In Crisis News

Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Joe Biden to be sworn in as president today amid unprecedented Inauguration Day security
Former senator and vice president Joe Biden will be sworn in today at noon ET as the nation’s 46th president, after which Kamala Harris will take the vice presidential oath of office.  The ceremony takes place amid unprecedented Inauguration Day security in the nation’s capital, in the wake of the January 6 violent insurrection at the Capitol building by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, which resulted in five deaths.  As of Tuesday night, there were more than 25,000 National Guardsmen on the ground in Washington, D.C., in what the Guard has dubbed Operation Capital Response.  Each guardsman has been vetted by the FBI as they search for any potential insider threats, according to a defense official, with a reported dozen guardsmen already removed for varying reasons of concern.  Physical security measures against potential threats include closed roads, vehicle and security checkpoints, concrete barricades, and a Capitol building surrounded by seven-foot fences topped with razor wire.

President-elect Biden began Inauguration Day by attending a church service accompanied by invited congressional leaders including outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, and incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.  Following his swearing in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, President Biden’s reported first order of official policy business will take place at approximately 5:45, when he will sign executive orders and other presidential actions in the Oval Office, many of which are said to immediately rescind many of Trump’s policy decisions.  Biden will also swear in his initial appointees in a virtual ceremony.  Just over an hour before that, Vice President Harris will swear in Senator-elect Reverend Raphael Warnock and Senator-elect Jon Ossoff, both of Georgia, as well as Senator-elect Alex Padilla of California, who was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to serve the remainder of Harris’ term.  Immediately afterward, lawmakers will conduct the parliamentary business that will end with control of the Senate transferring from Republicans to Democrats.  At 7:00, Biden press secretary Jen Psaki will hold the new administration’s first official press briefing.

Check ABCNews.com for minute-by-minute Inauguration Day coverage.

President Trump delivers farewell remarks and departs for Florida
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump departed the White House for a final time Wednesday morning at 8:12 a.m. ET and traveled to Joint Base Andrews via the Marine One presidential helicopter, to address a modest crowd of waiting supporters.  Trump touted what he said were his accomplishments while in office – many statements of which were immediately called into question by fact-checking observers -- declaring, “We left it all on the field,” and “You can’t work harder” than he and his administration did.  Trump also said, “I wish the new administration great luck and great success.”  After concluding his remarks, Trump, his wife and family boarded Air Force One, which departed for his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach at 9:00 a.m.  Notably absent from attending Trump’s final remarks was Vice President Mike Pence.  While Trump announced several days ago that he did not plan to attend the Biden/Harris inauguration, Pence at last word was scheduled to attend.  Trump becomes only the fourth president in U.S. history not to attend their successor’s inauguration and the first to do so in 152 years: John Adams, John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson – who, like Trump, was impeached -- preceded Trump in the decision.  ABC News has confirmed the Trump left his successor a note in the Oval Office, per longstanding tradition.

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: 96,275,383
Global deaths: 2,059,921.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 401,777.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 53,172,886

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 24,254,737 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 401,777.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 41,368.
U.S. total people tested: 282,867,081

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,055,568 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 3,022,609 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,157,912 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

US COVID-19 hospitalizations decreasing; Biden/Harris honor pandemic victims
In some rare good news about the pandemic, the Covid Tracking Project reports that U.S. hospitalizations for COVID-19 decreased on 13 days in January, and increased on only six days.  The seven-day average for daily hospitalizations currently stands at 126,395.  Further, the latest internal Department of Health and Human Services numbers, obtained by ABC News, show new cases of COVID-19 are decreasing in week-to-week comparisons and new deaths are leveling off.  The encouraging news is tempered by the fact that the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon exceeded 400,000 deaths from COVID-19, with 401,777 reported by Wednesday morning, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.  Also Tuesday, Operation Warp Speed reported nearly 36 million doses of vaccine have been “distributed” in the U.S., including 5.5 million doses Tuesday, although it’s unclear whether “distributed” means designated for shipment or actually shipped and delivered.

Tuesday night, just hours before they were scheduled to be sworn into office, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris honored the more than 400,000 Americans who have died as a result of the pandemic with a tribute in front of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.  Biden thanked the country's nurses and also echoed the call for unity, declaring, “To heal we must remember, and it’s hard sometimes to remember, but that’s how we heal.”  The ceremony was the first of its kind from Washington, D.C. lawmakers in recognition of pandemic victims.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


New 'This Is Us' episodes delayed for two weeks due to COVID-19

NBC(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been a rough fifth season for NBC's This Is Us, which has been forced back into hiatus due to "COVID-related production delays."

