December 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Emma Reynolds, Ed Upright, Melissa Macaya and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 4:06 p.m. ET, December 15, 2020
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4:05 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

US surpasses 300,000 Covid-19 deaths

From CNN's Amanda Watts

Family and friends attend the funeral of Humberto Rosales on December 3, in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Rosales died from Covid-19 complications.
Family and friends attend the funeral of Humberto Rosales on December 3, in Santa Teresa, New Mexico. Rosales died from Covid-19 complications. Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty Images

There have been at least 300,267 reported deaths from Covid-19 in the United States since the pandemic began, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

There have been at least 16,388,504 total coronavirus cases in the US, Johns Hopkins data shows.

Johns Hopkins recorded the first death from Covid-19 on Feb. 29 in Washington state. Two earlier deaths in California were posthumously confirmed to be from Covid-19 later in the spring. 

3:50 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

US to ship about 6 million doses of Moderna Covid-19 vaccine if authorized, official says

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

The next Covid-19 vaccine under consideration for emergency use authorization is Moderna's candidate and, if authorized, the United States plans to ship about 6 million doses across the country in initial shipments, said Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed. 

"The next vaccine that we're looking forward to EUA this week is the Moderna vaccine, and in that light, we know that we're going to ship just a little bit short of 6 million doses out to the American people," Perna said during a news conference on Monday. 

"We're shipping it to 3,285 locations across the country. It will be a very similar cadence that was executed this week with Pfizer," Perna said. "Where we're hitting initial sites on Monday, follow on Tuesday and Wednesday and then by the end of the week we're just in a routine cadence of execution."

3:56 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Google delays a return to the office until September

From CNN’s Kathryn Vasel

The Google campus in Mountain View, California.
The Google campus in Mountain View, California. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Google employees won't be returning to the office until September. And when they do, they might not be going five days a week. 

In an email to employees, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company will test the idea of a flexible workweek where employees would work at least three days a week in the office for collaboration and at home for the rest of the time. The news was first reported by The New York Times.  

This summer, the company told workers they could work from home until July 2021. 

Google isn't alone in its approach to a flexible work schedule. 

In October, Dropbox announced plans to become "virtual first." That means the company's nearly 3,000 employees will continue to work remotely most of the time, but will occasionally go into the office for more collaborative and team-building work. To help facilitate this, the company will revamp its offices, turning them into what it calls "Dropbox Studios."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in May as many as 50% of the company's employees could be working remotely within the next five to 10 years. While Twitter has said some employees who want to work from home permanently, can.


3:26 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

This is Fauci's proudest moment of 2020 

From CNN's Andrea Diaz


When asked what was his proudest moment of the year was, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, "successfully doing the unimaginable" by having had a vaccine for a brand-new virus.

"I think the proudest moment would be the fact that we have successfully done what people would find to be the unimaginable," Fauci said during a Center for Strategic and International Studies virtual health event Monday.

"To have a virus that was brand new, and first recognized, and sequenced in January of 2020, and then in December of 2020 speaking to you today, as we speak, Steve, people are getting vaccine injected into their arms, with a vaccine that's 94-95% effective against clinical disease, and very, very effective against serious disease – I mean, that is a historic, unprecedented achievement," he added.

Additionally, Fauci said the darkest moment of 2020 has been the disease burden and death.

"We have almost 300,000 deaths. That's the worst public health catastrophe in 102 years – since the 1918 pandemic," Fauci said.

3:23 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Oklahoma received its first delivery of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Oklahoma received its first delivery of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine today and it is now being distributed to health care workers on the front lines, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt announced during a press conference.

The initial delivery to Oklahoma includes 33,000 doses and the state is expecting a total of around 166,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines by end of month, Oklahoma State Commissioner of Health Dr. Lance Frye said. 

Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who joined this afternoon’s press conference, cautioned against irrational exuberance over today’s vaccine arrival, saying "just because you saw a nurse receive the vaccine on television, does not mean that you have magically received the vaccine.” Oklahoma City is currently averaging almost 1,000 cases a day and has been averaging about 600 Covid-19 patients in the hospital, the Mayor said.

“What you’re seeing today is absolutely an encouraging glimpse of our future, but for most of us, it is not our present. So please, resolve to maintain and even enhance your precautions, recognizing that there is an end date now,” Mayor Holt said.

3:18 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Maine received its first two shipments of the Covid-19 vaccine this morning

From CNN’s Jennifer Henderson

Maine received the first two shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine this morning, Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said during a news conference today.

The shipments, which included 1,950 doses, arrived at Mercy Hospital and Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. The state needs roughly 2.6 million doses to fully vaccinate everyone, Shah said.

