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: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
St. Joseph44559617
Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
Hendricks23960360
Porter22985367
Madison18820410
Clark18609253
Vigo17530303
Monroe15319200
LaPorte15230252
Delaware15127264
Howard14801290
Kosciusko12410149
Hancock11773176
Bartholomew11695180
Warrick11305189
Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
Dubois8281131
Henry8252153
Dearborn823493
Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
Lawrence7479172
Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
Gibson6614115
Harrison651892
Huntington6447100
Knox6427106
DeKalb6363100
Montgomery6293112
Miami595298
Putnam584179
Clinton579271
Whitley568455
Steuben566876
Wabash5363104
Jasper536180
Jefferson513297
Ripley501987
Adams483777
Daviess4684115
Scott439875
Greene427296
Clay426960
Wells426088
White420964
Decatur4177104
Fayette407387
Jennings390262
Posey377544
LaGrange361778
Washington360451
Randolph3476100
Spencer340743
Fountain336160
Sullivan330852
Starke319171
Owen315571
Fulton313468
Orange295064
Jay285546
Franklin266443
Perry265752
Rush263832
Carroll262434
Vermillion259854
Parke232029
Pike229643
Tipton229059
Blackford195042
Pulaski184657
Crawford160125
Newton159848
Benton151217
Brown147047
Martin139319
Switzerland135311
Warren121416
Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1524169

Reported Deaths: 23955
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1646591696
Cuyahoga1468932459
Hamilton1056051431
Montgomery742551279
Summit620221111
Lucas56539917
Butler51696718
Stark468601064
Lorain35783585
Warren32903377
Mahoning30927693
Clermont28271330
Lake27179448
Delaware24263164
Licking24027294
Trumbull22993561
Fairfield22438247
Greene22414326
Medina22149313
Clark19920354
Richland18643292
Portage18073252
Wood17505224
Allen16054279
Miami15627306
Muskingum14890185
Columbiana14153274
Wayne13852271
Tuscarawas12777311
Marion12016180
Scioto11497162
Pickaway11386142
Erie10951184
Ross10614203
Ashtabula9809204
Lawrence9783153
Hancock9741155
Belmont9333209
Geauga9008157
Jefferson8600199
Huron8427143
Union822259
Washington8114144
Sandusky7875151
Athens779579
Knox7766144
Darke7695158
Seneca7405145
Ashland6993130
Auglaize681799
Shelby6540115
Brown640091
Crawford6292130
Defiance6241105
Mercer617893
Fulton605196
Highland602899
Guernsey596371
Madison595678
Logan594596
Clinton585193
Preble5730125
Putnam5354110
Williams530888
Perry519863
Champaign514273
Jackson512473
Ottawa490586
Coshocton488383
Morrow460558
Pike435067
Fayette430363
Hardin420780
Gallia419367
Adams417995
Van Wert374082
Henry366972
Holmes3653125
Hocking357582
Wyandot325262
Carroll304365
Paulding280747
Meigs267251
Monroe216254
Noble201247
Morgan194333
Harrison182646
Vinton167225
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 40°
Angola
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 37°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 40°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 40°
Van Wert
Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 53° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 39°
After a soggy couple of days, the sunshine returns Tuesday and highs top out in the middle 50s.
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