NUMBER OF HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR COVID 19 IN NC APPROACHES 4,000: At least 623,188 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 7,567 have died, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services on Sunday reported 8,833 new COVID-19 cases, down from a record 11,581 reported the day before. An additional 142 deaths were reported Sunday, up from 96 reported the day before. At least 3,774 people in North Carolina were reported hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Sunday. As of Friday, the latest day for which data are available, the state reported 13.7% of COVID-19 tests were positive. Vaccine rollout started last month. As of Friday, 151,902 people statewide had received the first dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, according to the state health department. Of those, 9,115 people have received their second dose.
GOVERNOR COOPER'S INAUGURAL ADDRESS FOCUSES ON SACRIFICE AND SERVICE: "When the pandemic forced classrooms to close in March, schools and volunteers made sure our kids got fed at home. When weary health care workers needed a boost, communities sent meals and care packages. When personal protective equipment ran short, North Carolina manufacturing companies pivoted to produce face shields, gowns, masks and more." "As we enter 2021, we carry the imprint of our people’s frustration and loss as well as our determination and resilience. I hold close the memories of the suffering and the heroic North Carolinians," Cooper said. He called for unity and integrity. "We are all North Carolinians," Cooper said. "These times of triumph and trial have shown us that we are more connected than we ever imagined." Cooper cited the state's history of recovery after the Spanish flu pandemic 100 years ago in his theme for the day: North Carolina: Strong, Resilient, Ready.
FT. BRAGG ARMY CAPTAIN UNDER INVESTIGATION AFTER LEADING GROUP TO DC PROTEST: Rainey said she led 100 members of Moore County Citizens for Freedom, which describes itself online as a nonpartisan network promoting conservative values, to Washington to “stand against election fraud” and support Trump. She said the group attended the rally but she didn’t know of anyone who entered the Capitol and that they were headed back to their buses hours before an emergency curfew took effect. Rainey, 30, is assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group at Fort Bragg, according to Maj. Daniel Lessard, a spokesman for 1st Special Forces Command. Known as PSYOPS, the group uses information and misinformation to shape the emotions, decision-making and actions of American adversaries. Rainey made headlines back in May after she posted a video online of her pulling down caution tape at a playground that was closed under North Carolina’s COVID-19 restrictions. Police in Southern Pines, a community about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Fort Bragg, charged her with injury to personal property over the incident. The police told WRAL-TV that they let her off with warnings twice before after she tore down the tape closing off the playground.
AMAZON BOOTS PARLER OFF ITS WEB HOSTING PLATFORM: The e-commerce and Web-hosting giant said Parler had violated its terms of service given its inadequate content-moderation practices. It implemented its punishment just before midnight Pacific time Monday. The move by Amazon Web Services, or AWS, marks the latest and most crippling blow for the pro-Trump social network, which has emerged as a haven for conservative users who have fled more mainstream Silicon Valley sites that crack down on harmful, viral falsehoods online. Last week, Apple and Google removed Parler’s app from their stores for smartphone downloads, similarly citing concerns that posts on Parler could contribute to violence. Troubling the tech giants, Parler users in recent days had praised the mob that put the Capitol on lockdown midweek, threatening a potential “war.” The pro-Trump attorney L. Lin Wood, meanwhile, at one point urged Trump-supporting “patriots” on Parler to keep fighting, saying, “Almighty God is with you. TODAY IS OUR DAY.” On Saturday, Matze blasted tech giants for engaging in a “coordinated effort” designed to “inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies,” referring to Twitter’s recent decision to permanently suspend Trump out of concern that his tweets threatened to stir violence during the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
PELOSI GIVES ULTIMATUM TO PENCE: INVOKE THE 25TH OR WE WILL IMPEACH TRUMP: The House moved on two fronts on Sunday to try to force President Trump from office, escalating pressure on the vice president to strip him of power and committing to quickly begin impeachment proceedings against him for inciting a mob that violently attacked the seat of American government. In a letter to colleagues, Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said the House would move forward on Monday with a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and the cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, and wrest the powers of the presidency. She called on Mr. Pence to respond “within 24 hours” and indicated she expected a Tuesday vote on the resolution. Next, she said, the House would bring an impeachment case to the floor. Though she did not specify how quickly it would move, leading Democrats have suggested they could press forward on a remarkably quick timetable, charging Mr. Trump by midweek with “high crimes and misdemeanors.” More than 210 of the 222 Democrats in the House — nearly a majority — had already signed on to an impeachment resolution by Sunday afternoon, registering support for a measure that asserted that Mr. Trump would “remain a threat to national security, democracy, and the Constitution” if he was not removed in the final 10 days of his term. A second Republican senator, Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania, said he should resign immediately, joining Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. And a Republican House member hinted more clearly than before that he could vote to impeach, even as he cautioned that it could backfire and further galvanize Mr. Trump’s supporters.