News from NPR

Drugs to treat COVID-19 are being fast-tracked for development, but the pace can't match the astonishing speed that gave birth to the vaccines.

But one year into the pandemic, there has been strong progress toward effective drug treatments, and the groundwork has been laid for drugs to kill the virus and arrest disease.

President Biden has outlined an aggressive plan to gain control over the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to weigh heavily on the U.S. economy.

The impacts of climate change could prompt millions of Americans to relocate in coming decades, moving inland away from rising seas, or north to escape rising temperatures.

Judith and Doug Saum have moved already, recently leaving their home outside Reno, Nevada.

When Ezra Levin and his wife founded the progressive group Indivisible in 2016, they widely circulated a handbook on "resisting the Trump agenda." It took tactical lessons in grassroots politics from the Tea Party, which had prominently resisted President Barack Obama's agenda.

There's another lesson Levin now thinks progressives can take from the conservative Tea Party: that it's easier to oppose a policy than to advance one.

President Biden is calling for unity to address each of the nation's concurrent crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, race relations and climate change.

It won't be easy because as he settles into office, Biden also inherits a country that is deeply divided. Democrats and Republicans live in very different worlds and get their news and information from very different places, cordoned off by ideology and worldview.

President Biden plans to sign an order on Friday that will toss a plan that would have made it easier to fire top career civil servants, and hire political appointees into high-ranking positions — a practice known as "burrowing."

President Biden plans to sign an executive order on Friday that would increase food stamp benefits to help people going hungry amid the financial downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, his top economic adviser Brian Deese told reporters.

Biden has already proposed a $1.9 trillion relief package to Congress that includes direct payments and other types of aid for people who have lost their jobs because of the pandemic. But in the meantime, he is directing his administration to take steps to tweak programs to try to provide some assistance.

"I just remember being very scared."

That's how Lydia, a 39-year-old mother of three in Canada, describes feeling when she was pregnant back in 2008 with her daughter and had questions about vaccinating. She worried it might cause more harm than good.

"I remember feeling some trepidation and saying to my husband, 'We can't undo this once we do it,' " she says. NPR is not using Lydia's full name because she's worried about backlash from a community she once believed in — people opposed to vaccines.

A group of Senate Democrats filed an ethics complaint Thursday against Republican Sens. Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz over their objections to the Jan. 6 certification of the presidential election results that coincided with the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

By objecting to the certification, Cruz, and Hawley, "lent legitimacy" to the violent mob of pro-Trump supporters that stormed the Capitol, the letter sent to incoming Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Chris Coons, D-Del., and Vice Chairman James Lankford, R-Okla., said.

Senate confirmation hearings can get a little heated. But Pete Buttigieg, President Biden's high-profile nominee for secretary of transportation, got a reception that was downright warm.

"You know what the hell you're talking about, and that's pretty damn refreshing," said Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., when he got a chance at the mic at Buttigieg's hearing on Thursday.

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