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The number of deaths from the virus in the United States has exceeded 400,000.

More than 400,000 people in the United States with the coronavirus have died, according to data compiled by The New York Times on Tuesday, as the anniversary of the country’s first known death in the pandemic approaches.

The rate at which Americans are dying accelerated during the fall and winter, reaching record levels in January. For a few weeks this month, the average daily death toll exceeded 3,300, more than the number killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tuesday’s heartbreaking milestone came a day after the United States surpassed 24 million total cases.

The deadliest day in the pandemic to date was January 12, when more than 4,400 deaths were reported. Unlike the early days of the outbreak in the United States, which was concentrated in a handful of major cities, mostly in the northeast, this surge is widespread. Arizona, California, South Carolina, New York and Oklahoma had reported the most new cases per capita in the previous week on Monday. Much of the latest wave has been attributed to the gathering of people over the holidays, from Thanksgiving to New Years Eve.

The time taken to record each 100,000 deaths has dramatically decreased since the nation’s first known death from Covid-19, which occurred in Santa Clara County, Calif., On February 6, 2020. The first 100,000 deaths in the United States were confirmed by May 27; it then took the nation four months to register an additional 100,000 deaths; the next, about three months; the last, only five weeks.

Public health experts don’t expect death rates to peak until the end of the month. By the end of February, the death toll could reach 500,000, a figure that would have seemed unthinkable a year ago. Dr Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, estimated in March that up to 240,000 Americans could lose their lives, a huge figure that is still far from the reality.

The United States has recorded more deaths from the virus than any other country in the world. In total, New York alone recorded over 40,000

death. In all, more than two million people have died from the virus worldwide, a number which is almost certainly an undercount.

Responsibility for the huge loss of American lives, many experts say, lies in the failed leadership of President Trump, whose administration politicized the use of masks and left states to implement a patchwork of inconsistent measures who have not controlled the virus.

“It’s not that he was just incompetent,” said Jeffrey Shaman, a Columbia University professor of environmental health sciences who modeled the spread of the virus. “He made something that could very easily have turned into a point of patriotism, pride and national unity – protecting your neighbors, protecting your loved ones, protecting your community – into a matter of division, as he has. habit, and it cost people their lives. “

By comparison, Vietnam, a nation of 97 million people, has only confirmed 35 virus-related deaths, Dr Shaman added.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., due to be inaugurated on Wednesday, called for an aggressive national strategy to defeat the virus, including increasing the availability of Covid-19 vaccines, although he has not committed to a federal government. mandate mask.

“You have my word that we will handle the hell of this operation,” Biden said Friday, pointing to the disproportionately deadly consequences of the virus for blacks, Latin Americans and Native Americans. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

With the virus that has been rampant everywhere for so many months, hospitals have been stretched. In rural areas, doctors have sometimes been unable to transfer seriously ill patients to larger medical centers for more sophisticated treatment.

As of Monday, the seven-day average of cases in the United States was 200,000 per day, although it has started to decline in recent weeks. Hospitalizations have finally started to stabilize and hit their lowest level since January 2 on Sunday. In the Midwest, hit by its worst surge in the fall, the number of cases has fallen sharply in recent weeks, but that increase appears to be slowing.

However, new variants of the virus, some of which make it more transmissible, could soon spread and threaten to increase infections again.

“There is no clear end in sight in the near future,” said Ira M. Longini Jr., professor of biostatistics at the University of Florida.

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One year, 400,000 deaths from coronavirus: how the United States guaranteed its own failure

New president Joseph R. Biden Jr. has said he will reaffirm a federal strategy to bring the virus under control, including a call for everyone to wear masks over the next 100 days and a coordinated plan to expand delivery of vaccines. “We are going to handle the hell of this operation,” Biden said Friday. “Our administration will lead with science and scientists.”

The strategy signals a change from last year, in which the Trump administration largely delegated responsibility for controlling the virus and reopening the economy to 50 governors, fracturing the nation’s response. Interviews with more than 100 health officials, political and community leaders across the country, and a review of state government emails and other records provide a more complete picture of all that went wrong:

  • The severity of the current outbreak can be attributed to the rush to reopen last spring. Many governors acted quickly, sometimes acting over the objections of their advisers. Nationwide reopenings have resulted in a surge in new infections that have grown over time: never again would the country’s average fall below 20,000 new cases per day.

  • Science has been sidelined at all levels of government. More than 100 state and local health officials have been fired or resigned since the start of the pandemic. Leading scientists in Florida offered their expertise to the governor’s office but were marginalized, while Gov. Ron DeSantis turned to Dr. Scott W. Atlas, an adviser to Trump, and others whose views have been adopted in conservative circles but rejected by many scientists.

  • While the president publicly downplayed the need for masks, White House officials privately recommended that some states with worsening epidemics require a face mask in public spaces. But records show at least 26 states ignored White House recommendations on masks and other health concerns. In South Dakota, housekeeper Kristi Noem bragged to her political allies that she didn’t need masks even as her state was in the midst of an epidemic that has become one of the worst in the country.

