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The Latest: Trump promises ‘orderly transition’ on Jan. 20

WASHINGTON — The Latest on Congress’ tally of the Electoral College vote won by Joe Biden (all times local):3:55 a.m.President Donald Trump now says there “will be an orderly transition on January 20th” after Congress concluded the electoral vote count certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and after a day of violence when his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol.Trump says in a statement tweeted by his social media director Dan Scavino, “Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th.”He adds: “I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again.”Trump’s account is currently locked by Twitter.Trump has spent the last two months refusing to concede the election and making baseless allegations of mass voter fraud that have been rejected by dozens of courts and Republican officials, including his former attorney general.Vice-President Mike Pence presided over the formal session that ended early Thursday morning tallying the electoral college vote.__HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONGRESS’ TALLY OF THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE VOTEAngry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power, forcing lawmakers to be rushed from the building and interrupting challenges to Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Congress returned later Wednesday to resume their proceedings after the Capitol was cleared by law enforcement.Read more:— Pro-Trump mob storms US Capitol in bid to overturn election— A moment in America, unimaginable but perhaps inevitable— AP PHOTOS: Scenes of violence at U.S. Capitol shock world— Capitol has seen violence over 220 years, but not like this— Pence defies Trump, says he can’t reject electoral votes___HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON:3:41 a.m.Congress has formally validated Joe Biden’s presidential election victory on a day that saw a time-honoured ceremony become a nightmare of unprecedented political terror.The House and Senate certified the Democrat’s electoral college win early Thursday after a violent throng of pro-Trump rioters spent hours Wednesday running rampant through the Capitol. A woman was fatally shot, windows were bashed and the mob forced shaken lawmakers and aides to flee the building, shielded by Capitol Police.The rampage began shortly after President Donald Trump repeated his unfounded claims of election fraud to thousands of rallying demonstrators he’d invited to Washington. Many then surged to the Capitol after he incited them to go there as lawmakers debated the electoral votes.More than six hours after the violence erupted, lawmakers resumed their session.Thirteen Republican senators and dozens of GOP representatives had planned to force debate and votes on perhaps six different states’ votes.The assault on the Capitol made some Republicans squeamish about trying to overturn Biden’s win, and challenges were lodged only against Arizona and Pennsylvania. Both efforts lost overwhelmingly.Biden defeated Trump by 306-232 electoral votes and will be inaugurated Jan. 20.__3:25 a.m.Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is defending his objection to the Electoral College results as “the right thing to do.”The Texas senator condemned the violence that erupted as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in an extraordinary attack over the election outcome.Cruz led the first challenge to Joe Biden’s defeat of President Donald Trump by objecting to Arizona’s results. He sought to have Congress launch a commission to investigate the election. His effort was roundly defeated in the House and Senate.Cruz said he was confident the country will have a “peaceful and orderly transition of power.” Biden is set to be inaugurated Jan. 20.__3:10 a.m.The House has joined the Senate in turning aside Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.Lawmakers in the House voted 282-138 against the objection as the counting of Electoral College votes continued into the early hours of Thursday morning. The Senate shut down the same objection 92-7 just after midnight, and unlike the House, declined to debate before voting.After a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it was the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.__2:20 a.m.A small group of House lawmakers came close to physically fighting early Thursday morning as the congressional count of electoral votes stretched into the wee hours and a Pennsylvania Democrat charged that Republicans had been telling “lies” about his state’s votes.Rep. Morgan Griffiths, R-Va., objected after Rep. Conor Lamb, D-Pa., said a breach of the Capitol by an angry mob earlier in the day was “inspired by lies, the same lies you are hearing in this room tonight.”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down the objection, but a few minutes later Republicans and Democrats streamed to the middle aisle, with around a dozen lawmakers getting close to each other and arguing. But the group quickly broke up when Pelosi called for order on the floor.President Donald Trump has falsely claimed there was widespread fraud in Pennsylvania and other states and Republicans have echoed those claims as they have challenged electoral votes.__12:55 a.m.The Senate has quickly killed Republican objections to Pennsylvania’s electoral vote for President-elect Joe Biden.Senators voted 92-7 after midnight to derail the GOP attempt to overturn Pennsylvania’s support for the Democrat.In a long day dominated by pro-Trump rioters’ deadly storming of the Capitol, it’s the second state for which a group of Republicans tried and failed to reverse the will of voters. Some GOP lawmakers have backed President Donald Trump’s bogus claims that the election was fraudulent.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he believes no other states’ votes will be challenged. That means Congress’ formal certification of Biden’s victory could finish quickly once the House votes on the Pennsylvania challenge.The Senate rejected the effort to cancel Pennsylvania’s votes without any debate.Those objecting to Pennsylvania’s votes included 80 House Republicans and Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley, who is considered a potential 2024 presidential contender.___12:15 a.m. ThursdayRepublican Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri have objected to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, triggering up to two hours of debate in the House and Senate.The objections come 11 hours after the congressional count to confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential victory began, and after lawmakers had to evacuate both chambers for several hours to escape a mob that had violently breached the Capitol.Hawley said last week that he would object to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes, saying Congress should investigate voter fraud. President Donald Trump has falsely said since his defeat that there was widespread fraud in the election.Biden won Pennsylvania by just over 80,000 votes. Since the Nov. 3 election, Trump and his allies filed at least a half-dozen lawsuits challenging Biden’s win on various grounds, including that many or all of the state’s mail-in ballots were illegal.The lawsuits failed as judge after judge found no violation of state law or constitutional rights, or no grounds to grant an immediate halt to certifying the election.