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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 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.
Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries

Photo: Ina Fassbender/AFP via Getty Images

Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to COVAX, the global effort aimed at ensuring that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines, the drug makers and World Health Organization announced Friday.

Why it matters: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned earlier this week that the world is "on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure" due to unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategy

Biden signs executive orders on Jan. 21. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

"It's gonna get worse before it gets better": President Biden expects 100,000 Americans to die from COVID-19 during his first six weeks in office.

The big picture: Biden said he's putting America on a wartime footing against the virus, signing 10 executive orders today alone.

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