The family drama, which was forced to scrap Tuesday night's episode, won't return until February 2, according the NBC website.

"No new episode of #ThisIsUs tonight - Covid-related production delays in LA have forced us to delay a few weeks," series creator Dan Fogelman also tweeted on Tuesday.

"But the next few are big ones, and we are close, so we hope you'll hang in there with us. Sorry!" he continued.

Like most TV series, This Is Us saw its season five premiere delayed until October 27 due to the virus, and aired four episodes before going on a seven-week hiatus.  The show returned with new episodes on January 5 and January 12.

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Active duty US soldier arrested for plotting terroristic attack in NYC

iStock/BrianEKushner (NEW YORK) -- With the nation on high alert and acting on guidance from the FBI regarding planned attacks at all 50 U.S. capitals, a credible threat ended with the arrest of an American soldier who plotted an attack in New York City.

Identified as Private First Class Cole James Bridges, the active duty soldier was stationed in Fort Stewart and, as of Tuesday, is now in federal custody.

Bridges, who joined the Army in 2019, is accused and charged with attempting to aid and abet ISIS as well as carrying out an attack at a NYC landmark with the intent of murdering U.S. service members.

Bridges, who hails from Ohio, allegedly spoke to an undercover FBI agent about his plot to carry out an ISIS-inspired attack on the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

The soldier stands accused of providing tactical military advice to ISIS on how to ambush overseas American soldiers, say federal prosecutors.  New York feds added that Bridges "betrayed the oath he swore" by offering his expertise to the extremists.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, when reading the charges, "Our troops risk their lives for our country, but they should never face such peril at the hands of one of their own." 

The charges are giving military advice and guidance on how to kill fellow soldiers to enemies of the nation.  In addition, he is accused of disseminating advice on potential targets in NYC to ISIS, as well as handing over snippets of a U.S. Army training manual and offered advice on military combat tactics.

Bridges, while serving as a cavalry scout in the 3rd Infantry Division based in Fort Stewart, Georgia, he began consuming online propaganda that sympathized with jihadists and their ideology -- and soon echoing support of ISIS.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

US surpasses 400,000 COVID-19 deaths

ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The number of reported deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 has now exceeded 400,000.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University as of Tuesday afternoon put the reported number of fatalities from the virus at 400,022.  That number was 399,003 as of early Tuesday morning.

The U.S. currently has 24,163,707 reported COVID-19 cases.  That continues to be more than any other country and accounts for just over 25% of global infections.  The U.S. also leads the world in COVID-19 deaths, with 19.5% of total reported fatalities.

It was just over one month ago, on December 14, that the U.S. passed 300,000 deaths from COVID-19.  At that time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was forecasting up to 362,000 COVID-19 deaths by the week ending January 2, with 353,628 reported as of January 5, according to Johns Hopkins University.  The CDC is currently forecasting up to 440,000 to 477,000 COVID-19 deaths by the week ending February 6.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

President Trump’s last full day in office is today; more pardons expected
Today is President Trump's last full day in office ahead of Wednesday’s scheduled inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.  Trump was neither seen nor heard from Monday, although outgoing first lady Melania Trump tweeted a nearly seven-minute long farewell video Monday afternoon, looking back on her time in the White House and calling serving as first lady "the greatest honor of my life."  President Trump is expected Tuesday to issue another round of pardons, perhaps around 100.  Sources tell ABC News he is unlikely to issue pre-emptive pardons to his children and other close associates, despite weeks of internal battles among White House aides. The sources also said they don’t expect Trump to issue a pardon for himself, as has been speculated.

President Trump has already declared he will not attend Biden’s swearing in Wednesday, although Vice President Mike Pence has said he will.  Meanwhile, sources confirm to ABC that President-elect Biden has invited bipartisan congressional leadership to attend church with him Wednesday morning ahead of his inauguration.  Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has reportedly accepted the invitation, with incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer expected to attend as well.

Unprecedented security ahead of Inauguration Day
With fewer than 24 hours remaining before Inauguration Day, Washington, D.C. is seeing unprecedented security ahead of the event, measures that are being echoed in state capitals around the nation.  At last word, there are 21,500 National Guardsman in the nation’s capital from all 50 states and three territories, with an additional 3,500 expected to be in place by tomorrow in what the Guard has dubbed Operation Capital Response.  Each guardsman has been vetted by the FBI as they search for any potential insider threats, according to a defense official.  Physical security measures include closed roads, vehicle and security checkpoints, concrete barricades, and a Capitol building surrounded by seven-foot fences topped with razor wire.

