#1. MoCo COVID Updates
Montgomery County Executive, Marc Elrich released an Executive Update this week via video. There is a lot to process, but 2 things to note are that the State’s case count average is higher now than it has been from early August through October last year. Also, 70% of the elderly population have not been vaccinated yet, which leaves one to wonder when they will get to everyone else.
#2. D.C Statehood
D.C may finally have a shot at becoming a State with the new Administration. The Washington Post reports that many congressional Democrats mention it in the same company as the party’s other top voting rights priorities. Statehood for the District, a city with a Black plurality, is a crucial element of the broader racial justice movement that has energized liberal activists across the country.
#3. Hate Crimes Rise
Compared to a decade ago, hate crimes are on the rise in the U.S. The Associated Press shared an FBI Report detailing the findings. The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by bias based on a person’s race, religion or sexual orientation, among other categories. A separate Associated Press investigation in 2016 found that more than 2,700 city police and county sheriff’s departments across the country had not submitted a single hate crime report for the FBI’s annual crime tally during the previous six years.
#4. Tanzanian President Dies
President John Magufuli died this week of heart failure as per the official statement. NPR reports that he played down the COVID-19 pandemic and denounced vaccines as a Western conspiracy against Africans. Tanzania has not updated its COVID-19 cases or deaths since May last year. Magufuli’s main political rival, Tundu Lissu, has alleged that the president was suffering from COVID-19.