January 24 coronavirus news

By Jenni Marsh, Joshua Berlinger and Rob Picheta, CNN

Updated 12:00 a.m. ET, January 25, 2021
22 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
12:50 p.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Michigan identifies 3 new UK variant cases of Covid-19

From CNN’s Anna Sturla

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced three new cases of a more transmissible variant of Covid-19 on Sunday, bringing the state's total variant cases to six.

Two of the new cases were adult women associated with the University of Michigan, which already had three cases of the same variant. The remaining case was an adult man from Wayne County, which covers Detroit and Dearborn, according to a news release from the department.

Michigan DHHS ordered the University of Michigan to halt athletics after new variant cases were connected to the program.

The new variant cases in Michigan are all of the B.1.1.7 variant, according to the health department.

That variant was first identified in the United Kingdom, but there are other variants first seen in South Africa and Brazil.

While B.1.1.7 may be more easily passed from person to person, "there has been no indication that it affects the clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months," Michigan DHHS noted in its alert.

12:22 p.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Biden's HHS secretary nominee on long vaccine lines: "That is not America at its best"

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, on January 24.
Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, on January 24. CNN

Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, reacted to images of long lines of senior citizens waiting to get Covid-19 vaccines, telling CNN Sunday that it’s "not America, that’s not the way we treat those we consider vulnerable, in need of this vaccine most, that is not America at its best.” 

“What we have to do is show people how it can be done,” Becerra said. “You can’t just tell the states and the local government ‘Here’s some vaccines, now you go do it.’ No, we have to coordinate, we have to provide the resources.” 

Becerra said that many states are suffering massive budget deficits and trying to figure out how to get resources for their overburdened health workers, adding that Biden’s plan provides for 100,000 new health care workers to get out and help all the states. 

“It’s a plan that can work if we all get, you know, put our muscle to it together,” he said. 

Some more context: States had previously submitted plans for vaccine distribution to the CDC in October but had said they needed federal money to carry them out.

In September, Congress had initially set aside $200 million to states for preparedness and planning and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added another $227 million for vaccine distribution in December.

But the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials have said they needed $8.4 billion to administer and conduct vaccine efforts of this scale. Former President Trump signed a massive $2.3 trillion relief bill at the end of December which included $8 billion for vaccine distribution. 

 

12:28 p.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Italy tops 85,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN’s Antonia Mortensen

More than 85,000 people have died from Covid-19 in Italy, the first European country to be hit hard by the pandemic, Health Ministry figures show.

The number climbed past 85,000 on Saturday and reached 85,461 on Sunday after 299 new deaths were recorded.

 

12:31 p.m. ET, January 24, 2021

US surpasses 25 million Covid-19 cases

People wait in their cars to get tested for Covid-19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on January 4.
People wait in their cars to get tested for Covid-19 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on January 4. Etienne Laurent/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

There have been at least 25,003,695 total cases of coronavirus in the US and at least 417,538 people have died from Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

The university recorded the first case of coronavirus in the United States on Jan. 21, 2020.  

  • 97 days later, on April 27, the US hit 1 million cases 
  • 104 days later, on Aug. 9, the US hit 5 million cases 
  • 91 days later, on Nov. 8, the US hit 10 million cases
  • 29 days later, on Dec. 7, the US hit 15 million cases 
  • 24 days later, on Dec. 31, the US hit 20 million cases 
  • 24 days later, on Jan. 24, 2021, the US hit 25 million cases 

There are 17 other countries in the world that have reported more than 1 million total Covid-19 cases, according to the university: 

  • India has over 10 million total cases 
  • Brazil has over 8 million total cases 
  • Russia, the United Kingdom, and France have over 3 million total cases
  • Turkey, Italy, Spain and Germany have over 2 million total cases 
  • Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, South Africa, Poland, Iran, Ukraine, and Peru all have over 1 million total cases each

 

12:24 p.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Changing the course of the pandemic won’t happen overnight, HHS secretary nominee says 

From CNN's Naomi Thomas

Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, on January 24.
Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, on January 24. CNN

Xavier Becerra, President Joe Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, told CNN Sunday that the US can change the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it won’t happen overnight.

On Friday, Biden said “There is nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.” 

“What I believe President Biden is making very clear, the plane is in a nosedive and we’ve got to pull it up,” Becerra said. “And you’re not going to do that overnight, but we’re going to pull it up, we have to pull it up, failure is not an option here and so we will.” 

Becerra added that the President has put forward not just a plan, but a rescue plan that should be followed by a recovery plan, “but first you got to rescue the people, you got to rescue the economy."

When asked what the timeframe was for changing the course of the pandemic, Becerra again made it clear that it won’t happen overnight. 

“We can do better, we can not only control Covid but get us back to real normality,” he said. “But it takes everybody, all hands on deck, we’ve got to make sure we’re coordinating and we are talking to people.”

