The Morning Dispatch: COVID Origins Revisited

Happy Tuesday! Thanks to everyone who reached out yesterday to share your thoughts on our COVID-19 data, and whether we should keep the charts in the newsletter as the case numbers continue to decline.

It’s a simple process for us at this point, and since so many of you have made it a part of your morning routine, we’ll keep it up for a while yet. As one of you wrote: “Let’s watch victory over this damn thing happen day-by-day.”

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • European Union leaders sanctioned Belarus on Monday, banning the country’s airlines from using EU airspace and airports and encouraging EU-based airlines to avoid Belarusian airspace. The move came a day after the Belarusian government—led by President Alexander Lukashenko—forced a Ryanair plane carrying 26-year-old opposition journalist Roman Protasevich to land in Minsk so authorities could arrest him. President Joe Biden added yesterday he “welcomes” the EU’s actions, and has “asked [his] team to develop appropriate options to hold accountable those responsible.”

  • The White House announced Monday it is doubling the amount of federal government spending directed toward nationwide preparations for hurricanes and extreme weather events from $500 million to $1 billion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said earlier this month there is a 60 percent chance this year’s Atlantic hurricane season will be “above normal,” with 13 to 20 named storms expected. 

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