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12:53 PM 2/7/2021 – News Review

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Michael Novakhov retweeted:
A Winter Storm Warning is currently in effect, as well as a Hazardous Travel Advisory. Stay home or take public transportation if you’re able. Stay safe!
PBS NewsHour Weekend Live Show: February 7, 2021

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8:08 AM 2/7/2021 – Penguins Spared After Mammoth Iceberg Splits Into Smaller Pieces – News Review thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2021/02/808-am…

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Michael Novakhov retweeted:
FBI arrests Pennsylvania woman accused of using a bullhorn to direct rioters during last month’s Capitol siege, federal prosecutors say. nbcnews.to/3q1ukuX
Michael Novakhov retweeted:
Chinese whistleblower doctor who sounded alarm about COVID remembered a year on trib.al/LEfs6Jh
Michael Novakhov retweeted:
Trump’s DC hotel is hiking prices for March 4 — the day QAnon followers think the former president will be sworn in businessinsider.com/trumps-dc-hote…
Michael Novakhov retweeted:
There likely will be ample evidence for the Justice Department to prosecute former President Donald Trump. But the schoolbook ideal of a criminal investigation and the reality are often not the same, writes @MichaelJStern1 in @usatodayopinionusatoday.com/story/opinion/…
Michael Novakhov retweeted:
Full Schiff Interview: ‘We simply couldn’t sit still and wait’ on Trump imeachment

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Chair, House Intelligence Committee, talks about the upcoming impeachment trial of former President Trump.

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Michael Novakhov retweeted:
The Landsknechts – Meet the Renaissance’s Most Feared Soldiers-of-Fortune militaryhistorynow.com/2018/08/16/mee…

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Michael Novakhov retweeted:
“I think it’s clearly constitutional to conduct a Senate trial with respect to an impeachment,” Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says on fmr. Pres. Trump’s upcoming trial.

“In this case, the impeachment occurred prior to the President leaving office.” #CNNSOTU cnn.it/2YTXikI


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8:08 AM 2/7/2021 – Penguins Spared After Mammoth Iceberg Splits Into Smaller Pieces – News Review

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In this Jan. 12, 2021 photo, shattered glass from the attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob is seen in the doors leading to the Capitol Rotunda.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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In this Jan. 12, 2021 photo, shattered glass from the attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob is seen in the doors leading to the Capitol Rotunda.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A month has passed since the shocking invasion of the U.S. Capitol by rioters bent on blocking the official recognition of the presidential election results, but the aftershocks have not stopped.

More than 200 people have now been charged with various crimes, ranging from illegal trespassing to attacks on police officers to conspiracies to kidnap members of Congress. Federal authorities have opened investigations into about 200 other individuals who have yet to be charged.

Among the first to face a trial for their actions on January 6 is the former president of the United States, Donald Trump. Unlike the others, he will not appear in federal court. But as a (twice) impeached federal official, he will face a jury of 100 senators who have been asked to deliberate on his case (for the second time in year). The trial is scheduled to begin this coming week.

Offered a chance to testify under oath and defend the statements he has made in regard to January 6, Trump via his latest set of lawyers has declined. He is not expected to attend when his Senate trial begins. But in the (still) unlikely event of conviction, he could be barred from federal office for life.

Trump Will Not Testify In Senate Impeachment Trial, Adviser Says
Impeachment Managers Argue Trump Is 'Singularly Responsible' For Capitol Attack

This past week we also saw the House convulsed with not one, but two highly unusual spectacles of intraparty tension. House Republicans were asked to decide whether their third-ranking leader, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, should be driven from her position because she voted last month to impeach former President Trump.

House Republicans were also asked to defend the newly-elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and her incendiary online remarks and embrace of baseless conspiracy theories. Should she be allowed on the Budget and Education and Labor committees after questioning the authenticity of student massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary and Parkland? What to do with an outspoken freshman whose penchant for conspiracy theories had been denounced as “looney lies” by no less a partisan than Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell?

