Today’s In Crisis headlines


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

House Democrats seek to fast-track Trump impeachment
House Democrats are pushing forward to quickly impeach President Trump for an unprecedented second time for his role in last week’s mob attack in the U.S. Capitol that briefly halted the Electoral College certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s November victory over the president.  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi formally backs impeachment, saying in a letter to her fellow Democrats that she plans to bring impeachment legislation to the House floor.  Speaker Pelosi also said she’s giving Vice President Mike Pence 24 hours to invoke the 25th Amendment, whereby members of the president’s Cabinet can elect to remove him from office, before holding a full House vote in the impeachment resolution.  More than 200 Democrats of the 435 total House members have so far signed onto the impeachment resolution.

Capitol attack latest: more arrests, finger-pointing; slain Capitol Police officer laid to rest
More arrests have been made stemming from last week’s attack on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.  Among those arrested, according to the Justice Department, are Larry Rendell Brock of Texas and Eric Gavelek Munchel of Tennessee, who were seen in widely-circulated photographs inside the Capitol during the riot carrying plastic restraints commonly used by law enforcement to detain people. Each has been charged with entering a restricted building or ground without lawful authority and one count of violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.  Also arrested was Cleveland Grover Meredith Junior, charged with bringing an assault rifle into D.C. and threatening in text messages to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on live TV.  

Meanwhile, the FBI is working to determine whether the Capitol siege was pre-planned by multiple actors.  A senior official tells ABC News the attackers were organized, coordinated and had leadership, communication equipment and paramilitary uniforms.  Additionally, the Army Secretary briefed members of Congress, who say at least 25 domestic terrorism cases have been opened since the siege at the Capitol.  The Defense Department is aware of possible threats posed by would-be terrorists in the coming days.

A hearse carrying the body of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was among the five people who died during the riots, was led by a procession of police motorcycles down the streets of Washington D.C. on Sunday, as fellow law enforcement officers lined the streets to pay their respects.  Sicknick, as 12-year veteran of the Capitol Police, was injured when he was struck in the head by a rioter with a fire extinguisher.  He later died of his injuries.  The White House on Sunday lowered its flag to half-staff in Sicknick’s honor, three days after his death.

Meanwhile, former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund tells the Washington Post that two days before the Capitol Hill siege, he asked for permission to request that the Washington, D.C. National Guard be placed in standby, as he became worried about the number of pro-Trump protestors expected at the Capitol on January 6.  Sund says House and Senate security officials rebuffed his request.  He further claims that during a call with Pentagon officials during the siege, he told participants: “I am making an urgent, urgent immediate request for National Guard assistance.  I have got to get boots on the ground.”  Sund says he was again initially refused, with Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, director of the Army Staff, saying, “I don’t like the visual of the National Guard standing a police line with the Capitol in the background.”  The Capitol Police is facing blistering criticism about their largely ineffective response to the siege and perceived lack of preparedness for it.  Sund resigned his position as Capitol Police chief following the siege.

San Francisco police prepare for possible Twitter HQ protest by Trump supporters
Days after social media giant Twitter banned President Donald Trump from its platform, San Francisco police are bracing for a demonstration by his supporters early today at the company’s Market Street headquarters. While there’s been no official word about a mass demonstration, there has been social media traffic urging Trump supporters to gather at Twitter headquarters. Twitter employees have been working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic since August.  Twitter “permanently suspended” Trump’s account Friday, declaring in part it was “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” following the Wednesday storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, which Trump encouraged via messages on the platform.

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: 90,367,347
Global deaths: 1,936,436.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 374,341.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 50,080,157

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 22,410,249 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 374,341.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 39,632.
U.S. total people tested: 265,555,566

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 2,717,862 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 2,664,129 cases.  Maharashtra, India, which has 1,969,114 cases, ranks third, while Texas is fourth, with 1,968,779 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Global COVID-19 cases pass 90 million; US surpasses 22 million, nears 375K deaths
Nearly two weeks after the one-year anniversary of the first announced COVID-19 case in Wuhan, China, the world on Sunday surpassed 90 million cases of the virus, with 90,367,347 reported by Johns Hopkins University as of Monday morning.  In the United States, the number of reported cases currently stands at 22,410,249, with 243,427 new cases reported every day, on average, for the past seven days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  The U.S. is also on track to exceed 375,000 reported deaths later Monday, with 374,341 as of Monday morning and an average 3,177 deaths per day for the last seven days, again according to the Covid Tracking Project.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently forecasting a total of 405,000 to 438,000 reported COVID-19 fatalities by the week ending January 30. The U.S. continues to lead the world in the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with 24.8% and 19.3% of global totals, respectively.

Mob storming US Capitol likely a superspreader event, say experts; may not know for weeks
The attending physician to members of Congress has advised them to get tested for COVID-19 following last week’s mob siege of the U.S. Capitol, which medical experts are now declaring has the makings of a virus superspreader event.  Dr. Brian P. Monahan wrote in a memo to lawmakers and staff Sunday that the potential exposure may have occurred when several members of the House and their staffers were in “protective isolation” in a large committee space for several hours with an individual who was infected with the virus.  Additionally, the people who participated in the riot – hundreds of whom were seen not wearing masks – could themselves become infected and spread the virus to others after they returned to their homes.  It will likely be weeks before health officials will begin to know how many new COVID-19 cases can be traced to the riot.

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