Today’s In Crisis headlines

N Incrisisimage 061520 13

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

President Biden, Vice President Harris begin first full day in office, with focus on pandemic
Amid the pomp and circumstance of Inauguration Day, the new Biden Administration got to work Wednesday night.  President Joe Biden signed 15 executive actions that included a reversal to withdrawing from the WHO, re-joining the Paris Climate Accord, ending the so-called Muslim ban on travelers to the U.S., and rolling back many regulatory reversals made by the Trump Administration. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also delivered the first news briefing of Biden’s presidency. 

Just hours after her own historic swearing-in, Vice President Kamala Harris ushered in three other historic firsts as she swore in three new senators: Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, both of Georgia, as well as Alex Padilla of California, who was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to serve the remainder of Harris’ term.  Harris received a standing ovation as she walked into the Senate for the first time as vice president on Wednesday afternoon.

President Biden’s schedule today begins with attendance at a virtual presidential inaugural prayer service at 10:00 a.m. ET.  Later in the day, he’s expected to sign another round of executive actions addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, and will formally release the administration’s roadmap on getting America out of the COVID-19 crisis, dubbed the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness.  President Biden is scheduled to deliver public remarks at 2:00 p.m. ET regarding his planned COVID-19 response.

At least 900,000 new unemployment claims filed last week
Some 900,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the week ending January 16, according to data released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor. That number is slightly lower than expected and a decrease from the previous week’s level of 926,000, which itself was revised down by 39,000.  Even so, the number of new claims continues to represent historically high levels, fueled by the continuing pandemic.  There are currently 15,994,519 people filing for unemployment through different government programs.

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: 96,958,794
Global deaths: 2,077,332.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 406,162.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 53,493,124

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 24,439,427 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 406,162.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 41,587.
U.S. total people tested: 284,629,249

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,075,812 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks first in the world.  England is second in the world, with 3,057,670 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,185,554 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

First US COVID-19 case confirmed one year ago today as nation sees record single-day deaths
One year ago today, the Washington State Department of Health confirmed they had identified a local case of what they called the 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV, in a male resident of Snohomish County resident in his 30s.  That case remains the first confirmed case in the United States of what came to be referred to as the ‘coronavirus disease 2019,’ or COVID-19. “As of the morning of January 21, there were 300 cases worldwide but that number is likely to grow,” the statement declared. 

As of Thursday morning, Washington state has seen 294,017 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the ensuing year, with the U.S. overall reporting 24,439,427 cases, or just over 25% of the 96,958,794 reported worldwide.  The milestone is marked by a record day of COVID-19 deaths, with Johns Hopkins University reporting 4,377 deaths on January 20, besting the previous record of 4,462 single-day fatalities.  That means one person in the U.S. died of COVID-19 Wednesday about every 20 seconds.  According to the Covid Tracking Project, an average of just over 3,000 people died of COVID-19 every day for the past seven days.  There were 406,162 reported deaths from the virus as of Thursday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.

President Biden to sign COVID-19 response executive actions today; US rejoins WHO
President Biden today will make good on a campaign promise and sign ten executive actions intended to help get the COVID-19 pandemic under control.  The administration will also release what it’s dubbed the National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness — their blueprint to help the nation overcome the crisis.  Actions include everything from directives to increase the manufacture supplies to fight the virus, to looking for additional treatments, increasing testing, accelerating vaccine distribution, addressing the pandemic toll on education, workers and minority groups, and more.  The plan is tied to a $1.9 trillion plan that Biden unveiled last week to combat the pandemic.

Wednesday night, President Biden signed a handful of executive orders, among them one mandating that federal workers wear masks and comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pandemic prevention guidelines while on the job.  The order also addresses federal worker testing and establishes a task force to evaluable and address federal agency and workplace compliance.  Biden also signed an executive order restoring U.S. membership in the World Health Organization.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s appointed top medical advisor on COVID-19, on Thursday morning spoke to the WHO’s executive board, declaring that the U.S. will join the agency’s efforts to bring vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to people in need, whether in rich or poor countries. He said the U.S. will also resume full funding and staffing support for WHO.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.