Here's what's happening Thursday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:
THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY
— House Republicans shot down a Democratic bid on Thursday to pass President Donald Trump’s longshot, end-of-session to most Americans before signing a long-overdue COVID-19 relief bill. The vote shifts attention to whether Trump will follow through on his implied threat to veto the bill, which would likely cause a partial government shutdown and delay the $600 direct payments that the bill does contain.
— California became the first state to record reaching the milestone on Christmas Eve as close to the entire state was under a strict stay-at-home order and hospitals were flooded with the largest crush of cases since the pandemic began.
— Schools nationwide have scrambled to get students outdoors during the pandemic to keep them safe and stop the spread of COVID-19. Some schools in the country's most frigid climes plan to with students trading desks in warm classrooms for tree stumps or buckets.
THE NUMBERS: More than 3,000 people died in the U.S. from the coronavirus on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the COVID Tracking Project, the third stretch of back-to-back days of 3,000-plus deaths this month. The seven-day rolling average for daily new deaths in the U.S. rose over the past two weeks from 2,259.9 on December 9 to 2,668.7 on December 23, according to data through from Johns Hopkins University.
DEATH TOLL: The U.S. death toll stands at 326,259 people, roughly the same as the population of Corpus Christi, Texas.
QUOTABLE: “Every day, I look into the eyes of someone who is struggling to breathe. — Jenny Carrillo, a charge nurse at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in California,
ICYMI: Drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech have reached a $2 billion deal to supply the U.S. government with an additional which they expect to deliver by July 31. Pfizer already has a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of its vaccine, which requires two doses per patient.
ON THE HORIZON: As southwest Louisiana recovers from the back-to-back hurricanes, signs of progress compete with lingering evidence of mass destruction. Some worry that the in a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, a deeply divisive election and a national reckoning on race,
Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at