In a statement Tuesday morning, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen declared, in part: “The Department of Justice is committed, together with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, to ensuring a safe and peaceful Inauguration -- one that reflects our Nation’s enduring highest values.  As I have repeatedly said over the last two weeks, the Justice Department will have no tolerance for anyone who attempts to mar the day with violence or other criminal conduct.  Anyone who does that will be caught, and they will be prosecuted.”

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: 95,653,304
Global deaths: 2,043,271.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 399,003.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 52,772,150

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 24,079,204 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 399,003.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 41,173.
U.S. total people tested: 281,142,160

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 3,019,758 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 2,992,238 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,138,190 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

US will top 400,000 COVID-19 deaths today; nation tops 24 million cases
The United States today will acknowledge yet another grim pandemic milestone when it surpasses 400,000 deaths from COVID-19.  Johns Hopkins University as of Tuesday morning reports 399,003 virus fatalities, with the Covid Tracking Project reporting a seven-day fatality average of 3,259 deaths per day.  California, which continues to report more COVID-19 cases than any other state, on Tuesday crossed the three million cases threshold, reporting 3,019,758 confirmed infections. 

Meanwhile, the worldwide vaccination effort continues, with some 40 million doses administered to date.  The U.S. leads the world in vaccinations, with 12 million doses, followed by 10 million in China and four million in the U.K.   Countries that have administered the most COVID-19 immunizations per capita are Israel, Bahrain and the UAE. 

A new ABC News/Washington Post poll finds that although nearly nine in ten Americans say the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t under control in the U.S., only 63% say they will definitely or probably get the vaccine. That’s lower than the 71% who, answering a similar question last May, said they would get vaccinated. Opinions about the pandemic are deeply partisan, with roughly 70% of Democrats and 55% of independents say the virus is not at all under control, versus just 28% of Republicans.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


FBI investigating woman who allegedly tried to sell Pelosi's stolen laptop to Russians

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The FBI is hunting for a woman who allegedly stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop or hard drive during the January 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol with the intent of selling the stolen property to Russia's intelligence service.

The woman is identified as Riley June Williams from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who was said to be on the run after the alleged sale fell through.  She has since been taken into custody according to the Justice Department.

The DOJ's website states that Williams was arrested Monday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  It is unknown if the device was on her. 

Williams was identified after a video depicting her presence at the U.S. Capitol was released by ITV, a British news network.  A former romantic partner of Williams positively identified her upon calling a tip line and claimed he saw a video of the woman "taking a laptop or hard drive from Pelosi's office."

It is believed that Williams either has the laptop or hard drive still in her possession or has destroyed it.  Authorities are working to verify.

Williams' whereabouts are currently unknown, according to the FBI complaint, which adds that her mother relayed to local police that she packed her bag and left -- stating she would be gone for a few weeks.  She did not state where she was heading.

"It appears that WILLIAMS has fled," according to the document, and "sometime after January 6, 2021, WILLIAMS changed her telephone number and deleted what I believe were her social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Telegram, and Parler."

Williams faces charges of entering restricted building and violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds when she is located.  Currently, she has not been charged with stealing Pelosi's device.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Survey says 60% consider themselves "total film buffs" thanks to pandemic binge-watching

iStock/Vladans(LOS ANGELES) -- Most people have been getting an eyeful of streaming content since the pandemic began, and a new survey shows one of the effects of it: six in 10 now they've become a "total film buff" because of their lockdown viewing.

The non-scientific survey of 2,000 Americans commissioned by the Popcorn Board reveals that 60% say they watched more movies in 2020 than they ever have before. Meanwhile, 63% said the pandemic finally allowed them to catch up on the classic movies they'd never had time to watch in the "before times".

What's more, three in 10 say they vow to break their personal best in 2021 by watching, on average, 196 films total.

Fifty-five percent of respondents say they'll be able to watch more awards season-nominated films than ever before this year.

In addition, the poll revealed more people than ever are having "virtual movie nights" by watching the same movie while video chatting with friends and family members. In fact, the average respondent plans to host eight such events this winter.

