Joe Biden will speak to the general public Tuesday about omicron variant COVID-19 cases continue to surge following the holidays, with more than 4,000 new infections.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 0.1 percent of Americans have tested positive for the virus in the last week. On Monday alone, over 1 million incidents were reported in the United States, with many of them likely backlogged from New Year’s weekend.
While the holidays may have caused COVID-19 case counts to fluctuate, the increase in coronavirus cases across the country indicates a clear trend: another surge of the virus – and it’s likely that not all cases are reported from at-home testing. Before the new year, Biden committed $137 million to boost production of home screening devices
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with the White House COVID-19 Response Team. They’ll be educated on resources being delivered to states and local communities to assist with staffing shortages and hospital capacity, as well as expanding access to COVID-19 therapies and recent data on the omicron variant.
Today’s numbers: According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the United States has more than 56 million confirmed COVID-19 infections – one for every six people in the country – and almost 827,000 fatalities.
World totals: More than 292.6 million cases and 5.4 million deaths have been recorded worldwide as of today. The CDC has recorded more than 4,000 new cases in the last week, with a possible many more backlogged from New Year’s weekend.
According to CDC projections, it is estimated that between 35 and 50 percent of infected individuals will not show symptoms. The CDC has reported that 25 percent of infected people have been hospitalized or killed on average across all countries.
The number of cases in each state is kept private by the CDC, but it released a national map showing outbreaks occur across all regions. Bismarck ND has had at least one confirmed infection from reports from local hospitals, with many more being reported on a daily basis.
What we’re reading: In preparation for the reopening of schools during a COVID-19 outbreak, officials plan to increase coronavirus testing when classes resume in January. Leaders are still working out the details, leaving significant concerns about safety and logistics.
Why French President Macron’s Comments About COVID Are Raising Eyebrows
Following the continuing COVID-19 epidemic, French President Emmanuel Macron has offered an eyebrow-raising perspective on unvaccinated people. While visiting a French publication, the politician stated that vaccine requirements that force people to get vaccines for things like going out to dinner or watching a film are intended to irritate non-compliers. “I really want to piss them off. And so we will continue to do so, to the bitter end. That’s the strategy,” Macron commented.
The president’s call for a strong line on vaccinations has sparked controversy in France, according to the New York Times. Macron’s policy of making unvaccinated people miserable has generated some pushback in the country, with the president’s latest remarks receiving varied responses on Twitter. “To me, that’s leadership,” opined one person. “I like him…my kind of strategy. Keep the pressure on!” someone else weighed in. And another Twitter user commented, “Macron doesn’t force them, he puts baby in a corner, as he should. It works. They’re getting vax’d. No vaccine? Then no bars, restaurants, or clubs for you. You disqualified yourself by not caring abt overburdening the hospitals, taking up ICU space, vents, & exhausting staff.”
Not everyone likes Macron’s COVID comments
Despite the fact that French statesman Emmanuel Macron received a lot of backing on social media for his COVID remarks, many people were not pleased. “Macron’s comments are completely beyond the pale. Really vile stuff. In a just world, his election hopes would now be toast,” tweeted one person.
“When elected leaders can talk and act in the vile way that Macron and Trudeau do, othering and baiting millions of their own citizens, and most observers barely bat an eyelid, we’re facing very worrying times. An age of authoritarianism is upon us. It can’t end well,” opined another non-supporter.
And as another Twitter user joked, “Macron apparently skipped the part of history where the French ruler pissed off the French people.”
Meanwhile, as The New York Times reports, French Parliament is in the process of approving a bill that will require proof of vaccination to take part in many aspects of French life, including eating at cafes and visiting museums.
U.S. reports over 1 million new daily Covid cases as omicron surges
The United States has seen its most ever single-day number of Covid infections in a single day, with over 1 million new infections reported.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, 1,082,549 new coronavirus infections were reported Monday, as the highly contagious omicron variant continues to spread across the country.
The fresh daily count has increased the total number of cases discovered in the United States since the pandemic’s start to 56,189,547. At a minimum, the virus has caused 827,748 deaths across the country as a whole.
The record single-day total may be attributed in part to delayed reporting over the holiday weekend. Many states failed to submit data on New Year’s Eve, and many do not submit data on weekends, suggesting that some of these occurrences could be due to prior positive tests.
Nonetheless, as of January 3, the seven-day average of daily new U.S. cases has reached 479,273, which is the highest such statistic for any country monitored by Johns Hopkins.
According to a seven-day average of data from the Department of Health and Human Services, as of January 3, 98,000 Americans were hospitalized with Covid-19, up 32% from a week ago. Covid recorded a peak of roughly 103,000 hospital admissions across the United States in early September, but it remains lower than last winter’s high of about 137,000 U.S. hospitalizations.
According to data from Johns Hopkins, the United States has recorded an average of about 1,200 daily Covid deaths each week since Jan. 3, well below the record numbers seen after last year’s holiday season, when the daily average hovered around 3,000 for roughly a month beginning in January 2021. In other words, the death toll tends to lag behind increases in case counts and hospitalizations.
The omicron variety has begun to surpass the formerly prominent delta strain of the virus in recent weeks, according to experts.
According to the latest available weekly data from the CDC in the United States, which ended on December 25, delta was responsible for around 41% of cases, whereas omicron represented about 58.6 percent of infections.
Given the new variant’s potential to spread, U.S. health officials have urged vaccinations and resistance immunization against the coronavirus while monitoring developments.
Early research suggested that Covid vaccines are less effective against the omicron form than other strains. However, three doses of vaccine — the two initial vaccinations plus a booster — significantly boost omicron resistance by threefold, according to the same research.
The omicron variant, according to study, causes less severe infections.
Parents Have Been Warned About A Terrifying New TikTok Challenge
With a new and concerning TikTok challenge in mind, parents may be feeling down this morning. On the same day, a warning of school violence was trending on the invention platform, which called Friday, December 17, 2021 “National Shoot Up Your School Day” (via People). TThe latest, seemingly pointless provocation from TikTok comes in the form of a kid’s challenge to knock on doors of residences with his unpleasant problem. While many homeowners are relieved to hear that their homes have been spared from the blazes, as reported by The San Francisco Chronicle, public safety officials are warning children that this danger may lead to death, since some people mistake the loud explosions for a home invasion.
The current danger, on the other hand, has caused some students to miss school out of worry for their safety, while many schools took additional precautions (via WPVI).
Meanwhile, while the problem was going viral, there was no credible threat. When it came to TikTok, the company released a statement on Twitter: “We take even rumored threats extremely seriously, which is why we’re collaborating with law enforcement to investigate warnings about potential violence at schools despite having found no evidence of such threats originating or spreading via TikTok.”
Families express fears around the TikTok challenge
At the time of writing, no acts of violence in schools had been reported. Students and parents alike were expressing their concerns about the distressing behavior on Twitter, with one person tweeting, “So, can we discuss these children having a school shooting every day? what’s going on?” This just keeps getting worse.
“Sometimes I think I’ve heard a lot of things, and then there’s times like today when the superintendent leaves a voicemail saying ‘We heard about the TikTok video challenging kids to participate in ‘National Shoot Up Your School Day,'” tweeted someone else.
“What terrible world do we live in where someone would make today National Shoot Up Your School Day? Kids are dealing with enough anxiety. They don’t need threats like this, credible or not. Do better America,” another frustrated Twitter user said.
Many individuals were hesitant about attending school, but it’s critical to note that several tweets shared emails from schools informing parents of the worrisome development, raising awareness, and hopefully preventing any incidents from occurring.