VIRUS TODAY: State action on vaccine, virus relief package

Here’s what’s happening Thursday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.:

THREE THINGS TO KNOW TODAY

— States are crafting plans that decide who should be at the front of the line for a COVID-19 vaccine and where the doses should be shipped once the federal government provides emergency authorization, which could happen as early as next week. State officials are prioritizing groups such as nursing home residents and staff members, front-line health care workers and first responders.

— An analysis argues for targeting the first vaccines to the same low-income Black, Hispanic and Native American households that have disproportionately suffered from the coronavirus. The federal government is taking a different approach, allocating the vaccine to states based on population.

— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell had a telephone conversation about an end-of-year virus relief package, providing a sign that a stalemate could be broken in gridlocked Washington.

THE NUMBERS: The nation keeps posting dismal numbers on every level of virus metrics: Deaths topped 3,000 and new cases exceeded 200,000 Wednesday, and the number of people hospitalized pushed past 100,000.

QUOTABLE: “I may end up taking it on TV or having it filmed, just so that people know that I trust this science.” — Barack Obama on the news that he and other former presidents are willing to get COVID-19 shots publicly.

ICYMI: The pandemic has made it impossible for veterans to travel to Hawaii for the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor that plunged the U.S. into World War II. The National Park Service and Navy have closed the anniversary ceremony to the public, and the event will be livestreamed instead.

ON THE HORIZON: The monthly jobs report. The government on Friday releases its monthly unemployment figure for November in a report that will show the strain the surging virus is placing on the economy.

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Find AP’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

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