Good morning from The Inquirer newsroom.

First: Roughly 19,000 Pa. voters left the Republican party in the aftermath of the false election fraud claims.

Then: COVID-19 has led to a sharp decline in cardiac surgeries.

And: Philly will welcome new neighbors as President Joe Biden plans to resettle more of the world’s most vulnerable people to new homes in the region.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Almost 19,000 Pennsylvania voters have left the Republican Party since the Capitol attack

In the aftermath of false election fraud claims, 19,000 Pennsylvanians became former Republicans.

Our analysis of voter registration data showed that a dramatic two-thirds of the voters who have switched parties this year left the GOP. Voters are dropping the Republican Party affiliation at more than double the usual defection rate, and people we talked to say it’s for the same reasons: to protest the false election fraud claims, and growing frustration with Trump and his supporters.

There isn’t usually a Republican flight to become third-party or independent voters like this. In fact, the fluid trend is a stark reversal from previous years in Pennsylvania when voters leaving the Democratic Party notably outnumbered Republicans. But the attack on democracy appears to have changed all that, and those who left the GOP are a part of a larger shift away from the party.

If the recent data indicate anything else, it’s that this strong undercurrent may not be over.

Get the whole story.

COVID-19 led to a drop in heart surgery, with grim consequences

The volume of heart surgeries significantly dropped during the pandemic.

And if, as explained in a recent nationwide analysis, people who feared exposure to COVID-19 avoided cardiac procedures — then it appears this is another tragic story about COVID-19 worsening health matters beyond the virus. Because Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey were hit hard by the virus, they were also hit hard by this.

The numbers collected by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons show that people who did get heart surgery were less likely to survive. The promising news is that hospitals have improved systems for reducing risks for heart patients since the beginning of the pandemic.

Reporter Tom Avril has everything you need to know about the decline in heart surgeries.

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

These enchanting primary colors just catch the eye. Thanks for sharing, @justjo1002.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

Opinions

“For someone like me who isn’t getting around as much because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the podcast will be a useful window to help get to know more officers and what they’re talking about,” columnist Jenice Armstrong writes of a Philly police podcast born out of the city’s violence epidemic that could help “demystify the people behind the badge.”

What we’re reading

This coalition got the most basic services turned back on for a tiny Georgia town in a symbolic court victory against racially repressive municipal policies, and Scalawag magazine has the story.

Your Daily Dose of | Letters

These Penn students have helped send more than 13,000 “Lockdown Letters” to front-line workers as doctors, nurses and teachers.