Biden forms COVID-19 task force; Pfizer's vaccine 90% effective, early data shows — 6 updates

COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. have nearly doubled since mid-September, pushing several areas closer to capacity, reports The New York Times

The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases for the fifth day in a row, reports The New York Times. More than 103,600 new U.S. cases were confirmed Nov. 8, the fifth-highest daily total so far, with the nation poised to surpass 10 million total infections. 

Five more updates:

President-elect Joe Biden has created a 13-member COVID-19 task force to help guide his administration's pandemic response when he takes office. The task force — composed solely of physicians and public health experts — will work with health officials nationwide to create policies to address the virus's spread, help eliminate health disparities and ensure vaccine safety, among other efforts. See a full list of the task force's members here

Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine candidate was more than 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19 in an interim analysis of a late-stage clinical trial, the drugmakers said Nov. 9. The news comes after an outside panel of experts conducted its first formal review of early trial data. Pfizer said it plans to seek emergency use authorization from the FDA later this month, reports The New York Times.

A COVID-19 outbreak has hit the White House again, with Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and five other presidential aides testing positive in the last week, according to The Washington Post. Mr. Meadows tested positive Nov. 4, and an administration official who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity said a broader outbreak is occuring, though the official declined to name those affected. In addition to the six White House aides, a Trump campaign official said campaign adviser Nick Trainer also has tested positive.

The U.S. Air Force is sending three specialty medical teams to help hospitals in El Paso, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said Nov. 6. The 20-clinician teams will support three local hospitals amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations: the University Medical Center of El Paso; the Hospitals of Providence Transmountain Campus; and the Las Palmas Del Sol Medical Center. 

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency Nov. 8 over the state's strained hospital capacity. Mr. Herbert also issued a statewide mask mandate that will remain in effect until Nov. 23. Utah has averaged more than 2,000 COVID-19 cases daily in the last week, according to The New York Times.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 9,975,500
Deaths: 237,587
Recovered: 3,881,491

Counts reflect data available as of 8:40 a.m. CST Nov. 9.

More articles on public health:

COVID-19 death rates by state: Nov. 9
COVID-19 hospitalizations by state: Nov. 9
New preventive nasal spray blocks COVID-19 in ferrets, small study finds


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