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Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

First lady Dr. Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff on Wednesday held a series of phone calls with nurses unions throughout the country to hear about their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, the New York Times reports.

What they're saying: Biden and Emhoff told the nurses, who the CDC says are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, that "this administration is fighting for them," according to a spokesperson. But most of their time was spent listening to the nurses' pleas for more protective gear and vaccine doses.

  • The duo promised to share nurses' testimonials with President Biden and Vice President Harris.

Between the lines: The calls come after repeated praise from Dr. Biden toward emergency workers in recent weeks — and could signal the direction of her broader platform as first lady.

  • One of Dr. Biden's first acts as first lady was filming a video thanking emergency workers. She also taped a similar address with her husband at the Super Bowl last weekend.

Go deeper

Feb 10, 2021 - Health

CDC: COVID-19 quarantine unnecessary for fully vaccinated people

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

People who are fully vaccinated no longer need to quarantine after exposure to someone infected with the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Wednesday.

Yes, but: The CDC's definition of "fully vaccinated" is narrow in scope. The agency urges caution regardless of vaccination status, especially as new variants continue to spread.

Feb 11, 2021 - Health

Fauci: 20,000 pregnant women have had COVID vaccine without complications

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci at the White House in January. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said during a White House briefing Wednesday that 20,000 pregnant women have been vaccinated against COVID-19 without complications.

Why it matters: The new figure comes weeks after the World Health Organization altered its guidance for pregnant women and inoculation to say those at high risk of exposure to COVID-19, or who have comorbidities that increase their risk of severe disease, may be vaccinated, in line with CDC guidance.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Feb 10, 2021 - Health

The pandemic's coming new normal

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Library of Congress/Corbis via Getty Images

As both vaccinations and acquired immunity spread, life will likely settle into a new normal that will resemble pre-COVID-19 days — with some major twists.

The big picture: While hospitalizations and deaths are tamped down, the novel coronavirus should recede as a mortal threat to the world. But a lingering pool of unvaccinated people — and the virus' own ability to mutate — will ensure SARS-CoV-2 keeps circulating at some level, meaning some precautions will be kept in place for years.