___11:20 p.m.The House has voted overwhelmingly to reject an objection to President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Arizona, joining the Senate in upholding the results of the election there.The objection failed 303-121 on Wednesday night, with only Republicans voting in support.Earlier Wednesday, supporters of President Donald Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.Now that Arizona is out of the way, Congress will reconvene as the joint session and make its way through the rest of the states that have objections.__11:10 p.m.Four people died as supporters of President Donald Trump violently occupied the U.S. Capitol.Washington, D.C., Police Chief Robert Contee said the dead on Wednesday included a woman who was shot by the U.S. Capitol Police, as well as three others who died in “medical emergencies.”Police said both law enforcement and Trump supporters deployed chemical irritants during the hourslong occupation of the Capitol building before it was cleared Wednesday evening by law enforcement.The woman was shot earlier Wednesday as the mob tried to break through a barricaded door in the Capitol where police were armed on the other side. She was hospitalized with a gunshot wound and later died.D.C. police officials also say two pipe bombs were recovered, one outside the Democratic National Committee and one outside the Republican National Committee. Police found a cooler from a vehicle that had a long gun and Molotov cocktail on Capitol grounds.___10:15 p.m.The Senate has overwhelmingly turned aside a challenge to President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in Arizona, guaranteeing the result will stand.The objection to the results in Arizona — spearheaded by Rep. Paul Gosar and Sen. Ted Cruz — was rejected 93-6 on Wednesday night. All votes in favour came from Republicans, but after violent protesters mobbed the Capitol earlier Wednesday a number of GOP senators who had planned to support the objection reversed course.The Republicans raised the objection based on false claims pushed by President Donald Trump and others of issues with the vote in Arizona, which were repeatedly dismissed in Arizona’s courts and by the state’s election officials.___10:10 p.m.Sen. Lindsey Graham says a commission to examine the 2020 election is not a proper next step and affirmed that Joe Biden is the “legitimate president of the United States.”Graham, a South Carolina Republican and longtime ally of President Donald Trump, called it a “uniquely bad idea to delay this election,” referencing the commission idea proposed by his fellow South Carolina Republican, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.Graham says, “Count me out. Enough is enough.”Earlier Wednesday, supporters of Trump breached the U.S. Capitol, forcing a lockdown of the lawmakers and staff inside. Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.Graham said that “if you’re a conservative,” the idea that Vice-President Mike Pence could reverse the results of the election, as President Donald Trump had urged him to do, was “the most offensive concept in the world.”___10 p.m.Police have arrested 30 people for violating a curfew imposed in Washington, D.C., after rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol.Officials say the 30 people were arrested Wednesday evening after being found on the streets after the 6 p.m.The curfew had been imposed after scores of supporters of President Donald Trump broke into the Capitol, halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were later forcibly removed from the Capitol.The Metropolitan Police Department said 15 other people had been arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday in various protest-related arrests on an array of charges, including weapons possession and assault.Fire officials also took 13 people to area hospitals on Wednesday from protest-related injuries.___9:55 p.m.Republican Sen. Josh Hawley says he is going forward with his objection to the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania despite the violent breach at the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.The Missouri senator said he did not support violence but said the Senate should go forward with a legal process that includes his objections.Hawley says his objections should be debated “peacefully, without violence, without attacks, without bullets.” He says he hoped lawmakers would not brush his concerns aside because of the violence earlier Wednesday, including the death of a protester inside the Capitol.Trump has claimed widespread voter fraud to explain away his defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, though election officials have said there wasn’t any.___9:45 p.m.House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy is comparing violence at the U.S. Capitol to protests against racial injustice over the summer after the killing of George Floyd by police.The U.S. Capitol was overrun by a mob supportive of President Donald Trump on Wednesday as Congress counted electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s win. Trump has falsely said there was widespread fraud in the election to explain his defeat and encouraged his supporters to come to Washington.McCarthy said, “Mobs don’t rule America. Laws rule America. It was true when our cities were burning this summer and it is true now.”The comment got loud applause from Republicans. Democrats in the chamber sat silently.Floyd, a Black man who was handcuffed, was killed in May after a white police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes even after he said he couldn’t breathe.McCarthy, an ally of Trump’s, said Wednesday was the “saddest day” he’s ever had in Congress.He said: “It is clear this Congress will not be the same after today.”___9:15 p.m.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress’ certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s election win will show the world it won’t back down.Pelosi made her comments as the House reconvened after being shut down for hours Wednesday by unruly pro-Trump protesters. She said that every four years the ritual provides an example to the world of American democracy.Pelosi says, “Despite the shameful actions of today, we will still do so, we will be part of a history that shows the world what America is made of.”Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, noted that Wednesday is the feast of the Epiphany and prayed that the violence would be “an epiphany to heal” for the country.___9:10 pm.