Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Winter storm continues; 16 dead, millions still without power
At least 16 deaths are blamed on the winter storm and record-breaking cold that’s gripped the nation’s midsection since the weekend, and another round of bad weather is in the forecast for the same region.  Texas is still experiencing severe weather, with icy conditions and low temperatures, with snowy conditions expected to move into parts of the East Coast by Thursday.  Nearly three million Texans were still without power Wednesday morning — down from the 4.3 million the day before — with over 100,000 without power in Oregon and Kentucky and tens of thousands more in Mississippi and Louisiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Virginia. 

Colorado City, Texas Mayor Tom Boyd resigned Tuesday afternoon in the wake of criticism of a Facebook post he wrote in which he declared, in part, that “The City and County, along with power providers or any other service owes you NOTHING!” and told people who called him to complain about power and water outages to “Get off your *ss and take care of your own family!” Unlike the rest of the continental U.S., which shares two main power grids, Texas has its own independent grid that is not subject to federal oversight and regulation.  As of late Tuesday, state officials could not say when grid outages would be resolved.

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: 109,604,779
Global deaths: 2,421,075.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 488,100.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 61,673,445

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 27,757,505 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 488,100.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 47,510.
U.S. total people tested: 333,661,620

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,499,871 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,556,039 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,571,129 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 71,657,975 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 55,220,364 doses have been administered, with 39,670,551 people receiving one or more doses, and 15,015,434 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.

Winter weather continues to disrupt COVID-19 vaccine deliveries
The blast of winter weather affecting most of the U.S. continues to disrupt delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, which in turn is affecting immunization schedules.  At least 19 states have delayed or cancelled vaccinations as a result: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.  FedEx and UPS both acknowledge weather-related delays at their main shipping hubs but insist they’re being handled, with FedEx declaring they’re “contingency planning” for vaccine shipments and UPS saying they’re now “back to normal operations.”

President Biden, Anthony Fauci say don’t expect return to normal before end of the year
During the first televised town hall of his presidency, President Joe Biden Tuesday night cautiously predicted that by Christmas, the country could be nearing a return to normal. “As my mother would say, ‘with the grace of God and the goodwill of the neighbors,’ that by next Christmas, I think we’ll be in a very different circumstance, God willing, then we are today,” Biden said on stage in Milwaukee during a CNN town hall. “A year from now, I think that there will be significantly fewer people having to be socially distanced, having to wear a mask, but we don’t know. So I don’t want to over promise anything here.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor and President Biden’s COVID-19 response coordinator, largely echoed Biden’s sentiments.  Fauci told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday that “hopefully, by the time we start entering 2022, we really will have a degree of normality that will approximate the kind of normality we’ve been used to.”  Dr. Fauci again warned “we cannot become complacent, and we have to address the situation with the variants,” but also predicted “things should get better, particularly as more and more people get vaccinated.  We should see a dramatic diminution, a continuation of the diminution in new infections per day that we are currently experiencing.

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