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Walensky said this will allow CDC labs to process up to 25,000 samples a week

KANSAS CITY, KS —At first, the Collins family in eastern Kansas wasn’t too concerned with the spread of the coronavirus. Roger and Billie Collins had a successful business that had been in the family for 55 years and figured they were well-prepared, at least financially, for the duration of the crisis.

Coming up on a year later, the family provides a painful example of people affected by both the health and economic struggles caused by the virus.

Roger Collins has been in a hospital since July, still suffering from complications caused by contracting the virus. The family business, Central Publishing Co., had to close in October as a result, KCTV reported.

But the family is not giving up. And Billie Collins is making sure her husband knows that he has every bit of family support as he fights to come home one day.

Every day since July, Billie Collins has visited her husband in the hospital. When restrictions at the Kansas City hospital he’s at were tightened and Billie Collins was no longer allowed in his room, she started bringing a tent to put right outside the window.

She’s done this every day, no matter how bad the winter weather gets.

“He’s the love of my life, and I know I’m the love of his life,” Billie Collins told KCTV. “That sounds conceited. But you know in 32 years you hear that over and over and over, and you truly — I truly — believe that.”

Some days, Billie Collins will bring the couple’s children or grandchildren to the visit. Love notes have been inscribed on the glass, giving him every bit of good vibes possible.

“My granddaughter comes. They sit her up on the window and she draws pictures to him, and they have blowing kisses and wars,” Billie Collins said. “As much as I think he’s fighting for me, he’s fighting to be a dad and a grandpa.”

Billie Collins looks forward to the day she will again get to give her husband a hug. She has not been able to do so since July. It’s her duty, she said, to be there for him every day in case she’s needed.

“How do I know he doesn’t need somebody?” she said. “So, I need to be there.”

Read more from KCTV
The Latest

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant that first originated in the United Kingdom is as prevalent as it has ever been in the United States.

At least 1,277 cases of the more-contagious variant have been reported across 42 states, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday, according to The New York Times.

The increased concern over the spread of the variant — as well as the others, including the ones that originated in South Africa and Brazil — has led some federal lawmakers to push for billions of dollars to help track them.

Until then, the Biden administration said Wednesday it has pledged nearly $200 million in federal funding as a “down payment” to jump-start the process.

Walensky said this will allow CDC labs to process up to 25,000 samples a week, up from the 7,000 or so that they are currently able to handle in a week.

On the vaccine front, Biden’s pre-inauguration goal to have 100 million shots administered during the first 100 days of his presidency is looking like a “lowball” number, according to another report from the Times. About 35.6 million doses have been administered in the first four weeks of his presidency, an average of 1.72 million doses a day over the past week.

Biden said Tuesday night that vaccines should be available to anyone who wants one by the end of July, the Times reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has a similar projection. He told CNN earlier this week he expects that widespread vaccinations could begin in the spring, and that a large portion of the country will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Mass coronavirus vaccination sites were opened by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday as part of the Biden administration’s effort to get more shots into arms in minority communities and areas hit hard by the pandemic. FEMA’s vaccination sites have been set up in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Long lines were reported at both sites before they opened at 9 a.m. Eventually, the Biden administration hopes to open 100 sites like those in California across the country, according to the AP.

As health experts continue to urge Americans to continue wearing masks while in public, thousands of people may have already fallen victim to the distribution of phony masks that aren’t vetted against the virus.

Coming up on a year later, the family provides a painful example of people affected by both the health and economic struggles caused by the virus.

Roger Collins has been in a hospital since July, still suffering from complications caused by contracting the virus. The family business, Central Publishing Co., had to close in October as a result, KCTV reported.

But the family is not giving up. And Billie Collins is making sure her husband knows that he has every bit of family support as he fights to come home one day.

Every day since July, Billie Collins has visited her husband in the hospital. When restrictions at the Kansas City hospital he’s at were tightened and Billie Collins was no longer allowed in his room, she started bringing a tent to put right outside the window.

She’s done this every day, no matter how bad the winter weather gets.

“He’s the love of my life, and I know I’m the love of his life,” Billie Collins told KCTV. “That sounds conceited. But you know in 32 years you hear that over and over and over, and you truly — I truly — believe that.”

Some days, Billie Collins will bring the couple’s children or grandchildren to the visit. Love notes have been inscribed on the glass, giving him every bit of good vibes possible.

“My granddaughter comes. They sit her up on the window and she draws pictures to him, and they have blowing kisses and wars,” Billie Collins said. “As much as I think he’s fighting for me, he’s fighting to be a dad and a grandpa.”

Billie Collins looks forward to the day she will again get to give her husband a hug. She has not been able to do so since July. It’s her duty, she said, to be there for him every day in case she’s needed.

“How do I know he doesn’t need somebody?” she said. “So, I need to be there.”

Read more from KCTV
The Latest

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant that first originated in the United Kingdom is as prevalent as it has ever been in the United States.

At least 1,277 cases of the more-contagious variant have been reported across 42 states, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Wednesday, according to The New York Times.

The increased concern over the spread of the variant — as well as the others, including the ones that originated in South Africa and Brazil — has led some federal lawmakers to push for billions of dollars to help track them.

Until then, the Biden administration said Wednesday it has pledged nearly $200 million in federal funding as a “down payment” to jump-start the process.

Walensky said this will allow CDC labs to process up to 25,000 samples a week, up from the 7,000 or so that they are currently able to handle in a week.

On the vaccine front, Biden’s pre-inauguration goal to have 100 million shots administered during the first 100 days of his presidency is looking like a “lowball” number, according to another report from the Times. About 35.6 million doses have been administered in the first four weeks of his presidency, an average of 1.72 million doses a day over the past week.

Biden said Tuesday night that vaccines should be available to anyone who wants one by the end of July, the Times reported.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, has a similar projection. He told CNN earlier this week he expects that widespread vaccinations could begin in the spring, and that a large portion of the country will have the opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of the summer.

Mass coronavirus vaccination sites were opened by the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday as part of the Biden administration’s effort to get more shots into arms in minority communities and areas hit hard by the pandemic. FEMA’s vaccination sites have been set up in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Long lines were reported at both sites before they opened at 9 a.m. Eventually, the Biden administration hopes to open 100 sites like those in California across the country, according to the AP.

As health experts continue to urge Americans to continue wearing masks while in public, thousands of people may have already fallen victim to the distribution of phony masks that aren’t vetted against the virus.

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