Politics Overnight Health Care: New round of vaccine mandates | Health groups call for mandates for all health workers | Rising case count reignites debate over restrictions
Data reveal big opportunity to finish the vaccine job
Family, friends and even health care providers are the most effective at nudging vaccine-hesitant Americans toward vaccination.As the death rate rises for the first time in months, with a seven-day 70 percent increase in cases and a hospitalization spike of 36 percent, both state and local governments are scrambling for a solution that protects Americans and encourages the unvaccinated to get their jabs. On Saturday night, Los Angeles County reinstituted a sweeping indoor mask mandate, which has been decried by those on the right and the left as anti-science and flying in the face of CDC guidance.
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Today: Vaccine mandates are gaining traction, including with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Dozens of health care groups requested vaccine mandates for health care workers, and the Biden administration released guidance saying long COVID-19 could count as a disability.
Team Biden Somehow Failed to Hire Someone to Fight Vaxx Disinfo
As early as last autumn, public health experts and political leaders were sounding the alarm that conspiracist campaigns posed a dire threat to a future nationwide vaccination program—a threat that necessitated the appointment of a “disinformation czar” to counter anti-vaccine messaging. The incoming Biden administration initially intended to heed those calls by placing a disinformation expert on the White House COVID-19 Response Team, according to multiple members of the transition team, but never followed through.
We'll start with mandates:
Big day for vaccine mandates from employers, including the VA, California, and New York City
The Department of Veterans Affairs will require its front-line health care workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a move that comes as vaccine mandates from employers are on the rise.
"I am doing this because it's the best way to keep our veterans safe, full stop," Denis McDonough, the secretary of Veterans Affairs, told The New York Times in an interview.
The move from the sprawling federal agency is the first time any part of the federal government has mandated COVID-19 vaccines, a step that the Biden administration has generally shied away from.
Calls for more mandates from employers are on the rise, though. New York City announced a mandate for its workers earlier on Monday.
Overnight Health Care: St. Louis reimposes mask mandate | Florida asks Supreme Court to block CDC's limits on cruise ship industry
Welcome to Friday's Overnight Health Care. A PSA to everyone who is suddenly a privacy expert: Asking if you have been vaccinated is not a violation of anything. If you have any tips, email us at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8. Today: Florida is asking the Supreme Court to block the CDC's restrictions on the cruise ship industry. Tennessee is resuming vaccine outreach to adolescents, St. Louis is mandating masks indoors again, and a new study shows how vaccines will help keep students safe this fall.We'll start with masks:St.
Big picture: As the vaccination rate in the U.S. lags, even as the delta variant fuels new spikes, many experts say persuasion is reaching its limits and mandates from employers will play an important role.
Health groups are also calling for mandates for all health workers to be vaccinated
Leading groups for doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are calling for COVID-19 vaccines to be mandated for health care workers as vaccinations lag amid the spread of the delta variant.
"Due to the recent COVID-19 surge and the availability of safe and effective vaccines, our health care organizations and societies advocate that all health care and long-term care employers require their workers to receive the COVID-19 vaccine," the American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and more than 50 other health care groups said in a on Monday. "This is the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment of all health care workers to put patients as well as residents of long-term care facilities first and take all steps necessary to ensure their health and well-being."
Rising case count reignites debate over COVID-19 restrictions
Biden administration officials are discussing the potential for tougher guidelines to blunt the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, but the White House will have to weigh how new measures might affect its overall vaccination push.The rise in infections around the country has sparked calls from some health experts to reimpose stricter masking guidance and other efforts designed to slow the spread of the virus. Doing so would likely set off criticism from conservatives and spark enforcement issues, as some Republican governors have vowed not to return to restrictions on businesses.
Lagging rates among some health workers: Despite working with vulnerable people, many staff at long-term care facilities are not vaccinated. ProPublica last week that only 59 percent of workers at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities had at least one shot, citing government data.
Another debate: As cases rise, should vaccinated people wear masks?
Biden administration officials are discussing the potential for tougher guidelines to blunt the nationwide surge in COVID-19 cases, but the White House will have to weigh how new measures might affect its overall vaccination push.
The rise in infections around the country has sparked calls from some health experts to reimpose stricter masking guidance and other efforts designed to slow the spread of the virus. Doing so would likely set off criticism from conservatives and spark enforcement issues, as some Republican governors have vowed not to return to restrictions on businesses.
