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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

Jan 24, 2021 - Health

CDC director: "I can't tell you how much vaccine we have"

CDC director Rochelle Walensky, newly appointed by President Biden, told Fox News on Sunday that the administration does not know the current number of COVID vaccines available for distribution — due to a lack of data gathered by the agency under Trump — making it more difficult for states to accurately plan.

Why it matters: Hospitals in states including Texas, South Carolina, New York, and California have canceled thousands of appointments due to running low on vaccines or nearly depleting their share, the New York Times reports.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.