COVID-19 STATS FOR November 21, 2021
Debra Schrishuhn for PDA National Staff
*Germany jumps past Argentina and Spain.
**Source: Johns Hopkins
****Now 40 countries report more than one million cases of COVID-19, with the remainder being, Spain, Colombia, Italy, Indonesia, , Mexico, Ukraine, Poland, South Africa, Philippines, Malaysia, Netherlands, Peru, Iraq, Thailand, Czechia, Canada, Romania, Chile (surpassing Japan), Japan, Belgium (surpassing Bangladesh), Bangladesh, Israel, Pakistan, Serbia, Sweden, Portugal, Vietnam (surpassing Kazakhstan and Slovakia), newcomer Slovakia (surpassing Kazakhstan), Kazakhstan, and newcomer Austria.
Top Ten states with COVID-19 cases:
- California 5,038,985
- Texas 4,298,114
- Florida 3,679,548
- New York 2,664,344
- Illinois 1,769,267
- Pennsylvania++ 1,680,752
- Ohio+ 1,639,070
- Georgia 1,620,185
- N Carolina 1,517,098
- Michigan+++ 1,405,810
Top Ten states with COVID-19 cases:
New York 56,681
New Jersey 28,250
+Ohio surpasses Georgia.
++Pennsylvania tops Georgia in cases.
+++Still 14 states post more than 1M cases, the remainder being Tennessee, Arizona (topping NJ), New Jersey, , and Indiana.
++++Still 24 states with more than 10K COVID-19 deaths, the remainder being Arizona, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Indiana, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Mississippi.
The Guardian, 11/20: Three people are being treated in hospital in Rotterdam after they were seriously injured when Dutch police fired shots during a violent protest against Covid-19 measures. Authorities are investigating the shootings, including looking at the question of if the injured people were hit with police bullets. Crowds of several hundred rioters torched cars, set off fireworks and threw rocks at police during the protests on Friday evening.
The UK government said a further 150 people had died within 28 days of testing positive for Covid-19 as of Saturday, bringing the UK total to 143,866. Separate figures published by the Office for National Statistics show there have been 168,000 deaths registered in the UK where Covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate.
In Brazil, the country’s health ministry said 70% of the eligible population have been fully vaccinated and 90% have received a first dose. The ministry launched a campaign to reach 21 million Brazilians who have not returned for a second jab, Reuters reports. The rolling 14-day average of Covid-related deaths has fallen to 228 a day, the lowest since 26 April 2020. That compares with a toll of almost 3,000 deaths a day in Brazil at the peak of the pandemic last April.
America’s Covid-19 infections are climbing again, and could soon hit a weekly average of 100,000 cases a day as daily case reports increase more than 20% across the upper midwest.
The UK cannot afford to be complacent and must be prepared to introduce tougher measures to control the spread of Covid this winter if necessary, a government adviser and leading epidemiologist warned. With Austria planning to introduce mandatory vaccinations from February as well as a new lockdown starting on Monday, and German ministers having declared a national emergency, Prof Andrew Hayward, co-director of the UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care, was asked whether the UK could be forced to take similar action in the coming weeks or months. He said the UK was “on a knife edge” and that much depended on the booster jab campaign and the speed of uptake.
Surging coronavirus infections across Europe show the “critical” need for people in the UK get vaccinated, a government scientific adviser has said. Prof John Edmunds, a member of Sage, said soaring cases on the continent underlined “how quickly things can go wrong”, and pointed out that there were still “many millions” across the UK who were still not fully vaccinated while some had not had any Covid shots at all.
Several thousand demonstrators have already gathered in central Vienna to protest against the new tough pandemic measures in Austria, with up to 15,000 people expected to demonstrate in the capital on Saturday. The country faces its fourth general lockdown from Monday, which will also be in place for those who have been vaccinated, and is set to become the first European country to mandate Covid vaccination. The nationwide lockdown will last for a maximum of 20 days, the government has said, and will be followed by a lockdown for unvaccinated people.
Thousands of people in Australia marched in “freedom” rallies in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, with the largest crowds in the Victorian capital as protests against the state government’s pandemic legislation ramped up again.
World No 1 Novak Djokovic and all other tennis players will have to be vaccinated against Covid to compete in the Australia Open next January, the tournament’s chief, Craig Tiley, said on Saturday. Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, quickly made it clear that no exemptions would be sought for unvaccinated players.
Hong Kong approved lowering the age limit for the Covid vaccine from China’s Sinovac Biotech to three years old, down from 18, as it pursues a broader campaign to incentivise its 7.5 million residents to get vaccinated.
