Preliminary numbers show this is the deadliest year in U.S. history, mainly because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Associated Press reported Tuesday morning. The United States is on track to see more than 3.2 million deaths this year, or at least 400,000 more than in 2019.
Meanwhile, Illinois public health officials Tuesday announced 116 additional fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll to 15,414 since the start of the pandemic.
The state also announced 6,239 new and probable cases of COVID-19, a day after logging its lowest number of cases — 4,699 — in nearly two months. The total number of known infections in Illinois was 911,308 since March.
It does appear, however, that some help is on the way. On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci received his first dose of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.
New and long-delayed aid from the federal government could arrive as soon as next week after Congress passed a $900 billion pandemic relief package Monday night. The legislation, once signed by President Donald Trump, would deliver long-sought cash to businesses and individuals and resources for local authorities to vaccinate a nation confronting a frightening surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths. It provides a temporary $300 per week supplemental jobless benefit and a $600 direct stimulus payment to most Americans, along with a new round of subsidies for hard-hit businesses, restaurants, and theaters and money for schools, health care providers and renters facing eviction.
Here’s what’s happening Tuesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:
1:35 p.m.: Dr. Deborah Birx, White House COVID coordinator, says she will retire
Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus response, said Tuesday she plans to retire, but is willing to first help President-elect Joe Biden’s team with its coronavirus response as needed.
Birx, in an interview with the news site Newsy, did not give a specific timetable on her plans.
“I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in, and then I will retire,” Birx told the news outlet.
Birx and White House officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Her comments came just days after The Associated Press reported that she traveled out of state for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend even as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was urging Americans to forgo holiday travel.
12:08 p.m.: 6,239 new and probable cases of COVID-19 and 116 additional deaths reported Tuesday
Illinois public health officials Tuesday announced 6,239 new and probable cases of COVID-19, a day after logging its lowest number of cases — 4,699 — in nearly two months. The total number of known infections in Illinois was 911,308 since March.
The state also announced 116 additional fatalities, bringing the statewide death toll to 15,414 since the start of the pandemic.
There were 84,764 tests reported and the statewide positivity rate for the past seven days was 9%.