U.S. hospital intensive care units in many parts of the country are straining to handle record numbers of COVID-19 patients. These hospital ICUs take care of the sickest of the sick. Some are running out of space and supplies while scrambling to pay the soaring rates of temporary traveling nurses. Hundreds of ICUs are struggling at the same time, with many clustered in the South and West. An Associated Press analysis shows that since November, the share of U.S. hospitals nearing the breaking point has doubled. More than 40% of Americans live in areas running out of ICU beds. Experts say sustained surges can jeopardize the quality of care in ICUs.
WUHAN, China (AP) — One year after Wuhan’s lockdown, the central Chinese city has long since sprung back to life. But one dissident remains bunkered in his 14th-floor apartment, afraid the virus will return and China’s communist government will again try to conceal the truth. Zhu Tao’s early fears of the virus were vindicated when the outbreak spun out of control. But now that the situation in Wuhan has returned to something close to normal, Zhu finds himself at odds with his neighbors and the government. Pockets of like-minded people still dot China, from renegade intellectuals in Beijing to a punk cafe in Inner Mongolia. But under the watchful gaze of state cameras and censors, there is little room to organize or connect.
O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — The St. Louis Zoo plans to use land it owns in a rural area of Missouri as habitat for a wolf breed on the verge of extinction. Only about 20 American red wolves remain in the wild due mostly to illegal hunting, vehicle strikes and habitat loss. Plans announced Monday call for wolves to live and breed on the Sears Lehmann Jr. Wildlife Reserve southwest of St. Louis, which was donated to the zoo in 1993. About 20 acres will be set aside for 12 mating pairs of wolves that will arrive from other conservation organizations in 2022. The site will not be open to visitors.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is likely to be stripped of her committee assignments by the House Democratic majority over her past remarks. Greene is new to politics and has a well-documented history of racist remarks and of embracing conspiracy theories before her 2020 election. She has also endorsed violence against leading Democratic officials. She once floated the possibility that California wildfires were set by “lasers or blue beams of light” shot down from space. Greene was labeled a “future Republican Star” by former President Donald Trump, whose political style she emulates.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Progressive lawmakers including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are pushing the Biden administration to act ever more aggressively on climate change now that Democrats are in charge of Congress and the White House. A week after President Joe Biden signed signed executive orders intended to combat the worst effects of climate change, liberal lawmakers are urging him to go even further and declare a national emergency on climate change. Such a declaration would allow Biden to reinstate a ban on crude-oil exports and force companies to manufacture solar panels and other elements of the so-called green economy.