With impeachment finished, Congress now returns to focusing on President Biden’s economic stimulus plan. But why do some economists say it could be too much?
Also, daily coronavirus cases are falling across the U.S. and the pace of vaccinations is increasing. And, in a change from the massive demonstrations last month, Russians in multiple cities used their cellphone flashlights to show their support for jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
The U.S. coronavirus rollout has been anything but smooth. States are reporting limited supply of vaccines, leading them to delay appointments and close clinics to the public. Some states lack staff and essential resources to get the job done. With little guidance from the previous White House administration on how to effectively administer vaccines, it’s up to states and local health officials to get the job done. President Joe Biden announced the administration will buy 200 million more vaccines and institute a national vaccine program to vaccinate 100 million doses in his first 100 days. But can it be done? Here’s what went wrong with the U.S. coronavirus vaccine rollout and how a new White House plans to turn things around.
As new coronavirus variants sweep across the world, scientists are racing to understand how dangerous they could be. WSJ explains. Illustration: Alex Kuzoian/WSJ
Over the course of the pandemic, scientists have been monitoring emerging genetic changes to Sars-Cov-2. Mutations occur naturally as the virus replicates but if they confer an advantage – like being more transmissible – that variant of the virus may go on to proliferate.
This was the case with the ‘UK’ or B117 variant, which is about 50% more contagious and is rapidly spreading around the country. So how does genetic surveillance of the virus work? And what do we know about the new variants? Ian Sample speaks to Dr Jeffrey Barrett, the director of the Covid-19 genomics initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, to find out Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage.
When Covid-19 sparked lockdowns around the world, emissions of one of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, atmospheric carbon dioxide, plummeted. But is this record drop a short-term effect of the 2020 pandemic or a ‘new normal’? BBC Weather’s Ben Rich explores the impact of coronavirus on the global climate.
Motion graphics by Jacqueline Galvin
Produced by Soraya Auer
From the race to roll-out coronavirus vaccinations around the world, to other concerns such as mental health and measles, BBC Health Reporter Smitha Mundasad looks at the health challenges facing the world in the next year.
Virologist Angela Rasmussen talks about her battle against misinformation in the media, the virus, vaccines, disinfecting surfaces, home testing, and the next pandemic.
Eric J. Topol, MD: Hello, I’m Eric Topol for Medscape, and this is Medicine and the Machine. I’m so glad to have my colleague and partner in this podcast, Abraham Verghese, with me from Stanford. Today, we have the rarefied privilege to discuss the whole pandemic story, the virus and vaccines, with one of the country’s leading virologists, Dr Angela Rasmussen. Welcome, Angie.
Angela L. Rasmussen, MA, MPhil, PhD: Thank you so much for having me, Eric. It’s wonderful to be here.