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sending 1,000 members of the state’s National Guard to Washington, D.C., to help “the peaceful transition of presidential power.”Cuomo, a Democrat, said 1,000 troops would be sent for up to two weeks at the request of U.S. National Guard officials. It comes after a mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters rampaged through the U.S. Capitol.Cuomo said in a statement Wednesday: “For 244 years, the cornerstone of our democracy has been the peaceful transfer of power, and New York stands ready to help ensure the will of the American people is carried out, safely and decisively.”They will join law enforcement from Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey who are also coming to D.C.’s aid.The president’s supporters incited chaos in a protest over a transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. Trump convinced them that he was cheated out of a victory by rampant, widespread voter fraud, a false claim.___8:55 p.m.Multiple Republican senators have reversed course and now say they won’t object to congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.Their change of heart came after a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol earlier Wednesday and interrupted their proceedings. One person was fatally shot.Sens. Steve Daines of Montana, Mike Braun of Indiana and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia all said in light of the violence they would stand down from planned objections to Biden’s win.Lawmakers gathered to certify the Electoral College votes from each state were forced to evacuate after an angry mob of Trump supporters descended on the Capitol. Loeffler said that the “violence, the lawlessness, and siege of the halls of Congress” were a “direct attack” on the “sanctity of the American democratic process.”All three had previously signed on to Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud to explain his defeat. Loeffler has just days left in her term. She lost her Senate race to Democrat Raphael Warnock earlier Wednesday.___8:45 p.m.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Congress “will not be deterred” in confirming the results of the presidential election hours after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol.The Republican leader reopened the Senate late Wednesday vowing to finish confirming the Electoral College for President-elect Joe Biden. It was interrupted earlier in the way when rioters breached the security perimeter and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. One person was fatally shot.McConnell says demonstrators “tried to disrupt our democracy. They failed.”McConnell plans to keep the Senate in session Wednesday to finish confirming the results.Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true. He reiterated the claim in a video filmed as his demonstrators were storming the Capitol.___8:35 p.m.Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer says President Donald Trump “bears a great deal of the blame” after a mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol.As the Senate reconvened to count electoral votes that will confirm Democrat Joe Biden’s win, Schumer said that Jan. 6, 2021, will “live forever in infamy” and will be a stain on the democracy.Schumer said the events “did not happen spontaneously.”He said Wednesday: “The president, who promoted conspiracy theories that motivated these thugs, the president, who exhorted them to come to our nation’s capital, egged them on.”Trump has falsely claimed that there was widespread fraud in the election to explain away his defeat.Schumer says the protesters should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.___8:20 p.m.Former President Barack Obama says history will rightly remember the violence at the Capitol as a moment of great dishonour and shame for the nation.Angry supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday in a chaotic protest aimed at thwarting a peaceful transfer of power.Obama say the violence was “incited by a sitting president” who baselessly lied about the outcome of the presidential election. He has convinced his supporters that he lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden only because Democrats cheated, a false claim.Obama says it should not have come as a surprise, and that for two months “a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth.”He says “their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.”___8:10 p.m.The Senate has resumed debating the Republican challenge against Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory, more than six hours after pro-Trump mobs attacked the Capitol and forced lawmakers to flee.Scores of Republican representatives and 13 GOP senators had planned to object Wednesday to the electoral votes of perhaps six states that backed Biden. It was unclear whether those objections would continue in light of the day’s violent events.President Donald Trump has falsely insisted that the election was marred by fraud and that he actually won. He reiterated those claims in remarks to thousands of protesters outside the White House early Wednesday and goaded them to march to the Capitol, which many of them did.The mayhem had forced the House and Senate to abruptly end the day’s debates and flee to safety under the protection of police. And it prompted bipartisan outrage as many lawmakers blamed Trump for fostering the violence.___8:05 p.m.Former Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in protest over President Donald Trump’s Syria policies, blamed the president for the violence at the U.S. Capitol.In a sharp rebuke Wednesday, Mattis said the violence was fomented by Trump, who has used the presidency “to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens.”His written statement concluded, “Our Constitution and our Republic will overcome this stain and We the People will come together again in our never-ending effort to form a more perfect Union, while Mr. Trump will deservedly be left a man without a country.”Mattis, a retired four-star Marine general who stepped down as Pentagon chief in December 2018, had an embattled relationship with Trump, but largely remained publicly quiet and avoided direct criticism. Since he left the job, however, he has been more openly derisive of Trump, including a pubilc condemnation of the president’s heavy-handed use of military force to quell protests near the White House last June.___7:55 p.m.Stephanie Grisham, chief of staff and press secretary for first lady Melania Trump, has resigned following violent protests at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.Grisham says in a statement Wednesday that it was an “honour” to serve the country in the White House and be part of he first lady’s “mission” to help children.Grisham was one of Trump’s longest serving aides, having joined the campaign in 2015. She served as the White House press secretary and never held a press briefing.Wednesday’s violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by the president’s supporters sparked renewed conversations inside the White House about mass resignations by mid-level aides who are responsible for operations of the office of the president.Two people familiar with the conversations said the aides were torn between fears of what more would happen if they left and a desire to register their disgust with their boss. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters.