Black immigrant population in US could more than double by 2060: Study

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(NEW YORK) — About 4.6 million Black people in the U.S. — roughly 1 in 10 — are immigrants, and that figure could more than double to 9.5 million by 2060, according to a study by Pew Research Center.

Pew based its calculations in the study, released Thursday, on Census data collected from from 2006 to 2019 through community surveys.

“The nation’s immigrant population has been, to some extent, largely driven by trends from Latin America and Asia,” said Mark Lopez, director of race and ethnicity research for Pew and a coauthor of the study. “But African and particularly Black immigrant trends have become a growing part of the story of the nation’s immigrant population overall.”

Lopez noted that in addition to the roughly 10% of Blacks who came from anther country, another 9% were born in the U.S. from an immigrant parent, meaning “the immigrant experience is not far from the daily life experiences of about 1 in 5 Black Americans today.”

In 2019, New York (about 900,000) and Florida (about 800,000) had the most Black immigrants, according to the study.

“Our report is part of a broader research agenda to understand the diversity of the country, including the diversity of the nation’s Black population,” Lopez added.

Abraham Paulos, deputy director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration, which is based in Brooklyn, said Black immigrants and those who’ve lived in the U.S. longer face many of the same challenges.

“I think whatever is happening in Black America is also happening to Black immigrants,” said Paulos, noting America’s historically discriminatory criminal justice system, police brutality and housing inequality. Many of those represented by BAJI also struggle to unionize and to advocate for better working conditions.

Most Black immigrants, the study showed, came from Jamaica (about 760,000) and Haiti (about 700,000) from 2009 to 2019, and many of them, Paulos noted, also faced comparatively more difficult acclimation periods, including more discrimination, than some from other nations.

In September, thousands of Haitian asylum seekers camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas. The Biden administration came under fire when images were released showing Customs and Border Patrol officers using horses to push back migrants crossing the Rio Grande into the U.S. And in December, a group of Haitian migrants sued the Biden administration, alleging mistreatment in that incident.

“Haiti is a great example,” Paulos said. “I think with the Haitian immigrant, I think it is probably the best analogy to sort of get a window into how Black Americans are treated by the immigration apparatus.”

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Eleven-month-old baby girl shot in face in the Bronx

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(NEW YORK) — An 11-month-old girl has been shot in the face in the Bronx, prompting a search for the gunman and outcry from New York City’s new mayor.

The baby is in the hospital in critical but stable condition, the New York City Police Department said.

The shooting took place at about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday while the baby was in a parked car with her mother outside a grocery store, waiting for the father who was inside the store, police said.

A man chasing another man fired two shots, hitting the baby in the face, police said.

“An 11-month-old baby shot in the Bronx. If that’s not a wake up call, I don’t know what is,” New York City Mayor Eric Adams tweeted. “It should be unimaginable that this would happen in our city. But it did.”

“Leaders at every level have abandoned city streets. I won’t,” he said. “I refuse to surrender New York City to violence.”

Police have released surveillance video of the suspect, who they said fled the scene in a gray four-door sedan. The suspect is described as a man in a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt with a white Nike logo on the front, gray sweatpants, and black and white sneakers.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

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2 Marines killed, 17 injured in rollover crash near Camp Lejeune; driver charged with death by motor vehicle

ABC News/FILE

(JACKSONVILLE, N.C.) — Two Marines have been killed and more than a dozen injured in a rollover accident Wednesday near Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, according to officials.

Seventeen Marines were injured in the accident after they were ejected from the back of the 7-ton military vehicle as it tried to make a turn onto a highway just miles from the base at about 1 p.m., according to the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Two of the injured were airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, while the other 15 were transported on the ground.

The 19-year-old Marine who was driving the military vehicle, Louis Barrera, has been charged with exceeding a safe speed and two counts of misdemeanor death by motor vehicle, according to the highway patrol.

One Marine who was ejected from the truck was hit by another military vehicle trailing the accident, police said.

The vehicle was carrying 19 Marines total, all from the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, stationed at Camp Lejeune. The driver, Barrera, and passenger in the front of the vehicle were uninjured.

