Alabama’s governor on March 4 extended for another month an order mandating residents to wear face masks to protect against Covid-19, breaking with Mississippi and Texas as the issue again becomes the focus of political debate.

The White House said on March 3 that President Joe Biden hoped Americans would continue to follow coronavirus guidelines such as mask-wearing even as some states, including Texas, lift their restrictions amid the ongoing pandemic.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued the most sweeping rollback of coronavirus restrictions of any U.S. state on March 2, lifting a mask mandate and saying most businesses may open at full capacity by the following week.

The White House is increasing the supply of coronavirus vaccines sent each week to states to 13.5 million doses, and is also doubling the amount shipped to pharmacies to 2 million doses during the week of Feb. 15.

Walmart Inc. is preparing to offer Covid-19 vaccinations in seven more states, as well as in Chicago and Puerto Rico, expanding beyond the two states where the company’s pharmacists are offering inoculations.

The U.S. coronavirus death toll topped 400,000 on Jan. 19, according to a Reuters tally, as the country hardest hit by the pandemic struggled to meet the demand for vaccines to stem the spread of infection.

Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban – best known as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and an investor on the ABC business reality series “Shark Tank” – is diving into generic drugs with a new startup, dubbed Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company.

Nearly 9 million Americans had been given their first Covid-19 vaccination dose as of Jan. 11, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, as states scrambled to step up inoculations that have yet to slow the roaring pandemic.

The United States recorded 10,000 coronavirus deaths and more than 1.1 million new cases for the week ended Nov. 29, although state and health officials said the Thanksgiving holiday likely caused numbers to be under-reported.

U.S. health officials and politicians pleaded with Americans to stay at home over the Thanksgiving holiday and abide by constraints placed on social and economic life as record coronavirus caseloads pushed hospitals to their limits.