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Politics 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

01:40  30 july  2021
01:40  30 july  2021 Source:   thehill.com

Goats got milk, Winnebago Tribe, New Mexico quake : News from around our 50 states

  Goats got milk, Winnebago Tribe, New Mexico quake : News from around our 50 states Minnesota’s most populous county boosts incentives for COVID-19 vaccine, oil production is flat in North Dakota because of a workforce shortage, and moreStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie: 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 © Getty Images 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

If you have any tips, email us at nweixel@thehill.com, psullivan@thehill.com and jcoleman@thehill.com.

Follow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4 and @JustineColeman8.

The Mask Mandate Debate Is Back. Here’s What to Know.

  The Mask Mandate Debate Is Back. Here’s What to Know. Amid the Delta-fueled wave of U.S. COVID cases, universal mask mandates are back on the table and as politically fraught as ever.A week ago, Los Angeles County became the first major metropolitan area to reinstate a mask mandate in indoor public spaces for both unvaccinated and vaccinated residents. And amid a nationwide surge of new COVID-19 fueled by the more transmissible Delta variant, America’s largest county isn’t the only place where universal mask mandates are back on the table. The Delta wave has thus reignited the already politically charged debate over face mask mandates.

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.

We'll start with the vaccine move:

Biden tells federal workers: Get vaccinated or submit to testing

President Biden on Thursday is directing all federal employees and onsite contractors to show that they are vaccinated or otherwise submit to regular coronavirus testing, a major step that will likely cause private-sector businesses to follow suit.

Biden is instructing his administration to apply similar standards to all federal government contractors.

"If you want to do business with the fed government, get your workers vaccinated," Biden said in remarks from the White House Thursday afternoon.

Overnight Health Care: New round of vaccine mandates | Health groups call for mandates for all health workers | Rising case count reignites debate over restrictions

  Overnight Health Care: New round of vaccine mandates | Health groups call for mandates for all health workers | Rising case count reignites debate over restrictions Welcome to Monday's Overnight Health Care. A snow leopard at the San Diego Zoo has COVID-19, but appears to be doing ok! If you have any tips, email us at nweixel@thehill.com psullivan@thehill.com jcoleman@thehill.comFollow us on Twitter at @NateWeixel, @PeterSullivan4, and @JustineColeman8. 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.

The shift: The White House had previously tried to avoid tipping the scales by endorsing vaccine mandates for employers and other organizations. Thursday's announcement represents a sizable shift as the White House tries to convince more people to get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases rise due to the spread of the delta variant.

Read more here.

Another step: Biden calls on states to offer $100 vaccine incentives

President Biden on Thursday called on state and local governments to use funds from his $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan to offer $100 payments to individuals in order to incentivize coronavirus vaccinations.

The payments would be offered to newly vaccinated Americans to provide "an extra incentive to boost vaccination rates, protect communities, and save lives," the Treasury Department said in an announcement Thursday afternoon.

The CDC is recommending masks for vaccinated people in high transmission areas. What does that mean?

  The CDC is recommending masks for vaccinated people in high transmission areas. What does that mean? Should you wear a mask if you're fully vaccinated? If you're in an area with high COVID transmissibility, the CDC says yes. Here's what that means.The guidance also recommends that people with underlying conditions that may make them more susceptible to the coronavirus wear masks, along with anyone residing with vulnerable people. Teachers, school staff, students and visitors inside schools from kindergarten to 12th grade also fall under new guidance recommending universal mask-wearking.

"Treasury stands ready to give technical assistance to state and local governments so that they may use the funds effectively to support increased vaccination in their communities, and Treasury will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services throughout this effort," it said.

Biden bid for federal workers to get COVID-19 shots prompts debate

  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.

Biden formally announced the new incentive plan during an address on the coronavirus at the White House.

"I know that paying people to get vaccinated might sound unfair to folks that have gotten vaccinated already but here's the deal: if incentives help us beat this virus, I believe we should use them," he said. "We all benefit if we can get more people vaccinated."

Read more here.

DC brings back indoor mask mandate starting Saturday

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Thursday that masks will once again be required indoors in the city beginning Saturday, regardless of coronavirus vaccination status.

The move, which applies to anyone over the age of 2, comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week updated its mask guidance to recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public places in areas with high COVID-19 transmission.

D.C. currently falls under that guidance, with the CDC classifying it as having substantial transmission.

"Things have changed throughout the course of [the pandemic], and we have to adapt, too," Bowser said at a news conference.

