The Morning Dispatch: What If They Open the Economy, But Nobody Comes?

Happy Thursday. Thanks for all your wonderful notes of optimism in response to our “Let Us Know” yesterday. Seeing all the ways—large and small—your lives have improved in 2020 warmed our hearts.

From Susan: “The best thing about 2020 is that I have become a more grateful person. I am more grateful for the people I love and who love me. I have more appreciation for the gift of financial security, for my home and tranquil garden and for the natural beauty that surrounds me. I am grateful for my health. I am grateful to the people who deliver my food and other essentials and thus help keep me safe. A heightened sense of gratitude also has led me to have more empathy for others.”

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • As of Wednesday night, there are now 638,111 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States (a 4.7 percent increase from yesterday) and 30,844 deaths (an 18.5 percent increase from yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 4.8 percent (the true mortality rate is difficult to calculate due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 3,242,755 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States, 19.7 percent have come back positive. Also, 103,839 Americans are hospitalized with COVID-19 complications, while 52,640 have recovered from the virus.

  • Chinese government officials knew the coronavirus was likely to become a pandemic six days before they warned the public, according to documents obtained by the Associated Press. More than 3,000 people were infected in the interim.

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