Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Postmaster general to testify before Congress today about postal cutbacks and mail delays
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy today is scheduled to testify before the Senate amid increasing criticism about U.S. Postal Service cutbacks in an election year when unprecedented numbers of Americans are expected to vote by mail because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  DeJoy will appear before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.  Cutbacks, including decreases in overtime and removal of mail sorting equipment, have already led to delayed mail delivery across the nation.  DeJoy earlier this week vowed to suspend any further changes until after the election, but told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi he did not intend to reverse changes already made.  Critics point to DeJoy’s history as a Republican donor and declared President Trump ally as alleged reasons he’s hamstringing the Postal Service ahead of the election, to boost Trump’s chances of re-election.  Supporters claim DeJoy’s measures are intended to cut what they term excess costs, and to streamline the service. 

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: 22,707,352
Global deaths: 794,256.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 174,290.
Number of countries/regions: at least 188
Total patients recovered globally: 14,562,070

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 5,576,089 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 174,290.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 32,861.
U.S. total patients recovered: 1,947,035
U.S. total people tested: 70,031,936

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 653,511 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  That is second only to Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 730,828 cases, as the most reported cases of any single region in the world.

COVID-19 headlines
CDC director warns flu season + COVID-19 could overwhelm hospitals
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Robert Redfield warned Thursday that the upcoming annual flu season, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, could cause U.S. hospitals to become overrun as they were in the early weeks of the virus’ spread.  “The biggest fear I have of course by COVID and flu at the same time, is that our hospital capacity could get strained,” Redfield said during a livestream interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association, adding that “we could end up with another loss of significant life” if we’re unable to limit the spread of both viruses.  Redfield urged Americans to help forestall problems by getting vaccinated for the flu this year.  The CDC estimates that the 2019-2020 flu season — which officially lasted from October 1, 2019 to April 4, 2020 — there were between 24,000-62,000 deaths.  As of Friday morning COVID-19 has killed more than 174,000 people in the U.S. in less than six months, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Colleges clamping down on students who ignore social distancing
As millions of young adults return to classes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many universities are taking swift action against students who don’t take pandemic precautions seriously.  Just 24 hours after Purdue President Mitch Daniels declared students would face consequences for not following the school’s pandemic protocols, 36 students were suspended Thursday for attending a party Wednesday night that was judged to be in violation, according to Lafayette, Indiana’s Journal-Courier newspaper.  The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Post-Gazette reports Pitt University has placed a total five fraternities and sororities on interim suspension for COVID-19 policy violations.  Iowa’s Drake University kicked 14 students off campus for two weeks for partying in violation of pandemic protocols, reports the Des Moines Register.  And at Notre Dame University, where the number of positive COVID-19 cases now exceeds 300, with more than 70 cases each of the last three days, the school announced it would be halting in-class learning for two weeks.  The university’s Observer newspaper also published a blunt editorial, titled “Don’t Make Us Write Obituaries.”  While placing blame on both an allegedly unprepared administration and on unheeding students, the editorial declares, in part, “Don’t make us write a classmate’s obituary.  Don’t make us write a friend’s obituary.  Don’t make us write a roommate’s obituary.  Don’t make us write yours.”

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