Apart from a solid Internet connection for the former, respondents said "must haves" for the "perfect movie night" include cozy blankets (46%) and chocolate (37%).  The winner of the award for most popular movie night "must," however, was popcorn, with 51% of respondents saying they need a bucket of the stuff to make their evening complete.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Liv Tyler describes her "terrifying" battle with COVID-19

RB/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Lord of the Rings actress Liv Tyler issued a harrowing warning over the weekend about COVID-19.

Tyler, 43, penned a lengthy Instagram message to announce she tested positive for the virus, calling it "a wild two weeks."

"I'm such a private and shy person and usually don’t share such things but this is a big one," the SAG Award-nominee explained while sharing a photo of her snuggled up with her two youngest children, Lula Rose, 4, and Sailor Gene, 5. 

"I tested positive for covid 19 on New Year’s Eve day," she continued. "I had made it all the way through 2020 keeping myself and my family safe. Doing everything i could to protect my wolf pack and follow the rules to protect others. Suddenly on The morn of the last day of 2020... boom it took me down."

"It comes on fast, like a locomotive," described Tyler, adding that she had "corona light," meaning she experienced minor symptoms that "floored me for 10 days in my bed."

Moreover, the actress warned of the potential "emotional and psychological" toll the virus takes, adding, "It F’s with your body and mind equally. Everyday different. Being isolated in a room alone for 10 days is trippy to say the least."

Tyler says she was quarantined during the siege of the U.S. Capitol, which she says made her feel like she was in the episode of The Twilight Zone.

"The first days of 2021 have been scary for everyone in the world," she added, noting her children made the first days of the year better by sliding "little messages and drawings under my door."

Tyler closed out her post by thanking "those who are working tirelessly to protect and care for others" and sending her 2.4 million followers "imaginary universal hugs."

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Steve Martin shares hilarious thoughts about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

ABC/Craig Sjodin(NEW YORK) -- Steve Martin says he has received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but admits he has mixed feelings about it.

Taking to social media over the weekend, the Cheaper by the Dozen star revealed that he received a shot in the arm and described what the process was like.

"Good news/Bad news," Martin opened up his Saturday announcement on Twitter, "Good news: I just got vaccinated! Bad news: I got it because I’m 75. Ha!"

Martin says, age aside, getting the vaccine appeared to be the least of his worries, adding, "The operation in NYC was smooth as silk" -- which he jokingly added he was aware of the cliché.

The Emmy and Academy Award-winning actor continued that the process was "hosted to perfection by the US Army and National Guard" and profusely thanked those who made it possible for him to get vaccinated.

"Thank you all, and thank you science," concluded Martin.

It was previously announced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that seven million New York residents are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

New York's COVID-19 vaccinations are by appointment only as supply is currently limited, says Cuomo.  Those interested in scheduling an appointment can do so on the state's "Am I Eligible" website. 

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Security increases prior to Wednesday inauguration events as Capitol attack investigation continues
In the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, police and National Guard troops are on patrol there, ready for possible demonstrations ahead of Wednesday's Inauguration.  Some 25,000 National Guard troops are in Washington, D.C., where a large security perimeter, or Green Zone, has been set up to protect the Capitol.  Already, some security checkpoint arrests have been made.  Additionally, at least ten states are so far known to have called up the National Guard to help protect statehouses. 

As the investigation into the Capitol attack continues, the FBI’s New York office issued a situational information report to law enforcement partners, saying that some insurrectionists who attacked the Capitol established communication mechanisms in advance with the apparent goal of enabling them to carry out the assault without detection.  Meanwhile, law enforcement nationwide continues to locate and arrest individuals who took part in the Capitol building breach.  Authorities are using social media images, video and other online posts from and about the attack to identify suspects, assisted by tips provided by other individuals.

Kamala Harris resigns her Senate seat
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris resigned her Senate seat Monday morning, ahead of her inauguration as vice president on Wednesday.  Harris announced her resignation in an essay published in the San Francisco Chronicle, titled “Serving as California’s senator has been an honor. But this is not a goodbye.”  Harris’ resignation clears the way for California Governor Gavin Newsom to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’ term, also making Padilla the first Latino senator from California, the population of which is roughly 40% Hispanic.  Harris is also expected to deliver her formal resignation today to Congress but won’t make a speech on the Senate floor, since the body isn’t in session and is not scheduled to return until Tuesday. 

