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Vice President Mike Pence (C) speaks at the White House Monday, flanked by (L to R) senior health officials Robert Redfield, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Debbie Birx, Seema Verma, Alex Azar and Stephen Hahn. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Food and Drug Administration commissioner Stephen Hahn told a news conference Monday that health officials should be able to perform nearly 1 million tests for the novel coronavirus by the end of the week.

Why it matters: Officials in the U.S. and around the world are scrambling to combat a rise in cases of COVID-19.

The estimates that we’re getting from industry right now, by the end of this week close to 1 million tests will be able to be performed."
— Stephen Hahn at the news conference
  • Hahn's remarks come as the Trump administration has ordered an independent investigation after a top federal scientist raised concerns about possible contamination in a CDC lab in Atlanta where the government made test kits for the coronavirus, as first reported by Axios.

By the numbers: The CDC said in a statement Monday there were 91 confirmed and presumptive coronavirus cases in the U.S., but this was before more cases were announced in Washington state and Georgia — taking the number of infections past 100.

What they're saying: Hahn said at the news conference he expected to see a "substantial increase" in the number of tests because of a new policy enabling regulatory flexibility so academic centers and private firms could develop and verify tests for public use quicker "this week, next week and throughout the month."

  • Vice President Mike Pence, who's leading the Trump administration's coronavirus task force, stressed at the news conference that despite the rise of infections in the U.S., the risk of contracting the virus remains low.
  • "We're focused on mitigation of the spread, as well as the treatment of the people affected," Pence said.

Go deeper: Lab for coronavirus test kits may have been contaminated

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Sports

The potential GOAT of chess faces intriguing challenger

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The World Chess Championship between Norway's Magnus Carlsen and Russia's Ian Nepomniachtchi began on Friday, 1,094 days after Carlsen won his fourth consecutive title.

Why it matters: During the long, COVID-fueled layoff, chess entered a new era, and with the championship finally here, the age-old game is ready for its close-up.

Department of Interior proposes raising cost of drilling on public lands

A horizontal drilling rig and a pump jack sit on federal land in Lea County, New Mexico. Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on federal lands and waters, the Department of the Interior argued in a report released Friday, saying that the current rates were "outdated."

Driving the news: The Department of Interior report said that the federal government's oil and gas leasing and permitting program "fails to provide a fair return to taxpayers, even before factoring in the resulting climate-related costs that must be borne by taxpayers."

8 hours ago - Health

U.S. to restrict air travel from 8 countries over new COVID variant concerns

A COVID-19 vaccine is administered. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. will impose new air travel restrictions in response to the Omicron variant, a new COVID strain first detected in South Africa, President Biden announced Friday.

The big picture: Air travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi will be restricted starting on Monday.