(Reuters) – Two major pharmaceutical companies will provide the U.S. government with 100 million doses of an experimental coronavirus vaccine, the Trump administration said on Friday when the country's top health agency predicted the death toll would increase in the coming weeks would.
US President Donald Trump attends an event on COVID-19 response and storm preparedness with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the United States on July 31, 2020 at the Pelican Golf Club in Belleair, Florida, United States Minister of Health Alex Azar and REUTERS / Tom Brenner
The agreement provides for the U.S. government to pay French drug maker Sanofi (SASY.PA) and the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline GSK.L. Up to $ 2.1 billion to provide enough vaccines for 50 million people with the option to buy another 500 million doses.
The purchase falls under the Trump Administration's so-called Operation Warp Speed, which is intended to bring a COVID-19 vaccine to the market by the end of 2020.
"Today's investment supports our latest vaccine candidate, an adjuvant product developed by Sanofi and GSK that is evolving through clinical studies and manufacturing and has the potential to deliver hundreds of millions of safe and effective doses to the American people," said Alex Azar. Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health said in the announcement of the deal.
The corona virus, which first appeared in China, infected 4.5 million people in the United States and killed more than 152,000 Americans, according to a Reuters report.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control predicted between 168,000 and 182,000 deaths on Friday, August 22, and predicted that deaths will increase fastest in Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Washington State.
The CDC also published a study that found that COVID-19 had spread to nearly half of the campers and employees in a Georgia night camp over a week and a half ago.
The investigation found that "children of all ages are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infections and, contrary to previous reports, could play an important role in transmission".
SWITCHING TO THE MIDWEST
New infections in Illinois rose nearly 2,000 on Friday, the highest increase in a day since May, according to the state health agency. Neighboring Indiana in the Midwest saw an increase of 901 new cases.
Dr. Deborah Birx, one of the leading pandemic counselors in the White House, said the virus appeared to have moved from the Sunbelt, including Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas, and had moved to the Midwest.
Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said Thursday that Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska are particularly at risk.
Four U.S. states reported a record-breaking death toll on Friday, including Florida, which has been a hot spot for COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.
Florida also reported 9,007 new cases, bringing the total number of infections to over 470,000, the second highest in the country after California. Florida is one of at least 18 states where the number of cases more than doubled in July when nearly 25,000 people in the United States died of COVID-19.
"I definitely don't feel safe. I feel like I'm fighting an invisible enemy," said Zinnia Santiago, 50, a management assistant who lives in Coral Springs, Florida.
The state, which was already affected by the pandemic and the resulting economic damage, had to close test sites on Friday as Hurricane Isaias approached with strong winds and heavy rains and the residents supplied themselves with the bare essentials.
DEATH ONE MINUTE
Coronavirus deaths in the United States have increased fastest since early June. About one American died of COVID-19 approximately every minute on Wednesday.
In the country's capital, the leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, during a testimony before a House subcommittee on Republican and Democratic efforts to involve him in the fierce political debate on how to deal with the pandemic.
A travel notice came into effect in Chicago on Friday, stating that travelers from neighboring Wisconsin must be quarantined for 14 days. Wisconsin joined 21 other states, which saw an increase in new cases.
The COVID-19 outbreak in Wisconsin was "not well under control," said Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Reporting on Brendan O & # 39; Brien in Chicago, Maria Caspani in New York, David Morgan in Washington, D.C. and Deena Beasley and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Letters from Alistair Bell and Dan Whitcomb; Edited by Aurora Ellis, Daniel Wallis and Bill Tarrant
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