The coronavirus epidemic has claimed its two-millionth life, with no end in sight. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which has been tracking the COVID-malady for nearly a year, is reporting that the number of global deaths as of Friday is now 2,006,987. Of that number, 391,922 are Americans, by far the biggest portion.
Global cases are now at 93,787,372, with 23,787,372 in the United States.
“There’s been a terrible amount of death,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, according to the Associated Press. But “our scientific community has also done extra ordinary work.”
Several effective vaccines have been developed and manufactured but delays caused by confusion and a lack of experience in such full-scale inoculation programs have slowed down the process of vaccinating all the people who desire it.
President-elect Joe Biden has promised to greatly expand access to the vaccine, seeking to make them available through pharmacies, mobile clinics and other means. He will also invoke the Defense Production Act to speed production of the vaccines.
“The honest truth is this,” Biden said, according to the New York Times, “things will get worse before they get better.”
Federal and state agencies are working to be prepared to prevent or control potential violence next week as Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are inaugurated as the new president and vice president.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has called up the state’s National Guard to help provide security in Sacramento. The Transportation Security Agency is taking steps to screen domestic terrorists from checking in firearms on their way to flights into the Washington, D.C. area,
Additional security will be provided for airports all across the nation, but especially in state capitols where threats against those areas have been made online.
NRA GOING BANKRUPT?: The National Rifle Association, one of the most powerful lobbying organizations in the nation, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. The NRA is facing a lawsuit in New York State seeking to dissolve the group, alleging that it has devoted charitable gifts to “personal use by senior leadership,” according to USA Today. The NRA is planning to move its operations from New York to Texas.
TRUMP LEAVING EARLY: President Donald Trump will leave Washington on the morning of the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, according to the Associated Press. He will not attend the ceremony, although Vice President Mike Pence has announced that he will be present.
Sports: Who’s Going to Win This Weekend?
The NFL Division playoff round is this weekend and no one knows who will win the games. But betters and bookies have their own ideas, and so here are the odds, as reported by Bleacher Report.
- Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers: Packers by 6.5
- Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills: Ravens by 2.5
- Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs: Chiefs by 10
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints: New Orleans by 3.
Categories: The Wider World