Colorado Governor Jared Polis said states have faced tough choices in balancing the virus – often hearing competing voices on how best to do it – and said Mr Trump left them without political support which they needed as they urged the public to accept the masks. and social distancing. “The most important thing that would have made a difference was the clarity of the message from the person at the top,” Polis said in an interview.

The pandemic has indeed been accompanied by significant challenges, including record unemployment and a dynamic disease that continues to circle the globe. Without a national White House strategy, it is unlikely that any state could have completely stopped the spread of the pandemic.

But the majority of deaths in the United States have since come as the strategies needed to contain it were clear to state leaders, who had an array of options, from ordering masks to targeted closures and increased testing. Disparities emerged between states that took restrictions seriously and those that did not.

America now represents 4% of the world’s population, but accounts for about 20% of deaths worldwide. While Australia, Japan and South Korea have shown that it is possible to reduce the number of deaths, the United States – armed with wealth, scientific prowess and global power – has emerged as the world leader: they now have one of the highest concentrations of deaths, with nearly many deaths being reported as in any other country.

Spring

The country once had the chance to embark on the path to defeat the virus.

There had been many missteps in the beginning. The United States failed to create a large testing and contact tracing network in January and February, which could have identified the first cases and possibly curb the crisis. Then cases exploded silently in New York City, as Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio waited crucial days to shut down schools and businesses.

Thousands of lives could have been saved in the New York metropolitan area alone if measures had been in place even a week earlier, the researchers said. Driven by the spring rush, New York and New Jersey have the nation’s worst death rates to date.

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States Prepare for Armed Protests Following Attack on U.S. Capitol

Preparing for the potential for violent protests in the days leading up to the presidential inauguration on January 20, state officials call in National Guard troops, erect towering fences, and close Capitol grounds in response to the warning of the FBI that armed protesters could be capital cities across the country.

A New York Times survey of all 50 states found at least 10 – California, Oregon, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington, Kentucky, Maine, Illinois and Florida – that activate National Guard troops in their capitals. Texas, Virginia and Kentucky are among the states that plan to close their Capitol lands at various times in the coming days.

Some states where legislatures are preparing to meet, such as New Mexico, have placed protective fences around their capitals. Michigan and Indiana have made the extraordinary decision to cancel their legislative activities next week due to the possibility of violence.

Actions taken by state officials underline growing fear of continued violence in the country following last week’s popular attack on the U.S. Capitol in which assailants back the president’s efforts Trump to overthrow the presidential election broke into the building.

“If you are planning to come here or to Washington with a bad intention in your heart, you must turn around now and go home,” Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia, said at a press conference Thursday. “You are not welcome here and you are not welcome in our nation’s capital. And if you come here and play, Virginia will be ready.

Virginia officials took the unusual step of closing the Capitol Square grounds on Monday in Richmond, where an event called Lobby Day is held annually to allow people to meet elected officials. An estimated 22,000 people attended the event last year, many of whom were gun rights activists. This year, in addition to the closure of Capitol Square, authorities canceled permits for gatherings scheduled for Lobby Day.

An example of the volatility of the situation emerged in Florida on Friday, where the FBI arrested former U.S. Army infantryman Daniel Alan Baker, 33, from Tallahassee, the state capital. Mr. Baker “specifically called on others to join him in surrounding protesters and confining them to the Capitol compound using firearms,” ​​the FBI said in an arrest report.

Tallahassee mayor John Dailey on Friday called on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to activate the National Guard in preparation for the weekend’s protests. Shortly after, Mr. DeSantis, a Republican, announced that he was activating the Guard “in response to reports of potential civil unrest.”

Concerns are particularly acute in Michigan, where Governor Gretchen Whitmer has activated the Michigan National Guard to assist with security around the State Capitol in Lansing. The move follows the flooding of the Michigan Capitol last year by armed extremists protesting the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

Fourteen people have been indicted in Michigan on charges of terrorism, conspiracy and weapons. At least six of them, officials said, had developed a detailed plan to kidnap Ms Whitmer, a Democrat who has become a focal point of anti-government views and anger over the coronavirus control measures.

In Lansing, a six-foot-high fence has been erected around the State Capitol and the windows of state office buildings have been barricaded to guard against potentially violent protests that are expected Sunday and Wednesday.

The state legislature, which has just held its first session of the year and is scheduled to meet several times next week, canceled those sessions after hearing of “credible threats” received by state police from Michigan.

The increased law enforcement presence will continue at least until mid-February, Michigan State Police Director Col. Joe Gasper said. He declined to reveal how many other police and National Guard members would be in place to guard against the violence.

Yet not all states see the need for increased security. In North Dakota, for example, Kim Koppelman, a Republican who is the speaker of the state House of Representatives, said, “Suffice it to say that security is in place and adequate to meet all the challenges expected. . “

“No major changes have been implemented in response to riots, property damage and attacks in the country last year, or in response to the violence on the US Capitol last week,” Koppelman said.

But other states are taking different steps. California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday authorized the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops and surrounded the grounds of the State Capitol in Sacramento with a six-foot chain-link covered fence to “prepare for and respond to” credible threats ”.

