Biden to set out his foreign policy in state dept speech – live updates

President has promised US will re-engage globally after isolationist Trump era

A Texas county judge has temporarily blocked the state’s efforts to remove Planned Parenthood from Medicaid, report CNN. Caroline Kelly writes:

A slew of Texas Planned Parenthood affiliates asserted in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission failed to issue “a proper notice of termination” from the program. The state had promised to remove the groups from the Medicaid program Thursday.

The chief press officer for the Texas Health & Human Services Commission, Christine Mann, declined to comment on the case citing pending litigation.

Sam Baker and Andrew Witherspoon have a relatively upbeat analysis of the coronavirus situation across the US today for Axios. They write:

New coronavirus infections slowed by nearly 16% over the past week, continuing a trend of rapid improvement. The US still has a ton of coronavirus, and there’s still the potential for dark days ahead. But this is progress, and the improvement is significant. If this trend keeps going, the country will be in a far better and safer position as vaccines continue to roll out.

Nationwide, the US is averaging about 139,000 new cases per day — a 16% improvement over last week, which was a 16% improvement over the week before. The number of new hospitalizations was also down last week, by just over 26%. And deaths fell by about 6%, to an average of 3,097 deaths per day.

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