— AP writer Zeke Miller___7:45 p.m.The Republican National Committee says it strongly condemns the violence at the Capitol, adding that the violent scenes “do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles.”The RNC is responsible for developing and promoting the Republican political platform. Its statement condemning the violence came hours after Republican President Donald Trump baselessly complained that the election was stripped away “from great patriots.” He went on to tell them to “go home with love & in peace.”The group’s communications director, Michael Ahrens, says, “What happened today was domestic terrorism.”He says to see the U.S. flag used “in the name of unfounded conspiracy theories is a disgrace to the nation, and every decent American should be disgusted by it.”Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over him, citing false claims of voter fraud. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people.”___7:40 p.m.Former President Bill Clinton says the attack on the U.S. Capitol was fueled over four years of “poison politics” and lit by President Donald Trump.Clinton said in a statement Wednesday night that the riot at the Capitol resulted from a combination of deliberate disinformation that created distrust in the system and pit Americans against one another.He wrote, “The match was lit by Donald Trump and his most ardent enablers, including many in Congress, to overturn the results of an election he lost.”His wife, Hillary Clinton, lost a bitter election to Trump in 2016 and conceded to him immediately. Trump has refused to accept his defeat by Democrat Joe Biden in November and is trying to cast him as an illegitimate president.Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”___7:20 p.m.A West Virginia lawmaker took video of himself and other supporters of President Donald Trump rushing into the U.S. Capitol after they breached the security perimeter.In the video by Republican Del. Derrick Evans, later deleted from his social media page, he is shown wearing a helmet and clamouring at the door to breach the building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.“We’re in! Keep it moving, baby!” he said in a packed doorway amid Trump followers holding flags and complaining of being pepper sprayed. Once inside, Evans could be seen on video milling around the Capitol Rotunda, where historical paintings depict the republic’s founding, and yelled, “No vandalizing!”State House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw said Evans will need to “answer to his constituents and colleagues regarding his involvement in what has occurred today.”He said he has not spoken to Evans yet about his involvement.The delegate from Wayne County said in a statement later on Facebook that he was heading back to West Virginia and “was simply there as an independent member of the media to film history.”___6:55 p.m.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will resume the Electoral College proceedings once the Capitol is cleared of pro-Donald Trump protesters and safe for use.Pelosi said she made the decision Wednesday in consultation with the Pentagon, the Justice Department and the vice-president, who will preside.She noted the day would always be “part of history,” but now it would be “as such a shameful picture of our country was put out into the world.”Trump had encouraged his supporters to come to Washington to fight Congress’ formal approval of President-elect Joe Biden’s win. He held a rally earlier Wednesday and urged his supporters to march to the Capitol, telling them to “get rid of the weak Congress people” and saying, “get the weak ones get out; this is the time for strength.”Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.___6:45 p.m.Dozens of pro-Trump protesters remain on the streets of the nation’s capital in defiance of the curfew imposed after rioters stormed the Capitol.The mostly maskless crowd was forcibly removed from the Capitol on Wednesday after breaking into the building and halting the constitutional process of voting to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. They were pushed out of the immediate area and moved down the hill, where they taunted law enforcement and moved barricades.Police said anyone found on the streets after the 6 p.m. curfew would be arrested. Officers in full riot gear with shields lined the streets near the U.S. Capitol.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said their debate on affirming Biden’s victory would continue after the Capitol was secured.___6:40 p.m.The head of the nation’s largest union of flight attendants says people who took part in the violent protest at the Capitol must be banned from flying.Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said in a statement Wednesday that “some of the people who travelled in our planes (Tuesday) participated in the insurrection at the Capitol today.”She says, “Their violent and seditious actions at the Capitol today create further concern about their departure from the DC area. Acts against our democracy, our government and the freedom we claim as Americans must disqualify these individuals from the freedom of flight.”Nelson and the union endorsed President-elect Joe Biden over President Donald Trump before the November election.Trump supporters on a Delta Air Lines flight from Salt Lake City to Washington heckled Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, the lone Republican senator to vote to oust Trump after he was impeached. On an American Airlines flight from Dallas, a large contingent of Trump supporters got in an angry yelling match with other passengers after one of the president’s supporters projected “Trump 2020” on the cabin ceiling and walls.___6:30 p.m.Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is blaming President Donald Trump for inciting a violent “insurrection” at the Capitol.Romney, the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee and a frequent critic of Trump’s, said the violent breach of the Capitol on Wednesday was “due to a selfish man’s injured pride and the outrage of his supporters whom he has deliberately misinformed for the past two months.?The Utah senator said those who continue to support Trump’s “dangerous gambit” by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election “will forever be seen as complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy.?Romney ridiculed Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and other Republicans who want an “audit” of the election results: “Please! No Congressional led audit will ever convince those voters, particularly when the president will continue to claim the election was stolen.”The simple truth, Romney said, “is that President-elect (Joe) Biden won this election. President Trump lost.?___6:25 p.m.President Donald Trump has appeared to justify the violent occupation of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.In a tweet Wednesday night, Trump said, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”He added, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”Trump supporters breached the Capitol building and clashed with law enforcement before disrupting Congress’ tallying of the Electoral College votes. Trump has repeatedly told his supporters that the November election was stolen from him, even though that is not true.Trump has faced mounting criticism from Republican lawmakers to do more to condemn the violence being perpetrated in his name.The Associated Press