In Illinois, Governor JB Pritzker activated 250 members of the National Guard in response to FBI warnings about potential armed protests, in addition to the 300 Illinois troops already activated in support of the inauguration in Washington.

Illinois officials have said their goal is for the soldiers to help local authorities enforce designated street closures and perimeters.

“Our Soldiers and Airmen come from every community in Illinois, and each has sworn to protect their communities, state and nation,” said Maj. Gen. Rich Neely, Illinois adjutant general and commander of the Illinois National Guard.

Shawn hubler, Mitch smith, John yoon, Michael hardy, Alex Lemonides, Jordan allen and Alyssa Burr contributed to the reporting.

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More than half of states expand access to vaccines, sparking hope and chaos

More than half of states expand access to vaccines, sparking hope and chaos At least 28 states have started immunizing older people. In the midst of a changing deployment, here’s a look at what each state is doing: By Lucy Tompkins, Amy Schoenfeld Walker, Jasmine C. Lee, Danielle Ivory and Mitch Smith

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The United States executes Corey Johnson for 7 murders in 1992

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration executed Corey Johnson on Thursday for a series of seven murders in 1992. He was the 12th federal inmate to be put to death under President Trump.

Mr Johnson committed the murders in the Richmond, Va. Area to further a drug company that trafficked large amounts of cocaine. Among his crimes were the shooting with a semi-automatic weapon of a rival drug dealer, the murder of a woman who had not paid for crack cocaine and the shooting of a man at close range whom Mr Johnson suspected to cooperate with the police.

Mr Johnson, 52, was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 11:34 p.m. at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indonesia, the Bureau of Prisons said.

Asked by an executioner if he had any final words, Mr Johnson replied, “No, I’m fine,” according to a report by a reporter present. Seconds later, he said softly, “I love you,” looking at a room reserved for his family members.

In a statement released by a spokesperson for his defense team, Mr Johnson apologized to families who were victims of his actions and listed the names of the seven murder victims, asking that they be recalled.

“In the street, I was looking for shortcuts, I had good models, I was on the side, I was blind and stupid,” he says. “I’m not the same man I used to be.”

Mr Johnson thanked the chaplain, his minister, his legal team and the staff of the special detention unit. He noted that “the pizza and strawberry shake were wonderful,” but that he had never received the jelly-filled donuts he ordered, a reference to his last meal request. “What is that? he added. “This should be fixed.”

Mr Johnson tested positive for the coronavirus last month, shortly after the government scheduled his execution, during an outbreak in the Federal District of Death at Terre Haute prison. At least 22 of the men held in the death row have tested positive, lawyers for the prisoners and others familiar with their cases have said. Madeline Cohen, who represents two of the men, said she is aware of 33 cases.

In a request to delay Mr Johnson’s execution, his lawyers said the virus had caused significant lung damage. They argued that his execution would violate the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment, as he could experience a sensation of suffocation or drowning if put to death with the federal government’s method, which uses a single drug, pentobarbital. Instead, his lawyers suggested, Mr Johnson could be executed by a firing squad or the Prisons Office could administer an anesthetic pain reliever before the pentobarbital injection.

Specifically, Mr Johnson’s lawyers argued that the combination of the coronavirus and the government’s lethal injection protocol would place him “particularly at risk of suffering from flash pulmonary edema while remaining susceptible.” Flash pulmonary edema, a condition in which fluid builds up quickly in the lungs, has been at the center of some challenges to the federal government’s enforcement protocol. The courts have been largely unresponsive to these requests.

But briefly, it looked like the coronavirus would provide Mr Johnson with reprieve. A U.S. District Court judge for the District of Columbia has suspended Mr Johnson’s execution and another execution scheduled for at least Friday until March. Shortly thereafter, a panel of judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned that order.

Joined by another panel judge, Court of Appeal Judge Gregory G. Katsas cited Supreme Court precedent that the Eighth Amendment “does not guarantee a prisoner a painless death – which, of course, is not guaranteed to many. people.'”

In a Supreme Court case, the government opposed its lethal injection protocol to death by hanging, saying hanging could cause suffocation for several minutes. Even if coronavirus infections made prisoners’ executions more painful, the government argued, the “brief duration of pain”, most likely measured in seconds or at most two minutes, would be much less than that of inmates executed by hanging .

Mr Johnson “is a convicted serial killer who has murdered and mutilated several people on different occasions, and whose victims have included innocent bystanders,” the government said in a separate Supreme Court file. “Their families have waited decades for the sentence to be carried out and are now in Terre Haute, Indonesia, for execution.”

A majority of the Supreme Court sided with the government in denying Mr Johnson’s stay requests.

Mr Johnson’s lawyers also sought to challenge his execution arguing that he was intellectually disabled, which made it illegal.

His claims of intellectual disability were dismissed on the grounds that an IQ of 77 was considered too high to merit the diagnosis, his lawyers said. But they argued that results from other IQ tests and an adjusted version of the same score indicated that he was classified as intellectually disabled.

But refuting these claims, the Justice Department argued that the murders were planned and not impulsive acts by someone incapable of calculated judgments. For example, when the pharmaceutical company was operating in Trenton, NJ, Mr Johnson beat people with a metal bat to protect the company, the government said.

