President-elect Joe Biden continues to be being blocked from launching his official transition whereas President Donald Trump contests the result of the election. That could possibly be notably harmful for public well being as COVID-19 spreads across the nation at an alarming charge.
In the meantime, a second vaccine to forestall COVID — the one made by Moderna — is displaying glorious outcomes of its early trials. And in contrast to the one made by Pfizer, Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t have to be stored ultra-cold, which may ease distribution.
There’s information on prescription drug costs, as properly. Amazon introduced plans to get into the drug supply market, and the Trump administration was set to announce a brand new rule that might base some U.S. drug costs on the price-controlled costs of different industrialized nations.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Well being Information, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Occasions, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet.
Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:
- The dramatic resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic is prompting new urgency on public well being measures from federal and state officers. Republican governors who as soon as performed down the risk are instituting new restrictions, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention referred to as on People to not journey for Thanksgiving, and the White Home coronavirus job drive, which hadn’t been seen in months, held a briefing this week.
- Nonetheless, the communications nonetheless lack a constant message. At the same time as well being officers and the White Home job drive underlined the risks this week, the White Home press secretary railed in opposition to some state restrictions, calling them “Orwellian.”
- And public well being efforts usually appear inconsistent, corresponding to closing colleges whereas permitting bars and eating places to proceed to function, albeit usually with earlier mandated closing instances. A part of the reluctance to shut bars and eating places comes from considerations in regards to the financial influence — each to the companies and the tax income they generate for his or her states and localities.
- Even with the disaster deepening, efforts on Capitol Hill to barter a brand new stimulus package deal seem mired, with little signal of great talks.
- The most important subject dealing with hospitals overrun with COVID-19 sufferers is a priority about having sufficient skilled personnel. With all the nation feeling the results of the pandemic, it’s arduous to shift staff to cope with outbreaks in particular areas.
- Many states are utilizing Nationwide Guard troops to assist help overburdened hospitals and run testing websites, however the Trump administration has not mentioned whether or not it’ll proceed funding for that effort after the tip of the 12 months.
- As vaccine candidates transfer ever nearer to approval, some officers fear that states will not be geared up to deal with the logistics of distribution. And it’s not clear whether or not the Trump administration, which took critical missteps on getting PPE and testing provides out earlier, is ready to step in adequately.
- Biden says efforts by the Trump administration to disclaim him the same old entry to authorities officers and knowledge may impair his efforts to make vaccine distribution efficient when he takes workplace.
- Amazon’s announcement this week that it’ll begin promoting prescribed drugs has the potential to shake up the business — however most likely not instantly. And it’s not clear that the large retailer’s entrance into the market could have any impact on decreasing costs.
Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you need to learn, too:
Julie Rovner: Politico’s “The Biden Adviser Centered on the Pandemic’s Stark Racial Disparities,” by Joanne Kenen
Margot Sanger-Katz: The Washington Submit’s “Dolly Parton Helped Fund Moderna’s Vaccine. It Started With a Automobile Crash and an Unlikely Friendship,” by Timothy Bella
Sarah Karlin-Smith: Vox’s “Social Distancing Is a Luxurious Many Cannot Afford. Vermont Really Did One thing About It,” by Julia Belluz
Alice Miranda Ollstein: The New York Timess “What 635 Epidemiologists Are Doing for Thanksgiving,” by Claire Cain Miller, Margot Sanger-Katz and Quoctrung Bui
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This text was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Household Basis. Kaiser Well being Information, an editorially unbiased information service, is a program of the Kaiser Household Basis, a nonpartisan well being care coverage analysis group unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.