White House COVID-19 taskforce: Risk of virus to Americans at ‘historic high’
The risk of COVID-19 to Americans is at a “historic high” – a grim warning from the White House Coronavirus Task Force in a weekly report.
"We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall."
Doctors nationwide are bracing for the worst.
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"Every doctor's worst fear is that patients come to us and we can't give them the best care,” says Dr. Jason Mitchell, the chief medical officer at Presbyterian Healthcare Services.
The urgency is also felt on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers resume talks about getting Americans some sort of financial relief.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he's working on a bill that would include more small business funding and an extension of the federal unemployment benefits set to expire at the end of the year.
"In the last several days, Democratic leaders have shown a new willingness to engage," he said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Trump would sign McConnell's bill.
Meanwhile, the CDC has laid out priority groups, medical workers and long-term care facility residents, for the first wave of vaccines, expected to reach states before Christmas.
On Wednesday, the UK approved Pfizer BioNTech's vaccine, the first western country to sign off on a COVID-19 vaccine.
Moderna has started enrolling children as young as 12 years old in trials to test its coronavirus vaccine. The trial seeks to enroll 3,000 volunteers in six states, including New York.
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