Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

Georgia US Senate runoff election happens today; control of Senate at stake
Today is the day Georgians will again vote on who they will send to the U.S. Senate, as the polls open for the runoff election that has Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler facing Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.  If Ossoff and Warnock win, the current GOP-majority Senate will be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with incoming Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris holding the tiebreaking vote. 

More than three million voters have already cast their ballots in the runoff election, meaning after polls close Tuesday, it’s likely a victor won’t be known today as these early votes are counted.  Early votes that were heavily Democratic helped secure President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Georgia, and there are indications that early votes in the Senate runoff race may do the same for Ossoff and Warnock, depending on Republican voter turnout at the polls today.

President-elect Joe Biden spoke in Atlanta Monday, urging his supporters to show up one more time for the Senate runoff election, which will determine the balance of power on Capitol Hill and in turn affect his ability to enact policy when he takes office.  At a Monday-night rally billed as an effort to urge Georgia Republicans to vote today, President Trump instead spent the majority of his time on stage continuing to push repeatedly disproven claims that alleged voter fraud cost him victory in Georgia during the November general election, declaring “I don’t concede.”  He also pressured Vice President Mike Pence, in his role as president of the Senate, to “come through for us” ahead of Wednesday’s formal certification of the Electoral College vote in Congress.

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: 85,783,178
Global deaths: 1,855,872.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 353,628.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 48,252,683

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 20,824,711 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 353,628.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 38,599.
U.S. total people tested: 254,563,071

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 2,464,290 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks first in the world.  England is second in the world, with 2,339,983 cases.  Maharashtra, India, which has 1,947,011 cases, ranks third, while Texas is fourth, with 1,829,731 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

US again posts record COVID-19 hospitalizations; England institutes lockdown
A record number of Americans were hospitalized Monday with COVID-19, according to the Covid Tracking Project, which reports 128,210 inpatients being treated for the disease.  That also boosts the seven-day average for hospitalizations to a new record 125,387.  The seven-day average for COVID-19 deaths is also increasing in 30 states.  Officials again warn that real-time data reporting is lagging due to the holidays, meaning actual numbers could be higher once all the data are accounted for.

In Los Angeles County, where there are more reported COVID-19 cases than in any other U.S. county, health officials say the situation is dire and will only get worse in the coming weeks.  Johns Hopkins University reports Tuesday that LA County is currently reporting 829,549 cases – more than double the next-highest number of 401,547 in Cook County, Illinois – and half of LA County’s cases were reported in December alone.  California overall is reporting 2,464,290 COVID-19 cases, more than any other U.S. state and also more than any other nation on Earth, save for the U.S.

In England, which currently has the second-highest number of reported COVID-19 infections on the globe, after the U.S., Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday announced a new national lockdown until at least mid-February to combat a fast-spreading new version of the virus.   As of today, schools and colleges will be closed for face-to-face learning, except for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils.  Citizens were also told to work from home unless it’s impossible to do so.  Johnson himself contracted COVID-19 and spent 17 days hospitalized in March and April, 2020 as he fought and recovered from the virus.

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