Derek Chauvin trial, COVID-19 vaccine side effects, FLOTUS agenda: 5 things to know Wednesday

Editors
USA TODAY

Derek Chauvin trial to continue with more expert testimony

Expert witness Sgt. Jody Stiger is expected to continue his testimony Wednesday in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and face more questions about why he determined Chauvin's use of force on George Floyd, a Black man who died in police custody in 2020, was "excessive." Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department officer who has conducted about 2,500 use of force reviews, said the initial use of force on Floyd that day was appropriate. But after officers forced Floyd to the ground, "they should have de-escalated the situation," Stiger told jurors Tuesday. Instead, the officers intensified the situation, he said. Also on Tuesday, officer Nicole Mackenzie, the EMT who leads the Minneapolis Police Department's emergency medical response training, said officers are trained to call for an ambulance and provide medical aid if a situation is "critical." The officers that day did not render medical aid, according to court records.

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COVID-19 vaccine side effects study: Rashes, skin reactions not dangerous

A new study finds the many types of odd skin reactions COVID-19 can cause including COVID toes, a measles-like rash and shingles can be rare, and thankfully brief, side effects of getting the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. The minor, though sometimes itchy and annoying, reactions were seen in a database of 414 cases of delayed skin problems linked to the vaccines and reported to health care professionals. The findings appeared Wednesday in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The delayed skin responses described in the study often start a day or so after vaccination but can appear as long as seven to eight days later. None caused a life-threatening reaction, a finding author Dr. Esther Freeman found reassuring. Because the cases only include those reported to a dermatological registry, it's impossible to say how common they are across all people getting the vaccines from the data.

Stimulus checks due to arrive for some Social Security recipients

Some Americans have something special to look forward to Wednesday: stimulus money from Uncle Sam in their bank account. The latest round of payments totaling $1,400 applies to Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement Board beneficiaries who didn't file a 2019 or 2020 tax return or didn't use the IRS' Non-Filers tool. The IRS said the money would be disbursed electronically through direct deposits and payments to existing Direct Express cards. Track your money using the "Get My Payment" tool on IRS.gov.

Next on the FLOTUS agenda: help for military families

First lady and military mom Jill Biden is turning her spotlight on a cause close to her heart: making sure military and veteran families, caregivers and survivors get all the support they need. Biden says military readiness and national security depends on the well-being of military families. On Wednesday, she'll discuss the initiative "Joining Forces" at a virtual meeting at the White House. Per an advance copy of her remarks obtained by USA TODAY, Biden's priorities will focus on employment and entrepreneurship, military children’s education and families' health and well-being. 

'Kung Fu' is debuting at a crucial time for Asian American community

"Kung Fu," a new series inspired by the 1972 show by the same name, will debut on the CW Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET/PT). The series has a mostly Asian American cast with an Asian American showrunner and executive producer. The Asian American community is paying attention, not only to see their stories on TV but to see how they're told. "Kung Fu," inspired by the series starring David Carradine, stars Olivia Liang as Nicky Shen, who while visiting China, joins a monastery where she is taught Shaolin values and martial arts. Tzi Ma, who plays Nicky's father Jin, hopes the authenticity of the series will help to change the public consciousness at a time when hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise. "I want the audience to have the opportunity finally to see what real reputation representation is like," Tzi Ma said. "And when they get educated, they will begin to develop their taste of what's good, what's real and what’s true."

Contributing: The Associated Press