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Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Europe is swiftly shutting down as the unprecedented spike in new cases hits perilous new heights.

The big picture: Cases are growing uncontrollably across most of the continent. While spikes in hospitalizations and deaths have thus far been less sharp in most countries, fears of overcrowded hospitals are growing. The U.S. may be tracking just two or three weeks behind.

Driving the news: Fresh off imposing a new lockdown — something he’d vowed not to do — U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Monday that the current spike could ultimately be “twice as bad” as Britain’s brutal spring.

  • “We could see deaths in this country running at several thousand a day," he warned.
  • Starting Thursday, bars, restaurants and non-essential businesses across England will be closed. International travel will be banned, as will the mixing of multiple households indoors.
  • As in most of Europe, schools will stay open.
  • The new measures are slated to last until Dec. 2, but Johnson conceded today that they could be extended.

The latest: Austria also announced a lockdown on Saturday, while restaurants, movie theaters and gyms will be closed in most of Greece starting Tuesday. Belgium is also locking down.

There is less horrifying news elsewhere.

  • Israel was the first country to impose a second nationwide lockdown, but it appears to be working despite less harsh restrictions and some flouting of the rules, WSJ notes.
  • Case counts fell swiftly and dramatically, starting just 10 days after the lockdown was imposed.

In India, cases and deaths have been consistently in decline since a mid-September peak.

Go deeper: Europe's monster second wave

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Study: Increased COVID-19 testing can reduce transmission — Hospitalizations top 100,000 for the first time.
  2. Vaccine: Obama, Bush and Clinton willing to take vaccine in public — Vaccine shipment companies targeted by cyberattacks, IBM says.
  3. Politics: Fauci to meet with Biden transition for first time.
  4. Transportation: Delta will become first U.S. airline to launch COVID-19 contact tracing program.
  5. World: Azar's UN remarks to take aim at China.
  6. Sports: Tokyo Olympics weighs health tracking app in order to allow fan attendance.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

21 hours ago - World

Azar's UN remarks to take aim at China

Alex Azar during a White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is expected to give a speech at a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday that hails U.S. progress on coronavirus vaccines while criticizing — though not directly naming — China.

Why it matters: U.S. government officials are concerned that China will use the UN special session to spread disinformation about the origins of the virus and China's early missteps in handling the pandemic.