VIRUS TODAY: Relief bill in limbo, California hits 2M cases

VIRUS TODAY: Relief bill in limbo, California hits 2M cases


Here's what's happening Thursday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— House Republicans shot down a Democratic bid on Thursday to pass President Donald Trump’s longshot, end-of-session demand for $2,000 direct payments to most Americans before signing a long-overdue COVID-19 relief bill. The vote shifts attention to whether Trump will follow through on his implied threat to veto the bill, which would likely cause a partial government shutdown and delay the $600 direct payments that the bill does contain.

— California became the first state to record 2 million confirmed coronavirus cases, reaching the milestone on Christmas Eve as close to the entire state was under a strict stay-at-home order and hospitals were flooded with the largest crush of cases since the pandemic began.

— Schools nationwide have scrambled to get students outdoors during the pandemic to keep them safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some schools in the country's most frigid climes plan to keep outdoor learning going all winter, with students trading desks in warm classrooms for tree stumps or buckets.

THE NUMBERS: More than 3,000 people died in the U.S. from the coronavirus on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project, the third stretch of back-to-back days of 3,000-plus deaths this month. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 2,259.9 on December 9 to 2,668.7 on December 23, according to data through from Johns Hopkins University.

DEATH TOLL: The U.S. death toll stands at 326,259 people, roughly the same as the population of Corpus Christi, Texas.

QUOTABLE: “Every day, I look into the eyes of someone who is struggling to breathe. — Jenny Carrillo, a charge nurse at...

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