President Donald Trump issued a New Year's Eve video touting his administration's achievements for America and highlighting the country's bright future.
The president touted the progress that has been made in fighting the pandemic, calling the vaccine's record-breaking development a "truly unprecedented medical miracle." He thanked everyone who made Operation Warp Speed possible and praised America's "grit, strength and tenacity."
"As long as we remain loyal to our nation, devoted to our citizens and faithful to almighty God, we know the best is yet to come," Trump said.
Around the globe, people celebrated the New Year in an understated way, staying home with the hopes of staying safe.
In London, Big Ben chimed at midnight but authorities canceled the traditional fireworks. In Sydney, Australia, the one million who normally crowd the harbor stayed away. And in New York City, the big ball dropped in a mostly empty Times Square after police fenced off the site to prevent large crowds.
Whether or not the limited gatherings will limit the spread of the virus is anyone's guess.
There's fresh concern about the spread of a more contagious strain first spotted in England.
Late Thursday, Florida health officials tweeted that it was found in a man in his twenties who had not traveled recently. That follows reports of three cases in San Diego county in California and a case in Colorado. Researchers say the more contagious strain doesn't appear to be any more deadly.
California followed New York and Texas this week, becoming the third state to surpass 25,000 coronavirus deaths, and some hospitals are reporting difficulty in finding enough beds for COVID patients.
Meanwhile, there's also concern about the pace of the rollout of the vaccines. The majority of experts had said it wasn't even possible to develop a vaccine within the year. But after developing two highly effective vaccines in a historic achievement through Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration had hoped to roll out 20 million vaccine doses by the end of 2020. The CDC vaccination tracking dashboard shows just under 2.8 million doses so far, but President Trump is predicting the vaccines will be available to every American in early 2021.