Maine is expecting additional shipments of the vaccine tomorrow at Central Maine Medical Center, Maine Medical Center, A.R. Gould Hospital and Maine General Medical Center in Augusta, Shah added. 

Week one of the vaccination efforts will be focused on hospital workers “who have been providing daily direct, close patient care to Covid-19 positive patients for months now,” including workers in the ICU, Emergency Room and Covid-19 positive wings, Shah said.

3:17 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

WHO launches global initiative to respond to impacts of Covid-19 on young people

From CNN's Leanna Faulk


Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images

The World Health Organization launched a global initiative on Monday to respond to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on young people.  

The Global Youth Mobilization For Generation Disrupted was launched by an alliance of several youth movements and organizations including the Young Men’s Christian Association, World Young Women’s Christian Association, World Organization of the Scout Movement, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

“The big six youth organizations, WHO, and the UN Foundation will engage young people around the world in the design of community initiatives to turn around the impact of the pandemic,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a virtual briefing. “We hope that it will become a platform for supporting progress towards other health goals, including universal health coverage.” 

“The voice of the youth for health for all is very crucial in early 2021," he added.

Several youth leaders were also invited to speak during the briefing. They said that these initiatives were critical to address the social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by young people as a result of the pandemic.

“The quality of the access to education should not be compromised during a pandemic,” said Shi Jie Chew, a member of the International Federation of Red Cross Youth Commission. “People should not have to sacrifice educational opportunities in exchange for our livelihoods and health.” 

Tharindra Arumapperuma, an international council member of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, said the issues with the struggling global economy are not isolated to the older generation. 

“We believe that young people have the most to lose, and definitely they will be continuing to lose for years to come and that will be as a consequence of the pandemic,” she said.

Tedros said the initiative will issue a call for proposals from youth groups to develop solutions to address the impacts of Covid-19 and scale-up existing efforts. He also said that $5 million has been allocated to the movement from the WHO Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

3:07 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

Some federal prison employees will receive the Covid vaccine Wednesday, spokesperson says

From CNN's Christina Carrega

A select amount of full-time federal prison employees are expected to receive the Covid-19 vaccination on Wednesday, a spokesperson from the Bureau of Prisons told CNN.

The first rounds of vaccines have been administered Monday to front-line workers in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus that has taken the lives of almost 300,000 people in the United States. Operation Warp Speed determined that law enforcement, including correctional officers were eligible for the first round of the vaccine since the facilities have a higher potential for outbreaks because of the population of inmates.  

Emery Nelson, spokesperson for the Bureau of Prisons, said Monday in a statement to CNN that "a few" of the facilities are expected to begin receiving the vaccine on Wednesday, and it will be made available to full-time employees. 

"Vaccinating staff protects the staff member, the inmates at the facility, and the community," Nelson said in the statement. "The BOP plans to initially offer the Vaccine to full-time staff given that staff—who come and go between the facility and the community—present a higher potential vector for transmission."

To date, there are over 1,700 Bureau of Prisons staffers who have tested positive for the coronavirus—compared to the over 7,100 inmates who are positive. 

"A plan has been developed to offer the Vaccine to the inmate population when additional doses are available. However, the BOP does not determine when doses will be made available to inmates, OWS will do that," Nelson said.

CNN has requested further comment on which facilities will receive the vaccinations and if the staffers are mandated to have them. 

2:59 p.m. ET, December 14, 2020

More than half of US states have gotten their first shipment of vaccines

From CNN’s Amanda Watts

UPS employees move shipping containers containing the Pfizer vaccine inside a sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 13.
UPS employees move shipping containers containing the Pfizer vaccine inside a sorting facility in Louisville, Kentucky, on December 13. Michael Clevenger/Pool/Getty Images

More than half of the states across the nation have received their first shipment of the Pfizer vaccine. 

According to statements from the state Departments of Health, governor’s offices and local hospitals, 36 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico have all received their first shipment of the vaccine.  

Remember: Not all of these states have begun administering the vaccine, but they have received it.   

Those places are:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Florida
  7. Georgia
  8. Illinois
  9. Iowa
  10. Kansas
  11. Kentucky
  12. Louisiana
  13. Maine
  14. Maryland
  15. Massachusetts
  16. Michigan
  17. Minnesota
  18. Mississippi
  19. Missouri
  20. Nevada
  21. New Hampshire
  22. New Jersey
  23. New Mexico
  24. New York
  25. North Carolina
  26. Ohio
  27. Oklahoma
  28. Oregon
  29. Pennsylvania
  30. Puerto Rico
  31. Rhode Island
  32. South Carolina
  33. South Dakota
  34. Texas
  35. Utah
  36. Virginia
  37. Washington
  38. Washington, DC