US registered record 3,865 COVID-19 deaths on day rioters attacked Capitol. Here’s the latest.

The U.S. registered more COVID-19 deaths in a single day than ever before — nearly 3,900 — on the very day the mob attack on the Capitol laid bare some of the same, deep political divisions that have hampered the battle against the pandemic.

The virus is surging in virtually every state, with California particularly hard hit. Skyrocketing deaths and infections there are threatening to force hospitals to ration care and essentially decide who lives and who dies.

“Folks are gasping for breath. Folks look like they’re drowning when they are in bed right in front of us,” said Dr. Jeffrey Chien, an emergency room physician at Santa Clara Valley Regional Medical Center, urging people to do their part to help slow the spread. “I’m begging everyone to help us out because we aren’t the front line. We’re the last line.”

About 1.9 million people around the world have died of the coronavirus, more than 360,000 in the U.S. alone. December was by far the nation’s deadliest month yet, and health experts are warning that January could be more terrible still because of family gatherings and travel over the holidays. Read more:

Here’s an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • As Arizona experienced periodic spikes in COVID-19 cases since last spring, Gov. Doug Ducey frequently resisted calls to take strong measures. He has declined to institute a statewide mask mandate, allowed school districts to mostly make their own choices and allowed businesses to stay open. All of those choices by the Republican governor are now getting renewed scrutiny as the Grand Canyon state becomes what health officials call the latest “hot spot of the world” because of soaring case loads.
  • The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell slightly last week to 787,000, a historically high number that points to a weak job market held back by the viral pandemic.
  • The U.S. services sector, where most Americans work, grew for the seventh consecutive month in December even as coronavirus cases surged through the holidays.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

Virus by the numbers