The Biden Administration has brokered a deal for Merck to provide manufacturing support for rival Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine. Merck’s own attempt at producing a COVID vaccine proved unsuccessful. (The New York Times)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has lifted the state’s mask mandate and told businesses they can operate at full capacity starting on March 10. Texas has averaged more than 200 COVID deaths per day for the last week. (The Texas Tribune)

The Trump Administration took $10 billion from a fund designed to help hospitals and diverted it to Operation Warp Speed, STAT reported. The money was shifted without Congressional approval. (STAT)

In the wake of recent Ebola outbreaks in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have adopted rules for recent travelers to both countries. The agency noted, however, that “the risk of Ebola to the United States is extremely low.” (Reuters)

Despite concerns over the safety and efficacy of COVID vaccines produced in China, the country is supplying “vaccine aid” to 53 countries and direct exports to 27 more. China officials have rejected the notion that the vaccine effort is designed to burnish the country’s image abroad. (Associated Press)