5 things to know for September 22: Coronavirus, SCOTUS, China, Navalny, Botswana

The flu vaccine won't protect you from coronavirus, but CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains why it's more essential than ever to get the shot this year.

Posted: Sep 22, 2020 3:01 PM
Updated: Sep 22, 2020 3:01 PM

Nearly 11 million people are under flash flood watches across the Texas and Louisiana coasts after Tropical Storm Beta made landfall.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

Just days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted guidance that the coronavirus could commonly spread through lingering droplets in the air and travel further than 6 feet. The agency abruptly removed that guidance yesterday, reverting to its previous statement that the virus spreads mainly from person to person. The CDC said the recent updates were posted in error and that it's revising recommendations on airborne transmission. The virus can still spread through the air, a CDC official said, but that isn't thought to be the primary way it's transmitted. The confusion is the latest sign of how President Trump's administration has mishandled the Covid-19 response, CNN's Stephen Collinson writes. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, there's also another thing getting in the way of clear and consistent messaging on Covid-19: the country's "divisive state."

2. Supreme Court

President Trump is narrowing down his short list to fill the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the Supreme Court. On the list is Amy Coney Barrett, a federal appellate judge and proven conservative who has the backing of religious conservatives and advocates on the far right. Also being considered is Barbara Lagoa, a conservative judge whose Cuban American heritage could help Trump politically in her home state, Florida. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is moving closer to locking down the support he needs to confirm a nominee, despite his resistance in 2016 to filling a Supreme Court seat during an election year. So far, two Republicans -- Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins -- have voiced opposition to taking up whomever Trump nominates before November's election. But it's unclear if others will follow.

3. China

A Chinese billionaire who criticized President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has been jailed for 18 years on corruption charges. Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real estate tycoon with close ties to senior Chinese officials, disappeared in March after he allegedly wrote a scathing essay criticizing Xi's response to the Covid-19 crisis. As Beijing continues to deal with the fallout from the pandemic and face international pressure, his conviction and harsh sentence is likely a warning sign to other members of the Chinese elite that any public defiance of Xi will not be tolerated.

4. Russia

Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny, who is recovering from a near-fatal suspected poisoning, is demanding that Russian authorities return the clothes he was wearing the day he fell ill, calling them vital evidence. The German government has said the Kremlin critic was poisoned with a chemical agent from the Soviet-era Novichok group, a conclusion supported by two labs in France and Sweden. Though Russia has strongly denied any involvement, there are still several questions. Navalny is in treatment at a hospital in Berlin. He said last week he still can't pour himself a glass of water or use his phone properly but is on a "clear road" to recovery.

5. Botswana

Government wildlife officials now have an explanation for the mysterious deaths this year of hundreds of elephants in Botswana. Authorities are blaming toxin-producing cyanobacteria in waterholes. But some conservationists, who had suspected poachers of killing the elephants, are skeptical. Though the government has denied human involvement in the elephant deaths, conservationists are demanding it release the full results of the investigation, saying the evidence isn't conclusive enough.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin are teaming up to start a new NASCAR team, with Bubba Wallace as a driver

Jordan said NASCAR's struggles with diversity and its lack of Black owners played a part in his decision.

The CDC is discouraging trick-or-treating, costume masks and Halloween parties this year

Womp womp.

The first man to climb Everest 10 times has died at 72

Ang Rita Sherpa was known as the "snow leopard."

A man known as the 'Dreadhead Cowboy' was arrested for riding his horse on a Chicago highway

Turns out the stunt was for a good cause.

This is the healthiest community in the US

See if your home made the cut.

TODAY'S NUMBER

$5 million

That's about how much former CIA contractor Edward Snowden has agreed to give up to the US government for publishing his book, "Permanent Record," without approval. Ex-national security adviser John Bolton, who published a damaging book about President Trump this year, faces a similar attempt by the Justice Department to claw back book proceeds.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"This is the one chance that we have."

Professor Niklas Höhne, co-author of an upcoming study by the Climate Action Tracker, on how the pandemic gave governments around the world a chance to pivot toward a greener future. Instead, CNN finds, that opportunity is about to be wasted.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

How pizza is made in 7 countries 

From corn to grasshoppers to bananas as toppings, our favorite comfort food looks very different, depending on where you are. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 324537

Reported Deaths: 5594
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion44186858
Lake28094462
Allen18660301
Elkhart17663230
St. Joseph17256234
Hamilton13612170
Vanderburgh10028121
Tippecanoe896729
Porter855386
Johnson6718169
Hendricks6412158
Vigo625889
Monroe550450
Clark531078
Madison5239122
Delaware5075103
LaPorte481196
Kosciusko475941
Howard364177
Bartholomew335365
Warrick335372
Floyd329478
Wayne325678
Marshall311846
Cass303931
Grant287150
Hancock272957
Noble264946
Henry256437
Boone255054
Dubois245631
Dearborn228231
Jackson226334
Morgan221243
Gibson194926
Knox193021
Shelby192656
Clinton185421
DeKalb183932
Lawrence183849
Wabash172821
Adams172422
Miami170815
Daviess163145
Fayette153734
Steuben153414
Jasper151713
Montgomery149327
Harrison147624
LaGrange146131
Ripley145815
Whitley142314
Huntington133510
Decatur132543
Putnam131128
White131022
Wells130130
Clay130023
Randolph128121
Posey125816
Jefferson124116
Scott114520
Greene106053
Sullivan102716
Jay101913
Starke95022
Jennings90414
Spencer8908
Fulton87519
Perry85121
Fountain8228
Washington8127
Franklin73427
Carroll71913
Orange70028
Vermillion6607
Owen6468
Tipton60327
Parke6026
Newton57812
Rush5708
Blackford56612
Pike52719
Pulaski41815
Martin3705
Benton3643
Brown3574
Crawford3081
Union2782
Switzerland2655
Warren2562
Ohio2387
Unassigned0266

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 399808

Reported Deaths: 6346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin52652672
Cuyahoga39132746
Hamilton31491372
Montgomery21355242
Butler15768149
Lucas15301420
Summit14667330
Stark9780209
Warren878777
Mahoning7985301
Lake752566
Lorain7149106
Clermont622953
Delaware597337
Licking589977
Trumbull5867148
Fairfield576464
Greene559568
Clark5438129
Allen518389
Medina496557
Marion489359
Wood4861108
Miami456268
Pickaway410548
Portage385574
Columbiana376599
Tuscarawas360567
Richland349639
Wayne340894
Mercer299248
Muskingum262510
Hancock257240
Ross251259
Darke246160
Auglaize243935
Erie240868
Ashtabula240454
Putnam234549
Geauga227051
Union20838
Scioto204316
Lawrence201139
Shelby199917
Athens19984
Seneca192919
Belmont176729
Madison172019
Sandusky166429
Huron163022
Preble162521
Defiance149923
Holmes146939
Knox139719
Logan139018
Jefferson138113
Fulton135826
Crawford134417
Washington133427
Ottawa128830
Ashland117328
Williams11479
Clinton113115
Highland108118
Brown10755
Hardin107019
Henry105423
Champaign10535
Jackson102012
Van Wert99918
Fayette97317
Guernsey96814
Morrow9682
Coshocton91015
Perry86613
Adams83813
Gallia81615
Pike7921
Wyandot76118
Paulding70012
Hocking68516
Noble65124
Carroll53210
Meigs41712
Monroe34921
Morgan2925
Harrison2433
Vinton2326
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 30°
Angola
Clear
34° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 30°
Huntington
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Decatur
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
Van Wert
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 32°
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