(NewsNation Now) — Another 190,000 cases of COVID-19 reported nationwide in the last 24 hours along with 1,696 new deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 18 million Americans have contracted COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and more than 322,000 have died.
Preliminary figures indicate that 2020 will go down as the deadliest year in U.S. history and the coronavirus pandemic is largely to blame. Final numbers will not be available for months but data released so far estimate more than 3.2 million deaths this year, an increase of about 400,000 from last year.
While deaths do typically increase from year to year, the 2020 numbers amount of a spike of about 15% which would be the largest single year percentage jump since 1918, when America suffered through both a flu pandemic as well as World War I.
In South Carolina, Governor Henry McMaster became the latest U.S. governor to test positive for COVD-19. The governor’s office said he will receive outpatient antibody treatment for what were described as mild symptoms. Governor McMaster’s wife tested positive last week but has not exhibited any symptoms.
McMaster is the 7th U.S. governor to test positive for COVID-19, Oklahoma Republican Kevin Stitt, Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam and Missouri Republican Mike Parson all tested positive for coronavirus. As did Nevada Democrat Steve Sisolak, Colorado Democrat Jared Polis and Pennsylvania Democrat Tom Wolf.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott received the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, just the latest U.S. governor to be vaccinated on camera in an effort to assure the public of the vaccine’s safety. Governor Abbot now at least the fourth U.S governor to be vaccinated against coronavirus, following West Virginia’s Jim Justice, Kentucky’s Andy Beshear and Alabama’s Kay Ivey. The state leaders say they are committed to showing their constituents first hand that the vaccine is to be trusted.
A similar message from the country’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci as he received the COVID-19 vaccine today. Dr. Fauci was joined by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins in receiving that vaccine today.
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