VIRUS TODAY: 1 in 5 prisoners tests positive for COVID-19

Here’s what’s happening Friday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:


— One in every five state and federal prisoners in the United States has tested positive for the coronavirus, a rate more than four times as high as the general population. In some states, more than half of prisoners have been infected, according to data collected by The Associated Press and The Marshall Project.

— The head of the Food and Drug Administration said late Thursday that his agency will move to quickly authorize the second COVID-19 vaccine to fight the pandemic. The comments came hours after the shot won the key endorsement of a government advisory panel.

— U.S. health officials are seeing an astonishing lack of demand for COVID-19 medicines that may help keep infected people out of the hospital, drugs they rushed out to states over the past few weeks as deaths set new records.

THE NUMBERS: The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 1,834 on Dec. 3 to 2,633 on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

DEATH TOLL: The U.S. death toll stands at almost 312,000 people, up from about 300,000 when the week began.

QUOTABLE: “I think we know this isn’t going to be perfect. We don’t have vaccine for everyone right away, so we’re going to have to make difficult decisions.” — Claire Hannan, executive director of an organization that represents managers of state vaccination programs.

ICYMI: Vice President Mike Pence became the highest-ranking U.S. official to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Friday in a live-television event aimed at reassuring Americans the shot is safe. He celebrated the milestone as “a medical miracle” that could eventually contain the pandemic.

ON THE HORIZON: A federal panel of physicians and medical researchers is expected to endorse the Modern vaccine, followed by the FDA within hours or days


Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at

Categories: National & International News