BY THE NUMBERS
IN THE NEWS TODAY
New daily Covid cases in the U.S., down about 80% from early January, continued to fall as immunity protection increases from vaccinations and high levels of prior infection. More than 15% of the U.S. adult population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
* Vaccination sites added to Apple Maps; millions to get stimulus checks (CNBC)
* Extra $300 unemployment pay may not arrive until April or late (CNBC)
While heading in the right direction, health officials say those U.S. vaccination numbers need to go much higher to stomp out the disease, which killed an average of 1,285 people in America over the past seven days, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Former President Donald Trump urged people to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, saying he would recommend it to “a lot of people that don’t want to get it, and a lot of those people voted for me.” However, in a Fox News interview Tuesday night, Trump acknowledged that people were free to decide for themselves whether to get shots. (AP)
* Faith leaders get Covid shot to curb vaccine reluctance (AP)
* Biden Covid advisor optimistic 89% of U.S. seniors will take Covid vaccine (CNBC)
* JetBlue calls flight attendants back to work to handle increase in travel (CNBC)
Catalent (CTLT) plans a major expansion of Covid vaccine production in Europe, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. The contract drug manufacturer will double production of Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) vaccine by starting a new production line at an Italian plant during the fourth quarter.
* Italy and France ready to restart AstraZeneca vaccinations if regulators OK them (CNBC)
* German Covid cases rising ‘exponentially,’ vaccine pause could make things worse (CNBC)
The White House is setting low expectations ahead of Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security advisor Jake Sullivan’s first face-to-face meeting with their Chinese counterparts in Anchorage, Alaska, on Thursday. According to a senior Biden administration official, the two sides won’t deliver a joint statement and no major announcements are expected. (AP)
Reflecting Washington’s concern about the erosion of Hong Kong’s rights, the U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city. China said the new sanctions expose America’s “sinister intention to interfere in China’s internal affairs, disrupt Hong Kong and obstruct China’s stability and development.” (AP)
* Chinese tech giant Baidu to raise $3.1 billion in Hong Kong listing (CNBC)
Uber will reclassify all U.K.-based drivers as workers, …….