COVID crisis
January 18, 2021

President-elect Joe Biden's incoming White House chief of staff, Ron Klain, predicted on Sunday that the coronavirus death toll would reach 500,000 in the first weeks of the new administration. The current toll is 397,600, and it is expected to exceed 400,000 by Biden's inauguration on Wednesday. "The virus is going to get worse before it gets better," Klain said on CNN's State of the Union. "People who are contracting the virus today will start to get sick next month, will add to the death toll in late February, even March, so it's going to take a while to turn this around."

Biden has vowed to step up the pace of vaccinations, aiming for 100 million inoculations within 100 days. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading infectious-disease authority on the federal coronavirus task force, said on NBC News' Meet the Press that Biden's goal "is absolutely a doable thing." Harold Maass

October 18, 2020

Just two states in the country are seeing COVID-19 cases "trending in the right direction," CNN reports.

Missouri and Vermont were alone in recording a more than 10 percent improvement in the average number of cases reported over the last week. Cases rose between 10 and 50 percent in 27 other states, and increased by more than 50 percent in Connecticut and Florida. The rest of the states saw their new cases remaining steady.

On Friday, the United States reported its highest number of new COVID-19 cases since July, with more than 69,000 new cases on Oct. 16. The CDC's forecast predicts 3,400 to 7,100 new deaths from the disease will "likely" be reported during the week of the election. Jeva Lange

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