Biden rolling out plan for $4 billion global vaccine effort to help poor nations. Get today’s latest.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden will use his first big presidential moment on the global stage at Friday’s Group of Seven meeting of world leaders to announce that the U.S. will soon begin releasing $4 billion for an international effort to bolster the purchase and distribution of coronavirus vaccine to poor nations, White House officials said.

Biden will also encourage G-7 partners to make good on their pledges to COVAX, an initiative by the World Health Organization to improve access to vaccines, according to a senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to preview Biden’s announcement.

Former President Donald Trump declined to participate in the COVAX initiative because of its ties to WHO, the Geneva-based agency that Trump accused of covering up China’s missteps in handling the virus at the start of the public health crisis. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the WHO, but Biden moved quickly after his inauguration last month to rejoin and confirmed that the U.S. would contribute to COVAX.

The $4 billion in U.S. funding was approved by Congress in December and will be distributed through 2022. Read more:

Here’s an update on all developments. Scroll or swipe further for in-depth coverage.

  • The federal retail pharmacy program for Covid-19 vaccinations in the United States has been underway for about a week now, and appointments are filling up quickly. Like at other types of vaccine sites, demand is far greater than supply.
  • Extreme winter weather is dealing the first major setback to the Biden administration’s planned swift rollout of coronavirus vaccines just as the national vaccination campaign was hitting its stride.
  • Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg eased some coronavirus restrictions for higher education students, children and young people under the age of 20, for whom the measures had been “a great burden.”
  • Africa reaches 100,000 known COVID-19 deaths as danger, vaccine concerns grow
  • Millions of vulnerable U.S. residents will need COVID-19 vaccines brought to them because they rarely or never leave their homes.
  • The large number of restaurants that went out of business due to the pandemic has been a boon for commercial auctioneers that buy used equipment and resell them to the eating establishments that managed to stay afloat.
  • The Vatican said Friday it expects a deficit of nearly 50 million euros ($60.7 million) this year because of pandemic-related losses, a figure that grows to 80 million euros ($97 million) when donations from the faithful are excluded.

For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for the latest virus numbers.

Virus by the numbers

A look inside a modern COVID-19 ‘field hospital’

The story and images from a COVID-19 field hospital in Rhode Island, a site stood up to help overwhelmed hospitals during the peak of the pandemic.

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP) — Nicholas DiPompo was finally going home.

Clutching his cane, the 78-year-old former property manager, who had spent weeks battling COVID-19 in a Rhode Island field hospital, eased into a wheelchair and hollered across the hall.

“You got my number,” DiPompo shouted to fellow patient Art Singleton, whom he’d grown close to after three weeks together. “Give me a call when you get out.” He said they’d go to his favorite restaurant for baked stuffed lobster.