Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Michigan Advance. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Michigan will get $10.3B in COVID relief package awaiting Biden’s signature

By: and - March 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — A sweeping $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package is headed to President Joe Biden’s desk after the U.S. House passed the latest pandemic relief measure Wednesday on a party-line vote. The massive bill includes a new round of $1,400 direct checks for many Americans, as well as an extension of expanded unemployment checks to assist […]

CDC: It’s OK for vaccinated grandparents to visit family if no risk for severe disease

By: - March 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — People who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can safely socialize inside with other vaccinated individuals without wearing masks or maintaining distance, federal health officials advised Monday in their first formal guidance for vaccinated Americans. Perhaps more critically at a time when more than 90% of Americans are still waiting to be fully vaccinated, the […]

Senate imposes limits on state, local govt. aid in COVID relief bill

By: - March 5, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Thursday to begin debate on President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, after drafting a number of revisions that, among other changes, tweak the aid intended for state and local governments. The legislation approved in the House outlines $350 billion in direct aid to state, local governments, territories […]

GOP opposition to state and local aid remains as Senate heads toward vote on COVID bill

By: - March 4, 2021

WASHINGTON — As Democrats seek to send President Joe Biden their latest $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, federal lawmakers remain deeply divided on the question of whether state and local governments need another infusion of federal aid. Supporters of the bill — including numerous Republican mayors — say the answer is a clear “yes.” They argue that a […]

Biden urges states to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations for teachers

By: - March 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is urging states to prioritize teachers for COVID-19 vaccines, setting a goal of ensuring that every pre-kindergarten through 12th grade educator, school staff member and childcare worker is able to receive at least one shot this month. At least 34 states, including Michigan, and the District of Columbia have some […]

One-dose vaccine poised for FDA green light after advisory panel OK

By: - February 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday gave its green light to a COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, signaling that states will soon see a third vaccine option in their weekly shipments — and the first that only requires one shot. Emergency-use authorization from the FDA is expected to swiftly follow […]

Game-changing one-dose vaccine could be in states’ hands shortly

By: - February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — States struggling to provide enough COVID-19 vaccines are likely just a few days away from a pivotal development in the vaccination race: the availability of a shot that requires only one dose. The game-changing Johnson & Johnson vaccine would differ from the two current shots by Pfizer and Moderna in several critical ways. […]

Big uptick in COVID vaccine supplies for states expected soon

By: - February 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Executives from five COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers told Congress Tuesday that they expect to significantly boost the number of shots delivered to states in the coming weeks. Pfizer will increase weekly shipments to more than 13 million doses by mid-March, an increase from the 4 to 5 million doses shipped weekly in early February, […]

Feds ship out COVID-19 vaccines delayed by winter storms

By: - February 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — White House officials said Monday that thawing temperatures and a weekend of around-the-clock work has begun to clear a backlog of 6 million COVID-19 vaccines that were delayed due to last week’s devastating winter storms. On Monday, 7 million doses were set for delivery across the country, a figure that includes both delayed […]

Biden at Pfizer: We’ll approach normalcy ‘by the end of the year’

By: and - February 19, 2021

President Joe Biden and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Friday afternoon for a tour of the pharmaceutical company’s Portage facility — home to the first COVID-19 vaccine doses that were shipped in December. “I believe we will be approaching normalcy by the end of the year,” Biden said. “God willing, this […]

Added COVID-19 testing on the way with $1.6B from the Biden admin.

By: - February 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is directing $1.6 billion to bolster COVID-19 testing nationally, including money to expand testing in schools and homeless shelters, boost supplies needed for testing, and analyze results to more quickly identify new strains of the virus. Roughly $650 million of the sum would go toward creating regional coordinating centers, which will […]

Census delay in releasing population data throws states into chaos

By: - February 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau won’t be releasing population data needed to redraw state legislative and congressional district boundaries until Sept. 30 — six months after that data is typically made available. The latest pandemic-spurred delay, announced by bureau officials on Friday, hugely scrambles the once-a-decade redistricting process for states with deadlines looming this […]