House Republicans To Keep Rep. Liz Cheney In Leadership Position
House Removes Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene From Her Committee Assignments

In the end, the vote on Cheney was taken by secret ballot, allowing members to express their feelings with less fear of reprisal. She won the backing of more than two-thirds of her colleagues. Greene lost her committee seats based on the en bloc vote of the Democratic majority, but she was supported by all but 11 of her Republican colleagues.

Greene had sought to make amends with a concession or two. For example, she allowed that the attacks of Sept. 11 had “happened.” In the past she has said there was no evidence of an airplane striking the Pentagon that day, when 184 people in the building and on the plane lost their lives.

The Role of Violent Rhetoric

Much of the critique of Greene’s social media record has focused on her penchant for violent rhetoric directed at Democrats in Congress — including her approval of a Facebook comment saying a quicker way to remove Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would be a “bullet to the head.”

In his closing speech on the House floor the night of the vote, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) stood beside a poster-sized enlargement of a Facebook post from Greene, then a candidate for Congress. It showed her wielding a military-style automatic weapon and sunglasses, facing off against unflattering depictions of three Democratic members of the House: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, three members of the “Squad” known for their outspoken opposition to Trump.

Hoyer walked the graphic around to the Republican side of the floor, holding it up and asking members how they would feel about a colleague threatening them in such a manner.

Life on the Hill

Meanwhile, an ominous iron fence crowned with concertina wire girds the Capitol grounds and adjacent acreage of the National Mall. It is called a security fence, but it communicates the opposite.

We are far from secure if we need this. And yet, in the wake of January 6, we as a nation have had to admit we do need this.

And no one is prepared to say for how long.

This week, we watched Congress at work inside this military-style perimeter, guarded by National Guard troops who have not left since Inauguration Day. We got a sense of how January 6 still casts a shadow over the building and the institution, as it was either the subject or the subtext of every political conversation.

Acting Capitol Police Chief Promises 'Significant' Changes Following Deadly Riot
Lawmakers Honor Slain Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick In Rotunda

The pressing issues regarding Reps. Cheney and Greene within the ranks of the House GOP were symptomatic of the deeper question Americans have been asking in one form or another since January 6. What has happened to us?

The question suggests a suspicion that somehow some transformation has overtaken us, distorting our politics and our national consciousness.

But are we different from what we were before, or are we different from what we thought we were?

Has something changed, or has something about us been revealed?

The Presence of the Past

History is not a relic, sealed in a case to be regarded as irrelevant. History is a palpable, continuous reality, an appreciation of what it took for the present to come about. As William Faulkner famously said: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

So it was particularly poignant in recent days to hear Yale professor Joanne Freeman speak of her 2018 book The Field of Blood: Violence in Congress and the Road to Civil War at a late January session of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. She had been asked to put the events of January 6 in context.

“Was this unprecedented?” she asked rhetorically. “Aspects of it were.”

She then cited “the direct involvement of the president” and, of course, “the physical attack on the Capitol itself.”

Then she added: “But if you are talking about the mixture of violence and politics … if you are talking about people who feel they are entitled to power and are being denied it and choose violence as a way to demand it back … if you are talking about questions of race and dominance … all these things have deep roots in American history.”

Indeed they do. Freeman’s point was that the violence we witnessed last month was not without a predicate and not without a purpose. That predicate may seem distant to most people today as it reaches back to the Civil War and further yet to the slavery era that began in some of the original 17th century American colonies.

Not Random Acts

Freeman argues that the purpose of violence inside the Capitol during the mid-19th century — and the purpose of violence on January 6 — was to defend power arrangements perceived to be threatened by social, legal and political change.

In antebellum America, slavery was defended in every manner possible, Freeman notes, including the use and the threat of violence. Her book documents more than 70 incidents of violence that took place in and around the Capitol building in the three decades prior to the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln.

The most famous is the caning of Senator Charles Sumner by Rep. Preston Brooks of South Carolina, who beat the abolitionist from Massachusetts senseless on the Senate floor in 1856.

