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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci during a June Senate hearing in Washington, DC. Photo: Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told ABC News in an Instagram live discussing the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday evening, "If you have goggles or an eye shield, you should use it."

Why it matters: Eye protection is not currently included in formal guidance on COVID-19. The CDC only advises that health care workers use eye protection "in areas with moderate to substantial community transmission."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

By the numbers: More than 150,000 people in the U.S. have died of the novel coronavirus and over 4.4 million have been infected as of Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins.

What they're saying: After ABC's Jennifer Ashton asked Fauci if he could envision the point where eye protection would be recommended, he replied: "It might, if you really want perfect protection of the mucosal surfaces."

  • Fauci noted that eye protection was "not universally recommended, but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can."
  • He explained that the coronavirus infects mucosal surfaces, like the nose and mouth, along with the eyes. "Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces," Fauci added.

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  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."