PODCAST: US Coronavirus Cases Surpass 4 Million (BCNN1 7.23.20)

This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Total coronavirus cases in the U.S. surpassed four million a little over two weeks after reaching three million, as three hard-hit states reported record highs in deaths related to the pathogen. Florida and California reported single-day records in fatalities with 173 and 157 deaths, respectively, on Thursday, a day after Texas reported a record 197 deaths. Cases in these states have surged in recent weeks. The nation’s overall death toll topped 143,000, and new cases climbed by more than 71,000, the sharpest daily rise since July 16, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

According to the Daily Mail, The nation paid its final respects Thursday to the Rev. C.T. Vivian, a pioneer of the civil rights movement who helped end segregation across the South and left an abiding imprint on U.S. history. The funeral for Vivian, a close ally of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., began at around 11am at Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. Vivian died Friday in Atlanta at age 95. Vivian’s friends and sons spoke at Thursday’s service, and his six grandsons are serving as pallbearers. The late reverend was an active member of the Baptist church. For the private service, the church passed out masks and did temperature checks for those in attendance, USA Today reports. Entire rows were empty as attendees made it a point to adhere to social distancing at the service. Speakers only removed their masks when speaking at the podium. Dozens of supporters lined the streets outside, holding signs and pictures of the civil rights activist. A special shout out was given to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who was in attendance for the service. Video tributes by Hank Aaron, Oprah Winfrey and presidential candidate Joe Biden were given during the service.

According to Religion News Service, As Americans deal with the impacts of the pandemic and the country’s reckoning over racism, many Christian leaders, organizations and churches are providing resources not only to care for their spiritual and physical health, but also their mental health. Congregations now are helping people deal with a wide range of mental health challenges. And the challenges that existed before the coronavirus haven’t just gone away. Those include depression, anxiety, grief and addictions, as well as child abuse and domestic violence. The number of Americans reporting depression and anxiety symptoms has more than tripled since the beginning of the pandemic, according to data from an emergency weekly Census Bureau survey. Those numbers have spiked among Asian Americans as they’ve experienced increased racism in the months since the coronavirus first appeared in China, according to The Washington Post. The numbers have been highest among Black Americans in the weeks following Floyd’s death, the Post reported. Black and Latino Americans across the country have also been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, according to CDC data recently made available by The New York Times.

According to the Christian Post, Christian author and filmmaker DeVon Franklin announced that he’s struck a deal with CBS where he plans to “create new opportunities for people of faith and people of color.” Franklin, president and CEO of the Franklin Entertainment production company, made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday. Though the CBS deal marks Franklin’s first foray into television, his production company also has a multi-year first-look film deal with Paramount Pictures and a second-look deal with Netflix, according to Deadline. He’s also behind the inspirational film “Breakthrough;” the Sony Pictures Animation film “The Starring;” and the Sony Pictures film “Miracles From Heaven.” Franklin is also working on “Flamin’ Hot,” which will tell the true story of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos; a Kirk Franklin biopic, and “Daring to Live,” the true story of four black women who go on extreme adventures to overcome their greatest fears in life.

According to the AP, Only about 1 in 10 Americans think daycare centers, preschools or K-12 schools should open this fall without restrictions, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. Most think mask requirements and other safety measures are necessary to restart in-person instruction, and roughly 3 in 10 say that teaching kids in classrooms shouldn’t happen at all. The findings are a sharp contrast to the picture that President Donald Trump paints as he pressures schools to reopen. Trump said Wednesday that he would be “comfortable” with his son Barron and grandchildren attending school in person this fall. “I would like to see the schools open,” he told reporters. Few schools, however, plan to return to business as usual. Many of the nation’s largest school districts have announced that they’ll be entirely virtual in the fall or use a hybrid model that has children in classrooms only a couple of days a week.

According to CBS, Thirteen nuns at a Roman Catholic convent in Livonia, Michigan, have died of COVID-19 complications since the outbreak began, 22% of residents, said a spokeswoman for the Felician Sisters of North America. Seventeen nuns recovered, Suzanne Wilcox English said Tuesday. The nuns — who ranged in age from 69 to 99 — included teachers, an author and a secretary in the Vatican Secretariat of State, according to the Global Sisters Report, an outlet of the National Catholic Reporter publishing company. The Global Sisters Report said the 13 deaths “may be the worst loss of life to a community of women religious since the 1918 influenza pandemic.” “I first heard two aides had contracted the virus,” Sister Andrew told Global Sisters Report. “We don’t know who they are, and we don’t want to know. Then it hit sisters on the second floor, and it went through like wildfire.” The outlet reported that at least 19 other nuns have died of COVID-related complications in the U.S. as of July 16.

According to CNBC, President Donald Trump on Thursday moved to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, portions of the Republican National Convention, scheduled for August, citing the threat of the coronavirus. “I told my team it’s time to cancel the Jacksonville, Florida, component of the GOP convention,” Trump said at a White House briefing on the coronavirus. The state has become a hot spot for the virus. “Thousands of people [are] wanting to be there, and I mean in some cases desperately be there,” Trump said. “People making travel arrangements all over the country.” Trump said he will still deliver a campaign speech but “in a different form,” without giving any additional details. He said he would announce more details on the speech in the coming days. “We won’t do a big crowded convention, per se,” he said, adding that he cares “deeply about the people of Florida.” The announcement marked a staggering turnaround for Trump, who pushed for the convention to be moved from Charlotte, North Carolina, after a fight with the state’s Democratic governor over whether coronavirus precautions would limit the size of crowds.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!