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: 95,121,791
Global deaths: 2,032,516.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 397,600.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 52,417,501

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 23,937,846 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 397,600.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 40,435.
U.S. total people tested: 279,088,049

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 2,991,731 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 2,958,104 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,127,625 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Global COVID-19 deaths top two million; U.S. approaching 400,000 fatalities
The number of people who have died worldwide of COVID-19 is now more than two million.  Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows that as of Monday morning, a reported 2,032,516 people had died of the virus.  In the U.S., that number is now 397,600, with the Covid Tracking Project reporting a seven-day average of 3,307 fatalities.  At this rate, the U.S. will likely surpass 400,000 reported deaths from COVID-19 on Tuesday.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently forecasting a total of 440,000 to 477,000 reported COVID-19 deaths by the week ending February 6.

The U.S. continues to lead the globe in total COVID-19 infections and deaths, with 25.1% and 19.5%, respectively, of global totals.  California, which continues to report the most coronavirus cases than any other state -- 2,991,731 as of Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University -- is poised to surpass three million cases within two days, according to data from the California Department of Public Health.  The state currently accounts for 12.4% of the COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Majority of Americans disapprove of Trump issuing self-pardon

iStock/zimmytws (WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- President Donald Trump became the first president in American history to be impeached twice. 

The House voted on an Article of Impeachment for inciting an insurrection, declaring that President Trump had "demonstrated that he will remain a threat to national security, democracy and the Constitution if allowed to remain in office and has acted in a manner grossly incompatible with self-governance and the rule of law."

Shortly after the January 6 seige and talks of a second impeachemnt trial, speculation grew that President Trump would pardon himself from any federal crimes he may be accused of committing.  

A recently conducted ABC News/Washington Post poll found that majority of Americans disprove of a self-pardon, with nearly 70 percent of respondents saying they oppose the idea.

68 percent, in all, said they do not support a presidential self-pardon. In relation, 54 percent of Americans believe the president should be charged with a crime, saying he incited the riot.

The poll also found that 58 percent of respondents support Twitter's ban on President Trump, which had been the president's favorite social media platform.  

Twitter stated the reason for permanently suspending the president's account was because of his supporters violently rioting at the U.S. Capitol building, resulting in the death of five people.

 Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Survey says 77% of Americans started a new hobby during the pandemic

iStock/Rawpixel(NEW YORK) -- While 2020 was awful, Americans apparently tried something new to keep their minds off of things: according to a new survey, 79% of people who usually travel to beat the blues turned to a new hobby during the pandemic.

The non-scientific poll commissioned by Exodus Travels revealed that 82% made "a conscious effort in 2020 to do things that make them happy" in an effort to keep their spirits up. 

It apparently worked: 64% of those who said they have hobbies were about twice as likely to identify as "very happy" than those who twiddled their thumbs in lockdown. 

Of those who already had hobbies, 77% tried out new ones -- four of them, on average -- during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey also revealed that 78% of respondents say they're happiest when they're traveling. And until they can travel freely, 49% are reading about travel, watching travel shows (45%) and checking out hotels for a future trip (44%).

And while 70% said not being able to travel during the pandemic "took a toll on their happiness," 57% said they're feeling hopeful about being able to do so in 2021.

Most interesting is what these travelers were willing to give up if they could just take the perfect trip tomorrow: 34% said they'd give up Netflix -- and 18%, or almost a fifth of those 2,000 respondents said they'd give up sex for a perfect trip right now.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Global COVID-19 death toll now tops two million

MR.Cole/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- More than two million people have now died of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

As of Friday afternoon, the global death toll was 2,000,905, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. stood at 389,581 as of Friday afternoon, representing 19.4% of global fatalities, more than any other country.  At the current daily death rate of an average 3,299 people, according to the Covid Tracking Project, the U.S. death toll will likely reach 400,000 by Monday. 

The CDC’s latest forecast estimates between 440,000 to 477,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. by the week ending February 6.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Today’s In Crisis headlines

(NEW YORK) -- Here are today's In Crisis headlines:

Nine in 10 Americans oppose Capitol attack; majority feel Trump bears some blame
Nine in 10 Americans oppose the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, and seven in 10 feel President Trump bears at least some of the responsibility for it, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.  A 56% majority of those polled also favor congressional efforts to bar Trump from ever again holding elected office, which impeachment in the Senate would ensure.  More broadly, 66 percent say Trump has behaved irresponsibly in his statements and actions since the November general election. 

The poll also finds Trump leaving office with a 38 percent job approval rating, making his career average approval rating is the lowest for any president in modern polling, back to 1939.  Trump is also the first president in that time never to achieve majority approval at any point during his time in office.  The poll found Trump’s job approval and disapproval predictably divided along party lines, with a majority of Republicans continuing to look favorably on his performance.  A majority 60% of Republicans feel the party should continue to follow Trump, with 33% saying the party needs to find a new direction.

