The Senate approved a $900 billion coronavirus relief package late Monday, hours after the long-awaited bill passed the House of Representatives. Many Americans could receive $600 stimulus payments as soon as next week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.
German firm BioNTech said Tuesday it is “confident” its coronavirus vaccine, produced with U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, will be effective against the new variant identified in Britain, but that a new version could be developed within six weeks if necessary.
In Taiwan, the world’s longest stretch without a new locally transmitted coronavirus infection was broken when a pilot from New Zealand infected a local woman, prompting new restrictions in the country, which had been free of the virus since April.
U.S. officials are grappling with how to respond to a new variant of the coronavirus that has been spreading rapidly in the United Kingdom. Dozens of countries have shut their borders to people traveling from Britain, creating major disruptions Monday on both sides of the English Channel.
President-elect Joe Biden received his first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Monday. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and top federal infectious-disease specialist Anthony S. Fauci followed suit on Tuesday.
Despite health warnings, holiday travel has already set a record for the busiest weekend of the pandemic.