But members often engaged in less notable confrontations that on occasion resulted in blows, challenges and threats of further retribution. Freeman documents dozens of cases of “people pulling guns and knives on each other, people punching each other, mass brawls, all kinds of real physical violence — in addition to lots and lots of threats.”

Freeman also concludes that this atmosphere of combativeness was decidedly one-sided, a tactic pursued by those who perceived their own positions in jeopardy as the nation lurched toward a reckoning over slavery.

“Most of that violence,” Feeeman said, “was inflicted by Southern slave-holding congressmen who pretty much used threats and physical violence to intimidate Northerners — and anyone else who was going to try and attack their slave regime — into silence or submission.”

And was this merely an expression of the rough-hewn, frontier-flavored behavior of Americans in the years before the Civil War? No, Freeman argues, it was an instrument for the defense of privilege and political power.

“So we have to think about that very fact — that what we are seeing is people truly feeling entitled to power being willing to take whatever it takes to keep it.”

As we have recently seen, that willingness survives and thrives in some quarters today — surely an example of past that is not even past.

The post More Than A Month Later, It’s Still January 6 on Capitol Hill : NPR first appeared on Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠ – michaelnovakhov-sharednewslinks.com.

NPR News: 02-07-2021 6AM ETDownload audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/edge1.pod.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2021/02/07/newscast060740.mp3?awCollectionId=500005&awEpisodeId=965021848&orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=965021848&t=podcast&e=965021848&size=4500000&ft=pod&f=500005

3672434 NPR News Now

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NPR News: 02-07-2021 7AM ET

This photo was taken moments before U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt began his historic "Fireside Chat" to the American people on March 12, 1933. President Biden is reviving the practice, used by many modern presidents but ditched by Trump, of directly addressing the public through a weekly address.

Biden’s first address was a conversation with a woman who lost her job during the pandemic. The White House says Biden will use a “variety of forms” in his take on the weekly radio address.

(Image credit: AP)

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NPR News: 02-06-2021 9PM ET

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Video News Review – 5:02 PM 2/6/2021

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Video News Review – 5:02 PM 2/6/2021

The Biden administration is ramping up efforts to distribute and administer coronavirus vaccinations. Meanwhile, the FDA considers whether to give Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine emergency use approval. Jodie Guest, a professor and Emory University’s Department of Epidemiology vice chair, speaks to CBSN’s Lana Zak about how it could be a game-changer in the fight against COVID-19.

CBSN is CBS News’ 24/7 digital streaming news service featuring live, anchored coverage available for free across all platforms. Launched in November 2014, the service is a premier destination for breaking news and original storytelling from the deep bench of CBS News correspondents and reporters. CBSN features the top stories of the day as well as deep dives into key issues facing the nation and the world. CBSN has also expanded to launch local news streaming services in major markets across the country. CBSN is currently available on CBSNews.com and the CBS News app across more than 20 platforms, as well as the CBS All Access subscription service.

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The NYPD Harbor Unit pulled a man from the East River near Pike Street on Thursday afternoon.


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COVID-19 Deaths Are Finally on the Decline

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Editor’s Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.

The good news in COVID-19 data continued this week, as new cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all dropped. For the seven-day period running January 28 to February 3, weekly new cases were down more than 16 percent over the previous week, and dropped below 1 million for the first time since the week of November 5. This is still an astonishing number of new cases a week, but far better than the nearly 1.8 million cases reported the week of January 14. Tests also declined nationally, but by less than 3 percent, nowhere near enough to explain the steep drop in cases.

Hospitalizations have fallen rapidly for the past two weeks, but we have a long way to go: The United States now has about 91,000 people hospitalized with the coronavirus as of yesterday, down about 40,000 from the country’s peak in early January, but still three times as many as before the fall/winter case surge.

4 bar charts showing weekly COVID-19 data over time for the US. Tests, cases, average hospitalizations, and deaths all fell this week, with cases falling over 16% from a week prior.

