The coronavirus continues to disrupt daily life around the globe, with more than 50.4 million people confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 since Chinese officials implemented the first coronavirus lockdown in the city of Wuhan in January.
The U.S. is repeatedly breaking records. More than 102,000 new cases of the virus were diagnosed Nov. 4, one day after the final day of voting in the U.S. presidential election. More than 9.9 million Americans have contracted the coronavirus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 1.26 million people, including more than 237,000 Americans, have died.
Read the latest updates below. (To see the latest updates, you may need to refresh the page. All times are Eastern. For earlier updates on the pandemic, go here.)
President-elect Joe Biden congratulated Pfizer on its ongoing development of a COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, while reminding the general public that widespread vaccination is likely still months away and that face masks remain essential in preventing the spread of the virus.
“A mask remains a more potent weapon against the virus than the vaccine,” he said in a statement that cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s past recommendation to wear a mask.
Pfizer announced on Monday that early data suggests that its vaccine candidate, which continues to undergo a clinical trial, is 90% effective at preventing COVID-19. As Biden said, however, that does not mean a vaccine for the coronavirus, which has killed more than 237,000 people in the United States, is imminent.
“Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year. Today’s news is great news, but it doesn’t change that fact,” Biden said.
― Nina Golgowski
Pfizer released an early peek at data from its COVID-19 vaccine trials Monday and said its vaccine candidate was more than 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.
The interim analysis looked at 94 infections recorded among its around 44,000 vaccine trial participants in the U.S. and five other countries. It’s unusual for a company to release such data so early.
The data shows that the company seems to be on track to requesting emergency use authorization from the FDA later this month.
Pfizer won’t stop its trials until it records 164 infections among all volunteers, a number the FDA is enough to tell how the vaccine is working. The 90% initial rate could change as the study continues.
— Liza Hearon
The U.S. recorded 126,742 new COVID-19 infections on Saturday, a new high, and the country topped 10 million infections on Sunday, the latest evidence that the pandemic is far from over. The figures are stark and reflect soaring infections around the globe: The U.S. saw its latest million cases in just a 10-day period, and the 24-hour average for new cases over the last seven days has been over 100,000, higher than any other nation. Global cases have now exceeded 50 million.
— Nick Visser
President-elect Joe Biden’s campaign is urging its supporters to practice social distancing and wear masks while celebrating his election victory after crowds flooded the streets of some cities a day earlier to revel in the historic moment.
“I know folks are excited,” Symone Sanders, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But we’re imploring folks across the country to be safe, wear your mask, social distance. This virus is very real and it’s deadly.”
— Hayley Miller
Politico reported Saturday that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who wore a gas mask on the House floor at the start of the pandemic as a joke, had told multiple people on Capitol Hill and in the White House that he had contracted coronavirus.
Gaetz denied the report, saying he has antibodies, not the coronavirus.
If Gaetz has antibodies, that means he likely had the virus at some point and didn’t know it.
— Paige Lavender
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow said Friday she would quarantine at home after a close contact tested positive for the coronavirus.
She said she’d tested negative for it so far but would self-isolate until it was safe to return to work without putting others at risk.
“Everything happens, all at once,” the anchor tweeted.
— Lee Moran
Mark Meadows, President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, has the coronavirus, Bloomberg and ABC reported Friday.
Meadows reportedly informed several advisers of his COVID-19 diagnosis after Election Day. Meadows was in the White House on election night with Trump, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and others, New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi reported.
Read more here.
— Paige Lavender
More than 121,000 cases of the coronavirus were reported Thursday in the U.S. as the country awaits election results.
As the U.S. approaches 10 million cases since the start of the pandemic, the death rate is climbing after slowing in recent months. Nearly 235,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
— Liza Hearon
Votes continue to be counted across the country but so far, President Donald Trump has performed better than he did in 2016 in counties with high COVID-19 death rates, despite his administration’s botched response to the pandemic.
An analysis from Reuters published Wednesday shows that Trump received 4% more votes from counties that were significantly impacted by the coronavirus.
Trump also won the majority of votes in Florida and Texas, which have had among the country’s highest COVID-19-related death rates.
