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More than four million people in the United States received a coronavirus vaccine on Saturday — the nation’s highest one-day total since the shots began rolling out in December — amid a rising caseload and increase in hospitalizations.

An average of 3.1 million shots were administered each day over the past seven days, and nearly 1 in 4 adults are now fully vaccinated, said Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior adviser for covid-19 response, speaking at a news briefing.

Here are some significant developments:
  • The Biden administration said the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccine doses despite problems at a Baltimore manufacturing facility that will now be taken over by parent company Johnson & Johnson. More than 106 million people have received at least one coronavirus vaccine dose in the country.
  • Experts disagree on whether the United States is on the cusp of a “fourth wave” of infections or seeing the last gasps of the 14-month crisis.
  • India on Sunday reported more than 100,000 new cases of the coronavirus, a grim measure achieved by only the United States and briefly Brazil, and a sign that the infections in the nation of 1.3 billion could be spinning out of control.
  • Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Monday.
  • Wisconsin’s vaccination program is a success, buoying the profile of Andrea Palm, once its top health official and now a candidate for No. 2 at the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • About 555,000 people have died in the United States of the coronavirus, and reported new cases of infection are rising steadily. There was a 5 percent increase over the past week.
correction

An earlier version of this report said India was the second country to record 100,000 coronavirus cases in a day. It was the third. The error has been corrected.

3:30 a.m.
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Analysis: Efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic didn’t have the death toll Trump seemed to predict

At a White House coronavirus briefing in late March 2020, a reporter asked Anthony S. Fauci, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, to evaluate warnings by then-President Donald Trump about the toll of closing businesses in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.

“Dr. Fauci, could you speak to that — the idea that there might be mental health and suicide related to this?” the reporter asked. “Would that outpace, at some point, the virus’s impact on the society?”

Instead of deferring to Fauci, Trump handled the question himself.

2:30 a.m.
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Female professors have less time to research in the pandemic. It could force them out of academia, experts say.

Aide Macias-Muñoz is often confronted with the accomplishments of her male colleagues. They regularly post on Twitter, celebrating a new publication — or their second one that month. At home in the pandemic, many seem to be churning out more papers than ever.

She’s happy for them, she said. Truly, she is.

But she can’t help thinking of her own research — and the gap in her curriculum vitae that, every day she spends at home with her 20-month-old daughter, grows just a little bit wider.

1:27 a.m.
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Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte tests positive for coronavirus

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said on Monday.

The first-term Republican was tested after showing “mild symptoms” on Sunday, just three days after he received his first covid-19 vaccine dose. Montana’s first lady, Susan Gianforte, has exhibited no symptoms, was tested and is awaiting her results, the governor’s office said in a news release. Gianforte will quarantine for 10 days.

“All of the governor’s in-person events have been canceled until further notice, and the governor will continue to conduct his duties and manage the state’s business from his home in Bozeman,” the release said.

Gianforte and his aides have been tested for the virus regularly since he took office, the release said. The positive test comes nearly one month after the governor lifted Montana’s mask mandate. The state now joins a list of at least five others that have seen their governors contract covid-19, including Colorado, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

Montana is reporting an average of 13 new virus cases per 100,000 residents each day, according to Washington Post tracking, a figure that puts the state slightly below the national average.

12:30 a.m.
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‘I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail’: Norwegian Cruise CEO lays out plan for a U.S. restart

The chief executive of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings on Monday rolled out a plan to start sailing again from the United States with fully vaccinated passengers and crew. A big catch: He still needs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to sign off, more than a year after the agency prohibited cruising in the United States.

The move by CEO Frank Del Rio is a bold salvo amid the cruise industry’s escalating frustration with the CDC, whose allegedly “outdated” rules have been the target of complaints in recent weeks. The criticism has only mounted since Friday, when the agency said travel for vaccinated people was low risk — but also laid out a raft of additional conditions, under a “conditional sailing order,” that cruise lines need to meet before getting permission to operate from U.S. ports.

“I’d like to hear an argument why we couldn’t sail,” Del Rio said in an interview. “If everyone on board is vaccinated and following the protocols, there is absolutely no need for the conditional sail order to exist as it is known today.”

11:30 p.m.
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A Florida bar owner didn’t get in trouble for banning masks. But a strip show landed him in jail.