45% of Republicans support a universal vaccine mandate, as do a strong majority of Americans, a new poll shows

  45% of Republicans support a universal vaccine mandate, as do a strong majority of Americans, a new poll shows A universal mandate has not been proposed by state or federal leaders, but requirements have been issued at various levels.The survey also found that a strong majority of Americans (64%) would support a universal vaccine mandate across the US. Most Americans (70%) supported a vaccine requirement for getting on a plane, as well as requiring one for allowing children to go back to school (61%), and mandating one for college students to go back to university (66%).

Exception: There is an exception for people who are actively eating at a restaurant, Bowser said, and there are no social distancing requirements that go along with the mask order.

The CDC's move this week was based on new data showing that vaccinated people could in some instances still transmit the virus on to others, even if they themselves are overwhelmingly protected against severe illness.

Read more here.

A dozen GOP governors urge Supreme Court to let states regulate abortion

A dozen Republican governors on Thursday urged the Supreme Court to eliminate federal protections for abortion and instead allow states to regulate the procedure.

Led by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, the group argued in a legal filing that the court's landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the constitutional right to abortion, and subsequent rulings unlawfully encroach on states' rights.

"The judicial constitutionalization of abortion represents an unwarranted intrusion into the sovereign sphere of the States," they wrote. "Returning to the States the plenary authority to regulate abortion without federal interference would restore the proper (i.e., constitutional) relationship between the States and the Federal Government."

The pandemic turning point the White House didn't want

  The pandemic turning point the White House didn't want President Joe Biden is tired of wearing a mask. © Susan Walsh/AP President Joe Biden holds his face mask as he speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Stepping into the East Room on Thursday, his face covered in black surgical fabric for the first time in weeks, the President made no attempt to disguise his disappointment at returning to the most charged symbol of the pandemic era.

Which governors: The amicus brief endorsed Mississippi's effort to have Roe v. Wade overruled next term, and was signed by the Republican governors of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas.

Abortion rights advocates: Abortion rights advocates warn that abortion access would be sharply curtailed across the country if the Supreme Court uses next term's Mississippi case to overturn Roe v. Wade, particularly in the American South and Midwest.

Follows: The Thursday filing by GOP governors follows a legal brief from Mississippi's attorney general last week that explicitly urged the justices to overrule Roe next term when the Supreme Court reviews Mississippi's ban on virtually all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Read more here.

Democrats consider scaling back new funds to fight next pandemic

Congressional Democrats are considering cutting new funds for pandemic preparedness in an upcoming package from the $30 billion proposed by President Biden to as little as $5 billion, sources say, prompting alarm from public health advocates.

As lawmakers look to pack a slew of priorities, from paid leave to universal prekindergarten, into a $3.5 trillion package, some areas are starting to get cut.

But advocates are warning that of all the funding to scale back on, money to prepare for future pandemics should be among the last items on the list, especially after COVID-19 has killed more than 600,000 Americans.

"It's so stunning because if there was ever a teachable moment that we need to invest in public health, it is now," Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the Obama administration, said in an interview. "We will not have another moment like this in our lifetimes."

'People who do not want to be vaccinated may go elsewhere': Court backs Indiana University mandate

  '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.

The White House proposed $30 billion over four years at the end of March, as part of Biden's $2.3 trillion American Jobs Plan, to "protect Americans from future pandemics."

But as the money competes with other priorities in the coming package using the fast-track process known as reconciliation to bypass a GOP filibuster, the funding increase could come down to around $5 billion, though the negotiations are still in flux and the package is far from finalized.

Read more here.

What we're reading

Current rate of Covid-19 hospitalizations is about three times higher in states that have vaccinated less than half of their residents (CNN)

Experts turn to antibody treatment following swarm of breakthrough COVID-19 infections (ABC News)

Religious objections stand in path of mask, vaccine mandates (Bloomberg Law)

Pfizer court fight could legalize Medicare copays and unleash 'gold rush' in sales (Kaiser Health News)

State watch

'Precarious': This is the state of COVID in Indiana right now as delta variant thrives (Indianapolis Star)

Delta variant fills Kansas hospital beds with COVID patients (The Associated Press)

"On a crash course": Texas hospitals brace for another COVID-19 surge as delta variant burns through unvaccinated communities (The Texas Tribune)

'Sellout': Anti-vax conservatives come for DeSantis (Politico)

Op-eds in The Hill

As Delta variant spreads, Americans wonder about vaccine booster

How did the COVID-19 pandemic begin?

Sports are a refuge for children - let's ensure their safety from abuse

'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.

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