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Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

Senate passes COVID-19 relief bill as part of spending package; now heads to Trump’s desk
The Senate late Monday night approved the COVID-19 relief package and omnibus spending bill by a vote of 92 to 6. The bill now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk for his signature.  One of the largest spending packages Congress has ever approved, the bill includes $1.4 trillion in spending that will fund the government through September of next year, and $900 billion for COVID-19 relief — a grand total of $2.3 trillion in spending.  At 5,593 pages long, the complete bill weighs about 67 pounds printed, single-sided.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says COVID-19 relief payments could go out as early as next week for qualifying Americans.  Individuals making up to $75,000 per year would receive $600, with $1,200 paid to couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each dependent child.  That means a family of four would receive $2,400 in direct payments.  The bill also provides $300 per week in enhanced federal unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021.  Benefits passed in March under the CARES Act are set to expire Saturday.

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: 77,482,272
Global deaths: 1,705,300.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 319,466.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 43,753,566

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 18,043,824 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 319,466.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 36,568.
U.S. total people tested: 232,206,470

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 1,930,772 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks first in the world.  Maharashtra, India, is second, with 1,899,352 reported cases.  England, which has 1,772,635 reported cases, ranks third in the world, while Texas is fourth, with 1,605,205 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

President-elect Biden, Ms. Biden receive COVID-19 vaccine; Dr. Fauci to be immunized today
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday received his first of two COVID-19 immunizations in a live televised event in Delaware.  “I’m doing this to demonstrate that people should be prepared when it’s available to take the vaccine, there’s nothing to worry about,” Biden said during the event.  His wife, Jill Biden, received her vaccination earlier in the day. The Bidens received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, according to a statement from the president-elect’s office.

The National Institutes of Health says Dr. Anthony Fauci will be immunized against COVID-19 today.  Fauci will receive the Moderna vaccine, which Dr. Fauci’s lab helped develop.  NIH Director Francis Collins and Department of Health and Human Services Director Alex Azar will also be vaccinated today with the Moderna vaccination.

Dr. Fauci says there’s “light at the end of the tunnel”
Most Americans who want the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be able to receive it until spring of next year.  With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays imminent, Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging Americans to continue to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently.  Speaking to ABC’s Good Morning America Tuesday, Fauci declared, “Please do what I suggested for Thanksgiving. We don’t want to cancel Christmas, but you have to tone down plans, try to minimize travel, and try to avoid large congregations of people indoors. You know, the dinners that have 20, 25 people.”  He added, “We really do need to hang in there. …[T]he situation now with the amount of infection in the community is really rather high. We’re in a precarious situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

US COVID-19 cases exceed 18 million; deaths to exceed 320,000 today; California continues surging
The United States late Monday exceeded 18 million reported COVID-19 cases, with at least 18,043,824 cases as of Monday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  That accounts for just over 23% of the world’s total infections.  COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are poised to exceed 320,000 Tuesday, with 319,466 reported as of Monday morning against a seven-day average daily death toll of 2,631, according to the Covid Tracking Project.  The U.S. now accounts for 19.7% of the world’s 1.705 million COVID-19 fatalities, just eight after the nation crossed the 300,000 coronavirus fatalities threshold. 

California, where there are more reported COVID-19 cases than anywhere else in the U.S., now has more than any single nation, city or region on Earth.  Johns Hopkins University reports the state has 1,930,772 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million as of Tuesday morning.  In comments Monday, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer warned, “If we don’t change how we’re going to celebrate the winter holidays, we’ll experience a surge, on top of a surge, on top of a surge.  LA County has 636,190 coronavirus cases reported as of Tuesday morning, more than any other county in the U.S.

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