What to know today 🌅
President Donald Trump now says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
The chaos at the Capitol in Washington has forced political leaders to more closely scrutinize President Trump and the role his rhetoric has played in Wednesday’s violent riots -- and if he is fit to remain in office, even if his term expires in just 13 days.
The American votes that declare Joe Biden as the nation’s next president have been certified at local, state and national levels. Members of Congress were meeting on Jan. 6 to count and approve those certifications, the final step in affirming Biden’s title as President-elect.
Learn more: What is the 25th Amendment and how does it work?
There is immense reaction from around the world to the storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump:
“A fundamental rule of democracy is that, after elections, there are winners and losers. Both have to play their role with decency and responsibility so that democracy itself remains the winner. ... President Trump regrettably has not conceded his defeat since November, and didn’t yesterday either, and of course that has prepared the atmosphere in which such events, such violent events, are possible.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“What is happening is wrong. Democracy — the right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully — should never be undone by a mob.” — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
The top health official in Michigan said a new, mutated variant of COVID-19 that might be easier to spread is “very likely” already in the state.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, spoke about the new variant of COVID-19 during Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Wednesday (Jan. 6) briefing.
“We also know that we are seeing a new variant of the virus here in the United States, one that may be easier to spread than the current variant that we’ve been seeing,” Khaldun said.
Read further: 6 takeaways from Gov. Whitmer’s COVID briefing
The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 508,736 as of Wednesday, including 12,918 deaths, state officials report.
Wednesday’s update includes 4,326 new cases and 51 additional deaths. On Tuesday, the state reported a total of 504,410 cases and 12,867 deaths.
New COVID-19 cases are slowing but deaths remain high in Michigan. Testing has slowed during the holiday, with more than 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day, with the positive rate increasing to about 9% over the last week. Hospitalizations have slowly decreased but remain relatively high, including in critical care and ventilator use.
Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,942 on Wednesday, slightly higher than the week before. The 7-day death average was 80. The state’s fatality rate is 2.5%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 133,300 on Wednesday. More than 363,000 have recovered in Michigan.
Here’s a look at more of the data: