Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Today marks six months since George Floyd’s death
Wednesday marks six months since George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Floyd died May 25 at age 46 during his arrest for allegedly attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby grocery store.  Floyd was handcuffed and lay face-down on the street, during which time former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly eight minutes – initially erroneously reported as nearly mine minutes – even as Floyd protested repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe.  Chauvin and three other officers involved were fired the day after Floyd’s death.  Chauvin was arrested May 29 and ultimately charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.  The three other former officers who were at the scene have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  Floyd’s death sparked global outrage and protests across the world.

Additional 778,000 unemployment claims filed last week
An additional 778,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the week ending November 21, according to figures released Wednesday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.  That number is an increase of 30,000 from the previous week’s level, which itself was revised upward by 6,000, to 748,000.  The new unemployment claims number is worse than expectations and further evidence that the surging COVID-19 pandemic is hurting jobs, even as the Dow Jones Industrial Average on Tuesday crossed 30,000 for the first time ever.  There are currently a total of 20,452,223, people claiming unemployment benefits from government programs.

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: 59,905,468
Global deaths: 1,412,223.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 259,976.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 38,377,692

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 12,598,660 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 259,976.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 34,362.
U.S. total patients recovered: 4,696,664
U.S. total people tested: 182,928,236

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in Texas, with 1,181,533 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.  This ranks fourth in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,789,800 reported cases; England, which has 1,324,742 reported cases; and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,215,844 reported cases.

US COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to soar; fatalities set to exceed 260,000 today
For the fifteenth consecutive day, COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. reached record numbers Tuesday, with 88,080, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  The record-setting run began on November 10, when there were 62,062 reported hospitalizations. Hospitalizations are increasing “at an extremely fast rate” in Pennsylvania and Ohio, the tracker said.

The U.S. also saw more than 2,000 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday for the first time since early May, the COVID Tracking Project data shows, with states reporting 2,028 fatalities.  That’s a seven-day average of 1,583 deaths per day, or more than one death per minute.  The U.S. on Tuesday morning reported 259,976 COVID-19 deaths and will exceed 260,000 total COVID-19 deaths before the day is over.  The nation crossed the 250,000 deaths threshold just seven days ago.

An internal Department of Health and Human Services memo, obtained by ABC News, declares 52 states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new cases, with one jurisdiction at a plateau and two decreasing.  A reported 1,197,199 new cases were confirmed during the period of November 17-23, a 12.2% increase from the previous seven-day period, with 10,784 deaths recorded during the same period, marking a 26.9% increase in new deaths compared with the previous week. Further, 27% 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 vaccinations could begin next month; Rite-Aid to provide “at no cost”
It’s possible some Americans could receive a COVID-19 vaccine as early as next month. The Food and Drug Administration is scheduled to meet on December 10th with an independent vaccine review board to consider emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer vaccine candidate. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday that if all goes well, distribution of the first doses could begin shortly after, with Operation Warp Speed planning to begin distribution within 24 hours of approval.  Pharmaceutical company Moderna is also currently seeking EUA for their vaccine.  Those likely to be vaccinated first will include health care workers, first responders, the elderly and others most at risk of infection.  National drug store chain Rite-Aid has announced in an email to customers Tuesday afternoon that it will make a COVID-19 vaccine available to the communities it serves “when it becomes available to Rite Aid,” adding, “Better yet, the COVID-19 vaccines will be available at no cost.”

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