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NIAID director Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that he hopes the COVID-19 vaccines will receive full approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "within the next few weeks."

Why it matters: Fauci's remarks on NBC's "Meet the Press" come at a pivotal point in the pandemic, as the Delta variant has caused coronavirus cases across the United States to balloon.

  • The U.S. has reported a total of about 35 million confirmed cases as of Saturday.
  • Fauci underscored the importance of quickly inoculating the millions of Americans who remain unvaccinated, and said he believes full FDA approval would drive the cause.
  • "I hope that it will be within the next few weeks. I hope it's within the month of August," he said.

Go deeper: Coronavirus Variant Tracker

Go deeper

Oct 27, 2021 - Health

Merck to share antiviral COVID pill formula with developing countries

Photo: Christopher Occhicone/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Merck said Wednesday it granted the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed nonprofit, a royalty-free license for molnupiravir, an oral antiviral COVID-19 pill that it developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.

Why it matters: The license means generic-drug companies in 105 low- and middle-income countries will be allowed to produce the experimental drug after it gains regulatory approval, which would greatly expand the availability of the medication to nations that have so far lacked access to coronavirus vaccines.

Biden says presidency "will be determined" by outcome of spending plans

President Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after addressing the House Democratic caucus on Thursday. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden told the House Democratic caucus Thursday "my presidency will be determined" by the votes he wants in the next week on his $1.75 trillion social safety net expansion and $1.2 trillion infrastructure package.

Driving the news: Biden made the comment, according to a source in the room, as he tried to rally support for the $1.75 trillion package. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi acted immediately, calling for a vote on the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill later in the day.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
47 mins ago - Energy & Environment

China declines to speed emissions cuts in new UN pledge

A view of the skyscrapers in the haze in Shanghai, China, in December 2020. Photo: Feature China/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Chinese leaders are sticking with a prior target to bring the country's carbon emissions to a peak before 2030, according to documents filed with the United Nations Thursday under the Paris climate agreement.

Why it matters: The new documents come just days ahead of the UN climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow. China is by far the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter, and its emissions path is key to whether the temperature-limiting goals of the Paris agreement can remain within reach.