Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

White House barriers erected against possible Election Day protests; precautions taken elsewhere
President Trump will hold an Election Night event at the White House with up to 400 guests invited.  And because of that, the Secret Service has turned the area around the White House into a fortress.  Newly erected non-scalable metal barriers will keep the public about a block away from the White House, while security overall will also be heightened out of concerns about possible civil unrest.  The gathering’s being held at the White House because the city of Washington wouldn’t let the Trump campaign hold an event at President Trump’s hotel because it would have broken COVID-19 gathering size rules.  Other fencing was installed in Lafayette Square, across from the White House, which was the location of a massive Black Lives Matter protest over the summer.

Preparations are also being finalized elsewhere, with business owners in Washington, D.C., New York City and Minneapolis boarding up storefronts to protect against potential election unrest, as law enforcement from New Jersey to California works to ensure that Americans who show up at the polls today have their voice heard and their vote counted.

Nearly 100 million Americans have already voted early
As polls open for Election Day ballots today, at least 99.6 million Americans have already voted in the 2020 general election.  Numbers reported by the United States Elections Project show an unprecedented 99,657,079 votes have already been cast, including in-person and mail-in votes.  Nationally, voters have cast 72.3% of the total votes counted in the 2016 general election.  Hawaii and Texas have already surpassed the total number of votes cast in the 2016 election, while early voting in Georgia, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico and North Carolina is already greater than 90% of the total votes cast in 2016, and Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Tennessee have seen over 85% of the 2016 total votes.

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: 46,972,539
Global deaths: 1,207,975.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 231,566.
Number of countries/regions: at least 190
Total patients recovered globally: 31,412,691

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 9,293,310 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 231,566.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 33,539.
U.S. total patients recovered: 3,674,981
U.S. total people tested: 148,636,454

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 942,303 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  That ranks third in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,687,784 reported cases, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,117,795 reported cases.

COVID-19 cases rising in 49 states & territories; CDC study shows higher risks for pregnant women
The latest internal memo from the Department of Health and Human Services, obtained by ABC News, shows COVID-19 cases are on the rise in a total 49 states and U.S. territories, further evidence that the virus is making a strong winter resurgence across the nation.  The memo also states 565,606 new coronavirus cases were confirmed during the period of Oct 24-30 — a 15.8% increase from the previous seven-day period.  There were 5,782 deaths recorded Oct 24-30, also marking a 15.8% increase in new deaths compared with the previous week.  Additionally, the national test-positivity rate increased to 6.8% from 6.4% in week-to-week comparisons.  Perhaps most worrying, the memo notes that 21% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17%-18% during the summertime COVID-19 infection peak.

Further, a record number of children in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, according to data released Monday, while a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows pregnant women with symptomatic COVID-19 are more likely to be put on a ventilator, to need oxygen or to be admitted to the ICU compared to women with symptomatic COVID-19 who were not pregnant. Pregnant women were also more likely to die, although the overall risk of death is low among young women of childbearing age, including pregnant women.

COVID-19 cases increasing the most in hotly contested election states
COVID-19 new cases and hospitalizations are increasing in all 13 states ABC News rates as competitive for the presidential election. Cases are high and staying high in all but New Hampshire, while the rate of positivity is increasing in all but New Hampshire and Nevada.  The virus is spreading faster in cases per population in many hotly contested states, including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas.  Though there’s no clear correlation between the rising infection rates and the politics of a particular region, the numbers show that over the past two weeks, cases overall have risen faster in key counties won by Trump in 2016.

In battleground states, Trump counties reported an average of 309 cases per 100,000 in the last two weeks, compared to 258 cases per 100,000 reported in counties won by Hillary Clinton in 2016.  In Iowa and Minnesota, the 10 counties with the highest infection rates as of last week were won by Trump in 2016.  In Wisconsin, nine of the 10 countries with the worst outbreaks were counties where Donald Trump prevailed.  The president has consistently downplayed the severity of the virus both from the White House and on the campaign trail.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.