily increase the nation has ever seen.
► The women’s basketball team Duke ends its 2020-21 season after just four games due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, The school announced Friday evening.
📈 Today’s numbers: And according to what has been reported in the United States, there are more than 18.9 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 331,000 deaths Johns Hopkins University data. Global totals: More than 80 million cases and 1.7 million deaths.
Here’s a closer look at today’s top news:
President-elect Biden to Trump: Coronavirus Relief Bill ‘needs to be signed into law now’
Days after President Donald Trump suggested he would not likely sign a $ 900 billion relief package from COVID-19 Unless direct individual payments increase to $ 2,000President-elect Joe Biden issued a burning statement condemning his soon-to-be predecessor for «abdicating responsibility.»
«It’s the day after Christmas, and millions of families do not know whether they will be able to cover their expenses due to President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign the economic aid bill that Congress approved by an overwhelming bipartisan majority.» He said in a statement.
Recounting the implications of not signing the law, including ending the eviction moratorium, shortage of small businesses, individual relief and funding for vaccine distribution, Biden said the bill was «critical» and «needs to be signed into law now.»
He acknowledged that this package is only a «first step and a first batch» of future aid.
After the coronavirus has hit them hard, some indigenous people are hesitant to get a vaccine
For many, the promise of a vaccine provides hope and relief. But Josie Basis, a member of the Montana Crowe tribe, is wary of its long-term consequences.
Although tribal communities have been disproportionately devastated by COVID-19 nationwide, Passes is not alone in their hesitation. When tribes start receiving and distributing COVID-19 vaccines, many tribal members are reluctant to get vaccinated.
Some people fear that the indigenous people will be used as «guinea pigs», while others are reluctant to trust the Indian health service. Some feel invincible, as the tribes have survived devastating diseases like smallpox and violent massacres. Many people prefer to wait and watch the effects of the vaccine as more people receive it.
Experts say this suspicion is justified. The tribes were subjected to divestment, inefficiency and brutality at the hands of the federal government. The consequences of this neglect extend across generations and manifest today in systemic inequalities, many of which expose them to the further COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.
— Norah Mabe, Great Falls Tribune
A black doctor dies of COVID-19 after reporting racist treatment in hospital
A black doctor who died of COVID-19 after weeks of fighting the virus said she was Abuse and Delayed Adequate Care at Indiana Hospital Because of her race. Dr. Susan Moore, 52, died on 20 December after being hospitalized multiple times of complications from COVID-19, first at IU Health North and later on Ascencion-St. Vincent in Carmel, Indiana.
Her frustration with the care provided at IU Health was recorded on Facebook in multiple updates. The first came on December 4 when she said the delay in her treatment and diagnosis was motivated by the color of her skin.
Citing patient privacy, an IU Health spokesperson declined to speak specifically about the case but shared a written statement on behalf of IU Health North:
«As an organization committed to fairness and reducing racial disparities in health care, we treat accusations of discrimination very seriously and investigate every allegation,» the statement said. Treatment options are often agreed upon and reviewed by medical experts from a variety of specialties, and we are committed to the commitment and expertise of our caregivers and the quality of care provided to our patients every day. »
— Justin L Mack and Holly F. Hayes, Indianapolis Star
Will Small Movie Theaters Survive This Slow Holiday Season?
The COVID-19 crisis has devastated movie theaters of all sizes, but small independent owners are feeling it most. nationally , A bunch would have darkened permanently And 70% of small to mid-sized cinemas are at risk of shutting down without federal assistance, according to the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO).
Many are scrambling to survive by making specials and popcorn specials, among other strategies. Their loss would be a huge blow to the cultural life of America. They are a major source for more serious independently produced art films. And in an era dominated by elegant multiplexing, their large, old marquee theaters often provide the only entertainment in small and country American cities.
Fortunately, salvation is on the horizon. A provision that little notice of the $ 900 billion coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress this week would save $ 15 billion for distressed small movie theaters, live entertainment, performing arts venues and museums. A last-minute lobbying campaign by NATO added cinemas and $ 5 billion to theoretically cover their financial needs.
His father developed the polio vaccine. Here’s what he’s thinking about COVID-19.
Dr. Peter Salk vaguely remembers the day he was vaccinated against polio in 1953. His father, Dr. Jonas Salk, made history by establishing the polio vaccine at the University of Pittsburgh and inoculating his family as soon as he felt it was safe and effective.
Polio cases peaked in the early 1950s, but each summer they incapacitate an average of more than 35,000 people each year for decades, sometimes causing paralysis and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public officials have closed the swimming pools, cinemas, parks, and other entertainment that naturally comes with the summer vacation.
The Jonas Salk vaccine has helped eradicate polio from most parts of the world, which is something many people hope will happen with the coronavirus vaccine. However, Salk warns that eradicating polio in the United States has been a long and difficult journey, and he does not expect eliminating COVID-19 will be easier.
Salk, a physician and part-time professor of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh, said, «It’s going to be a long way, until just getting enough vaccinations for people around the world … This virus doesn’t respect borders.» Where his father developed the polio vaccine. «It is flying everywhere in the world, and unless this virus is contained everywhere, it will continue to spread and it will be a problem.»
Contribution: Mike Stocka. The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: COVID news: Biden asks Trump to sign relief package; 80 million cases