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.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.
Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. The president has downplayed wearing masks, telling reporters last July: "You know when I’m going to put on a mask? When there is no corruption. Then I’ll put on a mask and I’ll stop talking."
Editor's note: This a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.
History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.
Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.
CDC director Rochelle Walensky, newly appointed by President Biden, told Fox News on Sunday that the administration does not know the current number of COVID vaccines available for distribution — due to a lack of data gathered by the agency under Trump — making it more difficult for states to accurately plan.
Why it matters: Hospitals in states including Texas, South Carolina, New York, and California have canceled thousands of appointments due to running low on vaccines or nearly depleting their share, the New York Times reports.
The U.S has confirmed more than 25 million coronavirus cases, per Johns Hopkins data updated on Sunday.
The big picture: President Biden has said he expects the country's death toll to exceed 500,000 people by next month, as the rate of deaths due to the virus continues to escalate.
Deborah Birx, who served as White House coronavirus response coordinator under former President Trump, described on Sunday disarray, a lack of communication and the spread of misinformation inside Trump's White House as it attempted to handle the Covid-19 crisis.
Driving the news: Birx told CBS' "Face the Nation" that she was censored by the Trump administration, and blocked from appearing on national news media, forcing her to go "out on the road" to work with state and local officials on their pandemic response.
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.