Lawyers for another man executed by the Trump administration – Alfred Bourgeois in December – also argued that their client was intellectually disabled. In both cases, a majority of the Supreme Court rejected the prisoners’ claims.

Two of Mr Johnson’s attorneys still argued their client lacked the capacity to be a drug mainstay, as the government described it. In a statement, they said he could barely read or write, struggled with basic tasks of daily living and was “a follower, in desperate need of approval, support and guidance.”

“No court has ever held a hearing to consider the overwhelming evidence of Mr. Johnson’s intellectual disability,” said attorneys Donald P. Salzman and Ronald J. Tabak. “And the leniency process has failed to play its historic role as a safeguard against violations of due process and the rule of law.”

Mr Johnson was convicted in 1993 of seven capital murders, among a host of other charges relating to drug trafficking and acts of violence. His lawyers have argued unsuccessfully that he should be granted a stay under the First Step Act, a bill signed by Mr. Trump that allowed, among other things, shortened sentences for some drug offenders.

Two other people involved in the conspiracy – Richard Tipton and James Roane – who together trafficked large amounts of cocaine in the Richmond area in the early 1990s, were also sentenced to death.

Mr. Tipton and Mr. Roane remain in the federal penitentiary of Terre Haute. The Ministry of Justice did not schedule their executions.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr., whose term begins Wednesday, has signaled his opposition to the federal death penalty, so their executions are unlikely to take place any time soon. Mr Biden has pledged to work to pass legislation to end the federal death penalty as part of his criminal justice platform.

The Trump administration intends to execute its last inmate, Dustin J. Higgs, on Friday. Mr. Higgs was sentenced to death for the murders of three women in Maryland in 1996. If his attorneys fail in their appeals and Mr. Trump does not grant clemency, Mr. Higgs’ death will be the 13th federal execution in just over six months and the third this week. Lisa M. Montgomery, the only woman sentenced to death by the federal government, was put to death on Wednesday.

Since July, the number of prisoners sentenced to death by the federal government has fallen by about 20% following the spate of executions by the Trump administration, according to data from the Death Penalty Information Center . That month, the administration resumed the use of the federal death penalty after a 17-year hiatus.

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400,000 more deaths than normal in the United States since the Covid-19 strike




Higher and lower than normal weekly deaths in the United States since 2015

Since March, at least 400,000 more Americans have died than in a normal year, a sign of the great devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Analysis of mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows how the pandemic is causing unusual death patterns, even higher than official death totals directly related to the virus.

Deaths nationwide were 18 percent higher than normal from March 15, 2020 to December 26, 2020. Our numbers may be undercounted as recent death statistics are still being updated.

Our analysis looks at deaths from all causes – not just confirmed cases of coronavirus – from the time the virus took hold in the United States last spring. This allows for comparisons that do not depend on the accuracy of reporting causes of death, and includes deaths related to disturbances caused by the pandemic as well as the virus itself. Epidemiologists refer to deaths in the range between observed and normal numbers of deaths as “excess deaths.”

Public health researchers use such methods to measure the impact of catastrophic events when official measurements of mortality are wrong.

As the cases of Covid-19 spread across the country, geographic patterns of abnormal mortality statistics followed. Excessive deaths have so far peaked three times, as have deaths from Covid-19.

There are now excessive deaths in all states, with outbreaks in states like California, Colorado, Kansas and Ohio fueling record numbers of deaths in recent weeks.


Weekly deaths above and below normal since March 15, 2020


United States

March 15 – December 26

Alabama

March 15 – December 26

Alaska

March 15 – December 12

Arizona

March 15 – December 26

Arkansas

March 15 – December 26

California

March 15 – December 26

Colorado

March 15 – December 26

Connecticut

March 15 – November 28

Delaware

March 15 – December 12

Florida

March 15 – December 26

Georgia

March 15 – December 12

Hawaii

March 15 – December 19

Idaho

March 15 – December 26

Illinois

March 15 – December 26

Indiana

March 15 – December 19

Iowa

March 15 – December 26

Kansas

March 15 – December 26

Kentucky

March 15 – December 19

Louisiana

March 15 – December 12

Maine

March 15 – December 26

Maryland

March 15 – December 26

Massachusetts

March 15 – December 26

Michigan

March 15 – December 26

Minnesota

March 15 – December 26

Mississippi

March 15 – December 26

Missouri

March 15 – December 19

Montana

March 15 – December 26

Nebraska

March 15 – December 26

Nevada

March 15 – December 26

New Hampshire

March 15 – December 26

New Jersey

March 15 – December 26

New Mexico

March 15 – December 19

New York (outside NYC)

March 15 – December 26

New York City

March 15 – December 26

North Carolina

March 15 – September 5

North Dakota

March 15 – December 26

Ohio

March 15 – December 19

Oklahoma

March 15 – December 19

Oregon

March 15 – December 19

Pennsylvania

March 15 – December 26

Porto Rico

March 15 – November 14

Rhode Island

March 15 – December 12

Caroline from the south

March 15 – December 26

South Dakota

March 15 – December 12

Tennessee

March 15 – December 26

Texas

March 15 – December 26

Utah

March 15 – December 26

Vermont

March 15 – December 26

Virginia

March 15 – December 26

Washington state

March 15 – December 19

Washington DC

March 15 – December 12

West Virginia

March 15 – November 21

Wisconsin

March 15 – December 26

Wyoming

March 15 – December 26


Counting deaths takes time, and many states are weeks or months behind in reporting. These CDC estimates are adjusted for the lag in mortality data from previous years. It will be several months before all these figures are finalized.

