Coronavirus News Update – Jan. 20: Biden Leads Nation in Mourning Virus Victims, 60 Countries Now Have U.K. Variant

By Anna Breuer on 20 January 2021
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The Lincoln Memorial, in Washington, D.C.

As the world crossed the two million mark in the number of coronavirus deaths, and the United States hit 400,000, then President-Elect Joseph Biden mourned the loss in an Inauguration Day eve address.

Four hundred lights, in remembrance of the 400,000 U.S. citizens who have died amidst the coronavirus pandemic since last January, illuminated the Lincoln Memorial’s reflecting pool as then President-Elect Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris spoke.  “To heal, we must remember,” Biden said in his address.  “Between sundown and dusk, let us shine the lights in the darkness along the sacred pool of reflection, and remember all whom we lost.”

With the inauguration of 78-year-old Joseph Biden as the 46th president, the White House will take extraordinary steps to protect him from the coronavirus.  The steps will include daily employee coronavirus tests and N95 masks at all times, according to guidelines sent to incoming workers in the administration Tuesday.

The new president’s first executive order will require everyone to wear masks on federal property, and he is urging states to follow suit. “This executive action will direct the agencies to take action to require compliance with CDC guidance on mask wearing and physical distancing in federal buildings, on federal lands, and by federal employees and contractors,” said Jeff Zients, who serves as the new administration’s Covid-19 response coordinator.

The surge of new cases in California appears to be receding, but health officials there said that a newly identified variant of the coronavirus is nonetheless driving the current increase in new infections.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist who is 80 years old, urged Americans to get their vaccinations when they become available, as he received his second shot.

New York City officials said that the Big Apple will run out of coronavirus vaccine on Thursday. The city is not slated to receive new doses until next week.

Italy now ranks first in the European Union for the number of people vaccinated against the virus, after inoculating one million people in 19 days.

Sixty countries have now reported the presence of the U.K. Covid-19 variant, B.1.1.7.

In Zimbabwe, the country’s minister of foreign affairs and international trade, Sibusiso Busi Moyo, died of the coronavirus, the office of the president said on Wednesday.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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