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Facing overwhelmed hospitals, Alaska became the second state this month to give health-care providers the power to prioritize patients — largely based on their likelihood to survive — for scarce resources and even deny treatment.

“Our case counts are rising,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) said at a Wednesday news conference. “It’s impacting our hospital capacity and the ability to get the care that you need.”

The decision comes amid a surge in delta variant cases that has prompted the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a Pfizer-BioNTech covid-19 booster shot for people 65 and older and adults at risk of severe illness.

Here’s what to know

  • The United States plans to donate 500 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to countries in need in an effort to help immunize 70 percent of the global population within a year.
  • The delta variant has become “by far” the world’s dominant coronavirus strain, appearing in about 185 countries as global cases near 230 million and deaths surpass 4.7 million since the start of the pandemic, according to a top World Health Organization scientist.
  • Brazil’s health minister has tested positive for the coronavirus while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where President Jair Bolsonaro spoke Tuesday.
  • Florida’s new top health official issued an emergency rule to require school districts to allow parents to choose whether their children will quarantine when they are exposed to the coronavirus.