COVID-19 SURGES ACROSS U.S. WITH NO PLAN FROM WHITE HOUSE: Officials from the World Health Organization are holding a press briefing on the latest developments in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has infected more than 54.5 million people around the world and at least 1.3 million have died. There were more than 1 million cases in the U.S. last week alone, with cases rising in 48 states. With Pres. Trump refusing to concede in the presidential election, there has been no meeting between his administration and President-elect Biden’s transition team on how to control the outbreaks. Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday that no one from the White House coronavirus task force has been encouraged to reach out to Biden’s team, and that Trump himself has not attended any meeting of the task force in ‘several months.’ Dr. Fauci also explained that if the country does not get on the right track and follow strict guidelines to curb the spread, an additional 200k Americans could die by the spring.
Meanwhile, the race to a vaccine continues with drugmaker Moderna announcing this morning that its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective. They are the second company to announce positive results from their vaccine trials, following Pfizer’s report of an over 90% effective vaccine just one week ago. Ten other major drug manufacturers are in the midst of Phase 3 vaccine trials, and more than 50 other trials are in the earlier stages of testing. Dr. Fauci told The New York Times, ‘I had been saying I would be satisfied with a 75 percent effective vaccine. Aspirationally, you would like to see 90, 95 percent, but I wasn’t expecting it. I thought we’d be good, but 94.5 percent is very impressive.’
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