Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Uncle Ben’s brand now changed to Ben’s Original
Three months after first announcing it would make the change, Mars Food revealed today that the Uncle Ben’s product line will now be known as Ben’s Original.  “We understand the inequities that were associated with the name and face of the previous brand, and as we announced in June, we have committed to change,” the company said in a statement, adding, “The brand is not just changing its name and image on the package. It is also taking action to enhance inclusion and equity and setting out its new brand purpose to create opportunities that offer everyone a seat at the table.”  Uncle Ben’s since 1946 used the image of a Black man in a bow tie as its brand identity, which was often criticized as playing upon Southern plantation stereotypes of slavery and house servants.  PepsiCo in June also announced it would change the name and branding of its Aunt Jemima line of products, for similar reasons.

COVID-19 numbers
Here’s the latest data on COVID-19 coronavirus infections and deaths.

Latest reported numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 31,643,198
Global deaths: 971,679.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 200,818.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 21,775,064

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 6,897,541 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 200,818.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 33,090.
U.S. total patients recovered: 2,646,959
U.S. total people tested: 96,612,436

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 793,750 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  That ranks third in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,242,770 reported cases, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 945,422 reported cases.

Johnson & Johnson announces final human trials for one-shot COVID-19 vaccine
Pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson today announced it has begun Phase 3 human trials for what they say is a one-shot COVID-19 vaccine.  Up to 60,000 global volunteers will be recruited to participate in the final trial to determine both the vaccine’s efficacy and safety.  Unlike other vaccines that have already entered Phase 3 trials, which will require a follow-up inoculation after the first to be effective, Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine is designed to be fully administered in a single injection.  The company’s announcement declares that the trial may produce enough data to make a determination by year’s end regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness, which would keep things on track for distribution in early 2021.  Johnson & Johnson currently plans to manufacture up to one billion doses of the vaccine.

CDC advises skipping Halloween trick-or-treating this year due to COVID-19 infection risk
If you haven’t already broken the bad news to the kids, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now officially advising all Americans to skip the Halloween trick-or-treating this year, in order to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19.  The agency has divided traditional Halloween activities into categories of low, moderate and high risk, with the door-to-door goodie gathering ranking at the top of the latter in terms of infection risk.  In fact, anything that brings you into close proximity with another person is dubbed high risk, including visiting haunted houses, costume parties, hayrides and the like.  That includes so-called ‘trunk-or-treats,’ where goodies are handed out from car trunks lined up in a parking lot.  If you must trick-or-treat, the CDC recommends leaving grab-and-go goodie bags at the end of your driveway our elsewhere outside your home for visitors, and staging a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt inside your home by hiding goodies and toys for your kids to find.

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