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BC records another four Coronavirus deaths, 485 cases – princegeorgematters.com

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COVID-19 case numbers remain steady in B.C.

In a written statement this afternoon (Jan. 27), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced 485 more COVID-19 cases recorded in the past 24 hours for a grand total of 65,719 since January last year. 

Of those, Northern Health found 32 more infections for an updated authority total of 3,283. 

B.C. health officials also announced four more virus-linked deaths, which brings the fatality rate to 1,172.

There are 4,299 people listed as active for COVID-19 in the province, 303 of whom are in hospital with 74 in critical care or ICU.

“One year ago today, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in our province,” Henry said in today’s statement.

“Since that day, the impact has been severe; people have become seriously ill and died, our lives have been disrupted and health-care workers everywhere have faced challenges at a scale never experienced before.

“Let’s encourage those around us to do the right thing and show kindness and compassion to those who appear not to be.

“As we have seen over the past year, one case can turn into thousands. But just as important, the effort we put into keeping ourselves and each other safe can also push our COVID-19 curve back down again.”

A total of 58,778 are classified as fully recovered.

Earlier today, Premier John Horgan marked the one-year anniversary of the first COVID-19 infection to emerge in B.C. by admonishing rule-breakers facilitating the spread of the virus.

“If you are coming into British Columbia on non-essential travel … you better behave appropriately, better follow our public health guidelines or we’ll come down on you like a ton of bricks,” he said during a news briefing in Victoria.

“For those who disregard the rules, we’re going to be taking steps to do what we can to make sure that they feel the pain of trying to get outside the box that all of us have been in.”

But Horgan would not commit to instituting tougher restrictions on interprovincial travellers, such as a 14-day quarantine like the one Manitoba has just instituted.

“We took a good look at the legal and other ramifications of bringing forward restrictions for non-essential travel. We discussed that briefly last week. Until such time as the public health officer advises me that there’s a benefit to going down that road, we’re going to leave it untravelled for the time being,” he said, adding he believes it would be more impractical to restrict travel to B.C. than Manitoba owing to the West Coast possessing more highways and urban centres.

“The challenge is, how would we do it?”

Horgan remained vague on what the government is willing to do to crack down on those flouting the rules beyond fines that already exist.

But he said he’ll “take action” if health officials report an increase in the number of travellers from outside B.C. begins contributing to an increase in community outbreaks.

In our region, Northern Health issued a COVID-19 exposure alert for a Prince George shelter yesterday (Jan. 26). 

The authority is asking anyone who visited Active Support Against Poverty (ASAP) between Jan. 19 and 21 should self-monitor for symptoms. 

“Public health officials are asking people who visited the shelter during this time period, to take extra care to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 until February 5, 2021,” its statement reads. 

“Public health contact tracing is underway and, where possible, NH is reaching out directly to individuals who have been exposed.”

Northern Health adds if people remain healthy and develop no symptoms, there is no need to self-isolate and can continue with their usual daily activities while continuing to follow all COVID-19 safety measures. 

