Biden's COVID-19 response team resumes regular briefings with grim forecast

  • Expressing the need for more transparency in its battle against the coronavirus, President Biden's White House COVID-19 response team held its first press briefing on Wednesday to discuss the state of a pandemic that has killed more than 426,000 Americans.
  • The administration said it will schedule three briefings a week. The next one will be on Friday.
  • According to the CDC’s most recent projections, the U.S. death toll will rise to between 479,000 and 514,000 by Feb. 20.
  • The new forecast comes as variants of the virus that may be more transmissible, more lethal or both have been spreading widely in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil, and are beginning to turn up in the U.S.

Staying Safe

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A coronavirus variant in the U.K. has caused alarm because it might spread more easily. But even if that turns out to be true, experts say the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out will likely still work on the strain.

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How can I persuade someone to get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Medical experts say vaccine-induced herd immunity is the best way to end the pandemic. Here's what everyday Americans can do to encourage their families, friends and community members to get the vaccine.

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Will travel bans help contain new coronavirus strains?

A newly identified variant of the coronavirus has led over 40 countries to impose travel restrictions against the United Kingdom, which registered a record number of daily cases.

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Am I immune to the coronavirus if I’ve already had it?

You have some immunity, but how much and for how long are still unanswered questions.

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What are the treatment options for COVID-19?

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Even though it’s known as a respiratory virus, doctors believe the coronavirus can directly infect the heart muscle and cause other problems leading to heart damage.

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Public health glossary

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WHO's FAQ guide

See the World Health Organization's FAQ guide to get informed about the coronavirus.

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By the numbers

Cases by State

StatesConfirmedDeceased
California3,062,06835,768
Texas2,097,56031,831
Florida1,627,60725,405
New York 1,300,48141,698
Illinois1,093,37520,534
Ohio853,98210,599
Georgia853,17313,060
Pennsylvania794,17220,321
Arizona708,04112,001
North Carolina705,5358,464
Tennessee701,8478,777
Indiana605,4269,642
Michigan594,92014,947
Wisconsin577,9916,135
New Jersey555,29920,320
Massachusetts491,45213,987
Virginia463,7516,002
Minnesota452,2686,032
Missouri445,6216,527
Alabama436,0876,486
South Carolina409,1886,404
Colorado383,0085,462
Louisiana380,2558,483
Oklahoma365,9923,187
Kentucky340,7793,337
Maryland336,9156,792
Utah333,1181,571
Iowa310,9384,478
Washington298,2494,114
Arkansas281,3824,549
Nevada268,2123,958
Kansas266,6533,598
Mississippi261,1675,713
Connecticut237,8156,819
Nebraska185,3461,868
New Mexico167,7313,077
Idaho158,7981,667
Oregon136,8391,865
West Virginia113,6151,856
Rhode Island109,7352,083
Puerto Rico107,1581,272
South Dakota106,7166,159
North Dakota96,5671,403
Montana91,0491,104
Delaware73,2331,027
New Hampshire60,951971
Alaska52,901254
Wyoming50,583571
Maine36,274540
Washington34,905867
Hawaii24,870332
Vermont10,759169
Guam7,106118

By the numbers

News near you

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U.S. COVID-19 holiday wave slowing

The latest surge in coronavirus cases is starting to ease in the U.S., prompting some states to pull back public health restrictions. Last month, as the disease spread over the holidays, states like California and New York went under partial shutdowns, with stay-at-home orders, but this week there has been some improvements. Severe COVID-19 infections are starting to decline, although the death toll mounts. Hospitalisations have fallen nearly 18 percent from the beginning of January, a key indicator of the disease's slowing pace, spread and severity. Citing the improvements, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo lifted economic restrictions in areas where infection rates had been high and soon plans to reopen New York City restaurants. At a press conference on Wednesday, Cuomo said "At this point it's safe to say the holiday surge was anticipated, the holiday surge did happen, but the holiday surge is over." In California this week, Governor Gavin Newsom lifted stay-at-home orders in much of the state. The decision reopens hair salons and outdoor dining, although indoor worship services remain banned. The state's most densely populated county, Los Angeles, is looking to reopen schools within two or three weeks, according to an LA Times report on Wednesday. Although, it's unclear when the final decision will be made as teachers unions and school districts must agree on when and how to re-open. Meanwhile, U.S. leadership is overseeing a choppy rollout of vaccines amid an emerging threat of more infectious COVID-19 variants from Brazil, the U.K. and South Africa. President Joe Biden warned earlier this week, "It's going to take months for us to turn things around."
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