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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner defended the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, telling CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the current rate of deaths is "still below" the May peak of 2,500 per day and that "we know a lot more than we did five months ago."

Why it matters: The U.S. is one of the few wealthy countries that has failed to suppress the outbreak, reporting a total of over 5.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 170,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic — by far the highest death rate in the world, according to Johns Hopkins.

The state of play: Other wealthy countries have seen terrifying coronavirus peaks, but the U.S. is one of the only ones to remain trapped near the summit.

  • Over the past several weeks, the coronavirus has killed Americans at six times the average rate in other rich countries. And the U.S. is recording about eight times more infections.
  • Daily case counts in the U.S. have declined, but still remain second-highest in the world after India.

What he's saying: "I believe the rate was about 2,500 deaths a day, so we're still below the peak. We have seen over the last two weeks that hospitalizations have come down," Kushner said.

  • "The president has taken a very aggressive approach, not just in the hotspots, but also what we call the ember cities, to push all the different measures we can take like wearing a mask, social distancing, using best practice."
  • "But most importantly, the president's really advanced the use of a lot of therapeutics, which is bringing the case fatality rate down. And obviously accelerating a vaccine — the fastest vaccine ever to a phase three trial was 13 months, and President Trump did it here in four months."
  • "At some point we'll get to the other end of this pandemic. ... We need to find a way to use the resources we need in order to live as normal a life as possible, while taking the restrictions that will help us save as many people as possible and to keep our economy as healthy as possible. So that when this is over, we haven't destroyed our country in order to get through it."

Go deeper: Coronavirus cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
Nov 23, 2020 - World

Oxford and AstraZeneca's vaccine won't just go to rich countries

Waiting, in New Delhi. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images

While the 95% efficacy rates for the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines are great news for the U.S. and Europe, Monday's announcement from Oxford and AstraZeneca may be far more significant for the rest of the world.

Why it matters: Oxford and AstraZeneca plan to distribute their vaccine at cost (around $3-4 per dose), and have already committed to providing over 1 billion doses to the developing world. The price tags are higher for the Pfizer ($20) and Moderna ($32-37) vaccines.

Nov 23, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus hospitalizations keep breaking records

Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.S. has reached new record highs every day since Nov. 10.

Why it matters: Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks.

Nov 23, 2020 - Politics & Policy

California governor and family in quarantine after coronavirus exposure

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) tweeted late Sunday that he and his family are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19.

Details: Newsom said they learned Friday that three of his children had come into contact with a California Highway Patrol officer who tested positive for the coronavirus. "Thankfully, the entire family tested negative today," Newsom said.