Top U.S. health officials on March 2 laid out a national blueprint to manage COVID-19 going forward, vowing to prepare for any new variant outbreaks without shutting down schools and businesses and calling for additional funding from Congress.

The Omicron variant, which is spreading far faster than previous versions of the coronavirus, is not likely to help countries achieve so-called herd immunity against COVID-19 – in which enough people become immune to the virus that it can no longer spread – leading disease experts say.

Democratic Party lawmakers holding up proposed drug pricing reforms are among the largest beneficiaries of the pharmaceutical industry’s push to stave off price cuts, a Reuters analysis of public lobbying and campaign data shows.

The United States surpassed 700,000 coronavirus-related deaths on Oct. 1, according to a Reuters tally, as officials roll out booster doses of vaccines to protect the elderly and people working in high-risk professions.

Coronavirus-related deaths worldwide passed a grim milestone of 4 million on June 17, according to a Reuters tally, as many countries struggle to procure enough vaccines to inoculate their populations.

The United States reported the lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in nearly a year for the week ended May 23, with new infections dropping 26 percent from the previous seven days to just under 180,000, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

U.S. deaths from Covid-19 for the week ended May 16 fell to their lowest in nearly 14 months and the number of new cases continued to decline for a fifth week in a row, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

New cases of Covid-19 in the United States fell for a third week in a row, dropping 15 percent during the week ended May 2 to 347,000 – the lowest weekly total since October – according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

New cases of Covid-19 in the United States fell 16 percent in the week ended April 25 to about 409,000, the largest percentage drop in weekly new cases since February, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.

New cases of Covid-19 in the United States fell 0.4 percent during the week ended April 18 after rising for four weeks in a row, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county data.