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JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images

The National Security Council official who wrote the memo outlining a plan to nationalize the development of 5G wireless network is no longer advising the White House, the Washington Post reports. Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding, who had been serving as NSC senior director for strategic planning, was sent back to the Air Force when his detail was not renewed.

Why it matters: Axios reported Sunday that a proposal for the government to build out part of the nation's wireless infrastructure in order to ward off threats from China had been circulated to several federal agencies. The proposal was widely panned by the telecom industry. The chairman of the FCC, which oversees the country's wireless airwaves, also opposed the plan.

Details: Per the Post, "Spalding was not implicated in the leak of the memo, but officials said his advocacy for the plan had gone beyond his role." He had been informed that his White House tenure was ending before the memo was published. Spalding was previously the U.S. defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
9 mins ago - Economy & Business

2021: The year of surprise shortages

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American consumers and businesses face any array of shocking shortages in 2021 — the result of corporate miscalculations in the early days of the pandemic. The shortages range from labor to lumber to rental cars.

Why it matters: As vaccinations rise and the economy grows back to its pre-pandemic size, Americans are tantalized by the prospect of the country reverting to something approaching the familiar old normal. While that might happen eventually, it could take a surprisingly long time for a new equilibrium to establish itself.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
39 mins ago - Health

Why waiving vaccine patents might be a bad idea

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It will take more than waiving patent protections for coronavirus vaccines — which the Biden administration now says it supports — to fix the gaping global divide in access.

Why it matters: Waiving drug companies' intellectual property rights risks setting a bad precedent for future investment in new drugs. And that risk may not be worth it without additional steps to meaningfully increase the availability of shots across the world.

Coronavirus cases hit a seven-month low

Expand chart
Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus infections in the U.S. are now at their lowest levels in seven months, thanks to the vaccines.

The big picture: The vaccines are turning the tide in America's battle with the coronavirus. Deaths and serious illnesses have dropped significantly, and now cases are falling too — an important piece of protection for the future, if we can keep it up.