Good morning, it’s Wednesday, July 22. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.
There are 14.9 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 616,000 deaths.
The U.S. has over 3.9 million cases with over 142,000 deaths. The U.S. reported more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday, marking the first time since June 10 that the country has surpassed that mark.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced this morning that the U.S. government placed an order for 100 million doses for nearly $2 billion. The government also has the ability to acquire up to 500 million additional doses.
This deal will help the U.S. government deliver 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, 100 million of them being the vaccine candidate from Pfizer if all goes well.
This comes as Pfizer and BioNtech prepare for the next step in their trials, and the vaccine candidate could face regulatory approval as early as October if everything goes well.
Americans will receive the vaccine for free, due to the U.S. government’s commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines.
And President Donald Trump held a coronavirus briefing for the first time in months.
At the briefing Tuesday, Trump said the coronavirus pandemic "will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better.
He continued to say, “Something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is. It’s what we have.”
And, shifting stances, Trump encouraged Americans to wear masks.
You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.