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Customers shop at Macys on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images

Many Americans braved shopping malls and department stores to shop in-person on Black Friday.

Why it matters: Coronavirus infections are still on the rise across much of the U.S. during a season of travel and holiday gatherings. Hospitals across the country, especially in rural areas, are still overwhelmed.

Between the lines: Although some states have reintroduced COVID mitigation efforts in the face of rising cases — like mask mandates and lower occupancy levels in businesses — retail workers told the Los Angeles Times before Black Friday they were still worried for their safety.

Yes, but: Stores in Houston, Portland and eastern Kentucky reportedly saw light crowds on Black Friday, as more people took advantage of online deals. Thanksgiving Day online sales, meanwhile, reportedly hit a record $5.1 billion this year.

In photos
Shoppers walk through Macys in New York City on Nov. 27. Photo: Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images
Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
A line outside of a Foot Locker store on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
An early morning line outside of a New Jersey Walmart on Nov. 27. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Shoppers in a New Jersey Walmart on Nov. 27. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Shoppers enter a Foot Locker on Nov. 27 in New York City. Photo: Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
Shoppers wait outside a Target for a 7 a.m. opening in Manalapan, New Jersey on Nov. 27. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Black Friday shoppers at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images
Black Friday shoppers at Franklin Park Mall in Toledo, Ohio on Nov. 27. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

Go deeper ... Podcast: Walmart U.S. CEO talks Black Friday

Go deeper

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Off the rails: Behind Trump's post-election meltdown

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios special series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

  • This page will be updated as more episodes are published.
  • Our podcast on the series is called "How it happened: Trump's last stand." Episodes will be released each Monday, beginning on Jan. 18.

Biden embarks on a consequential presidency

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Donald Trump tried everything to delegitimize the rival who vanquished him. In reality, he's set Joe Biden on course to be a far more consequential U.S. president than he might otherwise have become.

The big picture: President Biden now confronts not just a pandemic, but massive political divisions and an assault on truth — and the aftermath of the assault on the Capitol two weeks ago that threatened democracy itself.

23 hours ago - Health

Amazon offers to help Biden administration with COVID vaccine efforts

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos at the White House with Jill Biden in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO Dave Clark has offered to help the Biden administration with its coronavirus vaccination goals by mobilizing efforts to inoculate its employees, according to a letter sent to President Biden on Wednesday.

Why it matters: As demand for the coronavirus vaccine is outstripping supply, Amazon has about 800,000 employees, many of whom are essential workers. The Biden administration wants to vaccinate 100 million Americans in 100 days.

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