During the period of our analysis, the estimated additional deaths were 21% higher than the official number of coronavirus deaths. If this trend continued through January 14, the total death toll would be around 470,000.

By comparison, about 600,000 Americans die from cancer in a typical year. The number of unusual deaths for this period is higher than the typical number of annual deaths due to Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or diabetes.

Measuring excess mortality does not tell us precisely how each person died. Most of the additional deaths during this period are due to the coronavirus itself. But it’s also possible that deaths from other causes have also increased, as hospitals in some hot spots are overwhelmed and people have been afraid to seek care for illnesses that can usually survive. Some causes of death may be on the decline as people stay indoors, drive less, and limit contact with others.

Drug deaths also rose sharply in the first half of 2020, according to preliminary CDC mortality data through June of last year, a trend that began before the onset of the pandemic. coronavirus.

Methodology

Total numbers of deaths are estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which are based on death certificates counted by the centers and adjusted for typical delays in reporting deaths. The coronavirus death numbers come from the New York Times database with reports from local and state health agencies and hospitals. Covid-19-related deaths include both confirmed and probable deaths from the virus.

Our charts show higher or lower than normal weekly deaths. They include the weeks in which the CDC estimates the data to be at least 90% complete or the estimated deaths are greater than the expected numbers of deaths. Because states vary somewhat in their speed of reporting deaths to the federal government, these state charts show trends in deaths for slightly different time periods. We did not include weeks in which reported deaths were less than 50% of the CDC estimate.

Expected deaths were calculated using a simple model based on the weekly number of deaths from all causes from 2015 to 2019, adjusted for trends, such as population changes, over time.

The numbers of excess deaths are rounded.

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Overwhelmed, more states turn to the National Guard for vaccine help

LANDOVER, Maryland – As tens of thousands of his National Guard colleagues descended on the nation’s capital to ensure the peaceful transfer of presidential power, 10 miles away, Emmanuel Alfaro was doing what he saw as the climax of his career in the Guard. : administer Covid-19 vaccines to fellow citizens.

“It’s a highlight, being able to go out and help the public,” said Mr. Alfaro, a senior airman and medic with the 175th Air National Guard, whose normal duties are to help centers. Maryland Health Care Center.

As the pandemic continues to rage across the country and a vaccination program to control it struggles, governors are increasingly looking to the National Guard to help speed up the process. At least 16 states and territories use members of the Guard to give injections, bringing in doctors, nurses, physicians and others skilled in injections.

Many other states use thousands of other Guard personnel for logistical tasks, such as assembling and moving vaccine kits, registering patients, and checking lines at state vaccination sites. . In West Virginia, for example, around 100 Guard soldiers are helping with distribution throughout the state.

“We are a logistics operation here,” said Major Holli Nelson, spokesperson for the guard there. “It’s what the military does best.”

The growing presence of the Guard is a stark reminder that, even as the country recovers from the attack on Capitol Hill last week, a pandemic continues to rock all states, which are struggling to accelerate a complex vaccination program without modern precedent. .

As of January last year, 1 in 14 people living in the United States has been infected with the coronavirus, and at least 1 in 862 has died. States like California and Arizona, which have among the nation’s highest number of infections, are grappling with healthcare worker exhaustion and flooding at their medical centers.

“States are naturally looking for alternative ways out of the limited supply of vaccines,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers. “We are seeing more and more States using the National Guard and thinking bigger.”

In Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan originally planned to distribute vaccines largely through private health care providers and drugstore chains, later establishing public health clinics. Last week, realizing that the private sector was unable to speed up operations as quickly as it had hoped, Mr Hogan turned to 140 members of the Maryland National Guard for help with pop sites. -up in two counties and will add six more next week to help county and state health officials.

States have struggled to obtain the roughly 30 million doses of vaccines distributed by the Trump administration to Americans. The desire for vaccines has far exceeded the supply, even though some Americans who qualified for an early dose have rejected them, leading the federal government and states to adjust their guidelines on who can receive them first.

Vaccines against covid19>

Answers to your questions about vaccines

While the exact order of vaccinees can vary by state, most will likely prioritize medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities. If you want to understand how this decision is made, this article will help you.

Life will only return to normal when society as a whole is sufficiently protected against the coronavirus. Once countries authorize a vaccine, they will only be able to immunize a few percent of their citizens at most in the first two months. The unvaccinated majority will always remain vulnerable to infection. A growing number of coronavirus vaccines show strong protection against the disease. But it is also possible for people to spread the virus without even knowing they are infected, as they have only mild symptoms, if any. Scientists do not yet know if the vaccines also block the transmission of the coronavirus. So for now, even vaccinated people will have to wear masks, avoid crowds inside, etc. Once enough people are vaccinated, it will become very difficult for the coronavirus to find vulnerable people to infect. Depending on how quickly we as a society reach this goal, life may start to move closer to something normal by fall 2021.

