The Latest: A new plan and a fresh start
The United States passed a tragic milestone of over 400,000 deaths from Covid-19 on Tuesday. But today marks the beginning of a new administration for the country.
The Biden-Harris administration is inheriting the massive challenge of curbing the spread of Covid-19 and the logistical challenge of getting Americans vaccinated. President-elect (or President, depending on when you’re reading this) Joe Biden, has put together a large task force and has plans to administer 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days. There’s hope that this new leadership will mark a change in how the country responds to the pandemic and that lives can be saved. This newsletter and the Blog will continue to closely track the progress.
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog
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A quick Q&A: What makes the new coronavirus variants more transmissible?
As my colleague Yasmin Tayag reports, scientists are researching how mutations of the virus that causes Covid-19 behave and why the new strains might be more contagious. Here are three theories:
- The variant viruses may bind more effectively to the host receptor, ACE2, which would mean that they can infect people more efficiently.
- The virus replicates to higher levels in the upper respiratory tract, which means there’s more virus to spread.
- People may become infected faster after exposure to a higher dose of virus, and infected people may spread the virus longer.
New on the Blog
Per Capita U.S. Covid-19 Deaths Now Exceed WWI
Covid-19 Vaccine Trials Are Going ‘Unblind’
Biden Aims to Administer 100 Million Vaccine Doses in the First 100 Days
U.S. Life Expectancy Drops Dramatically Due to Covid-19
A few more smart reads
How to Get More Americans Vaccinated, Faster
11 Things Biden Must Do ASAP to End the Pandemic Sooner Than Later
This Pandemic Is Not Even the ‘Big One’
The U.S. Needs More Covid Testing, and Minnesota Has Found a Way (Bloomberg)
In Minnesota, a GOP Lawmaker’s Death Brings Home the Reality of Covid (New York Times)