Tens of thousands of Americans have volunteered to test COVID-19 vaccines, but only about half of them got the real thing during trials. Now, with the first vaccine rollouts, experts are debating what to do about the half that got a dummy shot.

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"This is just one step on an ominous path of fatalities," said Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University and one of many public health experts who contend the Trump administration's handling of the crisis led to thousands of avoidable deaths.

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SANTA FE, N.M. — When her suburban Dallas high school was forced to move online last spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, Charvi Goyal realized that the schoolmates she’d been informally tutoring between classes would still need extra help but wouldn’t necessarily be able to get it. S…