While vaccine progress is surpassing the most optimistic projections, the virus spread is living up to our worst fears. As the US tops 250,000 deaths, more than 3 million Americans are estimated to be contagious with the virus.

+ The surge is proving to be unmanageable for many hospitals. 900 on Mayo Clinic staff have contracted coronavirus in last two weeks. And that’s part of a broader trend: Twenty-two percent of American hospitals don’t have enough workers right now.

+ Chuck Grassley, second oldest senator (and third in the line of succession to the presidency) tests positive for COVID-19. From the halls of power to the smallest towns, Covid doesn’t care who you are or where you are. Texas Monthly: COVID Is Everywhere, Even in the Last COVID-Free County.