Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic updates
The latest news and commentary on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
NOTE: As the world adjusts to COVID-19, research continues on its origins, the effectiveness of masks, vaccines and boosters, new variants, workplace policies, politics and much more. The Washington Times is committed to accuracy in our reporting of the coronavirus. We continue to explore how COVID-19 affects us here in the United States and around the world.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to update its guidance on coronavirus (available here) with information geared toward parents, employers, healthcare professionals and consumers. They also offer a COVID data tracker here where you can explore vaccination trends, levels of community spread and other valuable tools for making healthy choices for you and your family.
For more detailed information on total cases, total deaths, global maps and dashboards, visit the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center here.
Pair of Northern Virginia men plead guilty to $7 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme
A pair of Northern Virginia men pleaded guilty Friday to a $7 million COVID-19 relief fund fraud scheme.
Kentucky dedicates memorial to honor those lost to COVID-19
Tears flowed as Jan Peterson gazed at the new Kentucky COVID Memorial on Wednesday, recalling a lifetime of memories with her husband, who died from the virus in the fall of 2021.
1 in 10 get long COVID after omicron, US study starts identifying key symptoms
About 10% of people appear to suffer long COVID after an omicron infection, a lower estimate than earlier in the pandemic, according to a study of nearly 10,000 Americans that aims to help unravel the mysterious condition.
COVID pill Paxlovid gets full FDA approval after more than a year of emergency use
Pfizer received full approval on Thursday for its COVID-19 pill Paxlovid that's been the go-to treatment against the coronavirus.
CDC: Autopsy rates hit new low in 2020, COVID deaths ignored
Autopsy rates plunged to an all-time low during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic as deaths from the virus surged without being examined more closely, according to federal data released Wednesday.
Report finds college enrollments rebounding slowly from COVID
College enrollments declined more slowly this spring semester after two years of a COVID-fueled nosedive, according to new data released Wednesday.
Audit faults grant, ventilator distribution in Wisconsin during height of COVID-19
A state audit released Wednesday faults the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for how it awarded grants and ventilators to health care providers during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former U.K. leader Boris Johnson faces new police probe over lockdown visits
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was fined for breaking his own government's pandemic lockdown rules, has been reported to police again over more potential breaches.
Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch scolds Americans over handling of pandemic emergencies
Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch issued a searing denunciation of the way the country handled the coronavirus pandemic in a statement Thursday warning that Americans were all too eager to give up their freedoms on the say-so of a few chief executives.
House lawmakers vow not to repeat COVID-19 nursing home mistakes in N.Y., other states
House investigators in both parties faulted Democrat-led states Wednesday for issuing "must admit" policies that allowed coronavirus-positive residents to return to nursing homes regardless of whether the facilities had safeguards in place, as federal guidance required.
Musk says remote work is unfair and immoral
Tesla CEO Elon Musk called remote work "morally wrong" in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC Tuesday.
National Institutes of Health cuts off Wuhan Institute of Virology from taxpayer funding
The National Institutes of Health has quietly erased the Wuhan Institute of Virology -- the facility at the center of speculation about the origin of COVID-19 -- from its list of labs that can conduct animal testing with U.S. money.
Sen. Marco Rubio releases COVID-19 origins report detailing suspicious behavior in China
Sen. Marco Rubio released Wednesday a report offering a "mountain of circumstantial evidence" that the coronavirus leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, instead of spilling over from nature.
AAA: Memorial Day air travel to exceed pre-pandemic levels
If you're traveling over the long Memorial Day weekend, expect airports to be a bit busier than before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden taps Dr. Monica Bertagnolli, a top cancer researcher, to lead NIH
President Biden said Monday he will nominate prominent cancer researcher Dr. Monica Bertagnolli to lead the National Institutes of Health, the world's largest biomedical research agency.
Federal court asked to restart student loan payments put on hold for COVID-19
A nonprofit research and education organization has asked a federal court to restart student loan payments that have been put on pause since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, saying the payment hiatus is hurting its recruiting and retaining employees.
Kansas officials to consider legal settlement with business over COVID-19 restrictions
Kansas' governor and top state lawmakers were to meet Thursday to consider a proposed legal settlement between the state and the owner of a Wichita fitness studio forced to shut down during the first months of the coronavirus pandemic and then operate under restrictions.
