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U.S. control over pandemic by the autumn.

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DECEMBER 31, 2020

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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS TODAY

Fauci sees U.S. gaining control by next autumn
Leading U.S. infectious disease specialist Dr. Anthony Fauci said he foresees America achieving enough collective immunity through vaccinations to regain “some semblance of normality” by the autumn.

Dr. Fauci made his remarks during an online discussion of the pandemic with California Governor Gavin Newsom, who announced at the outset that a more infectious coronavirus variant originally found in Britain has been detected in his state, a day after the first known U.S. case was documented in Colorado.

Newsom said the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7 had been confirmed earlier in the day in a Southern California patient. The California Department of Public Health said that the person has no known travel history, suggesting the variant is spreading within the community.

From labs to jabs: The journey of COVID-19 vaccines from creation to inoculation.

Track the spread with our live interactive graphic.

China gives its first vaccine approval to Sinopharm
China approved its first COVID-19 vaccine for general public use, a shot developed by an affiliate of state-backed pharmaceutical giant Sinopharm. No detailed efficacy data of the vaccine has been publicly released but its developer, Beijing Biological Products Institute, a unit of Sinopharm subsidiary China National Biotec, said on Wednesday its vaccine was 79.34% effective in preventing people from developing the disease based on interim data.

Brazil fails to secure syringes for vaccine shots
Brazilian syringe and needle makers warned the country’s vaccination program was at risk after the government failed to draw bids for enough syringes to meet its requirements. The Health Ministry sought to buy 331 million syringes at an electronic auction on Tuesday but bought just 8 million, or 2.5% of its target, after it set reference prices below companies’ bids.

Israel targets full protection for vulnerable in January
Israel is juggling supplies and pace in its vaccination drive in the hope of meeting a late-January goal of full protection for its most vulnerable people, officials said. Having begun the vaccinations on Dec. 19, Israel is now administering more than 150,000 doses a day. Top priority are the quarter of its 9 million population who are over 60, suffer from risky health problems or are medical workers.

Shots first, questions later
Britain said it would prioritize making sure that more people receive their first dose of vaccine quickly over giving a second shot to those who have already had one, a change in strategy as the country battles record numbers of new cases. The decision will apply to the newly approved AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, as well as the Pfizer/BioNTech shot, which was rolled out in Britain three weeks ago. The first recipients of the latter have just started receiving their booster shots.

From Breakingviews - 2020 hindsight: Our best-read stories of the year.
COVID-19 was on everyone’s mind, but an analysis of the most-read stories of the year proved Breakingviews readers are rarely myopic. Check out their top ticks including India's richest man and Swedish oat milk.

Reuters reporters and editors around the world are investigating the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

We need your help to tell these stories. Our news organization wants to capture the full scope of what’s happening and how we got here by drawing on a wide variety of sources.

Are you a government employee or contractor involved in coronavirus testing or the wider public health response? Are you a doctor, nurse or health worker caring for patients? Have you worked on similar outbreaks in the past? Has the disease known as COVID-19 personally affected you or your family? Are you aware of new problems that are about to emerge, such as critical supply shortages?

We need your tips, firsthand accounts, relevant documents or expert knowledge. Please contact us at coronavirus@reuters.com.

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TOP STORIES

The unprecedented cyber attack on U.S. government agencies reported this month may have started earlier than last spring as previously believed, Democratic Senator Mark Warner who serves as Vice-Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee told Reuters. Investigators originally thought that the attack on government agencies and private industry targets began in March or April, including breaches of Treasury, State, Commerce and Energy Departments. State-backed Russian hackers were identified as the suspects. Russia has denied involvement.

The U.S. Census Bureau will miss a year-end deadline to produce the population count used to divide seats in Congress between the states. "We continue to process the data collected and plan to deliver a complete and accurate state population count for apportionment in early 2021, as close to the statutory deadline as possible," the Census Bureau said in a statement.

As Asia says goodbye to 2020 - a tumultuous year that saw the planet roiled by a deadly pandemic - celebrations will be smaller, shorter and more muted amid fears of coronavirus flare-ups. In Beijing, the capital of the world’s most-populous country, an annual New Year light show at the China Central Television Tower scheduled for Thursday through Sunday has been called off.

The U.S. decision to impose additional tariffs on French wines and cognac, which come in addition to a first set of tariffs late last year, will cost the sector a total of over $1.23 billion, the French wine exporters’ federation said. The U.S. government said it would raise tariffs on certain European Union products, including wines from France, the latest twist in a 16-year battle over aircraft subsidies between Washington and Brussels.

Reuters cameraman Kumerra Gemechu has been held in solitary confinement for nearly a week without charge or being given any evidence of wrongdoing, his lawyer said. Police informed his lawyer Melkamu Ogo that their lines of enquiry included accusations of disseminating false information, communicating with groups fighting the government, and disturbing the public’s peace and security. However, he said he has seen no evidence.

WIDER IMAGE

Ty-La Morris has always been special. She was "a little older than one" when she crawled to the edge of her bed and did the splits, according to her mother, Likisha McCormick, and was three years old when she mastered the cartwheel, able to flip around the length of a football field. "I used to tell my coworkers every day and they all kept saying, put her in gymnastics. I'm like, I can't afford gymnastics. Gymnastics is very expensive," said McCormick, who lives with Ty-La in New Windsor, more than an hour north of New York City.

Ty-La, who said she's also drawn comparisons to 2016 Olympic champion Simone Biles, said a full - a tumbling move where a gymnast flips backwards and twists - was her favorite move that she's learned through her classes at Wendy Hilliard Foundation.

BUSINESS

COVID-19 shook, rattled and rolled the global economy in 2020

When 2020 dawned, the global economy had just notched its 10th straight year of uninterrupted growth, a streak most economists and government finance officials expected to persist for years ahead in a 21st Century version of the “Roaring ‘20s.”

5 MIN READ

Oil outlook for 2021 hit by new COVID-19 strain, a Reuters poll showed

Oil prices are unlikely to mount much of a recovery in 2021 as a new coronavirus variant and related travel restrictions threaten already weakened fuel demand, according to a Reuters poll.

3 MIN READ

Emergency cash calls, tech IPO frenzy push 2020 banker fees to record high

Emergency corporate fundraising and a clamor for tech stock market listings pushed equity capital market volumes to over $1 trillion in 2020 and fees for investment bankers in the sector to a record high, data showed.

4 MIN READ

Exclusive: Chinese regulators probe Ant Group's equity investments

Chinese regulators are reviewing equity investments held by Ant Group in dozens of companies, three people with knowledge of the matter said, intensifying a crackdown on billionaire Jack Ma’s financial technology empire.

4 MIN READ

TOP STORIES ON REUTERS TV

A divided kingdom enters the Brexit unknown

EUROPE   1:53

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EUROPE   1:05

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