US coronavirus news summary for Thursday 10 December

US coronavirus live updates: cases, deaths, vaccine latest and stimulus checks news

US coronavirus live updates: 10 December

News Summary:

Coronavirus confirmed cases / deaths (source JHU

United States: 15,413,913 / 289,970

World: 69,139,809 / 1,575,701 

Headlines

- Advisory panel recommends approving Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use in the US

- US records over 3,000 daily covid deaths for first time on Wednesday

- FDA hearing on Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine taking place today

- Mnuchin tables new coronavirus package to include a round of $600 stimulus checks

- Two allergy sufferers in the UK report anaphylaxis after receiving covid-19 vaccination

- RKI warns of "serious situation" in Germany as cases rise

- Regulators clarify there's no known link between vaccine and Bell's palsy

- Rudy Guliani receives Remdesivir and Dexamethasone after testing positive for coronavirus

- Canada becomes third country to approve Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

- Biden will repeal 'Muslim ban' within first 100 days in office

- Further details emerge on $908bn bipartisan covid relief bill

- President-elect Biden names health team picks, nominating Xavier Becerra as secretary of health 

 

Browse some of our latest related stories:

WATCH: pandemic advisor on vaccine popularity

A member of Joe Biden's covid-19 team says “I think once people see more people getting vaccinated with this vaccine, they [will] see that it's safe.”

Airline workers push to be among first groups to get covid-19 vaccine

As a COVID-19 vaccine is on the cusp of rolling out in the United States, frontline airline workers are campaigning to move up in the vaccine priority line. 

More than a dozen airline and aviation unions asked the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in a Thursday letter to prioritize "frontline aviation workers in the next phase of vaccine allocation (Phase 1b) after health workers and residents in long term facilities in your upcoming recommendations to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."

The ACIP is an independent group convened by the CDC to offer advice on who should get specific vaccines and when. Via USA Today

Pandemic lockdowns see global CO2 emissions plummet 7% in 2020

A locked-down pandemic-struck world cut its carbon dioxide emissions this year by 7%, the biggest drop ever, new preliminary figures show.

The Global Carbon Project, an authoritative group of dozens of international scientists who track emissions, calculated that the world will have put 37 billion U.S. tons (34 billion metric tons) of carbon dioxide in the air in 2020. That’s down from 40.1 billion US tons (36.4 billion metric tons) in 2019, according a study published Thursday in the journal Earth System Science Data.

Scientists say this drop is chiefly because people are staying home, traveling less by car and plane, and that emissions are expected to jump back up after the pandemic ends. Ground transportation makes up about one-fifth of emissions of carbon dioxide, the chief man-made heat-trapping gas.

$300 unemployment benefits boost in stimulus proposal

A cross-party group of Senators has tabled a coronavirus relief bill which would see an additional $180 billion made available to help those who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.

Will Gittins has the full story:

No stimulus check, the new middle ground stimulus bill explained

A new bipartisan stimulus bill is progressing through talks in Congress, but it does not include direct payments to individuals.

Here's what is included:

How long are NJ unemployment benefits extended for?

New Jersey workers who have exhausted their unemployment benefits have been given an extension and can claim extra weeks of benefit from this week.

Read the full story:

US committee recommends approval of first vaccine against coronavirus

The Pfizer/BioNTech covid-19 vaccine is close to being granted Emergency Use Authorization, having already been approved in the UK, Bahrain and Canada.

Read the full story:

Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine recommended for emergency use by FDA advisory panel

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has recommended that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine be approved for emergency use in people over the age of 16. The vote of confidence comes after a day of hearings as the US looks to approve its first coronavirus vaccine. 

The vote in favour does not yet officially mark the start of vaccination in the US, but now that the outside panel has made their recommendation the FDA appear almost certain to grant emergency use authorisation. The UK, Canada and Bahrain were the first nations to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccination. 

Death of NH Speaker of the House confirmed as covid-19

Yesterday it was announced that Dick Hinch had died at the age of 71. Just a week earlier Mr Hinch was sworn in as New Hampshire Speaker of the House after the Republicans had taken control of the state's legislature. An autoposy report has confirmed that Mr Hinch died after contracting the coronavirus. 

Governor Chris Sununu (R) has released a statement calling Speaker Hinch "a fierce defender of the New Hampshire Advantage, a close friend, and a respected public servant."

TIME 'Person of the Year' to be announced today

2020 has been a year unlike any other, but who has been the defining figure (or figures) of the last 12 months? That's the task for TIME Magazine as they are set to announce their annual 'Person of the Year' award today, selected from an extremely varied shortlist. 

Both presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Joe Biden, are on the shortlist after an election campaign that saw the country more divided than any in modern American history. Also on the list are nominations for the people who have encapsulated the two greatest collective efforts of the year. Healthcare workers have been put under enormous strain to save lives throughout a devastating pandemic, while participants in the racial justice movement have looked to overturn centuries of inequality. 

Is there an allergy risk with the coronavirus vaccine?

