Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Senate passes budget resolution to pass Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan
In an early-morning vote Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris voted with her fellow Democrats to break a partisan tie and pass a budget resolution to begin work on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion dollar COVID-19 relief stimulus plan. The vote tally was 51-50, split evenly down party lines, and came at 5:34 a.m. ET after a marathon session that began Thursday afternoon, lasted 14 hours and included 41 separate amendment votes.  It’s part of the reconciliation process that puts Democrats a step closer to passing President Biden’s “American Rescue Plan” with or without bipartisan support.

House Democrats will meet with President Biden at the White House this morning to discuss the COVID-19 relief package, in what will be Biden’s first in-person meeting with House Democrats since being sworn in.  President Biden also will deliver remarks on the state of the economy and the need for the American Rescue Plan, which they say will deliver relief to working families. The president met with Republican senators earlier this week to discuss the package in an effort to generate bipartisan support.

Unemployment rate 6.3% after only 49,000 jobs added to economy in January
Some 49,000 jobs were added to the U.S. economy in January, making the unemployment rate 6.3%, according to numbers released Friday morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  While this figure is about what experts expected, it’s still disappointing, especially considering that Friday’s report also included revised job loss figures for December that show 227,000 jobs were lost that month, more than the 140,000 previously reported.  January’s anemic recovery numbers are also disappointing compared to the roughly 10 million jobs that remain lost from the pandemic.  Jobs were added in professional and business services and in both public and private education, but continue to be lost in the hard-hit leisure and hospitality industries, as well as retail trade, health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

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: 104,923,559
Global deaths: 2,286,850.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 455,875.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 58,411,331

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 26,680,261 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 455,875.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 44,298.
U.S. total people tested: 315,266,894

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,382,932 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,408,879 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,463,967 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 57,489,675 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 35,203,710doses have been administered, with 27,905,197 people receiving one or more doses, and 6,926,050 people receiving two doses. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, which are the two most prevalent in the U.S., each require two doses to be effective.

Johnson & Johnson applies for FDA authorization for one-dose COVID-19 vaccine
Pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson on Thursday applied to the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for their one-dose COVID-19 vaccine.  Within hours after Johnson & Johnson’s application, the FDA announced that their advisory board will vote February 26 on whether to grant the EUA, which would allow the immediate distribution of the vaccine to the public.  Johnson & Johnson released their Phase 3 trial information January 29, declaring the single-shot vaccination was “72% effective in the US and 66% effective overall at preventing moderate to severe COVID-19” and “85% effective overall in preventing severe disease” 28 days after inoculation.  Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines currently being distributed nationwide, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot to be effective, and can be stored at conventional refrigeration temperatures for a much longer time. 

US sets new single-day COVID-19 fatality record
Thursday was the single deadliest day of the pandemic to date, with 5,078 COVID-19 deaths reported, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  The record comes as new cases and hospitalizations have continued a downward trend, even as cumulative pandemic deaths in the U.S. on Friday stand at 455,875.  The Covid Tracking Project reports the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 is now fewer than 90,000 for the first time since November 27.  Further, the seven-day national average of daily coronavirus cases is down by 47.5% from its peak on January 12.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently estimating between a total of 496,000 to 534,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities by the week ending February 27.

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