THE United States has recorded its deadliest day yet of the Covid pandemic with more than 5,000 deaths, while Biden deploys 1,000 troops to help deliver vaccine shots across the country.
The grim new record of 5,077 deaths continues a surge of deaths after the holiday period, dwarfing the previous record of 4,466 deaths, recorded on January 12.
Emergency Medical Technicians leave with a patient at Hialeah Hospital in FloridaCredit: Reuters
People line up in the rain outside the Yankee Stadium on February 5, 2021 in New York as the Stadium is ready for its turn as a mass Covid-19 vaccination siteCredit: AFP or licensors
The sobering new figure comes as experts are baffled by a reported 50% drop in new infections.
The average number of new daily infections; 121,645, was half what it was at the peak of the pandemic on January 12, according to the Mail Online.
National hospitalisations had fallen to 88,668, the first time they had fallen below 90,000 since November 27.
The trend in fatalities typically lagged weeks behind trends in cases and hospitalisations, which had both been falling for the past three weeks.
For the first time since Thanksgiving, fewer than 90,000 people had inpatient treatment for Covid, according to Covid tracking project data.
The fall in cases and hospitalisations came as the vaccine rollout slowly continued, with 8.7 per cent of the population now having been vaccinated.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has announced more than 1,100 troops would be deployed to five vaccination centres.
The mass deployment of military teams was part of what would be the first wave of increased army support for the White House campaign, to get more Americans vaccinated against Covid-19.
Incoming president Joe Biden has called for 100 mass vaccinations centres to be set up around the country, within a month, according to ABC 11 reports.
Two of the five new military teams were being sent to vaccination centres opening in California, while three additional centres were expected to be announced soon.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency had asked the Pentagon to supply as many as 10,000 service members to staff 100 centres.
While deaths were on the rise, infections appeared to be falling across the US
Among those sites used as vaccination centres would be NFL league stadiums.
A letter sent to Joe Biden from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and obtained by the Associated Press, said many of the stadiums would be able to get vaccination efforts moving quickly, due to previous offers to use them as testing centers and election sites.
“We look forward to further discussion with your administration as well as your partners in state and local governments to advance this effort,” Goodell wrote to Biden.
Seven clubs were already being used as part of the vaccination efforts; Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Miami and New England.
In a letter to President Joe Biden obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said many of the stadiums should be able to get vaccination efforts moving quickly because of previous offers to use stadiums as virus testing centers and election sites.
The seven clubs already using their stadiums as vaccine sites are Arizona, Atlanta, Baltimore, Carolina, Houston, Miami and New England.
“We look forward to further discussion with your administration as well as your partners in state and local governments to advance this effort,” Goodell’s letter read.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo indicated he would expand vaccination eligibility to people with comorbidities in less than a fortnight.
He would also consider moving up the reopening of New York City indoor dining by a few days, he said in a briefing earlier this week, NBC New York reported.
The governor said he wanted to give hospitals another week to encourage frontline health workers who hadn’t had their vaccination, to do so.
Following this, doses for that group would be reallocated to local governments; a pivot in prioritisation expected to start on Feb 15.
A patient receives a COVID-19 vaccination at a center in WashingtonCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Workers take down an overflow patient care tent amid a decrease in COVID-19 patients in CaliforniaCredit: Getty Images – Getty