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Travelers wear face masks at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles on Friday. The U.S. is leading the world in confirmed coronavirus infections.
Shots — Health News
The Pandemic Is Entering A Dangerous New Chapter. Here Are The Week’s Big Takeaways
Coronavirus hospitalizations are rising throughout the country, with more than 68,000 people in the hospital Friday. It’s the highest number seen throughout the entire pandemic, surpassing the last peak in July.
Facing a potentially punishing winter, several states have begun reimplementing curfews and various restrictions. Massachusetts imposed a statewide curfew; California and Connecticut have banned dine-in service at restaurants in several counties; New York has required bars and restaurants to close daily by 10 p.m.
But eight months after the first major restrictions began, it remains to be seen just how far government can go before drawing backlash. A substantial number of Americans still refuse to even heed the government’s warning to wear masks. Most people rallying in support of the defeated presidential incumbent in Washington, D.C., Saturday weren’t wearing masks.
In a statement late Friday, President-elect Joe Biden expressed his alarm at the surge in infections, hospitalizations and fatalities. «This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response which has been woefully lacking,» Biden said. «I am the president-elect, but will not be president until next year. COVID-19 does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration.»
I am alarmed by the surge in reported COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities. This crisis demands a robust and immediate federal response which has been woefully lacking.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 14, 2020
One member of President-elect Biden’s coronavirus advisory board, Dr. Michael Osterholm, suggested a national lockdown lasting up to six weeks, in which workers would have their lost wages reimbursed. But other members of the board said such a major lockdown isn’t necessary.
«Right now the way we should be thinking about this is more like a series of restrictions that we dial up or down depending on how bad spread is taking place in a specific region,» Dr. Vivek Murthy, former U.S. surgeon general and co-chair of Biden’s advisory board, told Good Morning America.
«We’re not in a place where we’re saying shut the whole country down. We’ve got to be more targeted,» Murthy said. «If we don’t do that, what you’re going to find is that people will become even more fatigued. Schools won’t be open to children and the economy will be hit harder.»