Morning Briefing May 9, 2021: Speculation grows over political future of Detroit police chief, Michigan vaccination rate inches state closer to reopening goal, death toll soars to 50 in Afghan capital school bombing

Here are this morning’s top stories

Local 4 News Today -- May 9, 2021
Local 4 News Today -- May 9, 2021

Detroit police chief James Craig makes public appearance, doesn’t mention reports of retirement

Detroit Police Chief, James Craig, appeared on Fox News Saturday night. It was his first time speaking publicly since reports surfaced Friday that he would retire.

Sources tell Local 4 News he will announce his retirement Monday and that he is considering a run for governor.

However, while speaking on Fox News Craig did not mention the rumors circulating that he will retire and and pursue a political career challenging Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Michigan’s first reopening goal could be hit sooner than you think as vaccination rates rise

Michigan’s vaccination rates shot up this weekend bringing the state closer to the benchmarks for reopening.

As of Saturday, 54% of eligible Michiganders have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine -- higher than the 51.5% reported Friday.

The first tier of reopening Michigan that allows in-person work for all sectors of business will go into effect once the state reaches 55%.

Health officials said the jump in vaccinations is because the state is factoring in people who were vaccinated outside the state or at federal facilities. Another reason for the uptick is local leaders urging people to get vaccinated.

Death toll soars to 50 in school bombing in Afghan capital

Grieving families buried their dead Sunday following a horrific bombing at a girls’ school in the Afghan capital that killed 50 people, many of them pupils between 11 and 15 years old.

The number of wounded in Saturday’s attack climbed to more than 100, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian. In the western neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, families buried their dead amid angry recriminations at a government they said has failed to protect them from repeated attacks in the mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood.

“The government reacts after the incident, it doesn’t do anything before the incident,” said Mohammad Baqir, Alizada, 41, who had gathered to bury his niece, Latifa, a Grade 11 student the Syed Al-Shahda school.

LIVE BLOG: Tracking COVID-19 vaccines in Michigan: New openings, clinics, appointments 💉

Weather: Chilly with rain on Mother’s Day Sunday

Metro Detroit weather: Sunday showers ahead
Metro Detroit weather: Sunday showers ahead

COVID in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 862,633 as of Saturday, including 18,206 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update includes a total of 1,825 new cases and 122 additional deaths -- 83 of those deaths were identified during a Vital Records review.

As of Saturday, a total of 703,746 have recovered in Michigan.

Testing has been steady around 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate below 10% as of Thursday, lower than one week ago. Hospitalizations have dropped slightly over the last two weeks.

Overall, new cases have slowed over the last 10 days. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,934 on Thursday -- lower than one week ago. The 7-day death average was 73 on Thursday, slightly higher than the last two weeks. The state’s fatality rate is 2.1%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 179,000 on Thursday.

Michigan said late Friday that 54% of adults ages 16 and up have gotten at least one COVID-19 shot, a roughly 2.5 percentage point jump after factoring in people who were vaccinated outside the state or at federal facilities.

The addition of nearly 227,000 residents to the state’s count put Michigan close to a 55% benchmark Gov. Gretchen says is needed to allow in-person work in all sectors, including offices. The reopening step will occur two weeks after the milestone is reached.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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