Covid live updates: Congress clears major stimulus hurdle on Fed lending; U.S. general apologizes to states for vaccine cuts

As the U.S. races to deliver more life saving vaccines after Moderna's two-dose shot was approved for emergency use, Congress is up against the clock to deliver economic lifelines for Americans who are struggling from the pandemic's economic fallout.

For months, negotiations in Congress have failed to produce a new Covid stimulus deal. But on Saturday night, lawmakers finally reached a compromise on a major hurdle — the Federal Reserve's emergency lending powers — paving the way for votes as soon as Sunday.

Lawmakers had to pass last-minute emergency funding on Friday to avert a government shutdown and create time for another round negotiations over the weekend.

If lawmakers do not reach a deal by 12:01 a.m. ET Monday morning, the government will shut down.

As Congress fumbles the economic response to the pandemic, there are also growing questions about Operation Warp Speed's logistical plan for delivering vaccine doses. Several U.S. states are reporting that their allotment of doses has either been reduced or delayed.

U.S. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, who oversees logistics for Operation Warp Speed, said the confusion was due to a "planning error" in which the initial vaccine numbers he provided to the states were higher than the amount of doses actually available for release.

What's holding up the new relief package?

As the government struggles with its response, the suffering from the pandemic continues to mount. More than 2,800 deaths attributed to the virus were recorded Friday in the U.S., while the nation reported more than 249,000 new infections

The following data is from Johns Hopkins University:

  • U.S. deaths: more than 313,000
  • U.S. infections: more than 17.4 million
  • Global deaths: 1.67 million
  • Global infections: 75.7 million

Here's what you need to know: