“Severe coronavirus infections continue to mount” – Axios / Data: The COVID Tracking Project, Harvard Global Health Institute; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Stock futures were largely unrattled Thursday after protestors breached the U.S. Capitol when demonstrations against unproven claims of a fraudulent election turned violent. Nonetheless, Congress finalized its certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s win on Thursday morning as President Donald Trump acknowledged his defeat for the first time, saying in a statement that he “totally disagrees” with the outcome of the election but will comply with an orderly transition of power on Jan. 20. Trump’s statement was posted to his social media director’s Twitter account after Facebook and Twitter temporarily locked Trump’s accounts, citing incitement to violence and the undermining of the electoral process. Numerous Republicans severed ties with Trump and condemned his actions on Wednesday, with some calling for his impeachment. 

One woman died and 52 people were arrested in the melee, drawing criticism from Black Lives Matter activists who compare that number to the 300 arrests made following protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd. Many lawmakers have vowed to investigate law enforcement’s response on Wednesday, questioning whether a lack of preparedness allowed the mob to occupy the building.  

Senate runoff elections in Georgia yielded wins to both Democratic candidates, sealing control for Democrats in the chamber and boosting prospects for Biden’s legislative agenda, which includes additional stimulus. New jobless claims in the last week remained elevated at 787,000, underscoring Americans’ need for the extension of added benefits.

A very low number of Americans are experiencing allergic reactions to the coronavirus vaccines, according to the first data on the rollout released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just 29 people have experienced an allergic reaction out of 5 million inoculated so far, proving that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks of COVID-19, health officials said. 

More than 2 million displaced people in Ethiopia face the risks of contracting COVID-19 while fleeing violence in the Tigray region. Conflicts began in November between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, complicating efforts to contain the virus. Meanwhile, Japan has declared a state of emergency amid daily record cases, imposing restrictions that are less stringent than other Western countries. Many Europeans are expressing frustration at the slow rollout of vaccinations across the continent following successive rounds of restrictions. In France, just 5,000 doses have been administered out of its 65 million population.

The pandemic has exposed many more people to sign language, thanks to frequent coronavirus-related press conferences. One interpreter from Ohio made national news after she signed for the state’s governor, garnering a Facebook fan page even her own bobblehead doll. Those in the deaf community say the focus on interpreters could help the public better understand their needs and communicate more easily.

NAVIGATING THE PANDEMIC

Scientists monitor a coronavirus mutation that could affect vaccine strength – STAT – 1/7/2021
As scientists try to track the spread of a new, more infectious coronavirus variant around the world — finding more cases in the United States and elsewhere this week — they are also keeping an eye on a different mutation with potentially greater implications for how well Covid-19 vaccines work.

Trying not to waste a single drop of coronavirus vaccine – Washington Post – 1/7/2021
At medical centers, where front-line health-care providers have been vaccinated since nurse Sandra Lindsay received the first shot Dec. 14, it’s difficult to avoid having a few extra doses at the end of each day. Caregivers occasionally miss appointments, or a few doses are left over from vials of five and 10, officials said.

Covid has brought schoolchildren terrible stress – but they’ve also seen society at its best – The Guardian – 1/7/2021
In addition, “their normal process and rituals have been disrupted – rituals like exams, results, celebrations – which often have positive outcomes on development”. The interruption to these normal experiences and processes can affect them like loss and bereavement. Yet Charura has also noticed that children are showing “resilience”. “There’s a development of their awareness which is quite stark,” he says.

The Best Evidence for How to Overcome COVID Vaccine Fears – Scientific American – 1/7/2021
In the KFF poll, 42 percent of Republicans said they definitely or probably would not. The same was true for 35 percent of Black adults, who, as a group, have borne a disproportionate share of sickness and death from COVID-19. Also deeply hesitant were 35 percent of rural residents, 36 percent of adults ages 30 to 49, and—especially worrisome given their public-facing roles—33 percent of essential workers and 29 percent of those who work in a health care delivery setting.

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 misinformation is the best 2021 New Year’s resolution – The Conversation – 1/6/2021
To ensure we are not inadvertently sharing misinformation, we must first understand what drives us to share misinformation, so that we can identify our own triggers and resist them. None of us share information we think is false: we share information that seems true to us, and unwittingly spread misinformation in the process.

WHAT INFLUENCERS ARE SAYING

Dr. Syra Madad @syramadad 7 Jan “The US suffered another grim day on Wednesday amid the chaos at the Capitol, with the country’s daily coronavirus death toll the highest recorded in any country over the course of the pandemic.” @helenrsullivan

The New York Times @nytimes 7 Jan While Americans watched as pro-Trump extremists stormed the Capitol on Wednesday, the coronavirus continued to sweep across the country. Officials reported at least 3,963 new Covid-19 deaths, a new single-day record

KTVU @KTVU 6 Jan California Gov. Gavin Newsom cancelled a Wednesday news conference on the coronavirus out of “an abundance of caution” after pro-Trump protesters gathered outside the state Capitol.​

Farrah Tomazin @FarrahTomazin 6 Jan An excellent report of history in the making. So much hate. So much chaos. So much potential coronavirus…  #Trump #WashingtonDC #Capitol

Rayan Lawrence @RayanLawrence 7 Jan So their was a rush for #congress to get back to finish the votes and rightfully so…… but did anyone sanitize the #capitol after the #riot ??!!!  #coronavirus is still here!!!!!!

CONTENT FACTS

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