Officials will release the identifications of the victims once next of kin have been notified.

An investigation into the accident is ongoing, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said.

North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Devin Rich said at a press conference he was not sure if this was part of a training mission.

The 2nd Marine Logistics Group had initially posted on Twitter, “We are aware of a vehicle rollover in Jacksonville, North Carolina, involving service members with 2nd MLG. We are working closely with @camp_lejeune and Onslow County officials to gather details regarding this incident.”

Camp Lejeune is located in southeast North Carolina along the Atlantic coast. It is home to more than 30,000 people.

ABC News’ Mark Osborne and Will Gretsky contributed to this report.

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2 cold case homicides tied to convicted murderer, police say

Prince George’s County Police Department

(FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va.) — A Virginia man convicted of murder has been charged in connection with two decades-old cold case homicides, authorities said.

Charles Helem, 52, is currently serving life in prison at a Virginia supermax state prison after he was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of a Chantilly woman who was found strangled in her townhome in 2002.

He has been now been charged in two unrelated homicides in Virginia and Maryland after allegedly confessing to both murders, authorities announced Wednesday.

“We now know even more about the dangers the killer presented to the entire national capital region,” Fairfax County Police Chief Kevin Davis said during a press briefing.

The murder of Eige Sober-Adler was among Fairfax County’s notable cold cases. The 37-year-old was found dead in a field in Herndon on Sept. 9, 1987, badly beaten.

Helem allegedly confessed to the murder during an interview with Fairfax County detectives in October, officials said.

“Detectives were able to corroborate this confession with details known only to the killer,” Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said during the Wednesday briefing.

On Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Helem for murder in connection to Sober-Adler’s death. Descano said his office will now pursue a “vigorous” prosecution of Helem.

Authorities in Prince George’s County, Maryland, have also charged Helem in connection with an unsolved murder in Mount Rainier. Jennifer Landry, 19, was found dead in a wooded area on Aug. 15, 2002. An autopsy determined she had died of asphyxia and cutting wounds to her neck. It took nearly three years for police to positively identify her body.

In 2010 and 2017, Helem sent letters to law enforcement claiming to have information on the Landry murder, though he refused to speak with detectives until last year, police said.

“He verbally confessed to killing Jennifer Landry,” Prince George’s County Police Chief Malik Aziz said during the briefing.

Helem initially provided information on the unsolved Fairfax County murder while talking to Prince George’s County detectives, police said.

It is unclear if Helem has an attorney. Court records for Fairfax County and Prince George’s County not have yet listed his case.

Davis and Aziz said authorities are exploring whether Helem may be connected to other unsolved cases.

The parents of both women are deceased, authorities said, though officials in both counties said they hoped the latest charges bring some closure to the victims’ surviving families and friends.

“My team and our partners in law enforcement did not waver in our dedication to seek answers and pursue justice in this cold case,” Descano said.

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Synagogue attack puts Jewish community on edge

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(NEW YORK) — Recent attacks on Jewish institutions — including the 10-hour-long hostage situation at a synagogue in Texas on Jan. 15 — have cast a dark shadow on the simple act of walking into a Jewish institution.

The faith-based attacks have forced community leaders to prioritize security and safety precautions to maintain their ability to pray, congregate and practice their faith, Eric Fingerhut, the president and CEO of the Jewish Federations of North America, told ABC News.

“This is not new,” Fingerhut said. “This has been a particularly violent period of attacks on Jewish institutions and on Jewish community.”

On Jan. 15, an armed suspect that claimed to have bombs took a rabbi and three others hostage at the Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker, who was held hostage, told reporters that his training with the Jewish-led security training organization Secure Community Network helped get his congregants out safely.

Since antisemitism is still present in the U.S., protecting one’s congregation is key, community leaders say. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) tracked 2,024 antisemitic incidents in 2020, the third-highest year on record since the organization began tracking these incidents in 1979.

Faith-based communities will “likely” continue to be the target of violence “by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists,” according to a note sent on Monday to law enforcement officials and houses of worship nationwide by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.

