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Here are some significant developments:
- At Wednesday’s White House coronavirus briefing, President Trump threatened to shut down both chambers of Congress to allow him to fill vacancies in his administration without Senate approval.
- The director of the World Health Organization said he is “reviewing the impact on our work of any withdrawal of U.S. funding” after Trump said he intends to halt payments to the U.N. agency. Close U.S. allies said they disagreed with the move and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Trump’s decision is “dangerous, illegal and will be swiftly challenged.”
- A federal emergency loan program intended to get money quickly into the hands of American small businesses has all but collapsed under an unprecedented crush of applications and a shortage of funds.
- Protesters in Lansing, Mich., gathered in their vehicles and in crowds in front of the state capitol to rally against stay-at-home orders.
- Clinicians around the world are seeing evidence that the coronavirus isn’t just destroying lungs; it may be causing heart inflammation, acute kidney disease, neurological malfunction, blood clots, intestinal damage and liver problems, as well.
- The Trump administration has awarded bulk contracts to third-party vendors in a scramble to obtain N95 respirator masks, paying the companies nearly eight times what it would have spent in January and February.
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Coronavirus: What you need to know
Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot designed to target both the original virus and the omicron variant. Here’s some guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.
Variants: Instead of a single new Greek letter variant, a group of immune-evading omicron spinoffs are popping up all over the world. Any dominant variant will likely knock out monoclonal antibodies, targeted drugs that can be used as a treatment or to protect immunocompromised people.
Tripledemic: Hospitals are overwhelmed by a combination of respiratory illnesses, staffing shortages and nursing home closures. And experts believe the problem will deteriorate further in coming months. Here’s how to tell the difference between RSV, the flu and covid-19.
Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.
Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.
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