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NAS Members Say US Was Prepared for Pandemic but Lacked Leadership
In The News
NAS Members Say US Was Prepared for Pandemic but Lacked Leadership
2022-05-18 16:11:26
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine hosted a two-day workshop this week, during which academy members examined the future of the public health emergency enterprise and what exactly went wrong with the U.S. public health response... Read More

Health
HRSA Prepares Providers for End of Telehealth Flexibilities During COVID-19 PHE
2022-05-18 16:07:54
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services extended the COVID-19 public health emergency this week beyond the July 15 expiration to October. The eventual expiration of the declaration will lead to changes in certain flexibilities granted to Medicare... Read More

Science
Lawmakers Warned More Diseases Coming From Sick Wildlife
2022-04-28 21:09:02
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — Animal disease experts at a congressional hearing Thursday described a bleak future for preventing wildlife viruses from jumping to humans before ballooning into pandemics without stronger government intervention. Human encroachment into the habitats of wild animals along with... Read More

Litigation
Iowa Supreme Court Ruling Shows Businesses Bear Pandemic Losses
2022-04-25 19:35:55
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — An Iowa Supreme Court ruling on Friday that denied insurance coverage for COVID-19 losses to a golf club and a restaurant appears to be a sign of the times in lawsuits coming out of the pandemic. A day... Read More

Health
WHO Monitors for Dangers Posed by New Variants as US Scales Back COVID Response
2022-04-20 18:20:57
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — This week the World Health Organization has begun monitoring two new subvariants of the omicron strain known as BA.4 and BA.5, adding to a lengthy tracking list which already includes omicron subvariants BA.2.12 and BA.2.12.1, and the new... Read More

U.S. Senate
Senate Negotiators Reach Deal on COVID Relief Package
2022-04-05 13:39:59
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Senate negotiators reached an agreement late Monday afternoon on a slimmed-down $10 billion COVID relief package that preserves vaccine and treatment regimes here, but eliminates virtually all funding for similar programs abroad. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.,... Read More

White House
Biden Gets Second Booster Shot
2022-03-30 20:07:44
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden received a second booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday, a day after federal regulators approved a fourth shot for those aged 50 and older. He took the precautionary step as the White House... Read More

Health
FDA Authorizes Second Booster Shot for Americans Over 50
2022-03-29 15:45:22
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Bypassing its review panel of independent experts, the Food and Drug Administration authorized a fourth dose of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccine for people 50 and older. The authorization for the fourth shot comes as an omicron... Read More

Health
US Scales Back COVID-19 Response Efforts, Concerns Over Future Variants Remain
2022-03-23 20:12:49
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The U.S. is scaling back COVID-19 response efforts, despite a recent uptick of infections involving an omicron subvariant known as BA.2 which now accounts for about 35% of all positive COVID infections in the country.  “BA.2 is omicron... Read More

International
Canada to Lift COVID-19 Testing Requirement for Vaccinated Travelers
2022-03-18 18:03:29
by Reece Nations

OTTAWA, Ont. — Canadian Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos announced on Thursday that the country would no longer require fully vaccinated travelers to show a negative coronavirus test prior to entering the country starting April 1. Duclos’ announcement comes as Canadian... Read More

Congress
Top Lawmakers Reach Deal on Ukraine Aid, $1.5T Spending

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies plus billions more to battle the pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the... Read More

Health
White House Unveils Plan for Dealing With Next COVID Phase
2022-03-02 16:43:03
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Hours after President Joe Biden declared “it’s time for Americans to get back to work” in his State of the Union address, the White House on Wednesday unveiled its updated plan for dealing with the next phase of... Read More

COVID-19
Pandemic Fears are Fading Along With Omicron: AP-NORC Poll

Omicron is fading away, and so are Americans' worries about COVID-19. As coronavirus pandemic case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths continue to plummet, fewer people now than in January say they are concerned that they will be infected after the rise and fall... Read More

Congress
Congress Unmasked for State of the Union
2022-02-28 15:34:49
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — It’ll be masks off for President Joe Biden’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday as the House is lifting the mask mandate that has been in place almost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Brian... Read More

Health
CDC to Significantly Ease Pandemic Mask Guidelines Friday

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration will significantly loosen federal mask-wearing guidelines to protect against COVID-19 transmission on Friday, according to two people familiar with the matter, meaning most Americans will no longer be advised to wear masks in indoor... Read More

