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For the first time, more than 3,000 Covid-19-related deaths were recorded in the United States on Wednesday. More than 290,000 people have died from the coronavirus across the country since the beginning of the pandemic this spring.
As at least 15 U.S. states step up their own efforts to encourage people to take a Covid-19 vaccine, countries across the world are hurtling ahead with unprecedented plans to vaccinate millions of vulnerable adults and frontline healthcare workers.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
- Click here for more of NBC News' Covid-19 coverage.
More than 3,000 Covid deaths reported Wednesday
For the first time, more than 3,000 Covid-related deaths were recorded across the country Wednesday, according to an NBC News tally.
The previous single-day record was set April 22, when 2,861 deaths were reported.
More than 290,000 people have died from the coronavirus across the United States since the beginning of the pandemic this spring.
As of Thursday, in the past week, the U.S. has averaged 208,179 cases per day and 2,307 deaths per day. That's up from 161,158 cases and 1,213 deaths per day four weeks ago.
Aid bill hits roadblock as lawmakers debate liability protections for businesses
For Texas father, a long road to recovery after Covid
Jared Diamond’s return to his San Antonio home, wife and three children seemed impossible in the spring after he was hospitalized with Covid-19.
“I don’t remember a lot before they intubated me, putting me on the ventilator,” Diamond, 52, told NBC News in San Antonio.
Jared, a business owner, said he was hospitalized as his condition continued to worsen and required a longer hospital stay.
“And eventually, he had to go on a ventilator. And what was the most difficult thing is that the doctors kept calling and saying he was doing worse and worse, you know, and that his lungs weren’t getting better, which was so scary,” his wife Robin said.
Rudy Giuliani released from hospital after battling Covid
Rudy Giuliani, President Trump's personal lawyer, was released from the hospital Wednesday after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Guiliani called into Talk Radio 77 WABC Wednesday morning from the hospital, where he announced that he’d be discharged in the afternoon. He later said he would continue to quarantine for an additional three to four days.
Giuliani, whose diagnosis was announced by Trump in a tweet on Sunday, said he has “no pains, no fever” but a “tiny cough.”
He said he took some of the same medications Trump received after he contracted the virus in October. Giuliani described them as “miracles.” He continued to also spout baseless election fraud claims as the president's sputtering legal battle continues.
Guiliani's trip to Michigan to contest the election results there prompted the legislature to postpone a vote earlier this week.
2 Philadelphia police officers die of Covid-19, department says
Two Philadelphia police officers died due to Covid-19, which the department characterized as line-of-duty deaths in a statement Wednesday.
Captain Frank Millilo died on Dec. 3 and officer Tab Ali died on Nov. 23 after contracting the coronavirus, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Four Philadelphia officers have died of Covid-19 since the pandemic began.
Millilo was a 31-year veteran of the force who served as commander of the department's Southwest Detectives. He is survived by his wife and three children, the department said.
Ali served as an officer for 25 years, 14 of which were spent working for the 5th District precinct. The department described Ali as "gregarious" with a "steadfast dedication" to the community.
Texas doctor died in intensive care unit he oversaw
Dr. Carlos Araujo-Preza, 51, a pulmonologist from El Salvador, had been treating hundreds of serious Covid-19 cases in Houston until he contracted the coronavirus in October.
He would soon be treated by his colleagues in the same intensive care unit he ran. But after spending two weeks on a ventilator, Araujo-Preza died Nov. 30.
"He told me that, despite everything, he was happy with what he had accomplished. It was a good talk. I wish I could have hugged him for the last time," his daughter Andrea Araujo, 22, told Noticias Telemundo.
Sacramento under stay-at-home order amid Covid surge
The greater Sacramento region will face a stay-at-home order starting Thursday at 11:59 p.m. after capacity in hospital intensive care units fell below the 15 percent threshold outlined by California public health officials.
The 13-county region, which includes the state capital, has an ICU capacity of 14.3 percent as of Wednesday, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Residents are required to stay at home as much as possible and minimize mixing with other households. Restaurants must close except for takeout and delivery and retail and food stores will limit the number of people who can shop inside to allow for greater social distancing.
California reported 30,851 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases and 196 additional deaths statewide on Wednesday.
Delta joins American in scrapping international ticket change fees
Delta Air Lines is getting rid of $200 international ticket change fees in hopes that the move will spur travel demand decimated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Delta, American and United in August dropped change fees for domestic flights. American last month expanded that to international travel, including long-haul routes.
Change and cancellation fees brought in $2.8 billion for U.S. carriers last year, according to the Department of Transportation. But with passenger traffic hovering around one-third of last year’s levels and once-lucrative international travel especially hard hit, airlines are scrambling to loosen policies that would encourage travelers to book.
Hackers accessed information about Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine, regulator says
Hackers have accessed some information about Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine that was stored on a European Union regulator's server, the company said Wednesday.
The European Medicines Agency, an E.U. agency that evaluates medical products, announced Wednesday morning it had been the victim of a cyberattack, and is currently investigating its severity.
As part of its investigation, the EMA told Pfizer and its partner in developing the vaccine, BioNTech, that the hackers were able to access "some documents relating to the regulatory submission for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate."
None of the organizations were immediately willing to name a culprit, but the U.S. government and a number of tech and cybersecurity companies have warned that China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have all tasked hackers with stealing COVID-19 vaccine research.