Ahead of inauguration, Democrats allege Capitol Hill rioters had Republican lawmaker assistance
A week after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building, investigators are trying to determine whether they had assistance from the inside.  Rep. Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey led a coalition of more than 30 Democrats who signed a letter requesting an immediate investigation into "suspicious behavior and access" for some visitors the day before the January 6 Capitol assault, alleging that unnamed lawmakers led "an extremely high number of outside groups” through the building.  Until Wednesday, when President Donald Trump was impeached for the second time, Democratic leaders sought to downplay any immediate reprisals for Republican colleagues whom they allege have incited or assisted rioters though their rhetoric or otherwise. 

The FBI has issued a warning that violent extremists may mount attacks around the country as Inauguration Day approaches, and on the day itself.  At last word, at least 21,000 National Guard troops will be in Washington, D.C. January 20, an unprecedented show of force to help ensure security as President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in on a day that is traditionally celebrated as an exemplar of the peaceful democratic transfer of power.

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: 93,227,344
Global deaths: 1,996,626.  The United States has the most deaths of any single country, with 388,705.
Number of countries/regions: at least 191
Total patients recovered globally: 51,475,424

Latest reported numbers in the United States per Johns Hopkins University
There are at least 23,314,663 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 388,705.  New York State has the greatest number of reported deaths in the U.S., with 40,435.
U.S. total people tested: 273,074,188

The greatest number of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is in California, with 2,883,699 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 2,834,341 cases.  Texas is third, with 2,068,059 confirmed cases out of a total state population of 29 million.

Biden team reveals $1.9 trillion COVID-19 vaccination, economic plan, as US deaths soar
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday released his promised COVID-19 vaccination and economic rescue legislative package.  The plan would allocate more than $1 trillion of the $1.9 trillion price tag for direct stimulus, while $400 billion would go toward COVID-19-related projects, including the nationwide vaccination program, and $440 billion toward relief for communities and businesses.  Biden is scheduled to speak publicly Friday about his vaccination plan.   

Meanwhile, the Covid Tracking Project reports that U.S. deaths from COVID-19 are now 25% higher than during any other week since the pandemic began, with more people dying from the virus in the last seven days than the 22,000 people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates died of the flu during the entire 2019-2020 season.  An average 3,299 people died of COVID-19 every day in the U.S. over the last seven days, according to the Covid Tracking Project. 

Approximately one in every 858 Americans has now died from COVID-19, a number that continues to shrink as that national death toll increases.  As of Friday morning, Johns Hopkins University reports 388,705 total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. since the pandemic began.  At the current death rate, that number will likely reach 400,000 by Monday.  The CDC’s latest forecast estimates between 440,000 to 477,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. by the week ending February 6.

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CDC warns up to 477,000 COVID-19 deaths by February 6

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued its updated forecast on the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the U.S. and predicted that additional 29,600 deaths related to COVID-19 will occur in the U.S. by February 6.  

The CDC also stated that it anticipates between 440,000 to 477,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by this date.

The prediction comes as countries across the globe report new variants and mutations of the novel coronavirus.  While the new strains discovered in the United Kingdom, South America and the U.S. are not believed to be deadlier than the virus that initially spread across the globe, health officials say the new mutations are more infectious -- which poses the threat of increased hospitalizations and deaths.

 The World Health Organization's emergency committee met Thursday to discuss the new variants, which have already spread to at least 50 countries.

Scientists have also expressed worry that a future mutation might not respond at all to current vaccine efforts and are currently researching the variant first discovered in South Africa as mutations have created changes to some to the virus' spike protein.

Spike proteins are the site targeted by antibodies humans produce to control the viral infection.

COVID-19 is on the way to infecting over 100 million people, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. As of early Friday, the virus has infected 92 million people worldwide.

The U.S. remains the worst-affected country, with more than 23.3 million infections, which is more than the entire population of Florida based on 2019 census estimates.  Florida accounts for 6.47 percent of the country's population.

In addition, Johns Hopkins University reports that the nation has suffered more than 388,000 deaths, which is more than the total number of Union Army deaths in the Civil War. 

Los Angeles Country remains the worst affected region in the country, with nearly 1 million cases reported as of early Friday, in addition to 13,000 deaths -- the highest death toll out of any county in America.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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