Ronald Zak / AP

OPEC and its allies moved closer to cinching a deal Wednesday on extending its agreement to cut oil production output by 1.8 million barrels a day to March 2018, according to a statement from the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee.

Why it matters: The deal, which went into effect in January and is meant to restrict production so that demand and prices rise, was initially intended to last only six months. However, the "slower-than-expected decline in surplus fuel inventories" encouraged the organization to consider an extension.

On tap: OPEC's 14 member countries are meeting in Vienna Thursday where they will officially decide whether to prolong the cuts, but most oil experts say it's essentially already a done deal. "Because Russia and Saudi Arabia announced their support for it earlier in the month, the market may be disappointed if Thursday's meeting ends with 'just' a nine-month extension," Amrita Sen, Energy Aspects' chief oil market analyst, told Bloomberg.

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Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 11,921,616 — Total deaths: 546,318 — Total recoveries — 6,506,408Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6 p.m. ET: 3,035,231 — Total deaths: 132,042 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: United warns employees it may furlough 45% of U.S. workforce How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: New York City schools will not fully reopen in fallHarvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
1 hour ago - Health

Fighting the coronavirus infodemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An "infodemic" of misinformation and disinformation has helped cripple the response to the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: High-powered social media accelerates the spread of lies and political polarization that motivates people to believe them. Unless the public health sphere can effectively counter misinformation, not even an effective vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic.

Tulsa health official: Trump rally "likely contributed" to coronavirus spike

President Trump speaks at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla. on June 20, 2020. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump's campaign rally and related protests in Tulsa in late June "more than likely" contributed to the area's recent surge in confirmed coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Public health officials, including Dart himself, had urged the campaign to postpone the rally, fearing that a large indoor gathering with few people wearing masks could accelerate the spread of the virus.