Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care, where we follow the latest policy and news initiatives affecting your health. Sign up here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
The CDC may want to hire Coach Cal as their latest spokesman; University of Kentucky basketball coach published one video urging people to wear KN95 masks.
From January 19, you can log on to COVIDTests.gov and order some tests …. but not too many.
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Website for power outages coming January 19th
The move makes the 500 million quick tests available President BidenJoe BidenHouse Democratic campaign arms raise GOP counterpart in last quarter of 2021 Putin’s ‘Brezhnev doctrine’ involving Ukraine could backfire Rising inflation adds pain to student loan debt MORE said his administration bought last month.
Limitations: Each residential address will be limited to four tests. The tests are also expected to take 7-12 days to ship once ordered, the White House said.
People will be able to order the tests on a new website, COVIDTests.gov, which goes live on January 19th. The White House is working with the U.S. Postal Service to send the tests to people’s homes.
Mounting pressure: The movement comes as the White House has been under pressure from lawmakers and health experts to take stronger steps to address the lack of testing across the country.
Many health experts say the administration should have made test moves like this months before the omicron wave hit.
The limit of four tests per. address will mean that this channel alone will be far from enough to allow the kind of frequent testing that many experts have called for.
Asked about the restriction, a senior administration official said the initiative is “one of many programs we run” on testing. Other options include giving people the opportunity to get reimbursement from private health insurance companies for tests they buy from a dealer.
Read more here.
The White House is threatening to recover funds
The Biden administration is threatening to reclaim federal COVID-19 aid funding from Arizona unless the state stops directing the money to schools without mask mandates.
In a letter sent Friday, the Treasury Department said Arizona’s $ 163 million Education Plus-Up Grant program and its COVID-19 Educational Recovery Benefit program are undermining efforts to stop coronavirus.
The programs, funded by payments from Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, impose conditions that discourage compliance with wearing masks in schools, the letter said.
The funds are intended to “mitigate the tax effects arising from the COVID-19 public health emergency, including by supporting efforts to stop the spread of the virus,” the finance ministry noted in the letter.
What Arizona does: The state’s Plus-Up Grant program directs funds only to schools that do not have mask requirements, and the $ 10 million Educational Recovery Benefit Program provides up to $ 7,000 per year. pupil to parents facing financial and educational barriers due to having children in schools considered to impose “unnecessary closures and school mandates.”
Threats: Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyTreasury threatens to recover COVID-19 funds due to Arizona school protection rules. Discrimination case haunts Democrats in Arizona gubernatorial contest Conservative group targets Tests, Sinema, Kelly MORE‘s (R) office has 60 days to redirect federal funds to qualified users or modify the two programs to comply. If not, the federal government said it would move to recover the emergency aid money. The Ministry of Finance also threatened to withhold the next tranche of assistance.
Read more here.
FAUCI: NOT READY YET IF ANNUAL BOOSTERS ARE NECESSARY
President Biden’s Chief Medical Officer Anthony FauciAnthony Fauci The Hill’s Morning Report: Biden takes it on the chin Dr. Oz calls Fauci a ‘little tyrant’, challenging him to discuss. Fauci says it’s not yet clear if people will need annual boosters MORE said in an interview that it is not yet clear whether people will need annual COVID-19 boosters, even as the CEOs of several drug manufacturers have indicated that a fourth dose of vaccine may be needed.
“We have only recently boosted people. We want to find out if the booster gives you a degree of durability of protection and should actually be the standard cure with three doses of an mRNA and two doses of J&J,” Fauci said in an interview with NBC News published Thursday.
“Or – and it’s a big ‘or’ right now – are we going to have to boost people every year or so?” He continued.
Fauci said that although it was a good thing that the original strain of COVID-19 was used in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine – because “we were lucky that even though [strains] were different, they were not so different that the vaccine did not cover it well “- omicron has confused the situation.
“We did pretty well with a primary vaccination and a boost with delta. Then suddenly there was omicron,” Fauci told the network. “And if you look at the effect against delta versus omicron, it dropped to about 30 percent.”
The leading expert in infectious diseases said he wants a vaccine that would ideally be effective against all kinds of COVID-19 variants.
Read more here.
‘PHARMA BRO’ BANNED AT LIFE
Martin Shkreli, “Pharma Bro”, who significantly raised the price of the life-saving drug Daraprim, was told by a judge on Friday that he could no longer work in the pharmaceutical industry and was sentenced to pay close to $ 65 million “in net “. profit from his offense. ”
U.S. District Judge Denise Cote called her plan to raise the price of Daraprim “particularly heartless and coercive” in her decision Friday.
“He cynically exploited the demands of a federal regulatory system designed to protect a nation’s health by ensuring that its people have access to drugs that are not only effective but also safe,” Cole said in his decision.
In her strong rebuke, Cole also said that Shkreli had not expressed any remorse for his actions. She noted that “the risk of recurrence here is real.”
“Shkreli’s anti – competitive conduct at the expense of public health was overt and ruthless. He is relentless. To exclude him from the possibility of repeating this conduct is nothing, if not in the interest of justice,” Cole said.
Read more here.
Cases are rising in long-term care facilities
The coronavirus cases of long-term care centers have increased dramatically over three weeks due to the omicron variant.
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living, which represents more than 14,000 nursing homes across the country, found that cases increased between Dec. 19 and Jan. 9.
COVID-19 cases for nursing home residents on December 19 were at 4,361, and cases on January 9 were at 32,061. For nursing home staff, cases went from 5,919 on December 19 to 57,243 on January 9th.
“As soon as the news of Omicron came in December, we were very concerned that this variant would lead to an increase in cases in the United States and therefore an increase in the number of cases in nursing homes, and it has unfortunately done so,” Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living, said.
“We called on members of the public to help us protect our nation’s seniors ahead of the holiday season, and we repeat this prayer today. Help support our frontline caregivers and protect our most vulnerable by being vaccinated, boosted and masked,” he said. he added.
The group reported that the death rate was 10 times lower among nursing home residents in December 2021 compared to 2020, which credited vaccines and booster shots for the decline in severity.
Read more here.
WHAT WE READ
- No one has any idea how much money seniors can pay for a new drug for Alzheimer’s (State)
- As Omicron rises, efforts to vaccinate young children cease (Kaiser Health News)
- Obamacare open registration ends Saturday as interest rises (CNN)
STATE BY STATE
- Schools in Texas struggle to stay open as teachers and bus drivers report sick with COVID-19 (Texas Tribune)
- While Massachusetts hospitals shake with COVID wave, Gov. Charlie Baker announces emergency action (Mass Live)
- New Virginia Gov. Youngkin lifts school mask mandate, changes COVID policies (NBC Washington)
That was it for today, thank you for reading along. Check out The Hill’s health care page for the latest news and coverage. See you on Monday.