U.K. Variant Deadlier? Merck Drops COVID Vaccines; Wuhan One Year Later

Covid-19, News

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New data: not only is U.K. variant B.1.1.7 more transmissible, it may also be 30% more deadly. Britain’s chief scientist said, and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, MD, cautiously agreed. (AP, New York Post)

The Biden administration is about to ban nearly all non-U.S. travelers from South Africa, Brazil, the U.K., and 26 countries in Europe to try to keep these variants out of the U.S. (Reuters)

Merck said it will drop out of the COVID vaccine hunt after poor phase I results; the company will now focus on coronavirus drugs.

Fauci said he received death threats and his family was harassed while he worked with the White House COVID-19 task force under President Trump. (New York Times)

And fellow task force member Deborah Birx, MD, said there was “no full-time team” working on COVID-19 during her time in the White House. (CBS News)

As of Monday at 8:00 a.m. EST, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. is 25,128,378 cases and 419,225 deaths, with no signs of slowing.

CDC reported 41,411,550 COVID-19 vaccine doses distributed and 21,848,655 doses administered, as of Sunday.

A year ago Saturday, the city of Wuhan in China started its COVID-19 lockdown. How is it faring now? (New York Times)

Saga Cruises became the first cruise line in the world to mandate passengers be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to travel. (CNN)

California has shielded the public from data used to determine when stay-at-home orders are lifted within the state. (AP)

The University of Michigan is pausing all athletics due to several infections with the coronavirus variant. (AP)

Some countries in Europe will now recommend medical-grade masks instead of cloth masks for the public. (Washington Post)

The new variant in Brazil has created “a complete massacre, a horror film,” swamping hospitals and leaving them without supplies. (The Guardian)

Mexico’s president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, tested positive for COVID-19. (Reuters)

In other news:

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    Molly Walker is an associate editor, who covers infectious diseases for MedPage Today. She has a passion for evidence, data and public health. Follow

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