South Korea to lift quarantine mandate for COVID-19 and end testing recommendation for travelers
South Korea will drop its COVID-19 quarantine requirements and end testing recommendations for international arrivals starting next month after the World Health Organization declared the end of the global health emergency.
As public health emergency ends, pandemic-era support programs have already been fading away
The formal end of the national Public Health Emergency on Thursday is largely a symbolic and psychological step, representing the country's formal emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sen. Joni Ernst pushes for bipartisan task force to probe COVID-19 origins
Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa said Wednesday she wants to launch a bipartisan "9/11 Commission-style" task force that will investigate the origins of COVID-19 and help the U.S. prepare for a future pandemic.
U.S. to limit asylum at Mexico border, open 100 migration hubs as COVID-19 restrictions end
President Joe Biden's administration on Thursday will begin denying asylum to migrants who show up at the U.S.-Mexico border without first applying online or seeking protection in a country they passed through, according to a new rule released Wednesday, as U.S. officials warned of difficult days ahead as a key limit on immigration is set to expire.
White House eases COVID protocols as emergency lifts
Pandemic-era rules on COVID-19 testing for White House journalists are being loosened as the public health emergency declaration expires Thursday. It's another sign of how a vast web of policies designed to limit the spread of the virus is dissipating.
NIH renews contract with research firm linked to Wuhan lab leak theory
The National Institutes of Health has provoked an outcry in Congress by renewing a $2.3 million grant with EcoHealth Alliance to research bat coronaviruses, three years after the Trump administration terminated its contract over the COVID lab leak theory.
Ukraine, Sudan conflicts fuel alarming surge in tuberculosis
Top U.N. officials and health industry leaders are trying to tackle an alarming surge in tuberculosis, which is now killing more people worldwide than COVID-19 or AIDS. Among the problems: a high number of cases in conflict zones, including Ukraine and Sudan, where it's difficult to track down people with the disease and diagnose new sufferers.
Study links long COVID to cognitive deficits
People who have memory problems, trouble focusing and post-traumatic stress disorder are likelier than others to report long COVID symptoms, a new study found.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky to depart next month, citing pandemic transition
Dr. Rochelle Walensky will depart as the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at the end of June, citing the imminent end of the COVID-19 public health emergency as a "tremendous transition for our country" after two years of rolling closures, battles against variants and subsequent efforts to overhaul the agency and regain public trust.
CDC investigates COVID-19 outbreak at its own conference
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking a COVID-19 outbreak of nearly three dozen cases tied to its own conference last week.
Bolsonaro home searched as Brazil probes fake vaccine cards
Brazil's Federal Police searched former President Jair Bolsonaro's home and seized his phone Wednesday in what they said was an investigation into alleged falsification of COVID-19 vaccine cards. Several other locations also were searched and a half-dozen people faced arrest, police said.
Youths show spike in ER visits related to suicide; pandemic worsens decadelong trend
Young people experiencing emotional distress increasingly visited emergency rooms in the decade leading into the COVID pandemic, with suicide-related visits rising fivefold, a new study says.
Wisconsin Supreme Court won't order ivermectin use for COVID-19
Wisconsin's conservative-controlled Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that a hospital could not be forced to give a deworming drug to a patient with COVID-19.
Djokovic cleared to play in U.S. Open as vaccine mandate ends next week
Novak Djokovic can return to the U.S. Open this year after missing the tournament in 2022, because the federal government's COVID-19 vaccination mandate for foreign air travelers ends next week.
Mental health worsened in online screenings last year: Report
The latest numbers from the nation's leading online mental health screening program are in, and they paint a pretty bleak picture of mental illness in the COVID era.
White House says Biden will end vaccine rules on federal employees, international air travelers
President Biden plans to end COVID-19 vaccination requirements on May 11 for federal employees, contractors and international travelers who visit by air.
CDC says percentage of suicidal teen girls rose during COVID
A growing share of teenage girls considered and attempted suicide in 2021 as their mental health deteriorated in the second year of COVID-19 restrictions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
COVID report finds suicide calls, overdose deaths and mental illness soared in D.C.