Yes, but not forever. The two vaccines that will potentially be authorized this month clearly protect people against Covid-19 disease. But the clinical trials that delivered these results were not designed to determine whether vaccinated people could still spread the coronavirus without developing symptoms. It remains a possibility. We know that people naturally infected with the coronavirus can spread it without feeling a cough or other symptoms. Researchers will study this question intensely as the vaccines are rolled out. In the meantime, even vaccinated people will have to consider themselves as possible spreaders.

The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine is given by injection into the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection will be no different from any you received before. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines and none of them have reported serious health problems. But some of them experienced short-lived discomfort, including aches and pains and flu-like symptoms that usually last for a day. People may need to plan a day off or school after the second shot. While these experiences are not pleasant, they are a good sign: they are the result of your own immune system encountering the vaccine and building a powerful response that will provide long-lasting immunity.

No. Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use a genetic molecule to stimulate the immune system. This molecule, known as mRNA, is ultimately destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse with a cell, allowing the molecule to slip inside. The cell uses mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which can stimulate the immune system. At any given time, each of our cells can contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules, which they produce to make their own proteins. Once these proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with special enzymes. The mRNA molecules made by our cells can only survive for a few minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is designed to resist the enzymes in the cell for a bit longer, so that the cells can make additional viral proteins and elicit a stronger immune response. But mRNA can only last a few days at most before being destroyed.

Registration websites have gone down. Endless waits on phone lines have frustrated people looking for appointments or just information. And some private health care centers have been unable to work with bureaucracies to get doses to the right people, sometimes wasting open vaccines or giving them to people who are far down the priority list. In Florida, older residents were camping in lawn chairs outside centers while awaiting their shots.

State health department officials say they are satisfied with the Guard’s ability to pitch tents in 15 minutes and look to a plethora of trained staff to quickly scale up and change direction when steps are taken. such as recording get bogged down.

“It was obvious to us,” said CJ Karamargin, a spokesman for Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, a state that deployed the Guard immediately after receiving its vaccine supply in December. “This crisis saw the biggest mobilization of the Arizona Guard since World War II.”

The ranger was called in to help with personal protective equipment and testing, and “they hit him out of the park,” Mr. Karamargin said.

The federal government will currently reimburse states – many of which suffer from sharp declines in tax revenues – for just 75% of the National Guard’s costs associated with fighting coronaviruses.

At one point, the Trump administration reimbursed Florida and Texas 100%, and governments on both sides said they intended to pressure the Biden administration to heal this. forehead.

“North Carolina has made it clear that we would like to get a 100% refund,” said Sadie Weiner, spokesperson for Governor Roy Cooper. On Monday, the first teams of 75 Guard members in two cities began to “stick, dive and shoot,” said Lt. Col. Matt DeVivo, a spokesman for the Guard. They plan to significantly increase their sites over the next few weeks.

Some healthcare experts were skeptical that the Guard could keep pace when vaccine allocations became larger.

“All hands on the bridge are important,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association. “But I think you have to be realistic, though, about the Guard’s capacity. We need to be careful not to expect them to bring in more medical assets than they can. Members of the guard work in hospitals and pharmacies already responsible for providing services to Covid. “

Caregivers say they have the ability to manage needs.

While the Department of Defense frequently bragged about its role in Operation Warp Speed, the federal vaccination effort, Pentagon officials have said active-duty troops will not administer fire.

Additionally, many officials are aware of the history of the United States conducting unethical medical experiments on black Americans and the general distrust of the government. Having uniformed Guard troops firing was something that might require additional assurances, officials said.

“I think that’s something we really need to pay attention to,” said Ms. Hannan of the Association of Immunization Managers. “I don’t know if we understand all the questions around this. But confidence in the vaccine is different from what it was in July and August, when the military was very concerned about vaccine delivery. “

This week, uniformed Guard soldiers moved among state and local health officials around the sports center in Landover, Md., To get to a dozen white tents to give to residents – largely emergency medical workers – their vaccines.

Taylor Brown, an official with the Prince George County, Md., Emergency Management Office, watched approvingly; the county has been one of the hardest hit in the state.

“Thank goodness they’re here,” she said. “The more the merrier, really.”

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Travel News

Are you traveling to (or returning to) the United States? Prepare to take a coronavirus test

According to a CDC order, airlines must comply with these rules to receive clearance to disembark passengers in the United States.

The CDC says negative results must come out of a test that can detect an ongoing infection, picking up pieces of the pathogen itself. Two types of tests fall into this category: molecular tests (which include PCR tests) and antigen tests. (Antibody tests, which can only determine if someone has been infected in the past, don’t count.)

Molecular tests look for segments of the virus’s genetic material, or RNA. The most common molecular tests rely on a proven technique called polymerase chain reaction, or PCR – a gold standard in the diagnosis of infectious diseases. PCR tests can be expensive, and because they require samples to go to labs, it can take a few days to return results. Experts say it’s a good idea to plan ahead if you go for this type of test.

