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

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The Great Smoky Mountains seen from Tennessee. Photo: Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has hired its first-ever female chief ranger to look after its 522,419 acres of protected land on the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, CNN reports.

Details: In April, Tennessee native Lisa Hendy will become chief ranger of the most visited national park in the United States, leaving her current chief ranger position at Big Bend National Park in Texas. Chief rangers are in charge of law enforcement within the park, emergency medical services, the land's fire protocol, and search and rescue operations.

Go deeper

36 mins ago - Health

COVID-19 drives smell loss awareness, research

A health worker carries out an olfactory test outside Buenos Aires. Photo: Alejandro Pagni/AFP via Getty Images

The pandemic has thrust a relatively unknown ailment, anosmia — or smell loss — into the international spotlight.

Why it matters: Researchers hope smell testing becomes as standard as the annual flu shot, helping to detect early signs of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Senate passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate voted 50-49 on Saturday to approve President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

Why it matters: COVID relief has been a central promise for Biden, and passing the sweeping package has been a major priority for the administration and congressional Democrats.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Why we need to know COVID's origins

The WHO's headquarters in Geneva. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Geopolitical tensions are foiling efforts to get to the bottom of how COVID-19 originated.

Why it matters: Insights into how COVID-19 began can help us prevent future pandemics — especially if it involved any kind of leak or accident at a virology lab.

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