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US sets deadly record: over 3,200 COVID deaths as vaccine approaches | United States and Canada

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The United States recorded a record number of COVID-19-related deaths on Wednesday, and dozens of hospitals reached capacity as the pandemic spread, as the country braces for vaccine deployment in the next few days.

Deaths from COVID-19 have reached 3,253, Reuters news agency reported, with a record 106,219 people hospitalized with highly infectious respiratory disease.

The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases. At least 1,572,423 have been infected with the virus, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. Nearly 290,000 died Thursday.

Many have observed that Wednesday’s death toll is higher than the 2,977 people who died on September 11, 2001, the attacks that saw planes fly through New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington, DC, sparking an ongoing war in Afghanistan. today.

Healthcare professionals and support staff, exhausted by the demands of the pandemic, have seen patients die alone as millions of Americans refuse to follow medical advice to wear masks and avoid crowds in order to curb the disease. spread of the virus.

Of the approximately 2,200 U.S. counties, in 126 hospitals were 90% occupied on average, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) analyzed by the COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project.

Texas, Kentucky, Georgia, Minnesota, and Oklahoma are the states with the highest hospitalization rates.

Critical care units in hundreds of hospitals across the country were at or near full capacity, HHS data showed.

Ten predominantly rural California counties said they had no intensive care beds on Wednesday, according to state health figures analyzed by Reuters.

A vaccine to help stem infections could start reaching healthcare workers, first responders and nursing home residents as early as Sunday, though more likely early next week, Trump administration officials say.

U.S. Army General Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed ​​vaccine development program, said all vaccine doses remain in the hands of drug companies.

“But we have worked through many repetitions and planning cycles … and that is why I am convinced that as soon as the EUA (Emergency Use Authorization) arrives on board, we will start packing to the final destinations. and distribution will begin within 24 hours, “Reuters quoted Perna as saying.

Shania Dod opens a test kit to collect a sample from a patient at a COVID-19 testing site at United Memorial Medical Center, Wednesday, July 8, 2020, in Houston [David J Phillip/AP Photo]

A panel of independent medical experts is expected to decide on Thursday whether to recommend a vaccine from Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE for emergency use authorization from the United States Food and Drug Administration.

FDA consent could come as early as Friday or Saturday, followed by the first US injections on Sunday or Monday, Operation Warp chief advisor Moncef Slaoui told Fox News.

A second vaccine developed by Moderna is a week late.

However, large-scale inoculations could take months.


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