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Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

Officer shot during Breonna Taylor incident says her shooting was “not a race thing”
In his first interview since the Breonna Taylor shooting, Louisville, KY police officer Johnathan Mattingly told ABC News and the Louisville Courier-Journal that Taylor’s shooting is “not a race thing.”  “This is not relatable to George Floyd. It’s nothing like it. This is not Ahmaud Arbery, it’s nothing like it,” Mattingly said.  “It’s not a race thing, like people wanna try to make it to be. … This is the point where we’re doing our job, we return fire. This is not us hunting somebody down, not kneeling on a neck. This is nothing like that.” 

Mattingly was shot in the leg by Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, prompting Mattingly and two other officers to return fire, killing Taylor in her bed as she slept.  Officers were executing a no-knock warrant on the residence when Walker fired his licensed handgun, believing the apartment was being broken into.  Former officer Brett Hankinson was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing into a neighboring apartment.  No charges were filed in connection with Taylor’s death.

Breonna Taylor grand jury members can speak publicly, rules judge; one juror releases statement
Grand jurors in the Breonna Taylor case are now allowed to come forward and unrecorded grand jury proceedings can be released, a judge ordered Tuesday.  The ruling neither orders nor prevents release of the jurors’ names, and also notes, “No one grand juror speaks for the others, nor does one’s statement carry any more weight than another’s.” 

One unidentified juror has already released a public statement, writing in part that the only charges prosecutors presented to them were the wanton endangerment charges on which former officer Brett Hankinson was indicted.  “The grand jury did not have homicide offenses explained to them. The grand jury never heard anything about those laws,” the juror writes.  “Self-defense or justification was never explained either.  Questions were asked about additional charges and the grand jury was told there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.  The grand jury didn’t agree that certain actions were justified, nor did it decide the indictment should be the only charges in the Breonna Taylor case.”

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: 40,862,940
Global deaths: 1,126,142.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 221,083.
Number of countries/regions: at least 189
Total patients recovered globally: 27,951,660

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 8,275,093 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 221,083.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 33,366.
U.S. total patients recovered: 3,295,148
U.S. total people tested: 126,940,105

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 884,739 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  That ranks third in the world after Maharashtra, India, which has 1,609,516 reported cases, and Sao Paulo, Brazil, which has 1,068,962 reported cases.

White House says 31 states now in ‘red zone’ for COVID-19 infection
The most recent weekly White House Coronavirus Task Force weekly briefing for governors, dated October 18, places 31 states in the so-called ‘red zone’ for COVID-19 cases, indicating more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population in the last week.  A further eight states in the red zone for test positivity, indicating a rate at or above 10.1%, while 13 states are in the red zone for deaths, with more than 2.1 per 100,000. 

According to the Covid Tracking Project, “39k people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19,” with Montana, and North and South Dakota “reporting stark increases in cases and hospitalizations. The 7-day average for new cases reported in all three has more than doubled in the past month. ND is reporting far more new cases per capita than any other state has over the course of the pandemic.”

The reports come as the nation’s pandemic hotspots have shifted from cities to rural communities, overwhelming small hospitals that are running out of beds or lack the intensive care units for more than one or two seriously ill patients.  Coronavirus infections are on the rise across the nation as the predicted second wave arrives.

CDC says hospitalized COVID-19 patients are 5x more likely to die than flu patients
A just-published study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are five times more likely to die than patients hospitalized with influenza.  The study examined data from the Veterans Health Administration to conclude that “Hospitalized patients with COVID-19…had a more than five times higher risk for in-hospital death and increased risk for 17 respiratory and nonrespiratory complications than did hospitalized patients with influenza.”  Complications included “sepsis and respiratory, neurologic, and renal complications” and “were higher among non-Hispanic Black or African American and Hispanic patients than among non-Hispanic White patients.”  COVID-19 has already been shown to be both more contagious and more deadly that the seasonal flu.

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