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!

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear speaking in Louisville in April 2021. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Kentucky is in a "dire" situation because of a surge in new coronavirus cases driven by the Delta variant, Gov. Andy Beshear said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

Why it matters: The number of new cases and hospitalizations in the state are increasing at the fastest growth rates since the start of the pandemic, and deaths are also beginning to surge since plateauing over the summer.

By the numbers: Kentucky recorded a seven-day average of 4,423 new daily cases on Saturday, according to a database maintained by the New York Times.

  • The state on Saturday had reported an average of 2,385 hospitalizations and 24 deaths from the virus over the last seven days.
  • Around 69% of the state's population that is 18 years or older has been vaccinated against the virus, according to state data.

What they're saying: “If I had the ability to do it right now, we would have a masking order when you are in public and indoors,” the Democratic governor told NBC. “We know that’s a proven way to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately help our health care capacity.”

  • “Our situation is dire,” he added.

What's next: The emergency legislative session Beshear called for on Sunday to respond to surging COVID-19 cases begins Tuesday.

  • He has asked the legislation to extend the state of emergency declaration until Jan. 15, 2022, and to define his authority to enact restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus.
  • The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled last month that a lower court had incorrectly blocked state Republicans from limiting his executive authority to impose emergency health measures during the pandemic.

Go deeper: Fauci: Pfizer booster likely ready by Sept. 20, Moderna may need longer

Go deeper

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
Dec 15, 2021 - Health

Fauci: No need for Omicron-specific booster at this time

Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that there is "no need for a variant-specific booster" at this time because research shows that the current U.S. booster vaccine programs are effective against Omicron.

The big picture: While the Delta variant still accounts for the majority of coronavirus cases in the U.S., the number of Omicron-driven cases are expected to quickly rise.

Dec 15, 2021 - Health

Federal pandemic funding fuels surge in health spending

Expand chart
Data: Office of the Actuary, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Chart: Baidi Wang/Axios

Americans spent more than $4.1 trillion on health care in 2020, almost 10% higher than what was spent in 2019, according to new independent federal data. That's the fastest annual growth rate since 2002.

The big picture: The spike in spending was due almost entirely to the influx of federal funding that went toward stabilizing the health care system during the coronavirus pandemic.