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Here are some significant developments:
- Vaccine expert Rick Bright is filing a whistleblower complaint, his attorneys said Thursday. Bright said he was ousted as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority because he resisted efforts to join President Trump in pushing hydroxychloroquine as a potential covid-19 cure.
- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) was criticized by governors from both major parties for suggesting that states hit hard by the outbreak should be allowed to seek bankruptcy protections rather than be given a federal bailout. “This is really one of the dumb ideas of all time,” New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said.
- More than 4.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department, a signal the tidal wave of job losses continues to grow during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Donald Reed Herring, the oldest brother of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), died of covid-19 in Oklahoma, Warren said Thursday. He was 86.
- Millions of Americans are still waiting for their first unemployment check. The growing national backlog, according to a Post analysis, has proved particularly problematic in Florida — where fewer than 7 percent of applicants have received aid.
- The NFL draft began Thursday night with general managers and coaches from the 32 teams and dozens of draft-eligible players participating remotely, many from their living room couches. Commissioner Roger Goodell asked viewers to participate in a moment of silence for victims of covid-19. Harry Connick Jr. then performed the national anthem from his home.
Coronavirus: What you need to know
Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.
New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.
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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