January was the pandemic’s deadliest month so far, but reported COVID-19 deaths declined this week—the first weekly drop since mid-October that is not correlated with a holiday reporting period. Despite the decline, deaths remained arrestingly high: 21,288 were reported in the past seven days. The seven-day average for reported deaths is about 3,000 deaths a day.

Recommended Reading

The good news we’re seeing at the national level continues to reflect the reality of most U.S. states as well. Ten states saw drops of more than 25 percent in new cases in the past week, based on the seven-day averages for January 27 and February 3. In another 32 states, new cases declined by at least 10 percent, and only a single state—Texas—posted a double-digit increase in the same period.  

Block map of US states showing the change in 7-day average COVID-19 cases over the last week. Many states saw cases decline over 25% week over week, while only Texas saw a rise of over 10%.

These case declines are very welcome, but are taking place against a backdrop of very high viral transmission. Despite the past three weeks of precipitous drops, U.S. cases are still about three times higher than the previous lows following the summer’s Sun Belt surge—and even during those lows, the United States was still reporting an average of more than 30,000 cases a day.

 Bubble chart showing weekly COVID-19 cases per million people for each US sub-region. Cases across the sub-regions grew alarmingly in December and January but are beginning to subside from those high levels in early February.

Improvements continue in COVID-19 hospitalizations as well. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen hospitalization declines ranging from 33 to 44 percent in the Midwest, the West, and one part of the South—the East South Central subregional division, which includes Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The populous nine-state South Atlantic division has posted both the highest peak—in absolute numbers, not adjusted for population—and the smallest decline, at 14 percent.

Line charts showing the change in currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in each US sub-region since January 1. All sub-regions have seen hospitalizations decline by at least 14%.

Death reporting is extremely sensitive to holiday reporting delays—we saw substantial drops and recoveries in the seven-day average after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Now, however, reported deaths appear to have entered a genuine decline, reflecting the drop in cases and hospitalizations.

Bar chart of daily deaths from COVID-19 in the US with a 7-day average line. Deaths have begun to drift downward after hitting their all-time 7-day average peak in early January.

Cases and deaths in American nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities appeared to spike in our most recent week of data for these facilities, which runs January 22 through January 28—about a week behind our main data set. This rise is an artifact of a reporting anomaly, however, due to Missouri’s release of cumulative long-term-care data, for which the state provided no historical time series. If we omit all 10,343 of Missouri’s cumulative cases and 1,087 cumulative deaths from last week’s data, we can see that the number of new cases and deaths associated with LTC outbreaks actually decreased slightly over the previous week.

3 bar weekly bar charts showing US COVID-19 metrics in long-term-care facilities, May 28 through Jan 28. New cases have declined in these facilities  for 3 straight weeks and are now below 10,000 weekly.

The race and ethnicity data we collect from states also show improving trends set against ongoing inequities. As we found in a recent analysis, in most states, the racial and ethnic groups at higher risk of contracting or dying of COVID-19 have not changed, although the relative risk is lower than it was earlier in the pandemic. New cases per capita are declining across most communities we’re able to track, but disparities in the groups mostly likely to test positive—which in most U.S. states are Black, Latino, and Indigenous people—have not gone away. We have yet to see comprehensive action directed at addressing disparities in risk or outcomes in the United States. Available vaccine data are still missing important demographic information, but the data we do have show substantial inequities in the rollout so far.

California’s massive winter outbreak continues to ease. Cases and hospitalizations are dropping fast, and the seven-day average for reported deaths has begun to drop as well. Tests, too, are down considerably in California: On the seven-day average, about 100,000 fewer tests are being done each day in California now than were being performed a few weeks ago. In Sacramento County, testing sites are using only a third of their total capacity. The statewide decline is likely in part a result of reduced demand following a drop in infections, but a sharp drop in testing is not what we’d like to see in a state where hospitalizations are still very high and multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 are confirmed to be circulating. Statewide, genomic sequencing has discovered 133 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the U.K., with a larger concentration in Southern California, and more than 1,000 cases of B.1.429 and B.1.427—the variants first identified on the West Coast. In the Bay Area, a new variant originating from Brazil has been identified.

