The Morning Dispatch: Pandemic Exit Strategy

Happy Friday! We wished you a happy Wednesday yesterday in error, but we triple-checked this morning, and you can rest assured that today is indeed Friday. You won’t be hearing from us for a few days.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance for fully vaccinated people yesterday, saying those two weeks past their final COVID-19 vaccine dose can “resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic … without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart” in most indoor and outdoor settings. Americans will still be required to wear masks on planes, buses, and trains, however.

  • Bloomberg News reported Thursday that Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million in ransom money last week to the DarkSide hackers that infiltrated the company’s systems. Asked if he was briefed on such a payment, President Joe Biden said he had “no comment on that.” Colonial had said earlier this week it resumed most operations on Wednesday evening.

  • Initial jobless claims decreased by 34,000 week-over-week to 473,000 last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, the lowest level since March 14, 2020.

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