Coronavirus daily news updates, July 21: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

After more than a year of planning and despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases worldwide, the Tokyo Olympics are nearly here. The head of the World Health Organization said Wednesday that eliminating virus risks at the Olympics is impossible, but how infections are handled is what matters most.

Meanwhile, as the spread of the new delta variant prompts concern, conservative media is offering mixed messaging about vaccines. And Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday implored unvaccinated Americans to get the COVID-19 shot, issuing a stark and grave warning of a repeat of last year’s shutdowns if people refuse to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the U.S. and the world. Click here to see live updates from previous days, plus all our other coronavirus coverage, and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington and the world.

Catch up on the past 24 hours

If you got Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose vaccine, you’re far less protected against COVID-19’s quickly spreading delta variant than against the original virus, according to new research that’s amplifying talk of booster shots.

The U.S. saw its biggest drop in life expectancy since World War II, driven largely by COVID-19, officials announced.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, angrily confronted Sen. Rand Paul over the virus yesterday.

—Kris Higginson

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