Coronavirus updates: CDC projects up to 420K deaths by mid-January; California is first state to 2M cases; COVID vaccine plans vary by state

USA TODAY follows the news of COVID-19 as two vaccines join the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed more than 325,000 Americans since the first reported death in February. Keep this page updated for the latest updates on vaccine distribution, including who is getting the footage and where, as well as other COVID-19 news from across the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter to get updates straight to your inbox, join our Facebook group, or scroll through our in-depth answers to reader questions to find out everything you need to know about the coronavirus.
In the headlines:
The federal government is on the verge of shedding 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in December as promised, but states are taking longer than expected to get those doses into people's arms. Here's what officials are saying about vaccinations.
► The projects of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will cause 378,000 to 419,000 deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. by Jan. 16, according to a forecast released Wednesday.
►President Donald Trump has threatened to torpedo Congress's massive COVID-19 bailout package, calling for changes that Republicans have spoken out against.
► A COVID-19 patient in a California hospital reportedly hit and killed his roommate with an oxygen tank because he was "upset when the victim started praying," the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday.
►Washington Football team coach Ron Rivera has chosen not to suspend quarterback Dwayne Haskins after violating COVID-19 protocols on Sunday night. But Rivera did well with Haskins and also deprived him of captaincy.
►California is the first state to exceed 2 million cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a dismal marker only seven countries have hit.
►Louisiana Rep-elect Luke Letlow has been moved to the intensive care unit at Ochsner LSU Health in Shreveport to continue treatment for COVID-19, his spokesman told USA Today Network on Wednesday.
? Today's Numbers: More than 18.4 million coronavirus cases and 326,000 deaths have been confirmed in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global total: More than 78.6 million cases and 1.7 million deaths.
Here's a closer look at today's top stories:
According to the USA TODAY Panel, the US has pinned the science behind vaccines
Experts are excited about the reported safety and effectiveness of two COVID-19 vaccines that are being rolled out across the country. However, they remain concerned about what could still go wrong to shake the fragile public trust in the company.
In interviews with USA TODAY over the past few days, a dozen vaccine experts have been more cautious. Most believe that vaccines won't be available until late spring or early summer, provided there are no production issues and approval of two additional vaccines will come sometime in February.
Each month, USA TODAY panel of experts measure the progress of COVID-19 vaccines by selecting the time on an imaginary clock that started at midnight with the virus discovery in early 2020 and ends at 12 noon when a vaccine is freely available is USA Every month we calculate mean time - the center of your estimates.
In June it was 4 a.m. By October the sun had risen and their consensus fell at 8 a.m. The time for November shot up to 9:30 a.m. - the biggest advance in a month to date. For December, the panel returned to its constant pace, moving the clock forward one hour to 10:30 a.m.
- Karen Weintraub and Elizabeth Weise
What's the point when students fail during COVID-19?
While a recent Rand Corp. conducted study found that only 6 out of 10 US teachers awarded letter grades this fall, this rate is almost twice as high as last spring. Class failure rates have increased in districts across the country from Virginia to Hawaii. And these Fs tend to focus on low-income color students, data shows, as well as those who are still learning English or who have disabilities.
At the national level, students whose grades are falling, including seniors whose graduation prospects are at stake, may not have a chance to recover.
"There's never a reason a child should fail when that child - failure means you have absolutely no ability to master anything," said Tanji Reed Marshall of Ed Trust, a national nonprofit that seeks to fill in gaps in opportunity Schools close. "The idea of ​​failing students in the moment seems pointless, especially when the ... 'lack of attendance' of a student is not due to their own fault."
- Alia Wong
States' plans vary to get vaccines for groups at highest risk
With health professionals and nursing home residents waiting for their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, few realize that when they receive a dose, it depends very much on what condition they live in.
The allocation of the vaccine does not correlate with the number of high-risk people there. As long as supplies are limited, some states will not receive doses that meet their needs.
"The simplest may not be ethically best, most defensible, or best for public health," said Jeffrey Kahn, director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. "They want something life-saving to go where it's needed most, not just evenly across the country."
- Dennis Wagner, Donovan Slack and Aleszu Bajak
Why Americans Travel Despite Health Authority Advice
Millions of Americans travel before Christmas and New Years even though public health experts have asked to stay home.
Some are older and think they won't have much more Christmas. Others try to keep the long-distance romance alive. Some just long for the human connection that has not existed for nine months.
Many people at airports this week have thought long and hard about going somewhere and figured out a way to streamline it.
Contributor: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared in the US TODAY: COVID News: CDC Predicts Up To 420,000 Deaths By Mid-January; California
In this article
Dwayne Haskins Jr.

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