Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Former officer who shot Jonathan Price fired, faces murder charges
A former East Texas police officer accused of shooting a Black man to death has been fired and faces murder charges. Former Wolfe City police officer Shaun Lucas was taken into custody Monday, following the death of Jonathan Price, 31, over the weekend, and is being held on $1 million bond.

Price, who is Black, was at a gas station Saturday night, where he allegedly tried to break up a domestic dispute. Former officer Lucas responded to the complaint and, according to the arrest affidavit, recorded Price via bodycam greeting him and extending a hand for a handshake. Lucas said he believed that Price was intoxicated and tried executing an arrest. In response, Price allegedly stated that he “can’t be contained.” The situation escalated, with Lucas grabbing Price by the arm and issuing formal demands that went ignored, eventually firing his Taser at Price as he was walking away. Lucas then discharged his firearm four times when Price turned and reached for the Taser. Price was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Lucas was fired Thursday from the Wolfe City police force for “his egregious violation of the City’s and police department’s policies,” according to a statement from city officials.

FBI says it foiled plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer
The Justice Department on Thursday announced charges against six individuals in Michigan allegedly involved in a months-long plot to kidnap Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer before the November election and violently overthrow the state’s government. The FBI said it first learned of the suspects’ plot in early 2020 and began embedding confidential sources and undercover agents to monitor the individuals’ activities.

According to the criminal complaint, Adam Fox, Barry Croft, Ty Garbin, Kaleb Franks, Daniel Harris and Brandon Caserta started planning to take Whitmer and others hostage at the Michigan State Capitol. At a news conference earlier Thursday, Andrew Birge, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan, said that the individuals were arrested Wednesday. Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said that seven other individuals “linked” to the militia group the Wolverine Watchmen have been charged under Michigan’s anti-terrorism law.

At an afternoon news conference, an angry Whitmer lashed out at President Donald Trump for “stoking” hate and called the suspects “sick and depraved men.” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany hit back, accusing Governor Whitmer of “sowing division by making these outlandish allegations.”

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: 36,565,929
Global deaths: 1,062,636.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 212,789.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 25,484,479

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 7,607,890 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 212,789.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 33,227.
U.S. total patients recovered: 3,021,252
U.S. total people tested: 112,117,737

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 845,899 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  That ranks third in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,493,884 reported cases, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,022,404 reported cases.

CDC forecasts up to 233,000 COVID-19 deaths by Election Day; 35 states report hospitalization increase
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now forecasting between 224,000 and 233,000 U.S. COVID-19 deaths by the week ending October 31.  The previous forecast estimated there would be from 219,000 to 232,000 COVID-19 deaths by the week ending October 24.  As of Friday morning, there have been at least 212,789 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

Officials are concerned about an escalation in COVID-19 infections as colder fall and winter weather arrives and as many states continue to relax pandemic precautions.  Some 35 states are currently reporting a rise in coronavirus hospitalizations, with 25% of hospitals nationwide reporting that more than 80% of their ICU beds are filled, according to a Department of Health and Human Services memo obtained by ABC News. That number was 17% to 18% during the summer infection peak.  Further, the national test-positivity rate has risen to 5.7% from 4.5% in week-to-week comparisons.

Doctor says President Trump’s doing well; White House won’t reveal last negative test
President Trump “has responded extremely well to treatment” says his personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, in a statement Thursday evening. Dr. Conley further says he expects the president to be ready to return to “public engagements” on Saturday, ten days after the White House says he was diagnosed with COVID-19. Conley also says the president has completed his course of therapy. 

However, the president’s spokesperson, Alyssa Farah, asked again Thursday when the president last tested negative for COVID-19, responded: “I can’t reveal that at this time the doctors would like to keep it private so that was private. My understanding is that it’s that its private medical history.” That information is critical in contact tracing and determining whether the president infected others at his last debate or fundraising trip.  Doctors also refuse to discuss the president’s lung imaging.

For his part, President Trump, in a lengthy call Thursday to Fox Business, declared, “I don’t think I am contagious, but we still have to wait, I don’t think I am contagious at all.”  Later Thursday afternoon, in a tweeted video aimed at what the president said were “my favorite people in the world,” senior citizens, the president said he was “very sick” but now is cured of COVID-19.

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