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U.S. administering average of 1.7 million COVID-19 vaccine doses per day

The seven-day average of coronavirus vaccines administered in the U.S. has reached 1.7 million per day, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said at a Wednesday briefing.

Why it matters: That pace puts President Biden on course for meeting his goal of 100 million doses administered in his first 100 days in office, which would land on April 29. 54 million vaccine shots have been administered thus far, and 5% of Americans have received both doses.


  • If the federal government — and states handling daily vaccine operations — can maintain this course of 1.7 million shots per day, 80% herd immunity could be reached by Nov. 17, according to a Washington Post analysis.
  • Speeding up the rate of vaccinations is key in order to get life back to some semblance of normal and prevent potentially vaccine-resistant variants from becoming dominant in the U.S., per the Post.
The White House weekly vaccination progress report displayed at Wendesday's briefing.

Driving the news: Zients told governors Tuesday that beginning this week, the federal government's weekly allocation of vaccines to states will increase from 11 million doses to 13.5 million doses — a total increase of 57% since the start of the Biden administration.

  • The administration is also doubling the weekly supply of vaccine doses to local pharmacies from 1 million to 2 million, and has activated 1,200 National Guard troops to serve as community vaccinators .
  • Zients said that community centers, high school gyms, churches, and stadiums are serving as vaccination sites, with federally-run sites "that can give over 30,000 shots a week."

The bottom line: The U.S. is on track to have enough vaccine supply for 300 million Americans by the end of July, according to Zients.

Retiring Republicans could clear the path for GOP troublemakers to join the Senate ranks

Sen. Roy Blunt's retirement highlights the twin challenge facing Senate Republicans: finding good replacement candidates and avoiding a pathway for potential troublemakers to join their ranks.

Why it matters: While the midterm elections are supposed to be a boon to the party out of power, the recent run of retirements — which may not be over — is upending that assumption for the GOP in 2022.

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Diversity in Congress is growing steadily, but lags behind the U.S. population

Data: Brookings Institution and Pew Research Center; Note: No data on Native Americans in Congress before the 107th Congress; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The number of non-white senators and House members in the 535-seat Congress has been growing steadily in the past several decades — but representation largely lags behind the overall U.S. population.

Why it matters: Non-whites find it harder to break into the power system because of structural barriers such as the need to quit a job to campaign full time for office, as Axios reported in its latest Hard Truths Deep Dive.

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As Senate Republicans retire, lobbyists eye staff as top-notch talent

The retirements of high-profile Senate Republicans mean a lot of experienced staffers will soon be seeking new jobs, and Washington lobbying and public affairs firms are eyeing a potential glut of top-notch talent.

Why it matters: Roy Blunt is the fifth Republican dealmaker in the Senate to announce his retirement next year. Staffers left behind who can navigate the upper chamber of Congress will be gold for the city’s influence industry.

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U.S. grants temporary protected status to thousands of Venezuelans

Venezuelans living in the United States will be eligible to receive temporary protected status for 18 months, the Department of Homeland Security announced Monday.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled to the U.S. amid economic, political and social turmoil back home. Former President Trump, on his last full day in office, granted some protections to Venezuelans through the U.S. Deferred Enforced Departure program, but advocates and lawmakers said the move didn't go far enough.

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Zuckerberg floated possibility of remote work in January 2020. Sandberg thought he was "nuts"

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg thought Mark Zuckerberg was "nuts" when he raised the possibility in January 2020 that 50,000 Facebook employees might have to work from home. By March 6, they were.

Why it matters: In an interview Monday with Axios Re:Cap, Sandberg explained how Facebook moved quickly to respond to the pandemic with grants for small businesses and work-from-home stipends for its employees, and how the company has been watching the unfolding crisis for women in the workforce.

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Supreme Court declines to hear case on qualified immunity for police officers

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal for a lawsuit brought against Cleveland police officers that challenges the scope of qualified immunity, the legal doctrine which has been used to shield officers from lawsuits alleging excessive force, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The doctrine has been the subject of scrutiny from civil rights advocates. Eliminating qualified immunity was one of the key demands of demonstrators during nationwide protests in 2020 following the killing of George Floyd.

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CDC: Fully vaccinated people can gather indoors without masks

People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can take fewer precautions in certain situations, including socializing indoors without masks when in the company of low-risk or other vaccinated individuals, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Monday.

Why it matters: The report cites early evidence that suggests vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection, and are potentially less likely to transmit the virus to other people. At the time of its publication, the CDC said the guidance would apply to about 10% of Americans.

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Ripple CEO calls for clearer crypto regulations following SEC lawsuit

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse tells "Axios on HBO" that if his company loses a lawsuit brought by the SEC, it would put the U.S. cryptocurrency industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it matters: Garlinghouse's comments may seem self-serving, but his call for clearer crypto rules is consistent with longstanding entreaties from other industry players.

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