There are a few rapid molecular tests that can be performed from start to finish in a doctor’s office in minutes. These include Abbott’s ID Now test. They are considered to be less accurate than PCR-based tests, but will allow you to get answers faster.

Antigen tests look for pieces of coronavirus protein or antigens. They tend to be less accurate than molecular tests and are worse at detecting the virus when it is rare. But most antigen testing can be done very quickly and inexpensively, taking just a few minutes to produce results.

Some antigen tests are only allowed for people with symptoms and may more frequently give inaccurate results when used to screen people who feel healthy.

Depending on the country travelers are departing from, some tests may not be available – and, therefore, these new rules will likely make it significantly more difficult for people to enter the United States. Testing is typically offered by health care providers or community testing sites, which can be located through tourist bureaus and local health care providers. Some airports, like Heathrow in London, offer coronavirus testing on site. And a few airlines, like American, Jet Blue, and United, offer to help their customers in certain countries organize tests. Delta, for example, has partnered with the Mayo Clinic and national health authorities in several countries to facilitate the testing and travel process.

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Travel News

FBI urges police chiefs across United States to be on high alert for threats

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The FBI on Wednesday urged police chiefs across the country to be on high alert for extremist activity and to share intelligence on any threats they face, as the U.S. government has published a terrible intelligence bulletin warning of potential violence before the inauguration.

During the call with police chiefs, Christopher Wray, the director of the FBI, and Kenneth Cuccinelli, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, warned of potential attacks on state capitals, of federal buildings, the homes of members of Congress and businesses, according to one of the chiefs on appeal. Officials did not identify specific threats, participants said, but called on law enforcement agencies across the country to watch for signs of problems, no matter how small.

“They don’t want to be dismissive of anything,” Miami Police Department Chief Jorge Colina, one of the thousands of officials participating in the call, said in an interview. “So even though that sounds ambitious, even though it’s just like, ‘Yeah, that would be great if the whole place was burnt down,’ they don’t want us to think, ‘Ah, that’s just a head of ‘pin,’ and be dismissive.

Federal authorities also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the murderous breach at the Capitol last week would be a “major driver of violence” for armed militias and racist extremists who are targeting the presidential inauguration next week.

Extremists seeking to start a race war “may exploit the consequences of the Capitol breach by carrying out attacks to destabilize and force a culminating conflict in the United States,” officials wrote in the bulletin published by the National Counterterrorism Center and the departments of justice and internal security. , which was widely disseminated to law enforcement agencies across the country.

In Washington, readiness remained high, with Metropolitan Police Department Chief Robert J. Contee III saying on Wednesday he expected more than 20,000 National Guard members in the Washington area on the day of the ‘inauguration. It is still not known how many members of the Guard will carry arms.

Defense Department officials said Tuesday evening Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy decided to arm members of the National Guard who will be deployed to protect the Capitol building complex at the time of the swearing-in by Mr. Biden.

The number of National Guard troops in Washington could eventually exceed 20,000; The figure has risen rapidly in recent days, as intelligence officials monitoring pro-Trump groups online are increasingly concerned that far-right militant organizations have plans for violent protests in Washington.

The decision to arm members of the Guard sheds light on the gnawing uncertainty of the past week. Members of Congress have expressed concern about their return to the Capitol after being informed of several active threats against them, and the FBI has warned of possible violence at the 50 state Capitol buildings.

Defense Department officials met with authorities in Washington on Wednesday to work on plans to prevent last week’s violent violation from happening again. The scale of the demonstrations and the violence of the crowd surprised the police.

A Pentagon official has expressed concern over the repeat of the homemade bombs planted in Washington last week. The official said law enforcement was also concerned that some protesters threatened to show up at lawmakers’ homes or target their families.

During the call with police chiefs, federal officials said they were closely monitoring extremist communications online and urged the chiefs to be alert to potential lone wolf actors and local armed groups, the government said. Chief Chris Magnus of Tucson, adding that he had rarely heard from federal officials. this alarmed.

“They are very, very worried about these, what they have called violent extremists within their country, who are involved in other protests,” he said. “Christopher Wray seemed particularly concerned about the contempt these people have for democratic government.”

There was also a discussion on the balance between the rights of protesters and the threat of violence.

“I think the message is that they want everyone to have their First Amendment rights and to be able to come together without any government intrusion,” said Chief Rick Smith of Kansas City, Missouri, who was on call. “At the same time, how do you prevent violence?”

In the newsletter, written by the National Counterterrorism Center and the Justice and Homeland Security departments and obtained by The New York Times, federal officials said extremist groups viewed the Capitol violation as a success and had been galvanized. by the death of Ashli. Babbit, a military veteran and follower of QAnon who was shot dead by police as they attempted to enter the heavily shielded President’s Lobby just outside the Chamber chamber. Extremists might perceive this death as “an act of martyrdom,” they said.

Officials have warned of possible “boogaloo” activity, a movement seeking to spark a second civil war. They also wrote that “the shared false narrative of a ‘stolen’ election”, “a narrative that has been perpetuated by President Trump,” may lead some individuals to believe that there is no political solution for it. respond to their grievances and violent actions. is necessary.”