State News
California Adopts Nation's 1st 'Endemic' Virus Policy

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California became the first state to formally shift to an “endemic” approach to the coronavirus with Gov. Gavin Newsom's announcement Thursday of a plan that emphasizes prevention and quick reaction to outbreaks over mandated masking and... Read More

Health
Biosecurity Experts Tell Senate Pandemic Revealed Gaps in Preparedness
2022-02-17 21:10:32
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — As COVID-19 deaths in the United States approach 1 million, maybe something worthwhile came out of the pandemic, biosecurity experts told a Senate panel Thursday. At least now Americans and their lawmakers are willing to dedicate the resources... Read More

In The News
Trudeau Says Protests Must End, Truckers Brace for Crackdown

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Police poured into downtown Ottawa on Thursday in what truckers feared was a prelude to a crackdown on their nearly three-week, street-clogging protest against Canada's COVID-19 restrictions. Work crews in the capital began erecting fences outside... Read More

Congress
House Members Debate Role of Immigrant Physicians in Easing Health Care Shortages
2022-02-16 15:33:50
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship met Tuesday to discuss the role of immigrant physicians in the U.S. health care system. “Throughout the pandemic, immigrants in health care fields served on the front lines, and have... Read More

In The News
CDC Continues Warnings on Masking While Health Care Workers Show Fatigue
2022-02-10 22:26:12
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautioned again this week that it is too soon to stop wearing masks in a warning ignored by many states tired of limitations imposed by COVID-19. Meanwhile, an exodus of health... Read More

Discrimination
Pandemic Highlights Ways to Overcome Employment Barriers for Disabled Workers
2022-02-09 19:59:45
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — Members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions met this week to discuss how the pandemic helped to remove some of the barriers to employment for those living with disabilities and how those gains can... Read More

Health
AHA and Congress Request Federal Investigation Into Nurse Staffing Agencies
2022-02-09 17:48:14
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The American Hospital Association, health care organizations and nearly 200 members of Congress sent letters to White House officials in January requesting an investigation of nurse staffing agencies based on claims they’ve been exploiting staffing shortages during the... Read More

Mental Health
Surgeon General Advises Fast Action to Resolve Youth Mental Health Crisis
2022-02-08 21:58:50
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON — The U.S. surgeon general repeated his call to action Tuesday to resolve a mental health crisis among American young people that has deepened during the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told a Senate panel that more... Read More

In The States
Judge Puts Virginia Ban on School Face Mask Mandates on Hold
2022-02-04 21:47:22
by Dan McCue

ARLINGTON, Va. — Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin cannot enforce a ban on face mask mandates in the state’s schools until the outcome of several pending cases on the issue are resolved, a state circuit court judge ruled Friday. Judge Louise... Read More

Congress
House Majority Leader Hoyer Tests Positive for COVID-19
2022-02-02 14:54:42
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said Tuesday that he’s tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the latest fully vaccinated member of Congress to contract the virus. Hoyer, the second-ranking House Democrat, said in an email to reporters that... Read More

White House
President Reignites ‘Cancer Moonshot,’ Stressing Screening, Ambitious Goals
2022-02-02 14:46:27
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday relaunched the “cancer moonshot” project he oversaw during the Obama administration in an East Room event attended by lawmakers, agency heads, and doctors, nurses and researchers, many of whom will comprise a new... Read More

In The News
FDA Grants Full Approval for Moderna Vaccine
2022-01-31 19:11:47
by Alexa Hornbeck

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a second COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine has been known as the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine; the approved vaccine, known as Spikevax, was approved after finding the vaccine met rigorous standards for... Read More

Media
Spotify Responds to COVID Misinformation Controversy, Rogan Offers Apology
2022-01-31 16:42:49
by Dan McCue

NEW YORK —Bowing to pressure from critics who claim it has contributed to the spread of COVID and vaccine misinformation, Spotify announced Sunday it plans to add warning labels to content that blurs the line between truth and fiction. “You’ve... Read More

Taxes
Senators Seek Taxpayer Penalty Relief Amid IRS Backlog
2022-01-28 22:11:46
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON — Sens. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., and Bill Cassidy, R-La., are leading an effort to convince the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service to provide penalty relief for taxpayers amid what they describe as the “extensive”... Read More

Cities
Majority of Cities Felt Financial Wallop Within Weeks of COVID’s Arrival
2022-01-26 00:22:00
by Dan McCue

CHICAGO — Despite an almost immediate infusion of emergency federal funding, the majority of America’s largest cities saw a sharp and lasting decline in their fiscal well-being when the coronavirus reared its ugly head, a new report says. Published by... Read More

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Straight From The Well