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Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

In the last week alone, nearly 1 out of every 200 Americans was diagnosed with the coronavirus — an astronomically large portion of the population to be sick at the same time.

Why it matters: This will translate into large numbers of hospitalizations — and eventually deaths — in the coming weeks. It also means the rest of us have a decent chance of interacting with someone who is infected, anywhere we go.

By the numbers: Nationally, 0.9% of Americans have been diagnosed with the virus over the last 14 days, or nearly 1 out of every 100 people. That's probably an undercount of the real number of infections across the country, as not everyone who is infected gets tested.

  • In Tennessee, nearly 1 of every 100 state residents have been diagnosed within the last week, making it the state with the highest number of new cases by population in the country.
  • In California, the most populous state in the U.S., roughly 1 of every 150 residents were diagnosed this week, contributing tens of thousands of cases to the national total every day.

What's happening: California's health care system is already buckling, AP reports.

  • Hospitals across the state "have all but run out of intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients, ambulances are backing up outside emergency rooms, and tents for triaging the sick are going up," per AP.

Go deeper

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.

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Stalemate over filibuster freezes Congress

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell's inability to quickly strike a deal on a power-sharing agreement in the new 50-50 Congress is slowing down everything from the confirmation of President Biden's nominees to Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Why it matters: Whatever final stance Schumer takes on the stalemate, which largely comes down to Democrats wanting to use the legislative filibuster as leverage over Republicans, will be a signal of the level of hardball we should expect Democrats to play with Republicans in the new Senate.

Dave Lawler, author of World
44 mins ago - World

Biden opts for five-year extension of New START nuclear treaty with Russia

Putin at a military parade. Photo: Valya Egorshin/NurPhoto via Getty

President Biden will seek a five-year extension of the New START nuclear arms control pact with Russia before it expires on Feb. 5, senior officials told the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The 2010 treaty is the last remaining constraint on the arsenals of the world's two nuclear superpowers, limiting the number of deployed nuclear warheads and the bombers, missiles and submarines which can deliver them.