The U.S. neared its record on Thursday for coronavirus-related deaths when more than 2,800 people were confirmed dead from Covid-19, according to an NBC News tally. There is light at the end of the tunnel, however. A panel of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week announced its guidelines for the first phase of the most ambitious national vaccination campaign in modern history.
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U.S. economy gains just 245,000 jobs in final report of 2020 as recovery stalls with Covid surging
The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, as the unemployment rate fell to 6.7 percent, according to data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Economists had predicted the economy would gain around 440,000 jobs.
Amid a fresh surge in coronavirus cases and a new round of shutdowns, Friday's figure represents the fifth straight month of slowing job gains. The sharp decline represents the lowest monthly total since the economy started its halting recovery.
BLS unemployment data is collected on or around the 12th of the month, but more recent metrics underscore how vulnerable the economy is to a “super-surge” of coronavirus infections around the holidays that could send people back into their homes and shutter businesses.
Although the promise of a vaccine has raised the hopes of investors, public health officials warn that a large-scale rollout sufficient to protect much of the population could still be months away.
“It's hard to see exactly when the recovery can really start,” said Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter.com. “The start of vaccination is not enough. We need people to feel totally safe gathering in large numbers."
Second day of 200,000-plus Covid cases in the U.S.
The U.S. counted more than 200,000 Covid-19 cases for the second day in a row with a record 219,394 cases Thursday. The current death count is 276,874, which includes Thursday's 2,802 deaths, the most since 2,892 were reported dead May 6, according to NBC News' tally.
The U.S. is averaging 179,171 cases and 1,826 deaths per day the past week. Four weeks ago, the U.S. averaged 133,824 cases and 1,073 deaths per day.
These states set single-day records Thursday:
- Alaska, 763 cases
- Arkansas, 2,789 cases
- Delaware, 758 cases
- Indiana, 8,460 cases
- Iowa, 73 dead
- Kentucky, 71 dead
- Massachusetts, 6,675 cases
- Nevada, 48 dead
- New Mexico, 44 dead
- North Carolina, 73 dead
- Tennessee, 93 dead
- Wyoming, 27 dead