Coronavirus updates: Biden to give speech on coronavirus and economy as daily death toll again exceeds 4,000

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President-elect Joe Biden, whose administration will take over the pandemic response in six days, is set to give a speech Thursday night that will include additional plans to combat the coronavirus and address its economic consequences. His remarks will come a day after more than 4,000 people died of covid-19 in the United States for the second day in a row.

Vehicles line up outside the Disneyland Resort parking for a coronavirus vaccine in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday. (Damian Dovarganes/Associated Press)

It’s now been a week since the death toll surpassed that milestone for the first time.

In his speech in Wilmington, Del., Biden is expected to announce a vaccination and economic relief legislative package that will include money to fight the pandemic and to increase vaccine distribution, The Post has reported.

Biden’s team said the proposal looks to “fund vaccinations and provide immediate, direct relief to working families and communities bearing the brunt of this crisis and call on both parties in Congress to move his proposals quickly.”

Here are some significant developments:

  • New unemployment claims filed last week soared, increasing by 181,000 to 965,000. It’s the largest increase since the start of the pandemic and the largest number of new unemployment claims since August.
  • Two members of the World Health Organization’s team tasked with investigating the origins of the coronavirus were barred from entering China after the pair tested positive for coronavirus antibodies in their home countries. China requires airline passengers to present negative antibody tests before being allowed to travel there.
  • Three members of Congress who recently announced that they tested positive might have contracted the virus while hunkered down in a crowded room in the Capitol, soon after receiving initial coronavirus vaccine doses. But experts say their diagnoses don’t mean the vaccines were faulty, as immune protection could take more than a week to kick in.

In the days since the Trump administration announced changes to its vaccination rollout plan, including by urging states to start providing shots to all adults 65 and older, some have followed suit.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday that residents 65 and older would now be eligible receive a vaccine. The same day, Los Angeles County health officials said they estimate that one in three people in the county has been infected with coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.

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