As of this publication, a full up-to-date list of northern B.C. schools marked for a COVID-19 exposure event is as follows: 

  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Jan. 18, 2021
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Jan. 19-21, 2021
  • Centennial Christian – Terrace (Independent) – Jan. 20-21, 2021
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) – Jan. 8, 2021; Jan. 12-13, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) – Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) – Jan. 13-15, 2021
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) – Jan. 15, 2021
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Jan. 11-14, 2021
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Jan. 12-13, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 4-6, 2021; Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Chalo School (Independent, Fort Nelson First Nation) – Jan. 5-7, 2021; Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Jan. 4, 2021; Jan. 11, 2021; 13-14, 2021
  • Clearview Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) – Jan. 7-8, 2021
  • Centennial Christian – Terrace (Independent) – Jan. 11-12, 2021
  • Houston Secondary (SD54) – Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) – Jan. 11, 2021
  • Conrad Elementary (SD52) Jan. 11-13, 2021
  • Prince Rupert Middle (SD52) – Jan. 8, 2021
  • Lax Kxeen Elementary (SD52) – Jan. 7-8, 12, 2021
  • Decker Lake Elementary (SD91) – Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 6-7, 2021
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Jan. 4-6, 2021
  • McNaughton Secondary (SD28) – Jan. 6-8, 2021
  • Valemount Secondary (SD57) – Jan. 6, 2021
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) – Jan. 4, 2021
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Jan. 4, 2021
  • Mountain Christian (Independent) – Dec. 18, 2020
    • Dec. 18, 2020 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Cedars Christian – Prince George (Independent) – Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) – Dec. 10-11, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Skeena Middle (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Parkside Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Ecole Mountain View Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 7-11, 2020
    • Dec. 1-4 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) – Dec. 11, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25 
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) – Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30
  • Alwin Holland Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Dec. 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31
  • Bert Bowes Middle (SD60) – Dec. 14-16, 2020; Dec. 1-4, 2020; Dec. 17-18; Nov. 16, 18-20, 30, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Pinewood Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 14-15, 2020; Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Southridge Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Caledonia Secondary (SD82) – Dec. 10-11, 2020; Nov. 30-Dec. 4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • Heather Park Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 1-2, 3, 4, 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020 
  • Westwood Elementary (SD57) – Dec. 9; Dec. 8, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 9 = Self-monitoring endedDec. 23, 2020 
  • St. Mary’s Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Dec. 8-11, 2020; Dec. 7-10, 2020; Dec. 3-4, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020
    • Dec. 7-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec 24, 2020
    • Dec. 8-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec.25, 2020
  • Mountain View Christian Academy (Independent) – Dec. 8-10, 2020; Dec. 7-8, 2020
    • Dec. 7-8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
    • Dec. 8-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Thornhill Primary School (SD82) – Dec. 4, 7-11, 14-17, 2020
    • Dec. 4, 7-11,14-17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Walnut Park Elementary (SD54) – Dec. 9-10, 2020; Dec. 13-15, 2020
    • Dec. 9-10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
    • Dec. 13-15 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • Shas Ti-Kelly Road Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 7-11, 2020; Dec. 1-2, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
    • Dec. 7-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
  • College Heights Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 10-11, 2020; Dec. 17-18, 2020
    • Dec. 10-11 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 25, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • DP Todd Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1 and 2, 2020
  • Dawson Creek Secondary – South Peace Campus (SD59) – Dec. 8, 2020; Nov. 16-18, 2020; Sept. 23-25, 2020
    • Dec. 8 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 22, 2020
  • Smithers Secondary (SD54) – Dec. 7 and 10, 2020
    • Dec. 10 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 24, 2020
  • Fort Nelson Secondary (SD81) – Dec. 7, 2020; Oct. 15-16, 2020
  • Ecole Central Elementary (SD60) – Dec. 2-3, 4, 2020
  • Nak’albun Elementary (Independent) – Dec. 3-4, 2020; Nov. 22-25, 2020; Sept. 16-18, 2020
  • Suwilaawks Community School – Terrace (SD82) – Dec. 1-2, 3-4, 2020; Nov. 27, 30, 2020
  • Kitwanga Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1-3, 2020
  • Prince George Secondary (SD57) – Dec. 1-3, 2020; Nov. 18, 2020; Oct. 2, 2020
  • Margaret Ma Murray Community School (SD60) – Dec. 1-4, 2020; Nov. 23-26, 27, 30, 2020
  • Uplands Elementary (SD82) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 30, 2020
  • Fort St. James Secondary (SD91) – Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 19-20, 20-26, 30, 2020
  • Veritas Catholic School (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Anne Roberts Young Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • Bert Ambrose Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 30, 2020
  • David Hoy Elementary (SD91) – Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2020; Nov. 25-26, 2020; Sept. 17-18, 2020
  • William Konkin Elementary in Burns Lake (SD91) – Nov. 16, 23-24, 23-27, 2020
  • Energetic Learning Campus in Fort St. John (SD60) – Nov. 16-20, 23-27, 30, 2020
  • Peden Hill Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 12-17, 17-20, 24-27, Nov. 30, 2020
  • Centennial Christian in Terrace (Independent) – Nov. 23-26, 2020; Dec. 14-16, 2020
    • Dec. 14-16 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 29, 2020
  • North Peace Secondary (SD60) – Nov. 10, 12-13, 16, 19-20, 24-26, 2020; Dec. 16-17, 2020
    • Dec. 17-18 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Sacred Heart Elementary (Diocese of Prince George) – Nov. 25-27, 2020
  • Charlie Lake Elementary (SD60) – Nov. 23-24, 16-26, 2020, Dec. 14-18, 2020
    • Dec. 14-18 = Self-monitoring ended Jan. 1, 2021
  • Ecole College Heights Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 19-20, 20-24, 2020
  • Beaverly Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23-24, 2020
  • Foothills Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 23, 2020
  • Lakes District Secondary (SD91) – Nov. 23, 2020, Dec. 17, 2020
    • Dec. 17 = Self-monitoring ended Dec. 31, 2020
  • Chetwynd Secondary (SD59) – Nov. 13, 2020
  • Van Bien Elementary (SD57) – Nov. 9-10, 2020
  • Ron Brent Elementary (SD57) – Oct. 30, 2020
  • Hudson’s Hope Elementary-Junior Secondary (SD60) – Oct. 26-Nov. 4, 2020
  • Immaculate Conception School (Diocese of Prince George) – Oct. 21-23, 2020
  • Roosevelt Park Elementary (SD52) – Oct. 21-22, 2020
  • Notre Dame in Dawson Creek (Private) – Oct. 13-14, 2020
  • Quesnel Junior Secondary (SD28) – Sept. 10-11, 15-18, 2020
  • Ecole Frank Ross Elementary (SD59) – Sept. 10-11, 2020