Since September, Gary Kirby has banned masks and social distancing at his bar on Florida’s Space Coast, refusing to close shop or adopt most restrictions as the coronavirus pandemic continued to rage.

He hosted a keg party for Halloween and turkey bowling for Thanksgiving at Westside Sports Bar and Lounge, in addition to playing football games on weekends. To mark the first anniversary of the state’s first quarantine rules, he planned an “anti-lockdown party” for St. Patrick’s Day.

But it wasn’t until two weeks later, when two police officers went undercover at the bar to watch a “male revue” — allegedly including lap dances, nudity, exposed male genitalia and other violations of the city’s adult entertainment code — that the bar faced any legal repercussions.

10:30 p.m.
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D.C. fears it is lagging behind the rest of the country in vaccinations

Twenty U.S. states have now opened vaccine registration to any person over 16 who wants a shot — but the D.C. region is still waiting.

Washingtonians, always loath to be behind in anything, are deeply frustrated as the D.C. region seems to lag, with coronavirus vaccines still hard to come by, even for many people who have long been eligible on the basis of their age, illness or essential work, let alone for healthy young people.

The District plans to open vaccine appointments to healthy adults on May 1, the latest date that President Biden set as a target for all states. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Thursday that everyone age 16 and older who lives or works in the state will become eligible for shots by April 18, almost two weeks ahead of Biden’s deadline. But at the moment, Virginia’s populous D.C. suburbs lag behind much of the state.

9:30 p.m.
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Yellen warns that slow vaccine rollout in poor countries poses threat to U.S., global economies

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday called for speeding up the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine in poorer nations, arguing the U.S. and global economies are threatened by the impact of covid-19 on the developing world.

While the United States and other rich countries are hoping for a return to normalcy as soon as this fall, many parts of the developing world are not on pace to have widespread vaccination of their populations until 2023 or 2024. Those countries have largely suffered more devastating economic impacts from covid, in part because they do not have the fiscal capacity to authorize the levels of emergency spending approved in the United States.

In prepared remarks Monday to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs ahead of meetings this week of international finance officials, Yellen called on richer countries to step up both economic and public health assistance to poorer nations reeling from covid. She noted as many as 150 million people across the world risk falling into extreme poverty as a result of the crisis.

8:30 p.m.
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‘Bizarre’ says Fauci about raft of GOP criticisms

Facing criticism from several high-profile Republicans in recent weeks, the country’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, pushed back on some of the claims, calling the remarks “bizarre.”

The most recent slight came Friday from Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who in a series of tweets urged Fauci to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, where authorities are grappling with an influx of migrants, and asked him to witness firsthand what he called the nation’s “biggest super spreader event.”

Graham claimed thousands of Central American migrants are spreading the virus while being detained in overcrowded facilities.

The migrants, he said, are staying “on top of each other” and “dumped off in Texas” and elsewhere in the country. “If you are worried about the spread of COVID, you should be gravely concerned about what is happening at our southern border,” Graham wrote.

7:30 p.m.
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Death of Alabama fan after attending NCAA tournament prompts coronavirus contact tracing

Health officials in Indiana have begun an investigation into whether anyone was exposed to the coronavirus after a newspaper report about an Alabama fan who reportedly died of covid-19 complications after attending the NCAA men’s basketball tournament in Indianapolis.

Luke Ratliff, a 23-year-old Alabama student and hoops fan known to Crimson Tide fans as “Fluffopotamus,” had attended the school’s March 28 game against UCLA. He returned to Tuscaloosa the day after Alabama lost and was hospitalized.

Indiana’s Marion County Public Health Department confirmed that it had contacted the Alabama Department of Public Health. “Based on a recent news story, the Marion County Public Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health are contacting the Alabama Department of Public Health to determine if anyone in Indianapolis may have been exposed to covid-19 by any Alabama resident who visited Indianapolis in recent days,” the county said in a statement provided by the NCAA.

6:33 p.m.
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Latin America threatened by superspreader Brazil

LIMA, Peru — The doctor watched the patients stream into his intensive care unit with a sense of dread.

