U.S. health advisers are reviewing Merck's closely watched COVID-19 pill, which could become the first easy-to-use drug for American patients. The Food and Drug Administration asked its outside experts Tuesday whether the agency should authorize the pill. The meeting comes as U.S. infections are rising again and health authorities worldwide size up the threat posed by the new omicron variant. Given the ongoing threat, the FDA is widely expected to approve emergency use of Merck's pill. But new data released last week painted a less compelling picture than when the company first publicized its early results in October.