The Atlantic Daily: Afghanistan Evacuations Are a Race Against the Clock

The Taliban is tightening its grip, as the deadline for American withdrawal creeps closer.

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The Taliban is no longer allowing fleeing Afghans to travel to the Kabul airport, while the United States is sticking with its August 31 withdrawal deadline for now, despite calls for an extension.

That leaves just one week to complete evacuations of Americans and Afghan allies. The Pentagon said Tuesday that more than 20,000 people were evacuated from the country in the past 24-hours, marking a single-day peak. Still, fears remain that some will get left behind.

Further reading:  

A person holds a syringe next to a child's arm
Getty

The news in three sentences:

(1) A COVID-19 vaccine for kids is unlikely to be approved until the end of the year, a top health official said. (2) The budget blueprint passed the House, ending a standoff within the Democratic Party. (3) Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died at 80.

One question, answered: Why is it taking so long to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 12?

Our deputy managing editor Rachel Gutman outlined the intricacies of the approval process earlier this month:

Vaccines for young kids are most likely to be authorized via the same emergency-use mechanism that allowed adults to get their shots starting last December. The process is a bit of a push-and-pull between vaccine makers and the government. The companies have to recruit participants, perform clinical trials, collect data, and submit that information to the government, and the FDA has to tell the companies what sorts of data it’s looking for, how much, and over what timeline. Once the FDA grants an emergency-use authorization, the CDC has to weigh in, offering recommendations to the nation’s doctors and public-health bodies about when and how the shots should be used. (The latter step took only one day after the FDA authorized each of the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines for adults.)

Everyone involved has some control—but not full control—over how long it’s all going to take.

Keep reading.

Tonight’s Atlantic-approved activity:

Start a new book. With Teeth is a “gloriously messy, eminently Floridian tale of family dysfunction,” our critic Hannah Giorgis writes.

Find more reading recommendations in our summer book guide.

A break from the news:

What if friendship, not marriage, was at the center of life?


Every weekday evening, our editors guide you through the biggest stories of the day, help you discover new ideas, and surprise you with moments of delight. Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox.