Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Historic winter weather blast continues; millions without power; COVID-19 vaccinations canceled
From ice and snow to tornadoes and rain, most of the continental U.S. is digging out from historically severe winter weather this morning, with more on the way Wednesday.  More than five million customers are without power from Oregon to North Carolina, with at least 4.3 million customers reported without power in Texas alone.  As of Tuesday morning, 70.4% of the lower 48 states were covered in snow, the highest level since January 12, 2011, when that percentage was 70.9%.

Texas is shivering through one of its coldest winters in decades, with temperatures falling to 11 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston and to near zero  in the Dallas area, with rolling blackouts being instituted to reduce electricity consumption.  In Louisiana, a man died after slipping on ice blamed on the weather, while a tornado ripped through North Carolina’s Brunswick County, killing at least three people and injuring 10 others.  And at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, the largest hospital in the state, 26 patients were being treated for frostbite Monday, the most the hospital has ever had at one time.

The winter weather is also causing states to cancel mass vaccination events scheduled for this week.  Not only is the weather making roads impassable in many areas, but power outages are also leaving officials scrambling to find ways to administer existing vaccine doses before they go bad due to lack of refrigeration.

Congress will form commission to investigate January 6 attacks, says Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will establish an independent, September 11th-style commission to investigate the deadly January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.  Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré was appointed to issue a report on Capitol security following the riot.  “It is clear from his findings and from the impeachment trial that we must get to the truth of how this happened,” Pelosi’s wrote in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.  Trump was acquitted over the weekend in his Senate trial of charges he incited the Capitol attack, with seven Republicans joining all Senate Democrats in voting to convict the former president.

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: 109,246,204
Global deaths: 2,410,455.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 486,334.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 61,432,383

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 27,695,365 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 486,334.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 47,119.
U.S. total people tested: 332,613,552

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,491,392 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,546,803 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,568,230 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 70,057,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 52,884,356 doses have been administered, with 38,292,270 people receiving one or more doses, and 14,077,440 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 case count continues to fall as US approaches 500,000 total deaths
The latest trends analysis by the Covid Tracking Project shows that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to decline.  As of Tuesday morning, the Project reports 55,077 cases as of Monday, which they call lowest daily case count since October 18.  Further, their daily death count for Monday was 1,078, which the Project says is the lowest since November 30.  Johns Hopkins University puts Monday’s total new cases and fatalities even lower, at 52,685 and 985, respectively.  Both the Covid Tracking Project and Johns Hopkins University note their data is incomplete because of the holiday weekend, and that those numbers could increase.

The good news is tempered by the approaching milestone of 500,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.  As of Tuesday morning, Johns Hopkins University reports a total of 486,334 total fatalities, meaning the U.S. could cross the half-a-million deaths threshold before the end of the week.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently estimating between a total 515,000 to 540,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities by the week ending March 6.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.