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Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
American drugmaker Merck asked the Food and Drug Administration on Monday to approve its antiviral pill, molnupiravir, to treat COVID-19. If the FDA signs off, it would be the first pill approved to treat the virus, which could significantly lessen the strain on hospitals in the event of future COVID spikes.
Southwest Airlines’ logistical issues continued into the week, as the airline canceled at least 360 flights and delayed more than 1,000 on Monday. The airline and its union denied allegations that the disruptions were due to staff shortages related to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for employees.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday that bans any entity from compelling consumers or employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine if someone objects for “any reason of personal conscience.” The move sets up a clash with the federal government, which has a forthcoming rule mandating that large businesses require employees to get the vaccine.