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A walk-up Covid-19 testing site in San Fernando, California, on Nov. 24, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The White House coronavirus task force warned states "the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high" and to brace for another surge following Thanksgiving, per a report that emerged Wednesday.

Driving the news: "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household," said the report, dated Nov. 29, first published by the Center for Public Integrity.

"Most likely, you will not have symptoms; however, you are dangerous to others and you must isolate away from anyone at increased risk for severe disease and get tested immediately."
  • The report states that people who are over age 65 or have significant health conditions "should not enter any indoor public spaces where anyone is unmasked due to the immediate risk to your health; you should have groceries and medications delivered."

Why it matters: The warning is in contrast to the messaging of President Trump and some members of his administration, with invitations to White House holiday parties hosted by the Trumps sent out last month.

  • "We are in a very dangerous place due to the current, extremely high COVID baseline and limited hospital capacity; a further post-Thanksgiving surge will compromise COVID patient care, as well as medical care overall," per the report.
  • On Wednesday, over 100,200 Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020.

The bottom line: The report warns "all states and all counties must flatten the curve now in order to sustain the health system for both COVID and non-COVID emergencies."

  • "If state and local policies do not reflect the seriousness of the current situation, all public health officials must alert the state population directly."

Go deeper

Jan 20, 2021 - Health

California Rep. Raul Ruiz contracts COVID-19

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool via Getty

Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) tweeted Tuesday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: He is the latest member of Congress to contract the disease since pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, forcing lawmakers to lock down in close quarters. Some lawmakers have criticized colleagues for refusing to wear masks while in lockdown.

Jan 19, 2021 - Health

U.S. surpasses 400,000 coronavirus deaths on Trump's final full day in office

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Over 400,000 people have died from the coronavirus in the U.S. as of Tuesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

Why it matters: It only took a little over a month for the U.S. to reach this mass casualty after 300,000 COVID deaths were reported last month. That's over 100,000 fatalities in 36 days.

Dave Lawler, author of World
Jan 19, 2021 - World

Biden will bring U.S. into COVAX vaccine initiative, Blinken says

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Secretary of State designate Tony Blinken announced in a confirmation hearing on Tuesday that President-elect Biden would bring the U.S. into the COVAX initiative — the global effort from the World Health Organization and other groups to ensure that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines.

Why it matters: Virtually the entire world has signed onto COVAX, apart from the U.S. and Russia. It's expected to be the only source of vaccines for some of the world's poorest countries, and it needs additional funding to fulfill its goal of vaccinating at least 20% of the population in every country by the end of 2021.