Here are some significant developments:
- The Senate voted Thursday to open debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill, as Democrats moved forward with no GOP support.
- Breaking with some GOP governors who ditched mask mandates, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she would extend the state’s mask requirements for another five weeks.
- Australia asked the European Commission to review Italy’s move to block the export of 250,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
- The World Health Organization will forgo an interim report on its recent coronavirus fact-finding mission to China. The U.N. agency will instead publish a full report “in coming weeks,” a spokesperson said.
- The average number of coronavirus tests conducted every day in the United States has fallen by 33.6 percent since January, worrying experts who say that testing is key to stopping transmission.
- Almost 520,000 people have died in the United States from the coronavirus and nearly 29 million have been infected. More than 27 million people have been fully vaccinated, while at least 54 million have received the first dose.