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5 Things To Know On Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Posted at 6:57 AM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 06:59:52-04

While you were sleeping, we compiled the biggest stories of the day in one place. Each story has a quick and easy summary, so you're prepared for whatever the day brings. Just click on the links if you want to know more!

1. Shaken CDC director 'scared' about another surge of COVID-19
For weeks, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has been warning Americans about a potential new surge in COVID-19 cases. But during a Monday morning briefing of the White House COVID-19 response team, she gave her most alarming warning to date.

“I'm going to lose the script, and I'm going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom,” Walensky said. “We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are and so much reason for hope. But right now, I'm scared.”

According to the CDC Director, cases have begun to tick up in the U.S. after about two straight months of steady decline. Just two weeks ago, the 7-day weekly average in daily cases sat at about 53,000 a day. As of yesterday, that figure was above 61,000.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

2. DeSantis rejects CDC warning while signing legislation to protect businesses from COVID-19 liability
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said people in positions like the CDC director should instead be "providing calm to people" while still providing the facts.

DeSantis said "talking about doom" sends the wrong message given that more people are getting vaccinated each day.

DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday afternoon that protects businesses and health providers from COVID-liability lawsuits.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs COVID-liability bill into law

3. Speaking of Florida legislation: Bill would make it harder to amend Florida's constitution
A House panel advanced a bill (HJR 61) Monday to increase the votes needed to approve ballot measures from 60% to 66 percent of the vote.

State Rep. Rick Roth, R-Palm Beach Gardens, has pushed the idea for five years. He said his policy would help give more weight to minority voices.

Co-House Minority Leader Rep. Evan Jenne felt the GOP majority aimed to limit progressive amendments after the recent passage of measures like the restoration of felon voting rights and Florida's new minimum wage.

Bill would make it harder to amend Florida's constitution

4. Chauvin trial day 1: Prosecution witnesses describe Floyd’s arrest, death
Jurors hearing the case against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd heard opening arguments and from three prosecution witnesses Monday.

Chauvin is facing both second- and third-degree murder as well as manslaughter charges in Floyd's May 25, 2020 death. Three other officers who responded to the scene on that day are also facing charges and will be tried later this summer.

You can read more about the opening arguments and witnesses at the link above.

Trial of Derek Chauvin: Locals closely watching developments in trial for officer accused of killing George Floyd

5. Ghislaine Maxwell faces two new charges in sex crimes case
British socialite and former girlfriend of financier Jeffrey Epstein faces two new charges in her sex crimes case.

Federal prosecutors unveiled the new charges on Monday.

Maxwell now faces an eight-count indictment that includes charges of enabling his sexual misconduct and perjury.

Audrey Strauss Ghislaine Maxwell
Audrey Strauss, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, gestures as she speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

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On This Day In History
On March 30, 1981, President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C. hotel by a deranged drifter named John Hinckley Jr.

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