Thursday, November 19, 2020

Live updates: U.S. death toll surpasses 250,000 as hospitals strain under the surge

Coronavirus Living Extraordinary People Live updates: U.S. death toll surpasses 250,000 as hospitals strain under the surge A step-by-step look at how new vaccines are created and approved Creating a new vaccine can involve thousands of people over several years. Here's what it takes to produce a new FDA-approved vaccine. (John Farrell/The Washington Post) By Hannah Knowles, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Paulina Firozi, Adam Taylor, Paulina Villegas and Hamza Shaban November 19, 2020 at 11:09 p.m. GMT+1 The Washington Post is providing this important information about the coronavirus for free. For more, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter where all stories are free to read. To support this work, please subscribe to the Post. More than a quarter-million people in the United States had died of covid-19 as of the latest fatality reports on Thursday. The death toll surpasses even the White House’s worst predictions from the spring, and it will almost certainly rise much higher as infections accelerate and hospital systems across the country face imminent overloads. Here are some significant developments: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended against traveling for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday as cases continue to surge nationwide. Officials said they are alarmed by the dramatic spread, with 1 million new cases reported in the past week. Infectious-disease experts estimate that more than 3 million people in the United States are infected with the coronavirus, the equivalent of about 1 percent of the population or the total number of public school teachers in the country. Americans are once again lining up for hours for coronavirus tests and waiting days to get the results. The situation is probably only going to worsen as people try to get tested ahead of Thanksgiving gatherings. Dozens of public health experts signed a letter urging the Trump administration to work with President-elect Joe Biden on a transition of power, warning that his refusal “places American lives at risk.” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said he will not mandate face masks in his state despite the crisis. Responsibility for slowing the spread, he said, “comes to you — not government.” All 1.1 million public school students in New York City will return to remote learning on Thursday. New restrictions have also been announced in Minnesota, Kentucky and Kansas. Pfizer intends to seek emergency authorization for its experimental coronavirus vaccine within days, though widespread availability is not expected before next year.