Anti-government militias and extremist groups “quite possibly represent the greatest threats to national terrorism in 2021,” the bulletin, dated January 13, said.

The national and local authorities are already taking the preparations in hand.

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown activated the National Guard “to help with possible future civil unrest,” Oregon State Police said Wednesday. Authorities have not identified where the National Guard would be deployed, but troops from neighboring Washington state have used the Guard in recent days to protect the state Capitol building.

“Recent events on our nation’s Capitol and in our own state illustrate the need for law enforcement to be prepared and properly staffed for all large gatherings,” said the police commissioner of the Oregon State Terri Davie in a statement.

The National Guard also assisted in the state capitals of Michigan and Wisconsin.

Law enforcement presence has intensified at the California State Capitol in Sacramento, with California Highway Patrol officers on standby and outside at entrances, and with squad cars parked on the grounds, blocking the alleys. The FBI has set up a joint command post with local authorities in Sacramento, and members of state, federal and local law enforcement meet daily.

Although Los Angeles officials did not receive specific threats, the Los Angeles Police Department chief ordered all officers, nearly 10,000 people, to wear uniforms every day before the inauguration in order they are ready to be deployed at any time. note. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has adjusted its numbers in anticipation of the protests.

Part of the challenge for law enforcement intelligence gathering was to weed out “ambitious” comments, Miami Chief Colina said. During Wednesday’s call, the FBI acknowledged the unease felt across the country over the attack on the U.S. Capitol, he said.

“It kind of rocked everyone, you know, to see what happened on Capitol Hill. It gives you a terrible sense of unease, and so, they are concerned about it, “he said, adding,” They are concerned about the mindset of, ‘Are we safe here in this? country?’ ‘

John Eligon reported from Kansas City, Frances Robles from Miami and Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Helene Cooper from Washington. Adam Goldman of Washington contributed reporting; Mike Baker of Seattle; Shawn Hubler of Sacramento, Simon Romero of Albuquerque; Richard Fausset in Atlanta; Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio in New York; Julie Bosman in Chicago and Tim Arango and Manny Fernandez in Los Angeles.

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Travel News

United States must require negative viral tests from international air passengers

Before boarding their flights, all international passengers to the United States will first need to show proof of a negative coronavirus test, according to a new federal policy that came into effect on January 26.

“Testing does not eliminate all risks,” said Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement outlining the new policy.

“But when combined with a period of stay at home and daily precautions like wearing masks and social distancing, it can make travel safer, healthier and more responsible by reducing the spread on planes,” at airports and destinations.

Dr Redfield is expected to sign the order detailing the new rules on Tuesday.

The new policy requires all air passengers, regardless of their immunization status, to be tested for the current infection within three days of their flight departing to the United States and to provide written documentation of the results. of their tests or proof of recovery from Covid-19.

Evidence of vaccination will not be enough, because vaccines have been shown to only prevent serious illness, said Jason McDonald, a CDC spokesperson.Vaccinated people can still be infected, in theory, and transmit the virus during a flight.

The agency will not require further testing within three months of a positive test, until the traveler has shown symptoms. In this situation, a passenger may travel with documentation of the positive test result and a letter from a health care provider or public health official stating that the traveler has now been cleared for travel.

Airlines must confirm negative test results for all passengers or recovery documentation before boarding. If a passenger does not provide proof of a negative test or recovery, or chooses not to be tested, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger, the agency said.

“Pre and post travel testing is critical in slowing the introduction and spread of Covid-19,” agency officials said in a statement. “With the United States already in a push, the testing requirement for air passengers will help slow the spread of the virus as we work to vaccinate the American public.”

The policy is expanding on a similar rule, implemented in late December, which required travelers from Britain to show proof of a negative result on a test for the virus. The Trump administration introduced the restriction following reports that a more contagious variant of the coronavirus had become the source of the majority of infections in much of this country.

This variant has since been detected in several U.S. states and has likely spread even more widely, scientists said. However, the United States genetically sequence only a tiny proportion of its virus samples – too little to have an accurate estimate of the spread of the variant in that country.

The new travel policy follows an announcement by the Japanese government on Tuesday that four travelers from Brazil had imported another new variant of the virus to Japan. Two other so-called worrying variants are said to be circulating in South Africa and Brazil.

The White House coronavirus task force and federal agencies, including the CDC, have been debating the expanded requirements for weeks.

The CDC currently recommends that all air travelers, including those flying to the United States, get tested one to three days before travel, and again three to five days after travel ends.

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Many airlines offer optional tests for passengers, but only impose them when destinations require them to do so. But last week, a group representing major U.S. airlines backed a policy that would require all passengers to get tested.

In a statement, United Airlines welcomed the move, saying the tests were “the key to unlocking international borders.”

“United has already put procedures in place to comply with similar orders for international jurisdictions, and we plan to expand them in light of this new mandate,” the airline said in a statement.

“In addition, United is actively working on the introduction of new technologies and processes to make it easier to navigate these test requirements for our employees and customers.”

Niraj Chokshi contributed reporting.