LOS ANGELES (AP) — California has reported 40,000 coronavirus deaths as the state’s steepest surge of cases begins to taper. Data reported by Johns Hopkins University shows the state passed the milestone Saturday. The grim number comes amid a sharp recent decline in cases and hospitalizations but while deaths surge at a record pace. It took six months for California to record its first 10,000 deaths, then four months to double to 20,000. In just five more weeks the state reached 30,000. It then took only 20 days to get to 40,000. Now only New York has more deaths but at this pace California will eclipse that too.
NEW YORK (AP) — Deborah Archer, a law professor at New York University with expertise in civil rights and racial justice, has become the first Black person in the 101-year history of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected its president. The ACLU announced Monday that Archer was elected in a virtual meeting of the organization’s 69-member board of directors. She succeeds Susan Herman, a professor at Brooklyn Law School who had served as president since 2008. The fight against racial injustice is expected to be a top priority for the ACLU now that Donald Trump’s presidency is over. While Trump was in office, the ACLU filed more than 400 lawsuits and other legal actions against his administration.
NEW YORK (AP) — Cicely Tyson, the pioneering Black actor who earned an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in “Sounder,” won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88 and touched TV viewers’ hearts in “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,” has died. She was 96. A onetime model, Tyson began her screen career with bit parts but gained fame in the early 1970s when Black women were finally starting to get starring roles. She earned an honorary Oscar in 2018 and won two Emmys for playing the 110-year-old former slave in the 1974 television drama “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.”