Omicron may be peaking in US; Biden sends more COVID tests to schools; plus more morning headlines

Today is Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Let’s get caught up.

Here are today’s top stories, celebrity birthdays and a look back at this date in history:

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FIRST, THE WEATHER

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TOP STORIES

<p>FILE - Maya Goode, a COVID-19 technician, performs a test on Jessica Sanchez outside Asthenis Pharmacy in Providence, R.I., Dec. 7, 2021. Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically. </p>

AP Photo/David Goldman, File

FILE - Maya Goode, a COVID-19 technician, performs a test on Jessica Sanchez outside Asthenis Pharmacy in Providence, R.I., Dec. 7, 2021. Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically. 

Omicron may be headed for a rapid drop in Britain, US

Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically.

The reason: The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa.

“It’s going to come down as fast as it went up,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Keep scrolling for links to full versions of these top stories and more.

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<p>President Joe Biden talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Washington. </p>

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

President Joe Biden talks to reporters before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022, in Washington. 

Biden sending more COVID tests to schools to keep them open

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is increasing federal support for COVID-19 testing for schools in a bid to keep them open amid the omicron surge.

The White House announced Wednesday that the administration is making a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests available to schools starting this month to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools. That’s on top of more than $10 billion devoted to school-based tests authorized in the COVID-19 relief law and about $130 billion earmarked in that law to keep kids in school.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, angrily accused a senator Tuesday of making false accusations that are leading to threats against him — all to raise political cash.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has repeatedly said Fauci lies about the pandemic and in a hearing Tuesday also claimed that he tried to “take down” some scientists who disagreed with him.

Later in Tuesday’s hearing, Fauci lost his temper when Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, accused him of hiding financial disclosure forms required of public officials.

“You’re so misinformed that it’s extraordinary,” Fauci responded, saying those documents are publicly available upon request. As the exchange ended, Fauci could be heard muttering off-camera, “What a moron.”

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Click on the links below for full version of today’s top stories. Keep scrolling for a look back at this day in history and today’s celebrity birthdays:

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IMAGE OF THE DAY

<p>Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington. </p>

Greg Nash/Pool via AP

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical adviser to the president, testifies before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing to examine the federal response to COVID-19 and new emerging variants, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington. 

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TODAY IN HISTORY

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO …