Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

Day two of testimony in Derek Chauvin trial begins today
The video footage of George Floyd gasping for breath was front and center as testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin began Monday.  The former police officer is accused of murdering George Floyd during an arrest on May 25, 2020, when Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.  During opening statements, prosecutor Jerry Blackwell told jurors that Chauvin “didn’t let up, he didn’t get up” even after Floyd said 27 times that he couldn’t breathe and went motionless, and that Chauvin failed the responsibilities that come with the badge he was given by the Minneapolis Police Department.  Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, emphasized during his opening statement that the evidence for the case is “far greater than nine minutes and 29 seconds,” the length of time Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck.  Nelson also said the defense will show that Chauvin reacted exactly as he was trained and that drugs played a role in Floyd’s death.  Testimony resumes today.  The trial is expected to last four weeks.

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: 127,749,710
Global deaths: 2,794,174.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 550,071.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 72,492,831

Latest reported COVID-19 numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 30,332,259 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 550,071.  California has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 59,030.
U.S. total people tested: 390,026,186

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,663,913 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,794,011 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,786,313 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 180,646,565 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S.  Of those, 145,812,835 doses have been administered, with 95,015,762 people receiving at least one dose and 52,614,231 people fully vaccinated, representing 28.6% and 15.8% of the total U.S. population, respectively. The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines each require two doses to be effective.  The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires a single dose to be effective.

Number of US COVID-19 deaths surpasses 550,000
More than 550,000 people in the United States have now died of COVID-19.  As of Tuesday morning, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University put the total number of people in the U.S. who have died of the virus at 550,071 since the first reported case in the U.S., on January 21, 2020.  The U.S. reported 500,000 COVID-19 deaths just 37 days ago, on February 22.  Experts continue to advise that the number of COVID-19 deaths, like the number of total cases, is likely underreported.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest forecast predicts a total of 558,000 to 578,000 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. by the week ending April 17.

President Biden urges mask mandates amid warnings of renewed COVID-19 surge
President Biden on Monday urged governors and municipal authorities to reinstate mask mandates to further control the spread of COVID-19, amid concerns that relaxed protocols are leading to yet another surge in infections.  Speaking at the White House, Biden declared, “This is not politics,” adding, “If we let our guard down now, we can see the virus getting worse, not better,” and “The failure to take this virus seriously is precisely what got us into this mess in the first place.”  COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations, which had been trending down nationally, have begun increasing as ongoing vaccination efforts have prompted state and local officials to relax pandemic prevention measures.  But the president also delivered the optimistic news that by April 19, at least 90% of the adult U.S. population will be eligible for vaccination and would have access to a vaccination site within five miles of home. 

Hours earlier, during a virtual White House health briefing, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also spoke urgently about the need to maintain mask wearing and social distancing protocols to prevent an infection surge.  She grew emotional as she urged Americans to “hold on a little white longer,” and reflected on her experience treating COVID-19 patients who are alone at the end of their lives.  “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope,” she said. “But right now, I’m scared.”

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