(NEW YORK) — Here are today’s In Crisis headlines:
Donald Trump impeachment trial begins today
The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is scheduled to begin today at 1:00 p.m. ET. The trial comes just shy of a month after the House impeached Trump for a second time, on January 13, on a single article of “incitement of insurrection” pertaining to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters on January 6, which resulted in the deaths of five people, including an officer of the Capitol Police. The attack occurred the same day Congress was formally certifying President Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, an election that Trump, his supporters and many congressional Republicans continue to declare was fraudulent, despite a lack of evidence and over 60 failed court challenges.
Unlike Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, in which no Republican voted to impeach, ten House Republicans, including conference chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming, voted for impeachment January 13 and denounced the president’s actions. So far there are no apparent indications that any Senate Republican will vote to convict Trump. It would require at least 17 Republican senators and all 50 Democratic senators to convict the former president.
Democratic House impeachment managers argued in a brief ahead of today’s trial that Trump bears “unmistakable” responsibility for the January 6 Capitol siege, calling it a “betrayal of historic proportions.” Trump’s legal team filed a 78-page trial brief Monday morning asking the Senate to dismiss the charges, stating not only their belief that holding a trial is unconstitutional, but also asserting that Trump was engaging in political speech protected by the First Amendment when he allegedly incited his supporters to attack. House impeachment managers called the free speech argument “utterly baseless,” and even some conservative legal experts have refuted the claim of unconstitutionality.
An ABC News investigation into the nearly 200 people currently facing federal charges for their alleged involvement in the January 6 Capitol attack — based on court filings, military records, interviews and available news reports — found that at least fifteen individuals who stormed the Capitol have since said that they acted based on Trump’s encouragement, including some of those accused of the most violent and serious crimes.
Trump was previously impeached in the House on December 18, 2019 on two articles, one for abuse of power and the other for obstruction of Congress, both related to Trump pressuring officials from Ukraine to investigate then-former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, over past business dealings in exchange for receiving U.S. aid. Trump was acquitted in the Senate trial.
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: 106,555,041
Global deaths: 2,327,600. The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 465,083.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 59,490,537
Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 27,098,366 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 465,083. New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 44,969.
U.S. total people tested: 321,856,938
The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,432,088 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million. This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,469,231 cases. Texas is third, with 2,504,904 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 59,307,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S. Of those, 42,417,617 doses have been administered, with 32,340,146 people receiving one or more doses, and 9,518,015 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.
COVID-19 new cases, hospitalizations continue trending down
The number of new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday is the lowest since October 27, according to the Covid Tracking Project, which reports a decrease of 55.3% in the seven-day new case average since January 12. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there were 86,646 new COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. on Monday, while the Covid Tracking Project puts that number at 86,441. Both analyses reflect a significant downward trend.
The Covid Tracking Project further reports COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to trend down, dropping by 21,000 in the last ten days. Over the last seven days, hospitalizations have dropped by 10% or more in 40 states, according to the Project.
As of Tuesday morning, Johns Hopkins University reports the U.S. has reported 465,083 COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. This continues to represent the greatest number of fatalities of any other country, accounting for 20% of global deaths. 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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