On one hand, we seem to finally be making progress against this damn virus. On the other hand, the variants are starting to drive numbers back up in some areas. So why are we opening now when we’re a few weeks away from finally getting on top of this nightmare? Apparently, Rochelle Walensky has the same question: CDC chief warns of ‘potential fourth surge’ and urges US to keep Covid rules.

+ AP: States easing virus restrictions despite experts’ warnings. (After more than a half a million deaths, you’d think we’d be open to expert opinions…)

+ “It’s a historic partnership,” said one of the officials, adding that the companies “recognize this is a wartime effort.” Merck will help make Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine.