Wednesday brought word that the US has inked a deal that will have the country receiving the first 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine candidate in the works from Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech SE—with those 100 million doses expected by the end of 2020. Except on Wednesday, the World Health Organization slightly tempered expectations: "Realistically, it is going to be the first part of next year before we start seeing people vaccinated," said the head of the WHO's emergencies program, per the BBC. This as news also emerged that the global number of confirmed cases passed 15 million on Wednesday. More:
- Reuters reports the countries with the most cases are the US, Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa, though "the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas."
- One of those cases in Brazil is that of President Jair Bolsonaro—still. He said Wednesday that he has again tested positive for COVID-19, as he did earlier in the month. The AP reports he has said that he hasn't suffered from any serious symptoms. Per the WHO, the median recovery time for mild cases is roughly two weeks; Bolsonaro announced he had the coronavirus on July 7.
- As for India, the BBC reports that while less than 1% of Delhi's population of 19.8 million has tested positive, 23.48% of the 21,387 people who had their blood tested for antibodies as part of a government survey were positive, suggesting a rate many magnitudes higher than what has been confirmed.
- In the US, a new mandate in Washington, DC: The AP reports that Mayor Muriel Bowser announced she would be signing an executive order that will make it mandatory for all people over age 3 to wear masks outside the home. The narrow exceptions: those "actively eating or drinking" and people "vigorously exercising outdoors" while distant from others. She says the order will include "enforcement language," and that fines for noncompliance are a possibility.
- "I don't really see us eradicating it." That was Dr. Anthony Fauci's take on Wednesday regarding the coronavirus, per CNBC. More optimistically, he added that he does think that "with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine ... I think when we put all three of those together, we will get control of this, whether it’s this year or next year. I’m not certain."
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