For weeks, César Salomé, a physician in Lima’s Hospital Mongrut, had followed the chilling reports. A new coronavirus variant, spawned in the Amazon rainforest, had stormed Brazil and driven its health system to the brink of collapse. Now his patients, too, were arriving far sicker, their lungs saturated with disease, and dying within days. Even the young and healthy did not appear protected.

The new variant, he realized, was here.

“We used to have more time,” Salomé said. “Now, we have patients who come in and in a few days they’ve lost the use of their lungs.”

The P.1 variant, which packs a suite of mutations that makes it more transmissible and potentially more dangerous, is no longer just Brazil’s problem. It’s South America’s problem — and the world’s.

6:32 p.m.
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French authorities investigate whether ministers dined at secret restaurants in violation of restrictions

French prosecutors are investigating claims that senior ministers attended secret dinners at clandestine luxury restaurants in Paris that served maskless guests champagne and caviar in defiance of the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

The government ordered restaurants closed to in-person dining Oct. 30 as covid-19 cases surged. They have remained shut ever since, and France this month entered a third national lockdown.

But some have flouted the rules. Authorities opened the inquiry following an undercover report aired by the M6 channel Friday that included footage of an unidentified man at a clandestine restaurant bragging about his recent dinners “with a certain number of ministers.”

5:28 p.m.
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Saudi Arabia to increase number of pilgrims allowed in Mecca, allow only those with immunity

BEIRUT — Saudi Arabia will increase the number of people allowed to perform pilgrimage in Mecca next week for those who have received the coronavirus vaccine, or have immunity from covid-19, the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah said on Monday.

The kingdom had reopened its doors for Umrah, a pilgrimage that Muslims can take at any time of the year, in October after a seven-month hiatus, capping the capacity at 6,000 pilgrims a day — scaling back from its previous daily average of nearly 53,000 a day.

Umrah was suspended for international pilgrims in December when the country closed its air, land and sea borders after the discovery of a new strain of the virus in the kingdom.

On Monday, the ministry said it will increase its limits on the number of pilgrims allowed as long as the health precautions remain in place. It said permits to perform prayers or Umrah in Mecca’s Grand Mosque will be granted to those who have taken both doses of the vaccine, have taken one dose at least 14 days earlier, or have immunity after recovering from the virus.

The increase of pilgrims will start on the first day of Ramadan, a holy month when Muslims fast from sunrise till sunset. The first day of Ramadan, which follows a lunar calendar, will fall on April 13 or 14.

Saudi Arabia has been organizing permits for Umrah and Hajj, a yearly pilgrimage later in the year, through online applications. As recently as last week, the state-run Saudi Press Agency registered multiple violations of permits.

4:26 p.m.
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A record 4 million vaccines were given in a single day nationwide, White House says

More than 4 million people in the United States received a coronavirus vaccine Saturday — the nation’s highest one-day total since the shots began rolling out in December, White House officials said Monday.

An average of 3.1 million shots were administered each day over the past seven days, and nearly 1 in 4 adults are now fully vaccinated, said Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior adviser for covid-19 response, speaking at a news briefing.

But the country’s accelerating vaccination campaign is competing against rising caseloads. Over the past week, the seven-day average of new daily cases rose 7 percent to 64,000, said Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new cases are occurring “predominantly in younger adults,” between the ages of 18 and 24, many of whom are not yet eligible for vaccination, Walensky said.

“We are now entering our fourth week of increased trends in cases while we are watching these increasing case counts with concern,” she said. “The good news is that millions of Americans are stepping up every day to get vaccinated.”

3:31 p.m.
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Wisconsin turned around its lagging vaccination plan and produced a pick for Biden’s Cabinet

When President Biden announced in January that he would make Wisconsin’s top health official his No. 2 at the Department of Health and Human Services, the state seemed a poor model for the nation’s most crucial public health priority: fighting the pandemic.

Wisconsin had just come through a surge more intense than New York City’s, and it ranked near the bottom of states in bringing a first dose of vaccine to its residents. Only about a third of doses sent to the state had been administered. The grim numbers galvanized Republicans in Wisconsin to take aim at a familiar target, state health secretary-designate Andrea Palm, whom they had refused to confirm since 2019, denying her symbolic authority even as the coronavirus gripped the state.

Her elevation to Biden’s team provided an opportunity to nationalize their campaign against Democratic-led pandemic policies.