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Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

Delayed jury selection in Derek Chauvin murder trial could begin today
Delayed jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who’s accused of killing George Floyd during an arrest on May 25, 2020 by kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes.  Jury selection was initially scheduled to begin Monday but was delayed after the defense said it wanted to appeal a higher court’s decision regarding the possible reinstatement of a third-degree murder charge against Chauvin.  While that delayed the selection process, the defense and prosecution said they were able to agree on removing some of the jurors from contention ahead of time.  Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  Three other officers involved in Floyd’s death face trial in August.

Charges dropped against Breonna Taylor’s boyfriend from night of shooting
A circuit court judge on Monday permanently dismissed charges against Kenneth Walker, the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor, the latter of whom was shot and killed as she slept in her bed while Louisville, Kentucky police officers were executing a no-knock warrant at her apartment March 13, 2020.  Walker fired his licensed handgun as police forcibly entered the apartment, striking one officer in the thigh, after which officers fired 32 rounds into the apartment and adjacent dwellings.  Walker was arrested and charged with assault and attempted murder of a police officer.  Judge Olu Stevens ruled Monday the charges would be dismissed with prejudice, meaning Walker can’t be recharged for the shooting.  Walker currently faces civil charges from the officer he shot.

House COVID-19 relief bill vote now likely on Wednesday
It’s still unclear when the House will vote on the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that the Senate passed over the weekend, but a senior House Democratic aide tells ABC News that final passage will “likely” be on Wednesday, rather than today, as was initially thought.  The delay is reportedly due to technical paperwork that needs to be completed by the Senate before the 600+ page bill, dubbed the American Rescue Plan, can be handed over to the House.  The package includes an extension of supplemental unemployment benefits through September 6, and a new round of relief payments for Americans struggling with the pandemic’s ongoing economic impact.  President Biden is eager to sign the bill into law this week before current federal unemployment benefits expire on March 14.

COVID-19 numbers
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: 117,236,336
Global deaths: 2,604,058.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 525,904.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 66,442,991

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 29,045,909 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 525,904.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 54,380.
U.S. total people tested: 363,789,451

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,603,716 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,698,242 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,699,293 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 116,378,615 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 92,089,852 doses have been administered, with 60,005,231 people receiving one or more doses, and 31,493,040 people fully vaccinated. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines each require two doses to be effective.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose to be effective.

CDC says COVID-19-immunized people can begin socializing without masks
Americans who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 infection can gather with other vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or social distancing.  That’s according to long-awaited guidance issued Monday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The recommendations also say vaccinated people can come together in the same way with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren, but that one should still wear a mask around people considered to be at high risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as in public.

Experts say a person is considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the last required dose of vaccine.  The CDC says just over 31 million Americans are currently fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing about 9% of the total U.S. population.  That means there are more Americans now fully vaccinated against the virus than the 29 million people in the U.S. are reported to have been infected with the virus.

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