US hits 24 million COVID-19 cases
The United States surpassed 24 million COVID-19 cases Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
At least 398,307 people have died from related complications since the pandemic began, as well. On Sunday, incoming U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention head Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the U.S. would likely pass 500,000 deaths by mid-February. The seven-day average for new deaths surged past 3,300, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
The county has doubled its number of cases in the last 59 days after needing 304 days to originally reach 12 million total.
The new surge in infections comes as a new, more contagious variant is spreading across the country. Several other vaccine candidates are expected to be approved in coming weeks as well, giving hopes to improved numbers during the country's slow rollout of immunizations.
— New York Daily News
Pelosi demands halt to naming GOP operative as NSA
WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi demanded that the Defense Department halt plans to install a Republican operative as the top lawyer at the National Security Agency in the closing hours of President Donald Trump’s administration.
The appointment of Michael Ellis as NSA general counsel is “highly suspect,” Pelosi told Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller in a letter dated Jan. 17 and released on Monday.
“The efforts to install him or ‘burrow’ him into a highly sensitive intelligence position 72 hours prior to the beginning of a new administration manifest a disturbing disregard for our national security,” Pelosi wrote. “Therefore, this placement should not move forward.”