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

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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention will "probably" urge everyone under age 12 to wear masks in school, President Biden said in a CNN town hall on Wednesday evening.

Why it matters: The latest surge in COVID cases fueled by the Delta variant has again raised concern about the spread of the virus as schools reopen for the fall.

What he's saying: "The CDC is going to say that what you should do is, everyone under the age of 12 should probably be wearing masks in school," Biden said. "That's probably what's going to happen."

  • "I do not tell any scientists what they should do," Biden added when asked how soon children under age 12 will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine.
  • "They're trying to figure out whether or not there's a vaccination that affects one child at such-and-such an age and not another child," he noted. "I think it's a matter of community responsibility and I think you're going to see it work through."

Biden urged Americans at large to get vaccinated, calling the new spike in cases a "pandemic for those who haven't gotten the vaccination."

  • "If you're vaccinated, even if you do catch the virus ... you're not likely to get sick," he said, adding that very few vaccinated people get infected. "You're probably going to be symptomless. You won't be in a position where your life is in danger."
  • "Let the scientists proceed."

When asked about the filibuster and its role in Democrats fight against GOP-led voting restrictions, Biden said he does not believe getting rid of it is the answer.

  • "I want to make sure we bring along not just all the Democrats, we bring along Republicans who I know know better," he said. "They know better than this."
  • "What I don't want to do is get wrapped up right now in the argument whether or not this is all about the filibuster."

Go deeper

Biden's reengineer-America moment

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Senate's bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill and President Biden's $3.5 trillion spending package could live or die this week — and take Democrats' fortunes with them. But all the minute-by-minute political drama obscures how much America could change if even a fraction of it passes.

The big picture: Anything short of total failure could have a transformative impact on day-to-day life — from how we move around to our access to the internet, paid family leave and child care, health care and college.

COVID surging among Ohio's youth

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

COVID-19's Delta variant is sending more young people into Ohio hospitals than ever before.

Why it matters: The recent spike is putting a major strain on healthcare systems. It's also threatening Ohio's ability to keep children in classrooms.

  • Nationwide Children's Hospital chief medical officer Dr. Rustin Morse told Axios that COVID hospitalizations were a "non-issue" in the spring and summer — then came the Delta variant.
  • Hospitals facing staffing shortages and an unseasonable spike of respiratory syncytial virus, which usually peaks in winter, created a "perfect storm."
  • "The way we get out of this pandemic is by vaccinating people," Morse said.

Interest in Arizona voucher system surges among parents against mask mandates

An employee wearing a protective mask distributes laptop computers to students at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson on Aug. 14, 2020. Photo: Cheney Orr/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Greg Ducey is offering $7,000 in federal COVID-19 relief funds to parents whose children's school requires them to wear masks, KJZZ reports.

Driving the news: Interest in the program, which enables parents to use the funds to send their child to a different private school, has surged since applications opened in August, per the National Public Radio member station in Phoenix.

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