New Infection Record, Lee Time Capsule, and December's Most-Read StoriesEverything you need to know for today in five minutes.
Good morning. It's Wednesday, Dec. 29, and we're covering the COVID-19 surge, a Virginia time capsule, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at email@example.com.
Editor's note: The 1440 team will be spending time with family and friends over the New Year's holiday—this will be our last morning email until Monday, Jan. 3. Keep an eye out for our end-of-year recap on Friday, and have a great holiday break!
The US is currently averaging more than 265,000 new COVID-19 cases per day, surpassing the country's January previous peak. Monday set a single-day record of just over 512,000 thousand reported cases. Experts say the surge is due to the spread of the omicron variant, increased testing, and a reporting backlog from the holiday weekend.
Separately, officials revised their estimates of the spread of the omicron variant in the US (see data). Previously believed to have made up almost 73% of new cases, revisions show the variant made up 22% of new cases for the week ending Dec. 18, increasing to almost 59% last week.
The number of average daily cases marks a rise of almost 120% over the past two weeks. More than 73,000 patients are currently hospitalized, up 15% over the same timeframe, while deaths have also risen by about 15%, to an average of around 1,450 per day.
Details began to emerge yesterday around a shooting spree in the Denver area that left five people dead and three others injured. The suspect was also killed after a shootout with police.
The string of attacks included shootings at five separate locations across the city, beginning in central downtown. The suspect is believed to have opened fire a few blocks away, killing one, and again in the nearby vicinity, though no one was injured. The suspect ultimately fled into the nearby city of Lakewood, where he reportedly shot and killed a hotel clerk. Officials say at least three of the shootings took place at or near tattoo shops, though no link between victims has been identified.
Conservation experts confirmed yesterday the authenticity of a time capsule pulled from the base of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The statue was installed in Richmond, Virginia, in 1890, but became the focus of racial and social justice protests in the city last summer. It was dismantled in September, with the 40-foot-tall pedestal removed this month.
The discovery marks a successful end to a monthslong search for the hidden container, which had been referenced in contemporaneous accounts during the memorial's dedication. Experts took a first look inside the capsule yesterday—among other items were books, newspapers, currency, ammunition, and a Bible.
The box did not appear to include a rare photo of President Abraham Lincoln after his assassination, which some believed was added to the capsule. See video from the opening here.
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In partnership with The Motley Fool
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>US stock markets end mixed (S&P 500 -0.1%, Dow +0.3%, Nasdaq -0.6%) as investors weigh omicron variant risks (More)
>Approximately 2,800 more flights canceled globally Tuesday due to staffing shortages from the omicron variant (More)
>US health officials monitoring or investigating over 85 cruise ships with reported COVID-19 outbreaks on board, or roughly three-quarters of all cruise ships under US jurisdiction (More)
Politics & World Affairs
>Harry Reid, former Democratic Senate majority leader, passes away at age 82; the five-term senator oversaw the passage of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act (More)
>Prosecutors decline to charge former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over two Westchester County sexual assault allegations; officials say evidence was credible but did not meet state statutory requirements to pursue a criminal case (More)
>Lake Tahoe, California, breaks 51-year-old December snowfall record, with storms dumping more than 16 feet in December (More) | Consecutive holiday storms leave travelers stranded; see photos here (More)
Historybook: President Andrew Johnson born (1808); Texas becomes the 28th US state (1845); US Army kills over 250 Lakota people at Wounded Knee (1890); Actress Mary Tyler Moore born (1936).
"Pain nourishes courage. You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you."
- Mary Tyler Moore
Have a great holiday weekend.
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