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Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. is facing an imminent COVID-19 "viral blizzard," infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm told CNN Thursday.

What they're saying: "In the next three to eight weeks, we're going to see millions of Americans are going to be infected with this virus, and that will be overlaid on top of Delta," said Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

The latest:

  • Omicron study: Vaccines produced by Johnson & Johnson and China's Sinopharm, as well as the Russian-made Sputnik V, provided little or no protection against the Omicron variant in a new study.
  • Biden's warning: President Biden warned unvaccinated Americans that the Omicron variant will start to spread more rapidly in the U.S. if they do not receive their shots soon.
  • Health care's breaking point: New waves of infections are crashing into a health care system whose workers are at a breaking point — if not already past it.
  • NYC on alert: New York City — America's original pandemic epicenter — is displaying warning signs of yet another drastic surge of the virus, this time likely driven by the Omicron variant.
  • Grip tightens on sports world: COVID continues to rip through professional sports at an alarming rate, prompting leagues around the world to update protocols, limit fan capacity, postpone games and consider temporary shutdowns.
  • Reinfection risk: A new study shows that having had COVID-19 offers little protection against the Omicron variant, Bloomberg reports.
  • Omicron dashboard

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.

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