Suicide hotline calls, drug overdose deaths and mental illness complaints in the District all went through the roof during COVID-19, a report has found.
Japan to lift COVID-19 border controls before holiday week
Japan will lift most of its coronavirus border controls, including a requirement that entrants show proof of three vaccinations or a pre-departure negative test, beginning Saturday as the country's Golden Week holiday season begins and a large influx of foreign tourists is expected.
AFT's Weingarten defends teachers union's influence over CDC school guidance on COVID lockdowns
Randi Weingarten, head of the nation's second-largest teachers union, said educators were "terrified" during the COVID-19 crisis, but she rejected claims that she strong-armed Biden officials to keep schools closed longer than necessary in early 2021. House Republicans said the advice was designed to keep children home.
Study finds Novavax COVID jab safe, effective for adolescents
A randomized clinical trial has found that the COVID-19 vaccine produced by Novavax Inc. is "safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in preventing" the coronavirus in adolescents.
China to scrap PCR test requirement for inbound travelers
Travelers entering China will no longer need to provide a negative PCR test result starting Saturday, in another easing of China's "zero COVID" policies.
Mexico president tests positive for coronavirus for 3rd time
Mexico's president suspended a tour of the Yucatan peninsula Sunday after acknowledging he tested positive for the coronavirus, having previously suffered two bouts of COVID-19.
Pandemic sapped Americans' sense of purpose, worldview survey reveals
Add a sense of purpose in life to the roster of things Americans lost during the multi-year COVID-19 pandemic, a new survey revealed Thursday.
Biden's labor chief pick haunted by $30B COVID-era fraud payments
President Biden's choice to lead the Labor Department faces an uncertain fate within the Democratic-controlled Senate because of her tenure overseeing a California unemployment agency that paid out billions in fraudulent benefits at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
Feds bust alleged COVID fraudster for $230 million in bogus medical bills
Federal prosecutors announced charges Thursday against a California doctor who allegedly ran a $230 million fraud during the pandemic, billing the government for uninsured claims for patients who either had insurance or weren't treated.
Therapists warn against 'learned helplessness' of COVID isolation
Mental health experts are warning that the prolonged isolation of pandemic lockdowns has prompted many Americans to adopt a coping strategy frequently used by drug and alcohol abusers.
NIH chief says he can't confirm whether coronavirus slipped from Wuhan lab
Lawrence Tabak, the acting director of the National Institutes of Health, told Congress on Wednesday he has "no idea" if a lab leak caused the coronavirus pandemic and said he thinks a transfer from the animal kingdom is the likeliest theory.
Evidence mounts Wuhan lab spawned COVID-19 outbreak, leak occurred earlier than first suspected
Two leaks from Chinese labs in fall 2019 are the most likely sources of the coronavirus pandemic, a Senate report concluded after an 18-month probe into how COVID-19 reached humans -- a thorny question that's stumped two administrations and fueled rancor between Washington and Beijing.
Evidence of virus lab leak is convincing, says ex-intel director
A Trump-era Cabinet official on Tuesday said the intelligence community should be more aggressive in concluding the coronavirus leaked from a Chinese lab, telling Congress the bank of evidence indicating a spillover from nature is "nearly empty and tenuous."
Recent Commentary Columns
Biden's NIH restarts COVID-style research
There is an implicit and indispensable rule that power-seekers learn upon their arrival in Washington: Never apologize. To do so is to admit weakness, or, worse, incompetence.
Globalists are not done exploiting COVID, not by a long shot
COVID may have been taken off the emergency, emergency, emergency list. But it's still going to be used as a platform for bureaucrats to issue controls. And it just so happens, WHO just updated its COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan. How handy. How dandy. How top-down controlling.
Fauci is fooling only himself
Dr. Anthony Fauci, for all his fancy explanations and even fancier dances of obfuscations, is probably the leading person to blame for the COVID lockdowns, clampdowns, seizures of individual liberties and ridiculous forced face masking. Don't be taken by his lies.
The walls are finally closing in on Anthony Fauci
The more Republicans in the GOP-dominated House pick and probe, the more Anthony Fauci is revealed as a liar, liar, pants on fire. The walls are closing in on Fauci. And it's about dang time.