“The fact that he’d been trained like so many members of the clergy and other communal leaders in active shooter drills, in hostage crises, and how to deal with terrorist scenarios unfolding in your synagogue … it’s actually not a surprise,” ADL’s CEO and National Director Jonathan Greenblatt told ABC News.

“We are in an environment where, whether you run a synagogue or a JCC [Jewish community center] or a day school or a summer camp, you need to take action and be vigilant because of the very real threat of violence,” Greenblatt said.

The Secure Community Network is a national security initiative composed of former high-level law enforcement officials that work across 146 federations and more than 300 individual groups. They train religious leaders in threat and vulnerability assessments, training and drill programs.

Brad Orsini, the organization’s senior national security advisor, said that in Texas, leaders were taught basic situational awareness: what to look for, what suspicious behavior may look like. They also engaged in active shooter training, countering an active threat training and life-saving training to stop bleeding.

“We really teach that community the necessary tools to stay alive for three to five minutes prior to law enforcement getting there,” Orsini told ABC News. “Law enforcement is not there when an incident happens so we need to know those initial steps to keep ourselves alive.”

The organization said it also provides a 24/7 analyst who is on alert for security threats from across the country.

Security and safety training are beginning to become a part of daily life as Jewish leaders, Fingerhut said. He said they’re doing what it takes to protect the community’s ability to practice their faith rightfully and freely.

“The basis of our religion is the community,” Fingerhut said. “If people are afraid to take their kids to a JCC or to summer camp or afraid to go to synagogue to pray with their community, that would be the ultimate tragedy.”

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Greater Chicago brings back mass vaccination sites amid renewed demand

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(CHICAGO) — It was reopening day at a greater Chicago mass vaccination site Tuesday, as local health officials bring previously closed locations back online to meet renewed demand during the omicron surge.

Cook County closed the last of its six suburban mass vaccination sites six months ago due to declining demand and as vaccine administrations shifted more to pharmacies and doctors’ offices. But with renewed interest in recent weeks, county officials have been encouraged to reopen several of the sites operated by Cook County Health.

“With the surge in omicron, we’ve actually seen an increase in interest in, particularly, boosters,” Dr. Gregory Huhn, Cook County Health’s vaccine coordinator and an infectious disease physician, told ABC News. “We believed that we would need this type of opportunity again to really meet that demand, as people recognize the importance of vaccination in combating against omicron.”

About 80% of Cook County residents have received at least one vaccine dose, while 40% of those eligible have gotten their booster, Huhn said.

A majority — around 75% — of Cook County Health’s patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated, and that rate is higher for those in the intensive care unit and on ventilators, according to Huhn.

“We will have breakthrough infections, we know that,” Huhn said. “But with the booster, we’re able to generate enough antibodies to protect people against the progression of their infection and disease, to keep them out of the hospital and keep them from dying.”

On Tuesday, the first of three mass vaccination sites reopening across the county started administering doses again. There were a couple hundred appointments scheduled, and more walk-ins.

Stephen Gallardo showed up to the Forest Park site after trying more than a week to get his booster elsewhere, he told Chicago ABC station WLS. “Most places are booked for a while,” he told the station.

The other two sites are scheduled to open Thursday and Saturday, with all three offering weekend hours.

Local leaders are hoping the weekends will draw out residents who have not yet gotten their first dose.

“We know that certain populations have not availed themselves of the vaccines, so what we hope to see is church congregations coming on Sundays to get vaccines here in Forest Park,” Forest Park Mayor Rory Hoskins told reporters Tuesday.

All three sites are in former big-box stores, which have provided a large amount of open space to easily maneuver patients from station to station, Huhn said.

“We find that this type of environment is really highly conducive to our vaccine operations and efficiency,” he said.

When the sites first opened nearly a year ago, they were partially staffed by members of the National Guard. Now, they’re relying on both Cook County Health administrators and support from nursing agencies.

The clinics will run as long as there is demand.

“We have adequate vaccine supply, we have the staff,” Huhn said. “We really want to make it easy and accessible for everybody to get the vaccine that they need.”