The Pfizer/BioNTech shot was the first covid-19 vaccination to be approved for use but two recipients in the UK have reported symptoms of anaphylaxis after taking it. Medicine regulators in the UK have advised that the guidelines be changed to protect patients who suffer from allergies. 

US hits new record number of daily covid-19 deaths

For the first time since the pandemic took hold the US has recorded over 3,000 deaths in a single day as 3,250 patients lost their lives on Wednesday. America has recorded both more cases and more deaths than any other country in the world, and is closing in on 300,000 deaths. 

All eyes will be on todays FDA hearing into the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which experts hope could be administered to the most vulnerable patients and healthcare workers within the coming days. 

 

Giuliani given special access to anti-viral treatment because of "celebrity" status

President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani has told WABC radio in New York that he has received extra care since his positive coronavirus test because he is a "celebrity". Giuliani became the latest member of Trump's inner circle to contract the virus and did so after appearing in courtrooms across the country to litigate the President's failing election lawsuits. 

Trump received Regeneron's antibody cocktail when he tested positive in October and two of his advisors, Ben Carson and Chris Christie, were also given the hard-to-come-by treatment which is so scarce that some hospitals now use a 'lottery' to decide who is given it. Giuliani becomes the latest to get this preferential, presidential treatment. 

Elf reunion to support Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia

The stars of iconic Christmas movie Elf are reuniting 13 years after the film was released. On 13 December, Will Ferrell will appear alongside his co-stars Zooey Deschanel, Bob Newhart, Edward Asner, Mary Steenburgen, Amy Sedaris in a special event to support the two Democrat challengers for Georgia's Senate seats, Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock.

“I'm excited to bring Buddy back to the small screen to benefit the critical Senate runoff elections in Georgia," said Ferrell, who is a life-long Democratic supporter. “We need new leadership in the U.S. Senate, and I'm hoping that Buddy and the rest of the Elf cast, can play a small role in delivering that change.”

Covid-19 relief bills

Lawmakers in Washington DC continue to hammer out details of covid-19 relief, the White House has stepped in raising the hope of another stimulus check.

Read more:

Trump's new favorite news source

The conservative news outlet, which has been strongly promoted by President Donald Trump, is now looking to build on its success at the expense of the Murdoch channel.

Read more:

All we have is our health 

Although there is no silver bullet to keep you safe from covid-19 or any of the other bugs that might afflict us this winter, the stronger your immune system is the better chance you have of fighting off an infection.  One of the ways you can do that is by practicing some simple lifestyle to keep your immune system working at its best. In addition to taking two simple steps to stay infection-free by diligently wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing.

No shirt, no shoes, no mask... 

A Florida man, who was shopping at a Best Buy, when asked to wear a mask, instead of putting on a mask when asked began coughing, sneezing and spitting around the store. He eventually left but was later arrested on disorderly conduct according to the Washington Post

Florida, which has had about 1.1 million coronavirus cases and more than 19,700 deaths, does not have a mask mandate. Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has banned local governments from enforcing mask mandates. But because Best Buy as a company requires masks, the governor’s order doesn’t apply to private businesses.

The haves and the have-nots of covid-19 

Rudy Giuliani conceded in an interview that his “celebrity” status had given him access to care that others did not have in reporting by the New York Times. Giuliani is latest member of President Trump’s inner circle to contract Covid-19. He acknowledged that he received at least two of the same drugs the president received like the others from Trump’s circle.

However officials in states around the nation are having to choose which patients get those same medicines in a lottery like system due to shortages. Mr. Giuliani’s candid admission once again exposes just how much covid-19 has become a disease of the haves and the have-nots.

Mpls votes to shift police funding 

The Minneapolis City Council passed a budget Thursday that shifts about $8 million from the Police Department to other services. The budget avoided a political showdown with Mayor Jacob Frey by making concessions and maintaining police staffing numbers for 2021 which the council had proposed cutting.
 

Covid-19 has been hard for sports fans 

In week 14 game line-up only 6 of the 16 scheduled NFL games will allow fans at limited capacity in to the stadium according to NBC Sports. Comedian Charlie Berens expresses what a lot of fans are feeling these days. 

Doctors share a glimpse of covid-19 with public 

As the surge from the Thanksgiving holiday begins to become apparent and hospitals at the breaking point several doctors and nurses have taken to social media in recent weeks. In an effort to make emotional pleas to warn people about the seriousness of the virus they are sharing snapshot of the reality of the outbreak at hospitals. One doctor shared how one of many patients she is treating had a large Thanksgiving get-together, now all 22 present are showing signs of covid-19, some serious.

LA

A person wearing a face mask and carrying a bag passes by a food pick up zone amid the coronavirus pandemic and the Stay-At-Home regulation underway in Los Angeles. An overwhelming majority of California's residents went into lockdown on December 7, 2020, putting 33 million people under stay-at-home orders as the United States battles record covid deaths and Britain readied to vaccinate the elderly and frontline staff. (Photo by VALERIE MACON / AFP)

UK’s first coronavirus vaccine recipient discharged

Margaret Keenan, who made headlines across the world when she became the first person to receive the Pfizer vaccine in the UK, has been discharged from hospital. 

