A White House meeting with top pharmaceutical executives that President Donald Trump promised for Tuesday is off, five industry sources familiar with discussions told POLITICO. Three said the drug-pricing discussion was canceled because the major drug lobbies, reeling from Friday’s cluster of executive orders on the topic, refused to send any members.
The Florida congresswoman cited the toll the virus is taking not only on senior citizens but “in my district its low-income minorities, Hispanics and African Americans, who are forced to go back to work for economic reasons and because their employers demanded they go back to work,” noting that such constituents often live in multi-generational households.
She went on to castigate Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for declining to impose a statewide mask mandate.
“Luckily our mayors in South Florida have done that, but that’s just a small piece because this disease doesn’t know what county or what city it’s in,” she said.
The Missouri Hospital Association reports that it no longer has access to the data it uses to guide state coronavirus mitigation efforts, and Kansas officials say their hospital data may be delayed. The Trump administration earlier this week directed hospitals to change how they report data to the federal government and how that data will be made available. In an email, Missouri Hospital Association spokesman Dave Dillon called the move “a major disruption.” “All evidence suggests that Missouri’s numbers are headed in the wrong direction,” Dillon said. “And, for now, we will have very limited situational awareness. That’s all very bad news.” The absence of the data will make it harder for health and public officials, as well as the general public, to understand how the virus is spreading.
Some of the largest urban and suburban school districts in the state, including thee 155,000-student Dallas Independent School District, will be required to keep their classrooms closed as a result of this order. Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told local reporters earlier this week that he was considering alternatives, including pushing the start date later than Aug. 17, to prepare for fall during the virus’ surge.
After the Texas Education Agency said last week it is requiring public schools to offer in-person instruction five days per week to all students who want it, El Paso and Laredo health officials were among the first to issue mandates keeping local schools entirely virtual through August.
“I would say in the last month we’ve been completely overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and our hospital is running out of space,” one Las Vegas emergency room doctor, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of professional retaliation, told The Daily Beast on Friday. “Not only are we overwhelmed and terrified, but based on the numbers for the rest of the country, it’s only going to get worse for us.”
To curtail the surge, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has rolled back premature reopening plans, introduced a mask mandate, and closed down bars in seven counties, including Vegas.
“The big surge in cases in Nevada [is] among Las Vegas residents—but even if Las Vegas puts a bunch of measures in place, it wouldn’t matter unless it was implemented statewide. You can’t just focus on one jurisdiction, because people move around,” Labus said.
Las Vegas hospitals are feeling the surge of new cases and are overwhelmed, understaffed, and short on supplies—unable to keep up with what researchers believe is the “tipping point” before a state loses control of the pandemic.
For the ER doctor, who said he had worked over 100 hours this week alone, the fear is knowing that the worst of the virus is yet to come for Las Vegas. He also said that some of the hospital’s beds are being taken up by patients from out-of-state, like Arizona.
As hospitals across the United States brace for a difficult six months — with the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic still raging and concerns about a second wave in the fall — some are acutely short-staffed because of an ill-timed change to immigration policy and its inconsistent implementation.
A proclamation issued by President Donald Trump on June 22, barring the entry of most immigrants on work visas, came right as hospitals were expecting a new class of medical residents. Hundreds of young doctors were unable to start their residencies on time.
Trump’s order included the H1-B visa for highly skilled workers, which is used by some practicing doctors abroad who get U.S. residency slots. The proclamation stated that doctors “involved with the provision of medical care to individuals who have contracted COVID-19 and are currently hospitalized” should be exempt from the ban, but it delegated the issuing of guidance to the departments of State and Homeland Security. That guidance has been slow and inconsistent.
Facing backlash from educators, parents and public health officials, the Texas Education Agency is giving schools more time before they must resume teaching students in person, and allowing districts hard hit by the coronavirus to seek waivers.Source: Texas schools can stay closed this fall for longer than previously ordered | The Texas Tribune
Google next month will ban publishers from using its ad platform to show advertisements next to content that promotes conspiracy theories about Covid-19. It will also ban ads that promote those theories. In cases where a particular site publishes a certain threshold of material that violates these policies, it will ban the entire site from using its ad platforms.
In the latest back-and-forth of a growing open dispute between Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Gov. Brian Kemp, the mayor said Thursday mask requirements “are enforceable and they stand” one day after the governor explicitly barred them.
The issue of masks has been perhaps the most contentious one between the two leaders, with Kemp rejecting calls to institute a statewide mask mandate and Bottoms one of the policy’s most vocal proponents.
The CDC’s web page for data on available hospital and ICU beds has been replaced with a note that reads: “Data displayed on this page was submitted directly to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and does not include data submitted to other entities contracted by or within the federal government.”
“We don’t have this critical indicator anymore,” Panchadsaram said. “The intent of just switching the data streams towards HHS, that’s fine. But you got to keep the data that you’re sharing publicly still available and up to date.”
Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University, which runs one of the most popular third-party coronavirus data dashboards, said the policy change won’t impact the Hopkins site because they’ve managed to source their data directly from states. She added, however, that the policy change raises questions about the transparency of the data and the role of the CDC in the ongoing U.S. response.