According to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC), the following flights involving Prince George have been flagged for COVID-19 exposure: 

  • March 5 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows nine to 15
  • March 12 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M728 from Prince George to Kelowna – rows not reported
  • March 15 = Central Mountain Air flight 9M725 from Kelowna to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Aug. 21 = Air Canada flight 8212 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows six to 12
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 26 to 32
  • Aug. 24 = Flair Air flight 8711 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 26 to 32
  • Oct. 13 = Flair Air flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 10 to 16
  • Oct. 18 = Air Canada flight 8209 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows eight to 14
  • Oct. 18 = Flair Air flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George – rows two to six
  • Oct. 22 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows three to nine
  • Oct. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8186 from Edmonton to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 2 = Flair Airlines flight 8187 from Prince George to Edmonton – rows 26 to 32
  • Nov. 10 = Air Canada flight 8201 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows one to seven
  • Nov. 23 = WestJet flight 3297 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet light 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 24 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Nov. 26 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows not reported
  • Nov. 27 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows not reported
  • Dec. 16 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 14 to 20
  • Dec. 16 = WestJet flight 3290 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 16-19
  • Dec. 18 = WestJet flight 3287 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 15 -19
  • Dec. 18 = Air Canada/Jazz flight 8208 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows one to four
  • Dec. 19 = WestJet flight 3290 flight from Prince George to Vancouver – rows four to 10
  • Dec. 26 = Air Canada flight 8213 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows seven to 13
  • Dec. 30 = WestJet flight 3277 from Vancouver to Prince George – rows 13 to 19
  • Dec. 31 = Flair Airlines flight 8712 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows 13 to 19
  • Jan. 1 = WestJet flight 3282 from Prince George to Vancouver – rows three to nine

– with files from Tyler Orton, Business In Vancouver, and The Canadian Press

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Alberta's highest rates of active COVID-19 are in rural areas now – CBC.ca

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Alberta’s big cities were the epicentre of COVID-19 for a period last fall but lately it’s rural areas that have seen the highest rates of active cases, relative to their population.

“I think there’s a misconception that there are no cases and no impact in rural zones,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said last week.

“But, in actual fact, we have seen quite high numbers in some rural places.”

Alberta Health divides the province into 132 “local geographic areas” in order to monitor a variety of health outcomes and, as of Tuesday’s data update, the top 10 areas for active COVID-19 cases, per capita, were all rural.

Some of these areas have names similar to nearby municipalities but it’s important to note the boundaries defined by Alberta Health are not identical to the municipal boundaries you might be more familiar with.

  • Scroll down for a map showing all 132 local areas and their active-case rates

Many of these rural areas don’t have massive outbreaks in terms of absolute numbers, but do have high numbers of active cases relative to the number of people who live there.

In the Frog Lake and Wabasca areas of northeastern Alberta, for instance, nearly 1 out of 100 people had an active case of COVID-19, as of Tuesday’s data update. A bit further north and west, in the La Lac Biche and High Prairie areas, it was about 1 out of 150 people.

