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President Biden is launching his national strategy for COVID-1

9 to increase vaccinations and testing.

USA TODAY

COVID-19 has killed more than 410,000 Americans in less than a year, and infections continue to rise, despite the introduction of a pair of vaccines in late 2020. USA TODAY is following the news. Keep updating this page for the latest updates. Sign up for our coronavirus newsletter for updates to your mailbox, join our Facebook group or scroll through our in-depth answers to reader questions.

The cornerstone of President Joe Biden’s new strategic plan COVID-19 rests on using the Defense Manufacturing Act to strengthen the supply chain and producing vaccines – but experts say the plan will take time.

Biden has revealed many points in his strategy that will use the Defense Manufacturing Act to obtain the necessary raw materials and support the expanding capacity to produce lipid nanoparticles, a crucial and complex part of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Biden’s plan, which he calls a “military venture,” is unique in the annals of US medical history. In a comprehensive national strategy to tackle the 198-page pandemic, he called for improved vaccine distribution, increased testing and wider use of masks, including new requirements at airports and many trains, planes and buses.

It comes at a time when the nation needs solutions to stop – even slow down – the coronavirus. The United States suffered 410,000 deaths this week, and pressure to inoculate Americans against the coronavirus is hampering: A number of states say their vaccine is running out, and tens of thousands of people who have met for a first dose have been seen canceled.

Authorities in California, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida and Hawaii have warned in the past few days that supplies are running low. New York began to cancel or postpone the shots or stopped recording new meetings due to shortages.

In the headlines:

►Dr. Anthony Fauci said on CNN on Friday that the lack of openness and facts about the reaction to the American pandemic in the last year “very likely” cost lives. Asked on Thursday about his experience in working on the pandemic response for two different administrations, Fautsi also said the opportunity to share science was “liberating”. Fauci said he was not pleased to correct the information provided by former President Donald Trump during briefings.

►President Joe Biden is due to sign two executive orders on Friday that will give low-income families easier access to federal food and support programs and begin the process of requiring federal contractors to pay workers a minimum wage. from $ 15 an hour and their emergency paid leave. The action is part of Biden’s efforts to provide economic relief to Americans who are still shaken by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

►The UK National Health Service is preparing at least two London buses to serve as makeshift ambulances so that four COVID patients can be transported at once, according to The Guardian. The buses, which will be operated by intensive care doctors and nurses, are designed to ease the strain that the pandemic has imposed on London ambulances.

►After weeks of dissatisfaction with ‘vaccine tourism’, Florida officials will limit the meager supply of COVID-19 to residents only. Surgeon General Scott Rivkis issued an enforcement order requiring people seeking an appointment to receive the vaccine in order to provide proof of residence or proof that they are a healthcare provider directly involved with patients. Until now, one only had to prove that one was 65 or older.

📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 24.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and more than 410,000 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University. Total worldwide: More than 97.6 million cases and 2 million deaths.

📘 What we read: Campus leaders hope the lessons they have learned since the fall will better position them to protect COVID-19 students and staff during the spring semester. But that was before the deaths and deaths. What next?

Scientists applaud Biden’s decision to rejoin the World Health Organization

The scientific community welcomes President Joe Biden’s decision to rejoin the World Health Organization and other global efforts to stop and prevent COVID-19. The move had both symbolic and practical implications, said Jen Cates, senior vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation.

Practically, because US funding will help the agency balance its budget, meet its commitments to strengthen public health, and protect Americans from new strains of COVID-19 and future disease threats.

And symbolically, because the United States was the agency’s largest funding body and has long been a key player on the global health scene.

In the short term, the United States withdrawing its notice of withdrawal means that it will meet its financial obligations to the organization and stop cutting staff provided by the United States to the WHO. In the long run, US involvement means helping to better prepare for a pandemic, reverse the health effects of climate change and promote better health worldwide, the Biden administration said.

“Karen Weintraub.”

Texas doctor accused of stealing a vial of COVID vaccine

A fired Texas district public health doctor has been charged with taking a vial of COVID-19 vaccine, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement Thursday.

Dr. Hassan Gokal took a vial containing nine doses while working at the county vaccination site on December 29, according to the district attorney’s office. He told another employee what he had done a week later and that employee reported it to the supervisors.

“He abused his position to put his friends and family in line in front of people who went through the legal process to be there,” Og said. “What he did is illegal and he will be held accountable under the law.”

Gokal is accused of theft by a government official, a crime that “carries a sentence of up to one year in prison and a $ 4,000 fine,” according to the district prosecutor’s office.

Teachers in Chicago vote to oppose orders to report to private classes

Teachers in Chicago began voting Thursday to oppose orders to appear in person next week before returning elementary school students.

The Chicago Teachers’ Union is fiercely opposed to the opening of plans for public schools in Chicago due to safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic. About 355,000 student quarters, which entered the network in March 2020, gradually welcomed students back. Thousands of preschool and kindergarten students chose personal education this month. Teachers who did not show up were punished.

About 10,000 educators in kindergartens up to eighth grade are expected to attend service next week, but the union delegates’ chamber approved a resolution late Wednesday to skip classroom teaching and continue at a distance. Kindergarten students up to eighth grade have the opportunity to return two days a week, starting on February 1. No return date has been set for high school students.

Extending the eligibility of vaccines is blamed for shortages

The Trump administration’s drive to get countries to significantly expand their vaccinations to approximately 54 million people aged 65 and over has contributed to vaccine shortages, public health experts say.

The push, which began more than a week ago, is not accompanied by enough doses to meet demand, according to state and local officials, leading to frustration and confusion and limiting states’ ability to attack the outbreak that killed more than 400,000 Americans.

As states expanded their distribution chains, authorities in California, New York, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia and Hawaii warned that supplies were running out. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer even asked to buy vaccines directly from the manufacturer Pfizer, but were not allowed to do so.

Some state and local public health officials complained that they did not receive reliable information about the amount of vaccine they could expect, making it difficult to plan inoculations.

– Adriana Rodriguez, USA TODAY

Contribution: Associated Press

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