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

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Photo: Alex Wong via Getty

Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, told Newsy on Tuesday that she plans to retire.

Driving the news: Birx did not provide a specific timeline, but said she is willing to wait and help President-elect Joe Biden’s team with its coronavirus response if needed.

What she's saying: “I want the Biden administration to be successful," Birx told Newsy.

  • “I will be helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in, and then I will retire,” she said, adding that she would only help "through a period of time."
  • “This experience has been a bit overwhelming. It’s been very difficult on my family," she said, pointing to criticism she received after traveling to Delaware over the Thanksgiving holiday for what she said was the winterization of the property before a possible sale, per AP.

The big picture: Birx left her post as the U.S. global AIDS coordinator in February to join the White House coronavirus task force.

  • During her time on the task force, Birx faced criticism for not publicly pushing back strongly enough against President Trump when he contradicted medical advice and science.
  • The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Go deeper: Why Deborah Birx is the real power doctor

Go deeper

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

WHO says most pregnant women can now receive coronavirus vaccine

A doctor administering Moderna's coronavirus vaccine at a university hospital in Essen, Germany, on Jan. 18. Photo: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

The World Health Organization has altered its guidance for pregnant women who wish to receive the coronavirus vaccine, saying now that those at high risk of exposure to the COVID-19 or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated.

Why it matters: The WHO drew backlash for its previous guidance that did not recommend pregnant women be inoculated with vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, even though data indicated that pregnancy increased the risk of developing severe illness from the virus.

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