Today’s In Crisis headlines

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

President Biden, Senate Republicans to discuss COVID-19 relief compromise
In a rare sign of cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, President Biden has invited to the White House ten GOP senators who submitted a letter over the weekend countering his COVID-19 relief bill, according to a statement from White House press secretary Jen Psaki.  The Republicans, led by Maine’s Susan Collins, are set to introduce their own coronavirus relief proposal today, and requested the meeting with President Biden to work together on legislation. Psaki said Biden spoke with Collins “and invited her and other signers of the letter to come to the White House early this week for a full exchange of views,” noting Biden also spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The Republican senators are calling their new proposal “targeted” as opposed to the Democrats’ broader $1.9 trillion plan, and cited the billions of dollars still unspent from this summer’s CARES Act as reasoning for the more limited package.  Late last week, Biden appeared to step back from his preferred bipartisan approach to passing a relief package, telling reporters he “support[s] passing COVID relief, with support from Republicans if we can get it.  But the COVID relief has to pass.  There’s no ifs, ands or buts.”

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: 103,043,330
Global deaths: 2,229,697.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 441,331.
Number of countries/regions: at least 192
Total patients recovered globally: 57,144,918

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 26,188,167 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 441,331.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 43,634.
U.S. total people tested: 304,415,413

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,324,264 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 39.51 million.  This ranks second in the world after England, which has 3,341,249 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,376,344 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

January officially the deadliest month of the pandemic as new cases continue to decline
January 2021 was officially America’s deadliest month of the pandemic.  More than 93,000 lives have been lost to COVID-19 since January 1, according to Johns Hopkins University, pushing total fatalities in the U.S. since the pandemic began to 441,331 as of Monday morning.  Even so, cases and hospitalizations continue to trend down in the U.S., with the Covid Tracking Project reporting on January 28 that weekly new cases were down 17.2% and the average number of people hospitalized weekly had decreased by 10.3%, both compared to numbers the previous week.

In order to further prevent COVID-19’s spread, starting Monday anyone traveling on public transport, including airlines, must wear a face covering.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday issued the mask-wearing mandate, supporting an executive order signed by President Biden on January 21.

Meanwhile, the national vaccination effort continues.  According to the CDC, 49,933,250 total vaccine doses had been distributed by Sunday morning, with 31,123,299 total doses administered, of which 5,657,142 were second doses.  Both the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines require two doses to be effective.  Even so, many state governments are complaining about vaccine shortages, and a winter storm in the northeast could disrupt the rollout even further.

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