Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Georgia begins another vote recount; Pennsylvania judge tosses Trump ballot challenge
Georgia today begins the process of counting ballots there for a third time, just days after a hand audit of ballots confirmed President-elect Joe Biden is the winner there.  The Trump campaign requested a recount Saturday, which like the audit will be open to the public, press, and party-designated observers if they want to watch.  Georgia’s statewide voting system implementation manager Gabriel Sterling tells ABC News he doesn’t anticipate a change in the outcome.

President Trump is also appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of his campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, which Biden also won. The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal Sunday, a day after the judge, a former Pennsylvania Republican Party official, issued a scathing decision, dismissing claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.  The decision declares in part that the president had asked the court to disenfranchise almost seven million voters, with claims that were “haphazardly stitched together,” and that in seeking such a “startling outcome,” a plaintiff could be expected to provide compelling legal arguments and “factual proof of rampant corruption.”  The judge wrote, “That has not happened.”

Check for the latest vote counts and other election updates.

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: 58,766,731
Global deaths: 1,390,003.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 256,798.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 37,589,499

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 11,720,318 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 256,798.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,319.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,526,513
U.S. total people tested: 179,340,847

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,153,944 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,780,208 reported cases; England, which has 1,301,559 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,209,588 reported cases.

A record 83,870 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as national cases, deaths continue to soar
More Americans than ever are now hospitalized with COVID-19, as cases in all 50 states continue to increase.  The Covid Tracking Project reported Saturday that 83,870 people were hospitalized, a new single-day U.S. record.  Saturday also marked the 18th consecutive day that over 100,000 new COVID-19 cases were recorded, with most days now seeing over 150,000 new cases, for a seven-day average of 167,568 new cases daily – an increase of 13.7% over the previous week.  According to an internal Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, 29% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their ICU beds filled. That number was 17-18% during the summertime peak.

COVID-19 cases continue to soar nationwide, with the U.S. reporting more than 1.1 million infections over the last week.  That means approximately one in every 281 Americans tested positive for COVID-19 during that period.  Since November 1, the U.S. has reported nearly 2.9 million new cases.  The numbers in some states are staggering: Louisiana in particular reported statewide case increases of 90% over the past two weeks.  Other states are reporting week-to-week increases topping 20%, 40% and 60%, with individual regions in many states reporting triple-digit infection increases.

The U.S. is currently averaging 1,439 reported COVID-19 deaths a day, the highest the average has been since May 13.  Some 10,077 deaths were reported in the U.S. last week – that’s only three shy of one death recorded every minute.  As of Monday morning, there were 256,798 reported COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, an increase of 4,234 over Friday morning’s numbers.

AstraZeneca and Oxford declare their COVID-19 vaccine is up to 90% effective
U.K.-based pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and England’s University of Oxford announced Monday that late-stage trials show their COVID-19 vaccine was up to 90% effective in preventing the disease.  The determination comes from an interim analysis of their phase 3 trials in the U.K. and in Brazil, which involved two different dosing regimens.  One regimen demonstrated 90% efficacy when the vaccine was given as a half dose, followed by a full dose at least a month later.  A second regimen showed 62% efficacy when the vaccine was administered as two full doses at least one month apart. The combined analysis from both dosing regimens showed an average efficacy of 70%, according to AstraZeneca and Oxford.

There were a total of 131 COVID-19 cases in the analysis, with no hospitalizations or severe cases of the disease reported in participants receiving the vaccine candidate, according to the statement from Oxford-Astra Zeneca.  The team was an early COVID-19 vaccine development frontrunner but it has since been outpaced by Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech, both of which announced their phase 3 trial results in the last two weeks, with planned widespread distribution in the coming months, pending FDA emergency use authorization.

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