January was the deadliest month of the pandemic for California, with 14,940 deaths, bringing the state’s cumulative death count to  41,000. One in every 1,000 Californians has died from the virus. Most of these deaths occurred in Los Angeles County, which has reported more than 17,000 total deaths and an average of about 6,200 new cases a day over the past week. At the same time, L.A. County deaths among Latino people are occurring at three times the rate of white people, and Latino deaths due to COVID-19 are up 1,000 percent in the county since November. The country’s first two federally administered COVID-19 mass-vaccination sites will open soon in California—one at the Oakland Coliseum and the other at California State University at Los Angeles. Both locations were chosen for their proximity to the communities most harmed by the pandemic, according to Jeffrey Zients, the coordinator of the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response. California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week that the state’s vaccine allocation will soon prioritize residents 65 and older—rather than essential workers or younger people with underlying medical conditions, leading disability advocates to argue that health officials are neglecting vulnerable populations in a quest for greater efficiency.

4 bar charts showing daily COVID-19 metrics in California with 7-day average lines. Tests, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are all declining, thought cases much more quickly than the other metrics.

Arizona still has the highest per-capita COVID-19 hospitalizations in the country, despite several weeks of hospitalization declines—a testament to how high the state’s numbers really were at the peak of its current outbreak. More than half of all ICU beds (53 percent) and 40 percent of inpatient beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients as of February 2. The state’s official positivity rate continues to decline; last week’s 16 percent was the lowest since Thanksgiving, and the partial data for this week are at 14 percent.

Arizona communities with high Latino and Indigenous populations are disproportionately affected, according to an in-depth report by The Guardian. Yuma County, which is home to many immigrants who live in communal housing, leads the state in cases per capita. In Coconino County, residents of the Navajo Nation make up only 26 percent of the county’s population, but have accounted for 77 percent of the county’s deaths. More than two-thirds of those who have died of COVID-19 on the Navajo Nation have been tribal members over the age of 60. The CDC ranks Arizona in the bottom 20 percent for vaccine doses administered per capita. The state’s restaurants, bars, and gyms remain open, and many schools (including state universities) are holding in-person classes.

4 bar charts showing daily COVID-19 metrics in Arizona with 7-day average lines. Cases and Hospitalizations have seen significant declines over the past week while deaths remain stubbornly high.

In Texas, hospitalizations are declining, reflecting improvements in some regionalized outbreaks, but they remain very high. Texas is the second-most-populous state in the country and is now fourth in the U.S. for COVID-19 hospitalizations per capita. This translates to a lot of people in the hospital with the virus: about 11,000 today, compared with California’s 14,500. New-case reporting remains erratic in Texas, and appears to be very closely tied to fluctuations in testing, which suggests that the state is still not doing enough tests to keep pace with the virus.

Laredo, a border city in South Texas, has been one of the hardest-hit hot spots nationwide for weeks and continues to suffer under the increased demand on its only two hospitals. The Texas Tribune reports that the state’s vaccine distribution is partially based on the number of health-care workers in each region, resulting in decreased allocation to Laredo’s 260,000 residents, more than 95 percent of whom are Hispanic, with nearly one-third living below the poverty line.

Some residents and workers in Texas long-term-care facilities have yet to get their first doses of vaccines, and only 2 million of the 8 million eligible Texas residents have received vaccines so far. In the state’s prison system—where two in every 1,000 Texas inmates have already died of the virus—5,500 vaccine doses have been administered to health-care workers and correctional staff, but the state has yet to administer a single dose to eligible inmates. According to The Texas Tribune, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has “repeatedly refused to provide information on when or how its older or medically vulnerable incarcerated population will be vaccinated.”

4 bar charts showing daily COVID-19 tests, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Texas with 7-day average lines. Cases have yet to see a major decline, though hospitalizations have turned in the right direction in recent weeks.