Wetaskiwin County in central Alberta had the highest rate in the province in early January, with about 1 in 50 people battling an active infection at that time. But the numbers there have since been on the decline.

Changes over time

These recent trends stand in contrast to last fall, when the highest active-case rates were seen in Edmonton and Calgary.

But it’s not unusual for rural areas to see sudden spikes like this. An outbreak in a small community can quickly affect a significant portion of its population.

Since the pandemic began, there have been periodic surges in viral spread in a wide variety of locations, from the most remote corners of the province to the most densely populated urban areas.

“COVID-19 cannot be restricted to a specific municipality, and what we have seen … is how interconnected we all are,” Hinshaw said.

“The movement between different towns, the movement between large, urban centres and small rural areas — all of that movement is part of what spreads COVID-19.”

The interactive map below shows all 132 local health areas, as defined by Alberta Health, and the latest active-case rates in each area. The darker the shading, the higher the rate.

You can zoom in, scroll around and click on an area for more information.

You can also type the name of a community into the search bar to locate it on the map.

When you zoom in past a certain point, labels appear on each area showing the latest count of active cases.

If the map isn’t displaying well on your mobile device, click here for a standalone version.

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Hamilton's COVID vaccine clinic shut down | TheSpec.com – TheSpec.com

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More COVID news

The COVID-19 vaccine clinic temporarily closed at Hamilton Health Sciences amid shortages that have limited immunization to only residents of seniors’ homes and second doses.

The clinic shut its doors Wednesday after reducing appointments on Monday and Tuesday to 300 a day from 1,000 at its height.

It comes as hospitals struggle to care for high numbers of COVID patients, with six more sent to Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara from overburdened hospitals in the Greater Toronto Area.

In total, 21 COVID patients have been transferred to area hospitals — seven to the Charlton Campus of St. Joseph’s Healthcare, five to Hamilton General Hospital, six to Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital and three to Niagara Health.

Hamilton hospitals were caring for 135 COVID patients Wednesday. To compare, fewer than 150 people total were hospitalized in Hamilton over the first four months of the pandemic.

The last month has seen a particularly significant jump, with HHS caring on Wednesday for nearly double the number of COVID patients at 97 than it was on Dec. 29, when it set a record of 50.

There is hope hospitals will see relief as new daily infections are lower now than at the beginning of January.

Hamilton reported 70 new cases Wednesday — only once in the last nine days has the number been above double digits. It’s also well below the single-day record of 209 set on Jan. 5.

But provincial public health officials caution the number of COVID infections remain high. To compare, Hamilton’s single-day record was 71 on Nov. 26, when the city was in the red zone.

There is also worry about three fast-spreading COVID variants — one is already in Ontario, although there have been no cases of the B.1.1.7 variant found in Hamilton so far despite increased surveillance.

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. David Williams, cautioned Monday that the B.1.1.7 variant “took off exponentially” in the U.K.

“We haven’t seen that yet,” he said. “That gives me some reassurance that our measures are holding.”

Hamilton’s pandemic death toll is 243 after the city reported three more COVID deaths Wednesday — 11 deaths have been reported in two days.

Of the most recent deaths, two appear to be seniors age 80 or more and one appears to be between the ages of 70 to 79. It’s unknown if they died in outbreaks because the city no longer provides that information.

There was a new death reported in the outbreak on unit E3 of Juravinski Hospital, where 29 have been infected and seven have died. As of Wednesday, there are outbreaks on 11 hospital units at HHS and St. Joseph’s.

The city’s 50 ongoing outbreaks also include 22 seniors’ homes and 11 other vulnerable congregate settings, including the Salvation Army Lawson Ministries, where an outbreak was declared Jan. 26 after two people tested positive.

In addition, there are outbreaks at three workplaces and three daycares.

Outbreaks have been declared over at long-term-care home Idlewyld Manor, accounting firm Pettinelli Mastroluisi on James Street South and Rygiel Supports for Community Living on the west Mountain. However, a second Rygiel outbreak is ongoing.

No date has been given yet for when the HHS immunization clinic will reopen for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine’s second doses, some of which started being administered on Jan. 18.

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The second doses will be stretched as far out as 42 days compared to the recommended 21. Only residents of seniors’ homes are expected to get the second dose on time. The second dose of the Modena vaccine will be give within the recommended 28 days.

So far 19,200 doses have been administered in Hamilton but public health can’t provide any kind of breakdown of who has received them. It also doesn’t know how many seniors are left to vaccinate in long-term care and high-risk retirement homes.

It’s significant because the province wants residents vaccinated by Feb. 5 and is diverting vaccine to make that happen.

Local public health said in a statement that no vaccine destined for Hamilton has been diverted so far.

It has blamed the lack of data on the province.

“It’s a complete lack of transparency,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Why all the secrecy?”

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