As it happenedended1605728754

US Covid cases: Biden team warn Trump hurting virus work as death toll hits highest day in 6 months

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coronavirus-us

The Biden team has warned about the negative impact Donald Trump and his administration has had on the coronavirus pandemic surging across the United States, while vowing to be ready on day one to respond to the novel virus. “There is a transition plan and we’re translating that plan into a blueprint for action,” Rick Bright, a member of Joe Biden’s Covid-19 advisory board said.  

The United States has hit multiple grim milestones amid the coronavirus pandemic within the last week. In just one week, the US posted more than one million new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total case number to over 11.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University. Hospitalisations are also on the rise, as 19 states recorded record highs on Tuesday alone. 

On Wednesday, the US passed more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, according to reports. The country also posted its highest daily death toll in six months on Tuesday after 1,707 people died from the novel virus. 

Increased cases, hospitalisations, and death tolls encouraged state leaders to implement strict coronavirus guidelines and restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the novel virus. In Minnesota, Governor Tim Walz was expected to announce the closure of gyms and in-person dining on Wednesday night due to the current surge. 

Kentucky was also expected to implement stricter coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday afternoon due to the current surge in cases. 

In better news, two companies are reporting strong data from the final phase of their coronavirus vaccine trials. Both Moderna and Pfizer announced that their coronavirus vaccines proved to be 90 per cent effective or more against the coronavirus with no serious safety risks. It was anticipated for them to file for emergency authorisation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the coming days.

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Welcome to The Independent’s liveblog of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States

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Minnesota governor to implement stricter restrictions

Minnesota Tim Walz was expected to announce stricter coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday night, WCCO reports. 

The restriction will include the closure of gyms and in-person dining. Restaurants and bars will be allowed to remain open, but they will only be able to do pick-up and delivery for customers. 

These changes come as the state has experienced a surge in cases and hospitalisations. According to the Covid Tracking Project, Minnesota recorded its highest daily hospitalisations since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday. 

Public health officials have implored residents to cancel upcoming Thanksgiving plans amid the surge.

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US posts 1 million new coronavirus cases in one week as 19 states reach record hospitalisations

The United States has hit multiple grim milestones, as the coronavirus surges throughout the country.

In just one week the country recorded one million new Covid-19 cases, meaning one in every 331 Americans tested positive for the novel virus last week alone. The US now has more than 11.3 million cases, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The surge in coronavirus cases in most states across the country has caused concern among public health experts who are worried the upcoming holiday season could further spread the virus. On average, the US has reported about 141,000 new cases per day – breaking all previous records from the first surge in March and April.

Full report here: 

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North Dakota mortality rate highest in world, report says

North Dakota faces one of the worst coronavirus surges in the country. 

On Tuesday, the state reported 1,082 new cases of the novel virus and 66 new hospitalisations, according to the Covid Tracking Project

Since 17 November, 769 of the roughly 762,000 residents have died from the novel virus, with 621 confirmed deaths due to Covid-19 and more than 100 additional deaths where the virus was not the primary cause. 

The state’s mortality rate stands at 18.6 deaths per one million residents, making it the highest mortality rate in the world, according to an analysis by by the Federation of American Scientists. The European country of Czechia came in second and South Dakota came in third for their high mortality rates. 

According to the analysis, the US hold 18 of the 50 highest mortality hotspots in the world due to the novel virus. 

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Pfizer and BioNtech to apply for emergency authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine on Friday

Pfizer, a US pharmaceutical company, and BioNtech, a German pharmaceutical company, have worked together throughout the coronavirus pandemic to create a vaccine for the novel virus. 

The company announced it would be filing for emergency authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday, CNN reports. 

Applying for the emergency authorisations comes after Pfizer announced this week that its vaccine was 95 per cent effective against Covid-19, based on Phase 3 data, and showed now serious safety concerns. 

“Analysis of the data shows the vaccine candidate was effective in helping to prevent COVID-19 with an overall favourable safety profile,” the companies announced. 

Following the applying for the emergency authorisation, the FDA will review the data and determine if it will give the vaccine its stamp of approval. If approved, the US could start to manufacture and distribute the vaccine across the country. 

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White House press secretary describes state coronavirus restrictions ‘Orwellian’ 

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, has slammed current state coronavirus restriction despite cases and hospitalisations surging across the vast majority of the United States. 

“I think a lot of the guidelines you’re seeing are Orwellian,” Ms McEnany said when speaking on Fox & Friends on Wednesday. Instead, Ms McEnany said the American public should follow guidelines set forth by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“The American people know how to protect their health. We’ve dealt with Covid for many months,” she continued. “But it’s Orwellian in a place like Oregon to say, ‘If you gather in numbers more than six, we might come to your house and arrest you, and you get 30 days of jail time.’ That’s not the American way. We don’t lose our freedom in this country. We make responsible health decisions as individuals.”

Oregon Governor Katie Brown announced on Friday that the state would implement a two-week “freeze” as cases surge in the state. The freeze included the closing of gyms and in-person dining. Indoor gatherings were also restricted to six people or less. 

Ms Brown said that violates could face fines or jail time, but she did not threaten to specifically come to someone’s home and arrest them, like Ms McEnany claimed. 

The press secretary’s opinion on the coronavirus comes at a time when President Donald Trump has appeared unfocused on curbing the spread of the novel virus. 

His administration has boasted success in Operation Warp Speed, but vaccines will not likely be available to the vast majority of the public until around April 2021 . That deadline will not assist in the current surge of cases and hospitalisations. 

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Kentucky governor to announce stricter coronavirus restrictions

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear was expected to announce stricter coronavirus restrictions on Wednesday afternoon amid a surge in cases and hospitalisations. 

It was not clear what these restrictions would be yet, but Mr Beshear said they would be more “targeted” towards areas with increased surges in cases compared to the restrictions put in place in Wednesday. 

The news comes after Mr Beshear said that Kentucky experienced its “deadliest day” on Tuesday after 33 residents died from the novel virus. 

"It is time to get control of this beast. And I refuse to stand by and watch avoidable loss around us," Mr Beshear said. "We're at war, and there are some, right now, who want to surrender and accept fatalities. I'm not that type of governor. I'm not going to be that type of leader."

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BREAKING: US Covid death toll reaches 250,000, reports say

The United States has surpassed 250,000 coronavirus deaths, NBC News reports. 

Reaching the deadly milestone comes at a time when cases, hospitalisations, and mortality rates are rapidly increasing in a vast majority of states across the country. 

Full report here: 

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Covid vaccine: Pfizer jab 95% effective and safe, final analysis shows

Final analysis of the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech has shown that it is safe and 95 per cent effective in preventing Covid-19 disease, paving the way for its imminent authorisation and distribution among global populations, writes Samuel Lovett

The mRNA-based candidate has passed its full safety checks, Pfizer said, and is now ready to be presented to regulatory authorities for market approval.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech initially announced last week that their vaccine was 90 per cent efficacious, in what was hailed as a historic breakthrough in the fight against Covid-19. That rate was based on the analysis of 94 infections among participants in the phase three trial.

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Midwestern governors telling residents to ‘mask up’ in new ad

A group of seven governors, both Republicans and Democrats, have teamed up in a new ad to encourage their residents to due their part and wear a mask amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

The ad includes Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker, and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz. 

Each of the seven states are experiencing a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalisations, causing concern among leaders. 

The governors implored their residents to not “let their guard down” when it comes to safety measures put in place to curb the spread of the novel virus, which included avoiding large gatherings and wearing a mask. 

Watch the ad here: 

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