 

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Prosecutors lay out ‘missed opportunities’ in Robert Durst murder investigation

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(NEW YORK) — A series of “missed opportunities” and an overreliance on false statements made by Robert Durst delayed his prosecution for the murder of his then-wife, Kathleen “Kathie” Durst, by almost 40 years, Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah said Wednesday.

Rocah’s office released a 13-page report that probed the entire scope of the investigation and found both police and prosecutors relied too much on Robert Durst’s alibis that his wife was last seen in Manhattan before she disappeared from their South Salem home on Jan. 31, 1982. Her body has never been discovered.

Even though Robert Durst’s claims were refuted by other evidence, investigators continued their search for Kathie Durst in New York City instead of Westchester, the report said.

“In short, it appears that the initial investigation suffered to some degree from ‘tunnel vision’ — having a theory of a case, which is maintained even when there are red flags that should cause those initial theories to be questioned,” the report said.

New York investigators uncovered evidence that showed Kathie Durst was the victim of domestic violence by Robert Durst before she was killed. Neighbors at the Dursts’ Manhattan residence told investigators at the time that Kathleen Durst had knocked on their window seeking protection from her husband, who allegedly beat her and threatened to shoot her.

Neighbors of his South Salem home refuted Robert Durst’s claims that he stopped by their house for drinks after he dropped off Kathie at a train station the night of her disappearance.

“And yet focus of the investigation remained guided by Durst’s version of events that he had driven her to the train to New York City on the night she disappeared,” Rocah said at a news conference Wednesday.

Susan Berman, Durst’s friend and unofficial spokeswoman, also gave questionable statements to the police suggesting Kathie had run off with another man, the report said.

Berman was murdered in 2000 before she was set to speak with police for a follow-up investigation into Kathie’s disappearance. Robert Durst was arrested in 2015 and charged in connection with Berman’s death, following the airing of the final episode of the HBO documentary “The Jinx,” where he was recorded on a hot mic allegedly incriminating himself.

Robert Durst was convicted in Berman’s death last year and was sentenced to life in prison in October. Shortly after the sentencing, Rocah’s office charged Durst with Kathie Durst’s murder.

Robert Durst died of natural causes earlier this month in custody.

Kathie Durst’s family wasn’t invited to Rocah’s press conference, according to family attorney Robert Abrams, who added that they’re calling for Rocah’s resignation. She was elected as DA in November 2020.

“There have been numerous individuals, including members of the Durst family, that have knowingly and intentionally participated in a criminal conspiracy to help Robert Durst avoid prosecution,” Abrams said in a statement. “Through her misrepresentations and omissions, DA Rocah must now be considered part of the cover-up.”

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Suspect captured in furniture store slaying, a crime that ‘shocked’ LA neighborhood

Facebook/Brianna Kupfer

(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles police on Wednesday arrested the man they say killed a 24-year-old woman while she worked alone in a furniture store.

The suspect, believed to be homeless, attacked Brianna Kupfer with a knife just before 2 p.m. Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

He fled through the store’s back door and Kupfer’s body was soon found on the floor by a customer, police said.

Police on Tuesday identified the suspect as 31-year-old Shawn Laval Smith and asked for the public’s help in finding him.

There is no known motive, police said, adding that the suspect had randomly walked into the store.

Kupfer texted a friend that afternoon saying someone in the store was giving her a “bad vibe,” LAPD Lt. John Radke said at a Tuesday news conference.

The slaying has “shaken and shocked our community to its core,” Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said at the news conference.

While not working at the furniture store, Kupfer was taking courses in design through UCLA Extension, a continuing education program.

“Brianna, who was born, educated and was building her career here in Los Angeles, was a rising star in this community,” Kupfer’s family said in a statement read on their behalf at the news conference. “Brianna was a smart, funny, driven and kind soul who only wanted to better herself and her community on a daily basis.”

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‘Multiple casualties’ in rollover crash involving Marines from Camp Lejeune

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(JACKSONVILLE, N.C.) — There have been “multiple casualties” in a rollover accident involving Marines stationed at Camp LeJeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina, according to the 2nd Marines Logistics Group.