Each country is making different choices when it comes to the delivery of a coronavirus vaccine. How do the first to the finish line compare?

SA

South African pharma regulator to fast track vaccine applications

South Africa intends to fast track regulatory approval for covid-19 vaccines and expects the first applications within a fortnight, pharmaceutical regulator SAHPRA told Reuters, as the country faces a second wave of infections.

South Africa is the continent's hardest-hit country with more than 828,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 22,000 deaths. Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said on Wednesday that four of the country's nine provinces were driving a resurgence in cases.

The government hopes to receive its first vaccines from the COVAX global vaccine distribution scheme in the second quarter of next year.

"SAHPRA will prioritise all covid-19 applications and will apply an expedited approach to health products, including vaccines," said Yuven Gounden, spokesman for the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority.

The expedited method will include a "rolling review approach" where vaccine candidate evaluation is done as data becomes available, he added. 

Photo: REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Covid-19 infections and deaths in Germany likely to rise further 

Coronavirus infections and related deaths in Germany are likely to rise further in the coming weeks, a senior health official at the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases (RKI) said on Thursday.

The current rise in covid-19 infections is worrying, RKI chief Lothar Wieler said. "The situation is still very serious and has deteriorated over the past week. Currently we are seeing a rise in infections."

The head of RKI's surveillance unit, Ute Rexroth, said the rise in cases especially in the federal states of Thuringia, Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt was worrying. 

Germany's reported covid-19 death toll is still rising sharply, increasing by 440 to 20,372 over the past 24 hours, RKI data showed on Thursday.

Confirmed covid-19 cases in Germany increased by 23,679 to 1,242,203, setting a new record daily rise, according to the RKI data. The previous record was an increase of 23,648 reported on 20 November.

Latest figures shows hospitals close to breaking point across the US

As the number of covid-19 cases continues to surge across the US figures released by the Department of Health and Human Services show that many hospitals are close to capacity. Hospitals that serve over 100 million Americans reported last week that they have fewer than 15% of their intensive care beds still available. This came before the Thanksgiving surge of cases and before what is expected to be a dangerous festive period. 

Beth Blauer, director of the Centers for Civic Impact at Johns Hopkins University, said of the ongoing public health emergency: “There’s only so much our frontline care can offer, particularly when you get to these really rural counties which are being hit hard by the pandemic right now."

Covid-19 vaccine to arrive in Canada next week

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has confirmed that the first doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine will start arriving in the country from Monday. Canada became the third country in the world to approve the vaccine on Wednesday after the United Kingdom and Bahrain. Nearly a quarter of a million doses should be made available before the year end while other vaccines, such as one produced by Moderna, are also under review by Canadian health authorities.

In the US the Food and Drug Administration have affirmed the vaccine's safety and its 95% effectiveness at preventing the coronavirus, and an FDA advisory panel meeting on Thursday is expected to grant permission for emergency use. 

Four days last week among deadliest eight in American history

In this shocking breakdown figures show that each of four days last week - Tuesday to Friday - were all more deadly than Pearl Harbour and each day only slightly less deadly than 9/11.

Regulators clarify no known link between vaccine and Bell's palsy

Four people fell ill during a clinical trial for Pfizer but we also know that the frequency is in line with the trend in a normal population.

J&J to cut enrollment for vaccine trial by 20,000 as cases rise

Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday it has cut enrollment for its pivotal covid-19 vaccine trial to 40,000 volunteers from its original plan for 60,000, as higher rates of covid-19 infections amid a worsening pandemic should generate the data it needs with fewer study subjects.

The move could speed up the time frame for US regulatory clearance, because they will need two months of follow-up safety data from 10,000 fewer people in order to meet US Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

A top US official said on a Wednesday press call that the lower target means the trial could be fully enrolled this week. J&J said it continues to expect an interim data readout in late January and could apply for US emergency use authorization (EUA) in February.

"Given the high incidence of covid-19 among the general population, we expect that approximately 40,000 participants will generate the data needed to determine the safety and efficacy of our investigational covid-19 vaccine candidate," J&J said in a statement.

italia

A passenger arriving from New York on an Alitalia flight undergoes a rapid antigen swab test for covid-19 at a Rapid Test Area set up at Rome's Fiumicino airport. Italy launched Europe's first coronavirus-free corridor with the United States for passengers who have tested negative for covid-19, scrapping the obligation for new arrivals to quarantine, after Rome's Fiumicino airport sealed a deal with Italian airline Alitalia and Delta Air Lines of the United States for the special flights between selected North American cities and the Italian capital. (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO / AFP)

US coronavirus live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our rolling coverage of the coronavirus crisis as it unfolds in the United States and across the world on Thursday 10 December. 

We'll endeavour to keep you up to date with all the latest developments surrounding the pandemic as vaccine programs continue to be rolled out globally as the world battles covid-19.  

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