— Carla Russo
Biden Mentions Grim COVID-19 Milestone In Brief Remarks — 11/5/20, 4:30 p.m. ET
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took a moment to address the spike in COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. in his public remarks to the nation as the country awaits the results of the 2020 election.“We’re reminded again of the severity of this pandemic. Cases are on the rise nationwide and we’re nearing 240k deaths due to COVID,” Biden said, noting that he and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had just been briefed on both the pandemic and the economic crisis.
“Our hearts go out to each and every family that’s lost a loved one to this terrible disease,” Biden said.
In his relatively short speech, the former vice president called for patience and calm as ballots continued to be counted in two days after Election Day.
— Carla Russo
Dr. Scott Atlas, an adviser on the White House coronavirus task force who has been criticized for questioning mask use, attempted to downplay the threat of the coronavirus once more Thursday morning.
Atlas tweeted out a graph showing COVID-19 cases spiking in recent weeks, emphasizing the relatively low and stable rate of COVID-19 deaths despite the fact that the virus is currently spreading unchecked across the country.
About 1,000 people are dying from the virus each day, and former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said this week that this will likely be the case for “a sustained period of time.”
As Atlas pointed out, the death rate does not appear to be spiking along with the case count, which is likely due to doctors having more knowledge on how to treat the virus after dealing with it for more than eight months.
However, doctors and researchers still do not know a lot about how this virus will affect people in the coming years. The rampant spread of COVID-19 across the country could lead to long-term negative health effects — potentially including heart and brain damage — for some people.
— Sara Boboltz
States around the country set all-time highs Wednesday and the U.S. set another record for daily confirmed coronavirus cases as the country awaited results of the presidential race, the AP reports.
In the time until President Donald Trump’s term expires on Jan. 20, 100,000 more Americans will likely die from the virus if the country doesn’t change strategy, said Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Daily new confirmed cases are at a record 7-day average of 86,352, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Deaths are up to an average of 846 a day.
“Regardless of the outcome of the election, everyone in America needs to buckle down,” said Dr. Susan Bailey, president of the American Medical Association.
— Liza Hearon
CORRECTION: The 7-day average of 86,352 refers to the number of daily new confirmed cases not the number of daily deaths.
Royal Caribbean Group, Norwegian Cruise Lines Holdings and Carnival Corp. will cancel most cruises through the end of the year, the companies said Monday.
The companies had already suspended cruises through Nov. 30 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reported.
The cancellations follow a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order,” issued Friday. It stipulates that cruises sailing in U.S. waters would first need to do simulation sailings with no paying passengers on board to show compliance with CDC standards.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, some cruises have restarted in Asia and Europe with COVID-19 protocols, but ocean cruises have yet to restart in U.S. waters.
Cruise ships were vectors for the spread of the coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic with several outbreaks on board ships. Hundreds of passengers were quarantined off Japan for weeks on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
— Liza Hearon
More than 61,000 children were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the week ending Oct. 29, the highest number since the pandemic began, the American Academy of Pediatrics said Monday.
While it appears at this time that severe illness due to the coronavirus is rare among children, there’s a need to research the long-term impacts on children, including on mental and physical health, the academy said.
Children represented 11.1% of cases in states that reported their cases by age. The report found that, in October, the Western states of Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico and Utah reported the greatest rises in the number of children with the coronavirus. Overall, the percentage of pediatric cases nationwide has crept up, from around 2% in mid-April.
“It just keeps going from horrible to even worse,” said Dr. Greg Demuri, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UW Health in Madison, Wisconsin, NBC News reported.
The U.S. has reported about 9.3 million cases of the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, with more than 231,000 deaths.
— Liza Hearon
The World Health Organization may have botched its early investigation into the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic by bending to pressure from China, indirectly helping the country whitewash its initial failures in handling the outbreak, The New York Times reported Monday.
Though the WHO has led the world on COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccine science, its quiet concessions to China have created a geopolitical divide: European leaders wants to reform the organization in light of its recent blunders while U.S. President Donald Trump has essentially abandoned it, withdrawing the U.S. from the group in May.
Meanwhile, the world ― with perhaps, the exception of China ― remains in the dark about the virus’s origins, which could be key to curbing its spread, preventing future outbreaks and shaping the global response to pandemics. Many scientists now doubt the initial theory that the outbreak began in a wet market in Wuhan, though evidence suggests the virus passed naturally from animals to humans, according to the Times.
Read more here.
— Hayley Miller