The country’s brutal second wave of the pandemic, which began in March, has overrun hospitals and forced authorities to hold mass cremations at a scale not seen in the country since the pandemic began. For the past two weeks, medical facilities have been running out of oxygen and intensive care beds, with patients left to die at home or outside hospitals.
But his administration has yet to make a decision on whether to share the estimated 40 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses it has stockpiled. Those shots have gone unused, with the exception of a few million sent to Canada and Mexico, because AstraZeneca has not been granted emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that sending excess vaccines to India was “on the table,” though he offered no timetable or plan for such a move.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED.
Q. What can vaccinated people safely do in the US?
A: “In the next few days very likely, the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will be coming out with updating their guidelines of what people who are vaccinated can do and even some who are not vaccinated,” Fauci told CNN.
Outdoor activities carry a much lower Covid-19 risk, he said, and for Americans who are fully vaccinated, that risk level drops even further. And with warmer weather now here, Fauci said he expects guidance on outdoor activities to be released soon.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
Americans will be able to travel to Europe in summer, but some are missing second vaccines
Scores of people, including Covid-19 patients, killed in massive Baghdad hospital fire
Social media videos showed a chaotic scene as firefighters scrambled to put out the blaze and workers tried to evacuate patients. Health workers and civil defense teams were ultimately able to save at least 200 people, including patients.
Streaming services dominates this year’s pandemic-defined Oscars
In a year where Covid-19 shuttered theaters and turned movie-goers into couch potatoes, 16 of the 23 statuettes went to projects that at the very least simultaneously premiered on streaming services. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Oscars extended the awards calendar by two months and made what was described as a one-time-only exception allowing movies that premiered via streaming and weren’t released theatrically to compete.
ON OUR RADAR
- As Covid-19 shots have become more widely available across the United States, the Navajo Nation has reported more than half of its adult members have been inoculated, outpacing the vaccination rate for the rest of the US.
- The long-delayed travel bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore is set to begin on May 26. The scheme will allow visitors to travel between the two cities on dedicated flights without the need for quarantine.
- US states and cities are racing to use the billions in federal relief aid approved by Congress to fight the growing crisis of homelessness — but the approaching end of some pandemic benefits threatens to make the problem worse.
- The Biden administration is attempting to tackle vaccine hesitancy, particularly among conservative and rural voters in the Southeast and Mountain West.
TODAY’S TOP TIP
Companies want to reward Americans who’ve been vaccinated with special offers after getting their shots.
“I wanted something that scientists would look at and say, you know, that could happen, and those properties are totally believable.” — Lawrence Wright, New Yorker writer and author of “The End of October”