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Photo: Tolga Akmen - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The U.K. reported 1,325 new coronavirus deaths on Thursday, marking its highest daily death toll yet.

Why it matters: The massive spike in deaths is in part fueled by a highly transmissible COVID-19 variant that's spreading rapidly throughout the United Kingdom and threatening to overwhelm hospital systems.

Between the lines: The figure is even worse on a per capita basis than the record 4,000 COVID-19 deaths reported in 24 hours in the U.S. On Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan declared a "major incident" because of the virus, which has infected 1 in 30 Londoners.

The big picture: The U.K, which is in full lockdown for at least the next six weeks, was the first country in the world to approve and begin administering both the Pfizer vaccine and Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine.

  • Earlier Friday, British regulators cleared the Moderna vaccine for emergency use.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) notes that while the new coronavirus variant is more transmissible, there is "no evidence to suggest that the variant has any impact on the severity of disease or vaccine efficacy."

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

Bill and Melinda Gates warn of "immunity inequality"

Bill and Melinda Gates at a Goalkeepers event in 2018. Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images

Bill and Melinda Gates warned in their annual letter Wednesday that the lasting legacy of the coronavirus pandemic could be "immunity inequality" — a wide and deadly gap between wealthy people, with easy access to coronavirus vaccines, and everyone else.

Why it matters: As long as there are large swaths of the world that can't get vaccinated, they warned, it will be impossible to get the pandemic under control.

15 hours ago - Health

One year of the coronavirus

One year ago today, a novel coronavirus was barely beginning to catch the public's eye. There were just over 2,000 confirmed cases worldwide, mostly in China, and five cases in the U.S.

The big picture: The sea of red says it all. Today, there have been over 100 million cases worldwide, led by the U.S. with 25 million.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
14 hours ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.