Today’s In Crisis headlines

Written by on September 24, 2021

(NEW YORK) — Here are today’s In Crisis headlines:

Observances this week to mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s death
Members of George Floyd’s family, and others who lost loved ones to police encounters, joined activists and citizens in Minneapolis on Sunday for a march that was one of several events planned nationwide to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.  Hundreds of people gathered for the rally in front of the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, where former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted last month of murdering Floyd during an arrest.  Many marchers carried signs with pictures of Floyd, Philando Castile and other Black men killed by police.  Other observances are planned for the week, both in Minneapolis and around the country. 

Meanwhile, the White House has already acknowledged that it’s unlikely they’ll meet President Biden’s self-imposed deadline for signing the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill into law this week, the one-year anniversary of his death.  New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, one of the lawmakers taking the lead on the bill’s negotiations, said they are “making meaningful progress” but there is still a lot of work to do to get the bill to the president’s desk.  When asked if doing away with qualified immunity for police officers accused of wrongdoing was a necessity for Democrats, Booker hedged, siding with South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn that it needed to happen at “some point.”

COVID-19 numbers
Here’s the latest data on COVID-19 coronavirus infections, deaths and vaccinations.

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 167,229,205
Global deaths: 3,464,997.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 589,893.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 33,117,923 reported cases in 50 states + the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam.  This is more than in any other country.
U.S. deaths: at least 589,893.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 62,933.
U.S. total people tested: 459,239,906

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,777,077 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks third in the world after England, which has 3,895,920 cases, and Maharashtra, India, which leads the world with 5,579,897 reported cases.  Texas is second in the U.S., with 2,941,392 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Latest reported COVID-19 vaccination numbers in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a total of 357,250,375 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 285,720,586 doses have been administered, with 163,309,414 people receiving at least one dose and 130,014,175 people fully vaccinated, representing 49.2% and 39.2% of the total U.S. population, respectively. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines each require two doses to be effective.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose to be effective.

US COVID-19 daily infections, hospitalizations and deaths still falling
The seven-day COVID-19 new case average in the U.S. has now fallen to 28,000 – a more than 19.5% drop in the last week alone.  In the last month, the country’s average has dropped by 57%, representing the lowest level of infections since June 2020.  Only six states – Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Maine, Minnesota and West Virginia — are averaging over 100 cases per 100,000 residents.  Additionally, COVID-19 hospitalizations are down by nearly 15.1% nationwide in the last week, with just over 25,000 current inpatients, the lowest number since late September.  The average number of deaths over the last seven days also dropped to 552, numbers not seen since July of last year.

US approaches 40% vaccination rate as incentives continue
Based on the current vaccination rate, four out of every ten people living in the U.S. will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of this week.  But as that rate slows, government agencies and even businesses continue to offer incentives to spur immunizations.  The first drawing in Ohio’s Vax-a-Million sweepstakes is scheduled for today, awarding a million dollars to one lucky vaccine recipient, with subsequent drawings scheduled for the next five weeks.  Chicago public health officials are introducing monthly concerts open only to vaccinated residents.  And United Airlines is offering vaccinated loyalty program members the chance to win free flights for a year.

Nine states now have at least 70% of their population vaccinated: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Twenty-five states and Washington, D.C., have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult populations.  The news comes as U.S. health officials say that most fully vaccinated Americans can skip testing for COVID-19, even if they were exposed to someone infected.  That new guidance was announced last week but was all but eclipsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new, more relaxed guidelines on masks.

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