Wall Street Journal, 11/20: “The number of U.S. Covid-19 deaths recorded in 2021 has surpassed the toll in 2020, according to federal data and Johns Hopkins University, demonstrating the virus’s persistent menace.”
The Guardian, 11/20: The World Health Organization has said another 500,000 people in Europe could die of Covid by March next year unless urgent action is taken. The WHO’s Europe director, Dr Hans Kluge, said he was very worried about a fresh wave of infections that had spread across the continent and led countries to announce new restrictions.
Kluge said factors such as the winter season, when there is normally an increase in viral infections, and low vaccine coverage were responsible for the increase in cases. He called for more people to get vaccinated, basic public health measures to be implemented and new treatments to be developed, but said mandatory vaccination should be the last resort.
New York Times, 11/19: “The extraordinary measure by Austria, which only days ago separated itself from the rest of Europe by introducing a lockdown for the unvaccinated, who are driving a surge of infections, made for another alarming statement about the severity of the fourth wave of the virus in Europe, now the epicenter of the pandemic. But it also showed that increasingly desperate governments are losing their patience with vaccine skeptics and shifting from voluntary to obligatory measures to promote vaccinations and beat back a virus that shows no sign of waning, rattling global markets at the prospect that still tentative economic recoveries will be undone.”
NBC News, 11/19: “The FDA has just authorized Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 boosters for all adults — a move that will make boosters available to everyone ages 18 and up.”
Political Wire, 11/18: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) invited police officers in New York and Los Angeles who refuse to get vaccinated to join his state’s highway patrol. Said Lee: “In Tennessee, you will be given our full support and respect, and I work to make sure your freedoms are protected.”
CNBC, 11/18: “President Joe Biden is betting that his unprecedented coronavirus vaccine mandate will prevail against a flurry of lawsuits aiming to strike it down. The legal battle is expected to reach the Supreme Court. Biden believes the mandate, which would make businesses with 100 or more employees require their staff to get vaccinated or face regular testing by Jan. 4, will cover about two-thirds of all U.S. workers and hasten the end of the coronavirus pandemic. The White House says legal precedent gives it the authority to act to respond to the ‘grave danger’ posed by the pandemic.”
Hartford Courant, 11/18: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said that all state residents should get a booster shot and not wait for guidance from federal government, the Hartford Courant reports. Said Lamont: “The CDC’s confusing guidance is going to be made clear within 24 hours that says ‘go get yourself a booster shot if you’re over 18 and it’s been at least six months since your last vaccination.’”
BERLIN (AP), 11/18 — Germany approved new measures Thursday to rein in record coronavirus infections as Chancellor Angela Merkel called the pandemic situation in the country “very serious” and said it was “high time” to contain the spread of the virus. “The situation is highly dramatic and it will be very important now that action is taken quickly, that action is taken consistently, that better control is taken,” Merkel told reporters Thursday night in Berlin. She had earlier held a videoconference with Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Germany’s 16 state governors to coordinate the country’s response to a surge in coronavirus cases. Merkel said participants in the meeting had agreed that tightening of measures against the virus would in the future be linked to the number of hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. The states are also considering mandatory vaccinations for some professional groups such as medical staff and nursing home employees.
Earlier on Thursday, lawmakers in the Bundestag passed legislation to rein in the virus with votes from the center-left Social Democrats, the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Free Democrats. The three parties are currently negotiating to form a new government.
Political Wire, 11/17: “It is such a gross grab of power to think you can tell other people what you have to do with your own body.”— Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI), speaking on the House floor about mask mandates, apparently forgetting he wants to ban women from having abortions.
Punchbowl News, 11/17: “Every single Senate Republican has signed onto Sen. Mike Braun’s (R-IN) formal challenge of President Biden’s Covid vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees. This is the clearest sign yet that the anti-vaccine mandate stance has become a mainstream GOP position.”
New York Times, 11/17: “Americans died of drug overdoses in record numbers as the pandemic spread across the country, federal researchers reported on Wednesday, the result of lost access to treatment, rising mental health problems and wider availability of dangerously potent new street drugs.”
Political Wire, 11/17: Former President Donald Trump did a truly crazy interview with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in which he rolled out a new — and false — explanation for why he lost the 2020 presidential election. Said Trump: “We know what happened… they basically used COVID-19 or the China virus to rig the election, and it’s a shame.”
AP, 11/17: WASHINGTON— The number of airline passengers traveling for Thanksgiving this year is expected to rebound to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels, but the Transportation Security Administration says it is ready to handle the surge. Administrator David Pekoske said Wednesday he expects agency staffing to be sufficient for what’s traditionally TSA’s busiest travel period. “We are prepared,” Pekoske told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” He said travelers should expect long lines at airports and plan to spend a little more time getting through security.
