Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

US jobless claims rise to 745,000

According to the Labor Department Thursday, 745,000 applications for unemployment were filed in one week. 

This number rose by 9,000 from the previous week and is still above any number seen before the pandemic.

According to today’s latest numbers there 18,026,537 people are claiming unemployment through all government programs.

The monthly job report for February is expected to be released on Friday. Expectations are that 182,000 jobs were added, but the economy still needs to recover about 10 million jobs lost in the pandemic.

Here’s the latest data on COVID-19 coronavirus infections, deaths and vaccinations.

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers globally per Johns Hopkins University
Global diagnosed cases: 115,302,421
Global deaths: 2,561,992.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 518,459.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 65,221,451

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 28,761,027 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 518,459.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 53,083.
U.S. total people tested: 353,637,183

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,582,320 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,674,028 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,676,015 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Latest reported COVID-19 vaccination numbers in the United States
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a total of 107,028,890 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 80,540,474 doses have been administered, with 52,855,579 people receiving one or more doses, and 26,957,804 people receiving two doses. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, which are the two most prevalent in the U.S., each require two doses to be effective.

President Joe Biden calls out Texas Gov. for ending mask mandates

President Joe Biden didn’t mince words in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott‘s decision to relax COVID-19 restrictions in the state.

On Wednesday the president called the choice to end mask mandates “Neanderthal thinking.”

“I hope everybody has realized by now these masks make a difference,” he told reporters in the Oval Office. “We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way we are able to get vaccine in people’s arms. We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough for every American, to get every adult American…a shot.”

“And the last thing, the last thing, the last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters…It’s critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science.”

Other states, including Mississippi, have also begun to relax restrictions and end requirements to wear masks, citing the rate of vaccinations and lower numbers of COVID-19 cases.  Health experts say this risks creating another surge and the spread of more contagious variants.

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