June 20, 2024
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What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, December 4

Biden’s interview — his first since the election that also included Vice President-elect Kamala Harris — underscored a complete course correction from President Donald Trump’s attitude towards the virus, and comes as Covid-19 tears through the nation, smashing records for daily deaths and infections, Stephen Collinson and Maeve Reston write.
Trump has frequently mocked mask-wearing and has been holding holiday parties inside the White House in defiance of his own government’s health recommendations. When he returned home after his bout in a military hospital with Covid-19, he famously turned to the cameras and ripped off his mask.

Biden will take office amid the most extreme domestic circumstances of any president since Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, with sickness and death rampant, and millions of Americans unemployed, hungry or at risk of losing their homes. One American is now dying from Covid-19 every 30 seconds.

In the interview, Biden also signaled a science-based approach to the pandemic, announcing that once vaccines are approved in the country, he will have the shot publicly to help assure Americans that it’s safe. He will also keep the country’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in his role and appoint him as his chief medical adviser and member of the Covid taskforce.


Q: If someone already had Covid-19, should they still take the vaccine?

A: In some cases, a vaccine might give stronger protection than antibodies produced after being infected, so it’s definitely still worth getting a shot if you’ve had Covid-19.

“There are actually six other coronaviruses — MERS and SARS and four other viruses that create the common cold. They don’t seem to do very well at creating long-term immunity,” said epidemiologist Dr. Larry Brilliant. “Many of the vaccines that we’ve made in history are actually stronger than the virus is itself at creating immunity.”

Send your questions here. Are you a health care worker fighting Covid-19? Message us on WhatsApp about the challenges you’re facing: +1 347-322-0415.


Fauci apologizes over remarks about UK’s vaccine approval

Fauci apologized on British television Thursday after implying that UK regulators’ methods for approving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were inferior to those of the US Food and Drug Administration.
“There really has been a misunderstanding, and for that, I’m sorry and I apologize for that,” Fauci told the BBC. “We do things a certain way in the United States, possibly a little different, not necessarily better or worse than what’s done in the UK, and I think that’s where we slipped, where I slipped. I made it seem one was better than the other. We just do it a little bit differently.”

“What the FDA has done, in real time, has gone over all of the raw data in real time, in a way that could not possibly have been done any more quickly,” he said, adding it would be at least another week until the FDA could make a statement regarding safety and efficacy.

The first doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine arrived in the UK on Thursday, according to British media reports.

California issues regional stay-at-home order as hospitals strained

Millions of Californians will likely find themselves under a regional stay-at-home order under new restrictions announced Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who said the state’s hospital system was at a “tipping point.”
A strict stay-at-home order will go into effect 48 hours after hospital intensive care unit capacity drops below 15% in any of the state’s five regions. The measures are the toughest in the state since a second wave of Covid-19 hit the country, and as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned the city could run out of hospital beds by Christmas, calling on residents to “cancel everything.”

European nations facing more Christmas holiday restrictions

Europeans are gearing up for modest Christmas celebrations. France looks set to limit holiday gatherings to a maximum of six adults, with no limit on children.

Italy has banned movement between regions from December 21 to January 6. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, movement between municipalities will also be banned.

And in Spain, movement between regions from December 23 and January 6 will be banned as well, but people can gather in groups of up to 10 people for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.



Misinformation about vaccines has been circulating for years, and several Covid-19 vaccine candidates undergoing approval processes in various countries are no exception. It’s important to get your information on these vaccines from reliable sources.

CNN’s Health team explains everything you need to know about how these vaccines work, including issues of safety and efficacy.


“That moment when we come back and get to walk through the stage door or the curtain goes up on that first performance back, I can’t begin to imagine what it will sound like and feel like backstage.” — Jessica Rush, theater and television actor

New York’s theater district has been dark since March. Actress Jessica Rush shares with CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta what she misses about the stage, and producer Kevin McCollum explains what it will take for Broadway to make a comeback. Listen Now.