In 2019, a record 26 million passengers and crew passed through U.S. airport screening in the 11-day period around Thanksgiving. But that plummeted in 2020 as the pandemic kept people at home. Pekoske said he didn’t think a vaccine mandate going into effect for TSA agents Monday would have any effect on staffing for Thanksgiving next week. “In fact, implementation of the mandate will make travel safer and healthier for everyone,” he said. “So, we see quite a significant increase in the number of our officers that are vaccinated, and I’m very confident that there will be no impact for Thanksgiving.”
Pekoske told NBC’s “Today” on Wednesday he remains “very concerned” about the issue of unruly passengers as incidents on airplanes have continued. “The level of unruly behavior is much higher than I’ve ever seen it,” he said. The Federal Aviation Administration says it has referred 37 cases involving unruly airline passengers to the FBI for possible criminal prosecution since the number of disruptions on flights began to spike in January.
Washington Post, 11/17: “The Biden administration is planning to invest billions of dollars to expand U.S. manufacturing capabilities of coronavirus vaccines to increase the supply of doses for poorer nations. The White House is aiming to spur the production of at least 1 billion doses a year. The funds will support companies that make mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, by helping them expand their capacity by funding facilities, equipment, staff and training.”
Stat, 11/17: WASHINGTON — Right-wing politicians’ resistance to vaccine mandates is extending far beyond Covid-19 immunizations, a startling new development that carries vast implications for the future of public health.
In Idaho, a lawmaker introduced a bill that would define vaccine mandates — of any kind — as a form of assault. In Florida, a prominent state senator has called for a review of all vaccine requirements, including those for immunizations that have enjoyed wide public acceptance for decades, like polio and the measles, mumps, and rubella shot. And in Montana, the Republican governor recently signed into law a new bill that forbids businesses, including hospitals, from enforcing any vaccination requirements as a condition of employment.
The bills represent the latest wave of resistance to the Biden administration’s push to impose Covid-19 vaccine mandates for nearly all Americans. But the new, across-the-board revolt against vaccine requirements of any kind, experts told STAT, could begin to reverse a century of progress against diseases that, thanks to vaccines, are afterthoughts to most Americans.
The Hill, 11/16: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told The Hill that she has accumulated $63,000 in fines for refusing to wear a mask on the House floor, with additional fines likely to be imposed as she continues to defy the chamber’s mask requirement during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Washington Post, 11/16: “The Biden administration is expected to announce this week that it is purchasing 10 million courses of Pfizer’s covid pill, a multibillion-dollar investment in a medication that officials hope will help change the trajectory of the pandemic by staving off many hospitalizations and deaths.”
Harrisburg Patriot-News, 11/16: Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who was just elected chair of the House Freedom Caucus, tested positive for Covid-19, the Harrisburg Patriot-News reports. Perry’s office would not say if he was vaccinated, calling it a “personal health matter.”
Tennessean, 11/16: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee empowered county mayors to create mask mandates, specifically encouraged some mayors to do so and once said mandates could have prevented an economic shutdown if they had been enacted sooner. And yet, Lee signed legislation into law on Friday almost entirely outlawing mask mandates.”
CNN, 11/16: Goldman Sachs forecasts the economic recovery will drive the unemployment rate back to 3.5% by the end of next year. “At 3.5%, the unemployment rate would match the 50-year low hit in late 2019 and repeated in early 2020. This would mark a dramatic improvement from April 2020 when the eruption of the pandemic sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing to 14.8%.”
AP, 11/16: “A state audit report on government spending released Monday accused Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) of using nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds to pay salaries for 21 staff members for three months last year and concealing the spending by passing it through the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.”
New York Times, 11/15: “As temperatures drop and coronavirus infections spike across Europe, some countries are introducing increasingly targeted restrictions against the unvaccinated who are driving another wave of contagion and putting economic recoveries, public health and an eventual return to prepandemic freedoms at risk. The World Health Organization warned recently that Europe was once again the epicenter of the pandemic and that half a million people on the continent could die from Covid in the next few months.”
Jerusalem Post, 11/15: “A new Covid variant identified in a handful of European countries is raising concerns among some health professionals because there are changes to the coronavirus spike protein that have never been seen before.”
Daily Beast, 11/14: “In a time of crisis, people tend to come together. It frequently happens after natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes, and during times of national strife like WWII and the months after 9/11. Regardless of their differences, people typically try to do what they can to help others when they’re facing dire circumstances. The Covid-19 pandemic has not, however, been a time of national healing and unity in the U.S. Debates over lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccination only exacerbated divisions. Polarized politics maimed the public health response to Covid. The pandemic brightened the spotlight on how tribal America has become.”