11:01 a.m. ET, January 24, 2021

New York state surpasses 34,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN's Laura Ly

New York’s Covid-19 positivity rate fell to 5.09% on Sunday, with 12,720 new reported cases, according to new data from New York state.

Total Covid-19 hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, and intubations are all down from Saturday’s numbers, the data showed.

There are 160 more New Yorkers who have died due to Covid-19, bringing the state’s overall death toll to 34,069, state data showed.

Currently, health department statistics show that New York’s Long Island and Mid-Hudson regions have the highest positivity rates at 6.99% and 6.85%, respectively. New York City has a rate of 5.58%, with the most cases in the Bronx.

To note: These figures were released by the state’s health agency and may not line up exactly in real-time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University and the Covid Tracking Project. 

11:45 a.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Sen. Bernie Sanders says Democrats will use reconciliation for Covid-19 relief package

From CNN's Daniella Diaz

Sen. Bernie Sanders on January 24.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on January 24. CNN

Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, the incoming chairman of the Senate budget committee, told CNN Sunday morning that Democrats will use budget reconciliation “as soon as we possibly can” to pass a Covid-19 relief package by 51 votes, rather than 60. 

“What we cannot do is wait weeks and weeks and months and months to go forward. We have got to act now,” he said on CNN.

Some more context: Reconciliation was used by the Republicans to pass legislation when Donald Trump was president. 

On the urgency to pass a Covid-19 relief package, Sanders told CNN: “If we do not respond now, yes, I believe two years from now the Republicans will say 'Hey, you elected these guys, they did nothing, vote for us,' and they will win."

11:02 a.m. ET, January 24, 2021

New coronavirus model predicts 569,000 total Covid-19 deaths in the US by May 

From CNN's Nadia Kounang

Funeral director Steven Correa moves the casket of someone said to have died from Covid-19 in preparation for burial at Continental Funeral Home in East Los Angeles, California, on December 31, 2020.
Funeral director Steven Correa moves the casket of someone said to have died from Covid-19 in preparation for burial at Continental Funeral Home in East Los Angeles, California, on December 31, 2020. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP/Getty Images

The influential coronavirus model at the University of Washington is projecting 569,000 Americans will have died from Covid-19 by May 1.

This a slight increase since its last update, which projected 567,000 deaths by the same date. 

The model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) projected that by May 1, “42,800 lives will be saved by the projected vaccine rollout.” 

The model expected 157 million people to be vaccinated by that time which translates to 36% of the country being immunized, assuming the vaccines are at least 50% effective. 

More details: The forecasters note that overall, just half of the country is willing to accept the vaccine.

“In the US, 50.8% of people say they would accept a vaccine for Covid-19 and 25.5% say they are unsure if they would accept one," the model said.

However, the modelers also note that they do not expect the US to reach a high enough level of herd immunity to prevent a third wave next winter, “because a quarter of Americans state they will not take the vaccine and a further quarter state they are unsure.” 

The forecasts also do not take into account the potential spread of the new variants first identified in the UK and South Africa, “which could extend the fall/winter surge into late spring if they spread in the US.” 

10:15 a.m. ET, January 24, 2021

Biden's chief of staff says Trump vaccine plan beyond nursing homes and hospitals "did not really exist"

From CNN's Allie Malloy and Jasmine Wright

Ron Klain testifies in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2020.
Ron Klain testifies in Washington, DC, on March 10, 2020. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain appeared on "Meet the Press" this morning and defended statements by the White House that there was no plan in place for vaccine distribution when the Biden administration walked in the door.

Klain said that outside of nursing homes and hospitals, a plan for “the community as a whole did not really exist.”  

Klain was asked about the differing comments from the White House on there not being a plan in place on vaccine distribution, which Dr. Anthony Fauci disputed this week.

“I think those two statements actually reconcile more than you might think, I think what Dr. Fauci is saying is of course a year of really amazing scientific breakthrough and discovery, created this vaccine in record time and we have seen the initial wave of vaccinations take place…But the process to distribute the vaccine, particularly outside of nursing homes and hospitals, out into the community as a whole did not really exist when we came into the White house. As everyone in America has seen, the way in which people get vaccine is chaotic, it’s very limited,” Klain told NBC. 

Klain also stressed that the administration will “own” the vaccine problem going forward, unlike the administration before them.  

When asked where the problem lies, Klain said, "We need more vaccine, we need more vaccinators and we need more vaccine sites." 

Klain, speaking about the administration’s goal of 100 vaccines in its first 100 days, said it is “still a very bold and ambitious goal.”  

“Obviously we’re not going to stop there. 100 million people- 100 million shots is an ambitious goal but we need to keep going after that so. That is our goal. That is our first goal. It’s not our final goal. It’s not the endpoint. It’s just a metric that the American people can watch and measure how we’re doing,” Klain added.