Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

US Capitol Police beef up security for March 4 amid concerns over QAnon conspiracy theory

The United States Capitol Police said it has beefed up security on Capitol Hill this week due to “concerning information and intelligence” related to March 4, the date that far-right conspiracy theorists believe former President Donald Trump will return to power.

“The Department is aware of concerning information and intelligence pertaining March 4th and continues to work with all of our law enforcement partners,” the federal law enforcement agency said in a statement Tuesday night.

“Based on the intelligence that we have, the Department has taken immediate steps to enhance our security posture and staffing for a number of days, to include March 4th. The Department has communicated our enhanced posture as well as the available intelligence for the entire workforce.”

The threats appear to stem from QAnon followers, who believed that Trump would not actually leave office on Inauguration Day but rather would declare martial law, announce mass arrests of Democrats and stop Joe Biden from becoming president. When that didn’t happen, the date was moved from Jan. 20 to March 4, the original inauguration day for all U.S. presidents prior to 1933.

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: 114,882,991
Global deaths: 2,551,611.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 516,625.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 64,994,624

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 28,720,113 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 516,625.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 52,798.
U.S. total people tested: 353,137,885

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,577,966 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,668,620 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,668,298 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 102,353,940COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 78,631,601 doses have been administered, with 51,755,447 people receiving one or more doses, and 26,162,122 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.

Texas, Mississippi to end mask mandates, allow businesses to reopen at full capacity

Texas and Mississippi have decided to relax their COVID-19 restrictions, despite warnings from health officials.

Gov. Greg Abbott ended Texas’ statewide mask mandate and announced an executive order allowing all businesses to reopen at full capacity.

“It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said at a news conference Tuesday.

“COVID has not suddenly disappeared,” he added. “But it is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations, and from the safe practices that Texas are using, that state mandates are no longer needed.”

Abbott’s executive order is effective March 10.

Mississippi followed suit, with Gov. Tate Reeves announcing Tuesday he would also remove mask mandates and business restrictions.

“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules,” Reeves said in a Facebook post. “Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is time!”

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