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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The number of global coronavirus cases reported in the last two weeks eclipses the first six months of the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Monday.

Why it matters: It underscores the severity of the current wave of infections in India, which surpassed 400,000 cases for the first time over the weekend, as well as a record-high number of deaths, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

  • India and Brazil make up more than half of last week's cases, according to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, but many other countries all over the world "face a very fragile situation."

What they're saying: "What’s happening in India and Brazil could happen elsewhere unless we all take these public health precautions that WHO has been calling for since the beginning of the pandemic," Tedros said, urging everyone to follow safety measures.

  • "Vaccines are part of the answer, but they are not the only answer."

Go deeper

Florida and Texas schools defy governors' orders banning mask mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during an event in Surfside, Florida, on Tuesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Broward County School Board has become the latest in Florida to defy the state's mask mandate ban, voting on Tuesday to keep the requirement for students and staff.

Why it matters: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to withhold the pay of superintendents and school board members who defy his executive order barring schools from issuing mask mandates, as Florida experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

WH: Getting vaccinated "most important" step in hurricane preparedness

President Biden speaking at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The "most important" step Americans should take to prepare for peak hurricane season is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in case they have to evacuate, the White House said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The statement followed President Biden's meeting on hurricane preparedness with senior FEMA officials and others, who advised him of the measure — hours before Tropical Storm Fred formed near Puerto Rico. Florida is in the path of the storm, which could possibly intensify into a hurricane.

Aug 11, 2021 - Health

New data on coronavirus vaccine effectiveness may be "a wakeup call"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new preprint study that raises concerns about the mRNA vaccines' effectiveness against Delta — particularly Pfizer's — has already grabbed the attention of top Biden administration officials.

What they're saying: The study found the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective against infection in July, when the Delta variant was dominant. "If that's not a wakeup call, I don't know what is," a senior Biden official told Axios.

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