US cases cross 11 million, with 1 million cases in last week alone (Lead)

The United States is now home to more than 11 million coronavirus cases, with the latest one million cases coming at breakneck speed in the last week alone, according to Johns Hopkins Covid-19 data. The US death toll has gone past 2,46,000 on November 15.

More than 45 states are seeing record spikes during the pandemic’s winter surge. Hospitals are at capacity in several states and doctors are pleading with Americans to hunker down because the “vaccines are coming, it’s just a matter of a couple of months.”

North Dakota is in such dire straits that hospitals there are allowing infected but asymptomatic nurses to treat Covid-19 patients.

But outside, in malls and grocery stores, Americans are out in full force – a stark contrast to the grim public health crisis that continues to hammer the country.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths was more than 1,000 this weekend, ticking higher than in preceding weeks.

Based on current trajectory, America is hurtling towards an ominous coronavirus toll of more than 4,00,000 by next Spring, according to new projections from a predictive model used often by data crunchers in Donald Trump’s White House coronavirus task force.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington is predicting a total of 438,941 deaths in America by March 1, 2021.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves on the Trump coronavirus task force, and President-elect Biden are pleading with Americans to wear masks and socially distance until the vaccines arrive – very soon.

Roughly 20 million people could be vaccinated against the coronavirus in December, the chief of the Donald Trump administration’s vaccine coordination program has indicated. Anywhere from 25 to 30 million people could be vaccinated each month afterward.

The US is working with a portfolio of six vaccines, using three different platform technologies and two candidates from each platform: messenger RNA, live viral vectors and recombinant protein.

Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use the messenger RNA platform, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca in partnership with Oxford University are on the live vector path while Novavax and Sanofi/ GlaxoSmithKline are building out their vaccine candidates on the recombinant protein platform.

One of them – Pfizer – announced that it has achieved 90 per cent efficacy. The company hopes to file for emergency use authorisation as soon as its final efficacy results arrive in the third week of November.

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