Alabama’s hospitalizations per capita are in the top 10 for the U.S., but the state is reporting by far the highest number of COVID-19 deaths per capita in the country. Alabama’s reporting has never been smooth, and it’s likely that backlogs play a role in the state’s soaring death numbers, but we will continue to watch the state closely. As of February 2, approximately 1 percent of the state had received a full series of vaccinations, although the numbers reported by the state do not perfectly align with the numbers reported by the CDC. On February 8, Alabama will open vaccine distribution for more than 1 million people—those 65 and older and frontline workers—despite the fact that demand already outpaces supply.

4 bar charts showing daily COVID-19 tests, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Alabama with 7-day average lines. Deaths remain quite high though all three other metrics have declined significantly.

Worryingly, New York—the country’s fourth-largest state by population—now has the second-highest per-capita hospitalizations for COVID-19, which means we’ll continue to keep a close eye on the Empire State.

After compiling and analyzing state and territorial COVID-19 data for almost a year, we are now in the final phase of our work and will shut down data collection on March 7. Until then, we will continue to publish daily updates to our data and share our weekly analyses. Once data compilation has ended, our researchers will spend two more months documenting and analyzing state and federal data before the project winds down in May. You can learn more about our plans—and our reasons for ending our work—in our announcement post from earlier this week.

The COVID Tracking Project

is a volunteer organization launched from

The Atlantic

and dedicated to collecting and publishing the data required to understand the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States.



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6:22 AM 2/6/2021 – Biden says “no need” for Trump to receive intel briefings

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5:04 AM 2/6/2021 – The mysterious puzzle of the Covid-19 falling rates: too fast, too soon – Michael Novakhov

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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region¿s peak in late November, pictured

The mysterious puzzle of the Covid-19 falling rates of the new cases: too fast, too soon; these are the mirror images of the patterns of the Covid-19 emergence in the early 2020, which also looked “too fast, too soon”.

Is this a “natural phenomenon”?

It looks like there are a lot of “man made” factors here. The so called “INFODEMIC”, the Informational aspects of the Covid-19 Pandemic appear to be quite significant in attempts at understanding of these phenomena. 

Michael Novakhov | 5:04 AM 2/6/2021

“Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop across the United States …

It’s too soon for vaccines to be a significant driver of the downturn; just 8.7 percent of the US population has had one or more shots, according to Bloomberg data, and the US is nowhere near herd immunity yet.

And while CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky called this week’s encouraging downward trend in cases ‘consistent,’ Dr Shaffner echoed her warnings that the trend could be reversed by the arrival of variants and potential super-spreader events, like Super Bowl Sunday.

Already, there are at least 645 cases of the UK’s ‘super-covid’ variant in 33 states, at least five cases of the South African variant and two of the Brazilian variants in the US, in addition to several homegrown variants.”



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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region¿s peak in late November, pictured

COVID cases in the Midwest drop to a QUARTER of the seven-day average at its peak

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop across the United States with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections.

In the Midwest, the seven-day average for new daily cases per capita has now dropped to a quarter of what it was during the region’s peak in late November.

It now stands at 231 news cases a day per million people; compared to 328 in the West, 394 in the Northeast, and 490 in the South.

Nationwide, there were 131,146 new cases reported on Friday and 86,373 Americans were hospitalized with the virus.

This was the second day in a row that the number hospitalized remained below 90,000, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. This was the first time it had dropped below this threshold since late November.

According to the Tracking Project, there were 3,543 new fatalities from coronavirus in the U.S. reported on Friday. 

It came after America recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic yet on Thursday, with a staggering 5,077 fatalities in 24 hours, that is believed to have been a result of a surge of infections after the holiday period. 

The national death toll now stands at 459,360 and more than 26.8million have been infected with the virus. 

