Whistleblower Complaint Shines Spotlight On Dysfunction That Paralyzed HHS At Start Of Pandemic
A deep dive into Dr. Rick Bright's complaint reveals the cracks in the agency that has struggled to respond to the outbreak. In other administration news, Melinda Gates gives the Trump administration's response a "D-Minus," the U.S. and China talk trade deal implementation, and a nurse protests outside the White House over PPE shortages.
Whistleblower Offers Window Into HHS’s Flawed COVID-19 Response
A new whistleblower complaint has drawn attention for its allegations that the Trump administration retaliated against a scientist who sent early coronavirus warnings. The case also provides an insider account of the dysfunction critics say paralyzed the Department of Health and Human Services at the dawn of the COVID-19 response. (Roston and Taylor, 5/7)
Kaiser Health News:
KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Blowing The Whistle On Trump Team’s COVID Policies
Those working inside the Trump administration are getting so frustrated with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that they are going public. Named and unnamed whistleblowers — including one of the government’s top vaccine experts who was ousted from his job ―are out with stories of political favoritism, workers with no government experience overruling those who have done their jobs for decades, and an underlying disdain for science. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is hearing cases by telephone, including one this week that would give employers the broad ability to decline to offer no-cost birth control to women, a benefit guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act. (5/7)
Melinda Gates Gives Trump Administration 'D-Minus' For Coronavirus Response
Melinda Gates on Thursday gave the Trump administration low marks for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, adding that more money is needed for testing and vaccine development in the United States and across the world. Gates — co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has donated billions of dollars to health research — gave the administration a “D-minus” grade for its handling of the outbreak, citing a lack of a coordinated, national response. (Ward, 5/7)
The Washington Post:
China, U.S. Stand By Trump Trade Deal As Coronavirus Pushes Relations To Worst In Decades
U.S. and Chinese economic officials struck a conciliatory tone during a call on Friday as they discussed the prospects of China fulfilling a Phase 1 trade deal that President Trump has threatened to scrap in the coming days as bilateral relations fray. Although the Chinese representative, Vice Premier Liu He, stopped short of guaranteeing that China will fulfill its promise to buy an additional $200 billion in U.S. products, both he and U.S. officials agreed to “strengthen cooperation on the macroeconomy and public health and create favorable conditions for implementing the Phase 1 deal,” according to a Chinese statement. (Shih, 5/8)
Nurses Protest For PPE Outside White House: 'You Throw Us To The Wolves'
Nurses protested outside the White House on Thursday over a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. Nurses with the union National Nurses United stood outside the White House alongside pairs of empty shoes lined up to represent the nurses who died due to “insufficient PPE” during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Klar, 5/7)