Coronavirus watch: An American dies of COVID-19 every two minutes

Yes. You heard that right. An American dies of COVID-19 every two minutes. And every 2.45 seconds, an American is diagnosed with the disease, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.

The fight against the coronavirus will only get more strenuous as the year reaches its close, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, told a virtual panel Thursday.

We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter, because it’s not going to be easy…[we cannot look] at the rosy side of things.

Dr. Anthony Fauci

It’s Friday, and this is the Coronavirus Watch from the USA TODAY Network. Here is the most significant news of the day, as of 12:15 p.m. ET: