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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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A woman with a mask walks past as the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship docked in San Francisco. Photo: Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

Bookings for 2021 cruises have risen 40% compared to 2019 on CruiseCompete.com in the last 45 days, The Los Angeles Time reports.

Why it matters: The coronavirus outbreak has left dozens of ships stranded at sea and unable to dock over fears. International cruise lines have had viral outbreaks nine to 12 times a year for the last 5 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Travel agents say the booking rates for cruise trips in 2021 extends past those who are rebooking canceled trips.

What they're saying: “After this virus, I truly believe the cruise lines will institute even more guidelines to keep guests and crew safe,” Chris Shuck, who works in the scheduling and labor department at Walt Disney World, told the L.A. Times.

  • Schuck said he has not canceled any cruises planned for the next two years, with the earliest being in September.

Go deeper: Carnival CEO defends coronavirus response

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

CDC panel endorses Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for 12-to 15-year-olds, following the FDA's emergency use authorization.

Why it matters: Approval from the CDC panel was the final step needed before inoculations could be offered at any vaccination site for this age group.

  • Pfizer has said its vaccine is 100% effective at protecting against COVID-19 in a trial of more than 2,200 children between the ages of 12 and 15.

GOP lawmakers downplay Capitol riot at House hearing

Photo: Jon Cherry via Getty Images

Republican members of Congress sought to minimize the Capitol insurrection at a House hearing on Wednesday, with statements calling pro-Trump rioters "patriots" and other lawmakers falsely denying demonstrators were supporters of the former president at all.

Driving the news: The hearing comes shortly after House Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from leadership over her criticism of former President Trump's actions leading up to and on Jan. 6.

McConnell, McCarthy say 2017 tax law is "red line" in infrastructure talks

The top Republicans in the House and Senate told reporters after meeting with President Biden at the White House that "there is a bipartisan desire to get an outcome" on an infrastructure package, but stressed that revisiting the 2017 tax cuts is a "red line."

Why it matters: Wednesday marked the first time that Biden has hosted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) at the White House.