Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

President Biden to announce executive actions to address gun violence
President Joe Biden today will announce limited steps, using his executive power, to address gun violence, three weeks after three mass shootings.  The president is expected to announce six actions, according to senior administration officials, including asking the Department of Justice to issue a proposed rule within 30 days to help stop the spread of so-called ‘ghost guns’, which are assembled from parts purchased online that don’t have serial numbers, making them difficult to track.  Their sale and purchase is also unregulated.  Nothing today will address assault rifles, nor will Biden propose any gun control legislation.  White House officials stress that these are “initial” actions, leaving room for more to come down the road.  President Biden is also expected to nominate David Chipman, a former federal agent and adviser at the gun control group Giffords, to be director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. If confirmed, Chipman will be the agency’s first permanent director since 2015.

Worse than expected 744,000 new unemployment applications files last week
A worse than expected 744,000 applications for unemployment were filed in the week ending April 3, according to figures released Thursday morning by the U.S. Labor Department.  That’s an increase of 16,000 over the previous week’s numbers, which themselves were revised up from 719,000 to 728,000.  Given the recent signs that the jobs market was improving, today’s report is discouraging but, economists hope, not indicative of a trend.  According to today’s numbers there are a total 18,164,588 people currently claiming unemployment through all government programs. 

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: 133,250,442
Global deaths: 2,890,706.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 559,117.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 75,760,641

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 30,923,521 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 559,117.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 59,993.
U.S. total people tested: 402,066,700

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,687,493 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,818,665 cases.  Texas is second in the U.S., with 2,815,338 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 of225,294,435 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 171,476,655 doses have been administered, with 109,995,734 people receiving at least one dose and 64,422,618 people fully vaccinated, representing 33.1% and 19.4% of the total U.S. population, respectively. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines each require two doses to be effective.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose to be effective.

More than 3,600 US healthcare workers died of COVID-19 in 2020, investigation finds
A just-published 12-month investigation by Kaiser Health News (KHN) and the U.K.’s The Guardian newspaper found that more than 3,600 U.S. healthcare workers died of COVID-19 in the first year of the pandemic.  Titled “Lost on the Frontline,” the investigation also revealed that lower-paid healthcare workers who handled the everyday tasks of patient care – including nurses, support staff and nursing home employees – were “far more likely to die in the pandemic than physicians were.”  Additionally, the investigation found nearly two-thirds of those healthcare workers identified as people of color, further evidence that the pandemic is disproportionally affecting those demographics. 

The KHN/Guardian investigation further revealed that more than half of U.S. healthcare workers who died of COVID-19 were younger than 60, with a median age of 59, compared to the general population, where the median age of death from the virus is 78.  And twice as many healthcare workers died in nursing homes as in hospitals, the investigation found.  Only 30% of deaths were among hospital workers, with the majority of those who died employed by residential facilities, outpatient clinics, hospices and prisons, among other places.  The investigation also reports since the advent of COVID-19 vaccines, deaths among healthcare workers have decreased significantly.

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