Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

We seem to have arrived at a fork in the pandemic: Pockets of the rich world are beginning to move past COVID-19, while some less-fortunate countries are facing greater danger than ever.

Consider this: The World Health Organization said today that more cases had been recorded globally over the last two weeks than in the first six months of the pandemic, driven largely by an unprecedented surge in India and the ongoing onslaught in Brazil.

  • India is now recording around 3,500 deaths per day, and the true rate could be two to five times that many, according to University of Michigan epidemiologist Bhramar Mukherjee.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has been accused of failing to prepare for a second wave while prioritizing a contentious regional election — which the ruling party lost — even as the wave was crashing down. It’s now resisting calls for new national restrictions, though several states have already locked down.
  • Countries around the world continue to promise oxygen and other supplies. In the meantime, reports continue to emerge of hospitals in New Delhi and elsewhere running out.

In Europe, a fourth wave has begun to subside. Governments hope it’s the last one they’ll face, and they’re preparing for life after the pandemic.

  • Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is planning to lift restrictions in the coming days for individuals who have been vaccinated.
  • That could lead temporarily to a two-tiered society within Germany, with the mainly older people who’ve been vaccinated no longer subject to curfews and other measures.

The state of play: 28% of Germans have now had at least one dose, up from 12% one month ago as the EU continues to shake off its sluggish start to the vaccine rollout.

  • In the U.S., where 45% of the population has been vaccinated, demand is now a bigger issue than supply.
  • Cases and deaths both continue to fall, leading to hopes that the U.S. could now be on a trajectory similar to Israel’s, where just 13 new cases were recorded on Saturday at a test positivity rate of 0.1%.
  • In India, meanwhile, 9% of the population has had one dose. There will be a shortage of supply at least until July, Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla told the FT.
  • Australia today made it a criminal offense for its citizens to return from India. A number of other countries have banned all travel from India but exempted their own citizens.

Meanwhile, the European Commission today proposed a plan to ease travel restrictions for tourists who have been fully vaccinated.

  • The recommendation could be adopted by the European Union's 27 member states as early as May 5, paving the way for the return of summer travel to one of the world's most popular tourism destinations, Axios’ Zach Basu writes.

The bottom line: The world is opening up to those with access to vaccines. But that doesn’t mean the pandemic is anywhere near over.

Go deeper

WH: Getting vaccinated "most important" step in hurricane preparedness

President Biden speaking at the White House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The "most important" step Americans should take to prepare for peak hurricane season is to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in case they have to evacuate, the White House said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The statement followed President Biden's meeting on hurricane preparedness with senior FEMA officials and others, who advised him of the measure — hours before Tropical Storm Fred formed near Puerto Rico. Florida is in the path of the storm, which could possibly intensify into a hurricane.

Aug 11, 2021 - Health

New data on coronavirus vaccine effectiveness may be "a wakeup call"

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A new preprint study that raises concerns about the mRNA vaccines' effectiveness against Delta — particularly Pfizer's — has already grabbed the attention of top Biden administration officials.

What they're saying: The study found the Pfizer vaccine was only 42% effective against infection in July, when the Delta variant was dominant. "If that's not a wakeup call, I don't know what is," a senior Biden official told Axios.

Florida and Texas schools defy governors' orders banning mask mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis during an event in Surfside, Florida, on Tuesday. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Broward County School Board has become the latest in Florida to defy the state's mask mandate ban, voting on Tuesday to keep the requirement for students and staff.

Why it matters: Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to withhold the pay of superintendents and school board members who defy his executive order barring schools from issuing mask mandates, as Florida experiences a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.