No further details have been provided.

The group had previously posted on Twitter, “We are aware of a vehicle rollover in Jacksonville, North Carolina, involving service members with 2nd MLG. We are working closely with @camp_lejeune and Onslow County officials to gather details regarding this incident.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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COVID-19 live updates: Fauci predicts most states will be past omicron peak by mid-February

Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.5 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 853,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 63% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jan 19, 4:10 pm
Fauci predicts most states will be past omicron peak by mid-February

Dr. Anthony Fauci predicts that most states will be past the omicron peak by mid-February.

“I would imagine as we get into February, into the middle of February, first few weeks of February, it is very likely that most of the states in the country will have turned around with their peak and are starting to come down with regard to cases, and then obviously hospitalizations,” Fauci said at a Blue Star Families event.

“Right now, there’s no doubt that in New York City and other parts of New York state and in New Jersey, it has already peaked and is rather dramatically on its way down,” Fauci said. “We’re seeing that also in bigger cities such as Chicago, where as in cities in the South, it has not yet peaked and likely will have more of a slower incline and a slower decline, such as in places like New Orleans and in other cities in Louisiana.”

Fauci said he expects data on vaccines for kids under 5 will be delivered to the FDA in the next month.

“They’re determining now that for children within that age group, it is likely that it will be a three-dose vaccine. And that being the case, it’s going to take a little longer to get those data to the FDA and approved,” he explained. “My hope is that it’s going to be within the next month or so and not much later than that. But I can’t guarantee that because I can’t out guess the FDA, I’m gonna have to leave that to them.”

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Jan 19, 3:33 pm
Pennsylvania nurse opens up about ‘overflowing’ hospital

On average, about 21,000 virus-positive Americans are being admitted to hospitals each day — a figure that has more than doubled over the last month.

WellSpan Chambersburg Hospital in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, has more patients now than any point in the pandemic, according to nurse Erin Hammond.

“Our emergency rooms are full to overflowing. Our critical care unit has now doubled up rooms. We’re taking more patients — sicker patients — than we ever have before,” Hammond told ABC News.

She noted that she’s seen people in their 20s, 30s and 40s “ending up very sick and dying.”

“It’s incredibly difficult seeing patients die day after day after day,” she said. And after a patient dies, the hospital must “refill their beds as quickly as they emptied.”

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 19, 2:50 pm
New Mexico asks state workers, National Guard to be substitute teachers

New Mexico leaders are asking state employees and National Guard members to volunteer as substitute teachers and child care workers due to “extreme staffing shortages” amid the COVID-19 case surge.

“Many schools are being forced to shift to online learning and child care facilities are being forced to temporarily close when staff members test positive,” state officials said in a statement Wednesday.

Since the holidays, about 60 school districts and charter schools switched to remote learning and 75 child care centers partially or completely closed due to staffing shortages, according to the state.

“The additional staffing will allow schools to avoid the disruptive process of switching between remote and in-person learning and prevent child care programs from having to shut down,” state officials said.

The volunteers would have to complete the requirements necessary to be licensed as a substitute, including a background check and an online workshop.

Jan 19, 11:45 am
27 million visits so far to USPS order form from COVIDTests.gov

While it’s not clear how many people have placed an order for free COVID-19 tests since the White House’s site launched Tuesday, the order form on the U.S. Postal Service website — special.usps.com/testkits — has been visited over 27 million times so far.

This initiative from the Biden administration’ allows Americans to order up to four free at-home rapid tests per household.

-ABC News’ Cheyenne Haslett

Jan 19, 10:37 am
US deaths expected to increase after weeks of surging cases

Following weeks of increasing cases, forecast models used by the CDC suggest that U.S. death totals will likely continue to increase over the next four weeks.

The models predict about 32,000 more Americans could die from COVID-19 over just the next two weeks.

By Feb. 12, about 931,000 total lives could be lost in the U.S. to the virus.

