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U.S. again sees about 3,000 COVID-19 deaths, 2nd-highest number of cases

By
Don Jacobson
Members of the Missouri National Guard check paperwork on Thursday for people waiting for drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. The National Guard have been testing nearly 400 people per day. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Members of the Missouri National Guard check paperwork on Thursday for people waiting for drive-through COVID-19 testing at the Family Arena in St. Charles, Mo. The National Guard have been testing nearly 400 people per day. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 11 (UPI) -- A day after it recorded more than 3,000 coronavirus deaths for the first time, the United States has added another 3,000 dead and the second-highest daily case count to date, according to updated data Friday.

Data at Johns Hopkins University shows there were 224,500 COVID-19 cases nationwide on Thursday. Only one other day has seen more, about 228,000 a week ago.

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According to the data, there were just under 3,000 coronavirus deaths on Thursday. Wednesday was the first day to see at least 3,000 U.S. deaths in one day.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 15.62 million COVID-19 cases in the United States and 292,200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

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This week, the United States has averaged 210,000 cases per day, according to Stat. That's a near 20% rise over last week.

Nationwide, there are 107,000 coronavirus patients in hospitals, according to the COVID Tracking Project. U.S. hospital admissions have set records for 13 days in a row.

A memo from the Health and Human Services Department says 30% of U.S. hospitals have more than 80% of their intensive care unit beds filled.

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The Food and Drug Administration has informed U.S. drugmaker Pfizer that it intends to "proceed towards an authorization" for its COVID-19 vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Friday.

FDA Director Dr. Stephen Hahn said Friday the agency is close to granting emergency authorization for a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The FDA's vaccines committee voted to recommend approval for the vaccine on Thursday.

RELATED FDA panel recommends Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approval

Federal officials have said the first vaccine shipments will begin within 24 hours of final FDA authorization.

Here are some other COVID-19 developments Friday:

  • Lawmakers are ending another week without a stimulus agreement to provide much-needed economic relief to Americans and businesses. No votes are expected in the House until next week and the Senate appears unlikely to accept the $908 billion bipartisan compromise. Lawmakers have expressed optimism, however, for a deal this month.
  • AstraZeneca says it will use a component of Russia's "Sputnik V" COVID-19 vaccine in clinical trials for its vaccine. The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Gamaleya Institute, makers of the Russian vaccine, said AstraZeneca has accepted their offer of a human adenoviral vector for use in testing its experimental AZD1222 vaccine.


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