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region¿s peak in late November, pictured

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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region’s peak in late November, pictured

As new case numbers fall in all parts of the country, so do hospitalizations with only two states ¿ New York and Arizona - reporting more than 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per million residents, as pictured above

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As new case numbers fall in all parts of the country, so do hospitalizations with only two states – New York and Arizona – reporting more than 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per million residents, as pictured above


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COVID cases in the Midwest drop to a QUARTER of the seven-day average at its peak

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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop across the United States with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections.

In the Midwest, the seven-day average for new daily cases per capita has now dropped to a quarter of what it was during the region’s peak in late November.

It now stands at 231 news cases a day per million people; compared to 328 in the West, 394 in the Northeast, and 490 in the South.

Nationwide, there were 131,146 new cases reported on Friday and 86,373 Americans were hospitalized with the virus.

This was the second day in a row that the number hospitalized remained below 90,000, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. This was the first time it had dropped below this threshold since late November.

According to the Tracking Project, there were 3,543 new fatalities from coronavirus in the U.S. reported on Friday. 

It came after America recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic yet on Thursday, with a staggering 5,077 fatalities in 24 hours, that is believed to have been a result of a surge of infections after the holiday period. 

The national death toll now stands at 459,360 and more than 26.8million have been infected with the virus. 

Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region¿s peak in late November, pictured

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Cases of COVID-19 are continuing to drop with all four regions reporting a decline in new daily infections. The seven-day average for new daily cases per capita in Midwest dropped to a quarter of the region’s peak in late November, pictured

As new case numbers fall in all parts of the country, so do hospitalizations with only two states ¿ New York and Arizona - reporting more than 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per million residents, as pictured above

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As new case numbers fall in all parts of the country, so do hospitalizations with only two states – New York and Arizona – reporting more than 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per million residents, as pictured above

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As new case numbers fall in all parts of the country, so do hospitalizations with only two states – New York and Arizona – reporting more than 400 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per million residents.

In January, 19 states exceeded that level.

The national seven-day average for hospitalization has now fallen to 92,210 and to 125,431 for new cases.

It marks around a 50 percent drop in the average cases since the national peak on January 12.

The plummet in cases is even being felt in California, The state´s worst coronavirus surge continues to abate as new virus cases fall sharply.

The daily average now is about 14,500 cases, down almost 50 percent from two weeks ago.

The California Department of Public Health rescinded its hospital surge order, which had required hospitals to delay some elective surgeries and to accept patients from other counties whose intensive care unit capacity had dropped below 15 percent.

Deaths also are starting to fall but remain exceptionally high.

Another 558 were announced Friday and in the last week almost 3,500 have died.

However, despite the continued high deaths, the Supreme Court on Friday told California that it can’t enforce a ban on indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The high court issued orders late Friday in two cases where churches had sued over coronavirus-related restrictions in the state.

The high court said that for now, California can’t ban indoor worship in areas where virus cases are surging, but it can cap indoor services at 25 percent of a building’s capacity.

The justices also declined to stop the state from barring singing and chanting at services.

The court’s three liberal justices dissented.

Nationwide, there were 131,146 new cases reported on Friday and 86,373 Americans were hospitalized with the virus

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Nationwide, there were 131,146 new cases reported on Friday and 86,373 Americans were hospitalized with the virus

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The court’s action follows a decision in a case from New York late last year in which the justices split 5-4 in barring the state from enforcing certain limits on attendance at churches and synagogues.

Shortly after, the justices told a federal court to reexamine a similar lawsuit over California’s restrictions in light of the ruling.

America recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic yet on Thursday, with a staggering 5,077 fatalities in 24 hours, dwarfing the previous record of 4,466 deaths on January 12 by 611.

It comes despite encouraging and sustained declines in daily coronavirus infections as the trend in fatalities consistently lags weeks behind trends in cases and hospitalizations, which have been falling for the past three weeks.

Hospitalizations fall after cases, and deaths are expected to follow hospitalizations, despite yesterday’s record-high fatalities.

CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky said earlier in the week that ‘the pace of deaths appears to be slowing.’

