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U.S. surpasses 25M cases; Univ. of Michigan suspends athletics

The United States has surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases in addition to 417,000 deaths on Sunday, as the University of Michigan canceled all athletic activities for two weeks.  Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The United States has surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases in addition to 417,000 deaths on Sunday, as the University of Michigan canceled all athletic activities for two weeks.  Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The United States surpassed 25 million COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as the University of Michigan canceled all athletics for two weeks after reporting a case of the variant of the virus first discovered in Britain.

Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has reported a total of 25,003,695 cases and 417,538 deaths, leading the world in both categories, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University.

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On Satuday, the United States reported 169,935 new cases and 3,292 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins.

In a statement on Saturday, the University of Michigan announced that it would halt all athletic activity in all sports "including games, team and individual training sessions" for up to two weeks after discovering a case of the B.1.1.7 COVID-19 variant.

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Student-athletes, coaches and team staff are also required to quarantine until at least Feb. 7 and the university added that there was no determination on how the pause would affect games scheduled beyond that date.

"Canceling competitions is never something we want to do but with so many unknowns about this variant of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to minimize the spread among student-athletes, coaches, staff and to the student-athletes at other schools," Director of Athletics Warde Manuel said.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said last week that the variant, first discovered in Britain and since reported in at least 20 U.S. states, is at least twice as transmissible as the original strain.

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Fauci, in a news briefing on Thursday, stressed that it was important to get Americans vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to reduce the likelihood of the virus replicating and producing new mutations.

In an interview with NBC News' Meet the Press on Sunday, President Joe Biden's White House chief of staff, said that the Trump administration did not actually have an adequate plan to widely distribute vaccines.

"The process to distribute a vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals, out into the community as a whole did not really exist when we came into the White House," he said. "As everyone in America has seen, the way in which people get the vaccine is chaotic, it's very limited."

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Klain said that Biden's administration will "own" the effort to distribute the vaccine and the related issues acknowledging that the United States needs "more vaccine, we need more vaccinators and we need more vaccine sites."

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California on Sunday reported 24,111 new cases for a total of 3,109,151 as well as 429 new fatalities, bringing its death toll to 36,790.

Texas added 9,731 new cases and 208 deaths, for a total of 1,960,061 infections and 34,322 fatalities.

Florida reported 9,535 new cases and 129 new resident deaths bringing its totals to 1,649,449 infections and 25,293 Floridian fatalities since the start of the pandemic.

New York added 12,720 new infections for a total of 1,326,987 and added 160 fatalities, bringing its death toll to 34,069. Including probable cases in New City City, the total is 42325, the most in the U.S.

Illinois added 3,292 new cases and 40 deaths, bringing its totals to 1,101,819 infections and 1,930 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

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