The CDC obtains the forecasts from the COVID-19 Forecast Hub at UMass Amherst, where a team monitors and combines forecasting models from the nation’s top researchers. The team then creates an ensemble — displayed like a hurricane forecast spaghetti plot — usually with a wide cone of uncertainty.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 19, 9:28 am
England to end many COVID-19 restrictions, including mask wearing

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday the end of all COVID-19 measures in England that were imposed to combat the highly contagious omicron variant.

Effective immediately, secondary school students will no longer be required to wear face masks in classrooms. Starting next week, masks will not be compulsory anywhere, including on public transport and in shops. However, Johnson said his government will continue to advise people to wear masks in indoor or crowded settings.

The work-from-home guidance will also be lifted next week, along with mandatory COVID-19 passes at large venues, though business are allowed to use them if they wish.

People will still be required to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19, but the prime minister said there will “soon be a time” when that won’t be mandated. The measure is due to expire in March, but Johnson said that date could be brought forward.

So-called Plan B restrictions were introduced in England last December amid a surge of COVID-19 cases as omicron quickly spread across the United Kingdom. The country’s daily number of new cases remains high but appears to be dropping over the past week along with hospital admissions, while deaths are increasing.

Jan 19, 2:22 am
Global new cases increased 20% last week, WHO says

Newly reported COVID-19 cases increased 20% last week, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

More than 18 million new cases were reported in the week ending Jan. 16, up from about 15 million in the previous week, according to the United Nation’s health agency’s weekly epidemiological update.

Last week’s increase marked a decline from the 55% increase reported the previous week, the agency said.

“Nonetheless, a combination of the increased and rapid spread of the Omicron variant, increased population movements and social mixing during and after the end of year holiday period and challenges with ongoing adherence to public health and social measures (PHSM) are expected to lead to increased number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks,” Tuesday’s report said.

About 45,000 new deaths were reported worldwide last week, up from about 43,000 the previous week, the agency said.

Jan 18, 7:11 pm
White House to make 400 million N95 masks available for free

The Biden administration will make 400 million non-surgical N95 masks available for free at tens of thousands of pharmacies and community health centers, a White House official said Tuesday.

The administration will start shipping out the masks, which are coming from the Strategic National Stockpile, at the end of this week. Masks will start to be available at pharmacies and community health centers by late next week, with the program “fully up and running” by early February, the official said.

President Joe Biden had announced last week that the administration would be launching a program to provide high-quality masks to Americans for free, but did not provide details.

The announcement comes on the heels of updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that stated that loosely woven cloth masks provide the least amount of protection against COVID-19, and that Americans in some cases might want to opt for higher quality masks like KN95 and N95 respirators.

-ABC News’ Molly Nagle

Jan 18, 5:47 pm
75% of Americans have received at least 1 vaccine dose: CDC

Three-quarters of all Americans — nearly 250 million people — have now received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, according to updated data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

On average, around 296,000 Americans daily are receiving their first shot, down by about 35% since mid-December, federal data shows.

Some 62.7 million eligible Americans — those ages 5 and up — are unvaccinated.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

Jan 18, 5:35 pm
Nearly 1 million US children tested positive for COVID-19 last week

Around 981,000 children in the United States tested positive for COVID-19 last week, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

This “dramatic” uptick is a nearly 70% increase over the 580,000 added cases reported the week ending Jan. 6, and a tripling of case counts from the two weeks prior, the organizations said.

With nearly 9.5 million children having tested positive for the virus since the onset of the pandemic, that means 10% of those cases were in the past week alone.

In recent weeks, there has been a significant increase in demand for coronavirus tests as more Americans are exposed to the virus. Many students have also been tested as they return to school, which can lead to an increase in these numbers.

The organizations said there is an “urgent” need to collect more age-specific data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as potential longer-term effects, and noted in their report that a small proportion of cases have resulted in hospitalization and death.

The rising number of pediatric cases has renewed the push for vaccination. Nearly 19% of children ages 5 to 11 and about 55% of those ages 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated, according to federal data.

-ABC News’ Arielle Mitropoulos

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