"It would be actually surprising and odd if our health and medical experts were not having an active discussion about how to best protect the American people. And there is of course an active discussion about a range of steps that can be taken, as there has been from the first day of this administration," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday.
Biden’s ‘Summer of Joy’ Turns Grim as Delta Infections Skyrocket
President Joe Biden promised a “summer of joy” on July 4 as he declared America’s independence from Covid-19. Three weeks later that sense of victory is evaporating in the face of a resurgent pandemic. The U.S. now faces a surge in cases fueled by vaccine holdouts and the highly transmissible delta variant, prompting the federal government and companies on Tuesday to weigh mandatory vaccinations of workers and a return to widespread mask wearing.
"A number of months ago, the CDC recommended that people who are fully vaccinated didn't have to mask or distance. At the time, I thought it was a catastrophic situation and it's proven to be catastrophic," said Larry Gostin, a global health law professor at Georgetown University.
Biden admin says 'long COVID-19' could qualify as a disability
The Biden administration on Monday released new guidance on how to support those experiencing long-term symptoms of COVID-19 as part of a broader effort to recognize the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Justice rolled out guidance making clear that symptoms of "long COVID-19" could qualify as a disability under the federal civil rights law.
The guidance makes clear that long COVID-19 is not automatically a disability and that an "individualized assessment" is necessary to determine whether a person's long-term symptoms or condition "substantially limits a major life activity."
About long COVID-19: Most individuals who contract COVID-19 recover and see symptoms dissipate within a few weeks of experiencing effects from the virus. However, some individuals who have contracted the coronavirus have reported experiencing new or ongoing symptoms a month or more after testing positive for the virus.
Biden bid for federal workers to get COVID-19 shots prompts debate
President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday that the federal government, the nation’s largest employer, will require its civilian workers to get COVID-19 shots or follow more stringent protections, a move that could encourage other businesses and local governments to follow suit. The shift in strategy is already winning praise from public health advocates and raising concerns […] The post Biden bid for federal workers to get COVID-19 shots prompts debate appeared first on Roll Call.
Research last month found that a quarter of people who had COVID-19 sought care for new medical problems at least a month after being diagnosed with the virus.
House Democrats expand probe into political interference into CDC during Trump administration
House Democrats on Monday widened their investigation into political interference at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during former President Trump's administration based on new documents.
Through letters, Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis requested interviews from eight former and current CDC and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials and employees and three former Trump appointees as the probe branches out.
Along with the letters, the subcommittee also released a new email suggesting that senior officials were informed of and planning to discuss how to respond to Trump adviser Paul Alexander's email requesting an "immediate stop" to all of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports (MMWR).
A CDC career employee sent the newly released email from Aug. 9 that indicated senior leadership was available to meet and talk about "next steps" following Alexander's request to halt publication of the MMWR.
Background: The subcommittee, led by Chairman James Clyburn (D-S.C.), has been looking into reports and emails indicating that Trump appointees tried to meddle in the CDC's coronavirus response, including through efforts to edit and stop scientific reports on COVID-19.
Overnight Health Care: Biden tells federal workers to get vaccinated or submit to testing | President calls on states to offer $100 vaccine incentives | DC brings back indoor mask mandate starting Saturday
Welcome to Thursday's Overnight Health Care. Masks are back in Walt Disney World and Disneyland, with both resorts requiring face coverings for those aged 2 and older in indoor portions of the parks.If you have any tips, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4 and @JustineColeman8.Today: President Biden is stepping up the push to get people vaccinated, including federal workers, masks are coming back in D.C. and Democrats consider cutting back on new pandemic preparedness funds.
The Trump administration has denied that any political influence affected the reports, traditionally considered to be untouched by politics.
What we're reading
Covid treatment options remain elusive, despite months of effort and rising delta cases ()
New vaccine mandates are coming for government employees and health care workers ()
Pandemic leaves Indians mired in massive medical debts ()
The delta variant is the symptom of a bigger threat: vaccine refusal ()
State by state
California state, health workers must show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly ()
Florida mayor: 'We are in crisis mode,' as virus cases surge ()
As holdout Missouri joins nation in monitoring opioid prescriptions, experts worry ()
The Hill op-eds
'People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere': Court backs Indiana University mandate .
An appeals court judge denied a group of students' request to block Indiana University's COVID-19 mandate ahead of the fall semester.That was the message delivered by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in a ruling issued Monday that will allow the public university's requirement that all students and employees receive a COVID-19 vaccine before the start of the fall semester to stand.