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Whitmer, health exec: COVID variant could affect re-open plans

LANSING, MI (MPRN)-- Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials say they are very concerned about a new variant of COVID-19 that’s been found in Michigan. And that could affect the course of the state’s response and the pace of re-opening schools, sports, and businesses. Whitmer says the cautious re-opening of some sectors has been possible because earlier restrictions have worked. “But we are also very mindful of the fact that this variant is now here in Michigan and it poses a...

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President Biden announced a plan today to boost the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. He says the government is buying 200 million more and that it's working with states to get them out efficiently. Here to talk about these plans is NPR's Pien Huang.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state health officials say they are very concerned about a new variant of COVID-19 that’s been found in Michigan. And that could affect the course of the state’s response and the pace of re-opening schools, sports, and businesses.

Whitmer says the cautious re-opening of some sectors has been possible because earlier restrictions have worked.

“But we are also very mindful of the fact that this variant is now here in Michigan and it poses a very real threat,” she said during an online news conference.

Updated at 5:46 p.m. ET

President Biden announced Tuesday that his administration is working to purchase an additional 200 million doses of the two COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use, with the goal, the White House says, of having enough vaccine supply for the entire adult U.S. population by the end of the summer.

He also announced steps to increase vaccine doses going to state and local governments over the next three weeks, and to provide them more clarity going forward about how much supply they should expect.

Updated 5:40 p.m. ET

After senators were sworn in Tuesday afternoon as jurors in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, Sen. Rand Paul quickly pressed for a vote to force lawmakers on the record over the issue of the trial's constitutionality.

The Senate voted 55-45 to reject the Kentucky Republican's argument that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office.

A review of data from K-12 schools that reopened for in-person instruction in the fall has found little evidence that schools contributed meaningfully to the spread of COVID-19, according to a new article published Tuesday in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association.

California lifted stay-at-home orders for all regions on Monday as the government said hospital intensive care unit capacity is expected to increase.

The stay-at-home orders applied to regions of the state where availability in ICUs had dropped below 15%. Southern California, the Bay Area and the San Joaquin Valley were still under the order when it was lifted.

The Transportation Security Administration caught approximately 10 firearms per million passengers passing through U.S. airport security in 2020 — twice the 2019 rate — amid the sharp drop in air travel because of the coronavirus.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

President Biden announced a plan today to boost the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. He says the government is buying 200 million more and that it's working with states to get them out efficiently. Here to talk about these plans is NPR's Pien Huang.

Hey, Pien.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

President Biden announced a plan today to boost the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. He says the government is buying 200 million more and that it's working with states to get them out efficiently. Here to talk about these plans is NPR's Pien Huang.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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