Why it matters: The U.S. faces a range of health care flashpoints — unaffordable drugs, opioids, vaping — as we debate whether to adopt universal care. For now, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, but Republicans want to issue it a final death blow.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Democrats plan to push a coronavirus relief package through the chamber with a simple majority vote.
Why it matters: "Budget reconciliation" would allow Democrats to forgo the Senate's 60-vote requirement and could potentially speed-up the next relief package for millions of unemployed Americans. Democrats hold the the 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.
Cities around the world are ramping up efforts to vaccinate homeless people as part of an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19, following pressure from local activists.
Why it matters: Many homeless people have underlying conditions that put them at higher risk for severe illness if they contract the disease, and often lack access to health care. People without homes are "chronically neglected around the world and acutely vulnerable to the coronavirus," writes the Washington Post.
Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.
Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.
The release of the latest James Bond film, "No Time to Die," has been postponed for the third time as the coronavirus pandemic continues to devastate Hollywood.
The state of play: The film's release, initially scheduled for April 2020, was first postponed to November 2020, and then to April 2021. MGM said this week that movie's global debut will now be delayed until Oct. 8.
President Biden's plan to accelerate the reopening of K-8 schools faces major challenges from a still out-of-control pandemic and more contagious coronavirus variants.
Why it matters: The longer American kids miss in-person schooling, the further they fall behind. But the uncertain state of the science on the role young children play in the pandemic continues to complicate efforts to reopen schools.
Hong Kong has placed tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.
Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions are expected to last 48 hours.
Pfizer and BioNTech will supply 40 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine to COVAX, the global effort aimed at ensuring that every country has access to COVID-19 vaccines, the drug makers and World Health Organization announced Friday.
Why it matters: WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned earlier this week that the world is "on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure" due to unequal distribution of coronavirus vaccines.