On Friday she said: ‘Early data suggest now we’re starting to see this, with the 7-day average of deaths declining 6.7 percent to slightly more than 3,00 deaths a day from Jan 28 to Feb 3.’

Meanwhile, experts are encouraged, but perplexed by the decline in infections. Vanderbilt University infectious diseases professor Dr William Shaffner told DailyMail.com he is ‘bumfuzzled’ by what’s driving the trend.

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It’s too soon for vaccines to be a significant driver of the downturn; just 8.7 percent of the US population has had one or more shots, according to Bloomberg data, and the US is nowhere near herd immunity yet.

And while CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky called this week’s encouraging downward trend in cases ‘consistent,’ Dr Shaffner echoed her warnings that the trend could be reversed by the arrival of variants and potential super-spreader events, like Super Bowl Sunday.

Already, there are at least 645 cases of the UK’s ‘super-covid’ variant in 33 states, at least five cases of the South African variant and two of the Brazilian variants in the US, in addition to several homegrown variants.

Holidays led to the last surge of infections that followed the triple-threat of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

With the lags between infections, hospitalizations and deaths, yesterday’s record fatalities likely still reflect patients infected in that period.

‘Just as we are smiling,’ about the downturn in cases ‘there are a couple of three countervailing factors,’ Dr Shaffner told DailyMail.com. 

‘The arrival of variants could create more cases, more illnesses and hospitalizations down the road.

‘The second factor is Super Bowl Sunday. We expect anticipate many families’ parties where people gather together for prolonged periods, cheering lustily or groaning mightily, depending on which team is doing what, and those are ideal circumstances for spreading [the virus].

‘Super Bowl Sunday may become a super-spreader event all over the country.’

Patients are vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Sharp Vaccination Center in La Mesa, California, on Friday

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Patients are vaccinated against COVID-19 at the Sharp Vaccination Center in La Mesa, California, on Friday

Residents wait in line to receive COVID-19 leftover doses of the Moderna vaccine  in Los Angeles on Thursday

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Residents wait in line to receive COVID-19 leftover doses of the Moderna vaccine  in Los Angeles on Thursday

The last massive surge of infections in January may mean slightly fewer people are vulnerable now because they were previously infected, the US is long way off from herd immunity.

Scientists estimate that as many as 100 million Americans, or about a third of the population, have had COVID-19. 

At least 70 percent of the population needs to have protection from prior infection or vaccines to reach herd immunity.

New calculations predict that the coronavirus pandemic will drag on for another seven years at the current rate of vaccinations worldwide.

It will take that long to reach Dr Anthony Fauci’s estimate for the herd immunity threshold of 75 percent of people inoculated globally, according to Bloomberg’s vaccination calculator.

More than 4.5 million vaccines are being administered a day, for a total of 119.8 million shots given worldwide.

The US has vaccinated 8.7 percent of its population thus far, at a rate of 1.3 million shot given a day. After a slow start, the rollout is picking up steam and saw a record 1.7 million people vaccinated Thursday.

Despite ranking sixth in the world for the pace of its vaccinations, the US is predicted to reach herd immunity just in time for New Year’s 2022.   

But all of this depends on whether the vaccines are effective against variants like those that emerged in South Africa and Brazil, which appear to dull the potency of shots. 


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11:54 AM 2/4/2021 – Podcasts Review

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11:54 AM 2/4/2021 – Podcasts Review
By Michael Novakhov (Mike Nova) February 04, 2021
https://thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2021/02/1154-am-242021-podcasts-review.html

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NPR News: 02-05-2021 3PM ET

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NPR News: 02-05-2021 3PM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/edge1.pod.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2021/02/05/newscast150733.mp3?awCollectionId=500005&awEpisodeId=964553888&orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=964553888&t=podcast&e=964553888&size=4500000&ft=pod&f=500005


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The News And Times: Chet Baker in Tokyo (1996) (Full Album)

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The News And Times

The post The News And Times: Chet Baker in Tokyo (1996) (Full Album) first appeared on News Channels.


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