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WHO Assembles New Team Of Scientists To Dig Into Covid’s Origins

KHN Morning Briefing

The Wall Street Journal reports that the new group will examine whether the virus could have emerged from a lab, a hypothesis that has angered China. Other news is from New Zealand, Brazil, Norway, Germany, China and elsewhere.

Fewer People Got Food Poisoning In 2020, But The Reasons Why Are Murky

KHN Morning Briefing

More handwashing, less international travel and restaurant closures may have contributed to the decrease, CIDRAP reports. On the flip side, cases may have been underreported because fewer people may have sought medical help during lockdown.

Georgians Flocked To ACA Exchanges During Special Enrollment

KHN Morning Briefing

More than 147,000 residents selected an ACA health plan between Feb. 15 and Aug. 15, AP reported. During the same period last year, about 41,000 people in Georgia signed up. Other news is from Kentucky, Ohio and Arizona.

The ‘Dire’ State Of Surge In Hot Spots: Full Hospitals, Full Morgues

KHN Morning Briefing

While the delta-driven surge is starting to loosen up in some areas, health officials are extremely worried for harder-hit sections of the U.S. In Montana, a Veterans Affairs facility has started to treat people not associated with the military. And morgues in Idaho report that they’re out of space.

Vaccine Hesitancy Has Waned, Poll Suggests

KHN Morning Briefing

Even so, reaching holdouts — especially teens — has become tougher and tougher. In other news, a new vaccine patch developed at UNC Chapel Hill could change everything about how vaccines are administered, ABC11 reports.

Biden Slams Unvaxxed Americans, Says He’ll Push Mandates ‘Wherever I Can’

KHN Morning Briefing

During a national address Friday, President Joe Biden criticized the more than 70 million people who haven’t started the vaccination process. “And to make matters worse, there are elected officials actively working to undermine with false information the fight against covid-19. This is totally unacceptable.”

Confusion Swirls Over Who May Get A Vaccine Booster

KHN Morning Briefing

Doctors report a flood of questions from patients about who is eligible for another covid vaccine dose and whether they “may” or “should” get one. Dr. Rochelle Walensky acknowledges that a lot of the disarray stems from early White House messaging that boosters would be available to all — only to be followed by much more limited approval by the FDA and CDC last week.

House Passes Abortion Rights Measure In Largely Symbolic Vote

KHN Morning Briefing

The Women’s Health Protection Act was approved in a 218-211 vote Friday night, with one Democrat crossing party lines. With little chance of getting past a filibuster, the bill is viewed as dead on arrival in the Senate.

NY May Turn To National Guard To Bridge Looming Health Worker Gaps

KHN Morning Briefing

State officials are anticipating that thousands of health care workers could lose their jobs when a vaccination mandate goes into effect today. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul says that the National Guard or out-of-state medical workers could be used to plug the shortages.

More Kids Get Covid At Schools Without Mask Mandate: CDC Studies

KHN Morning Briefing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released two new studies that both show greater protections against covid for students and staff at schools where face coverings are required. Other covid development impacting children’s health is also in the news.

Life Expectancy For US Men Drops 2.2 Years Due To Covid

KHN Morning Briefing

That’s the most of anywhere in the study, which shows the impact of the pandemic on the U.S., most of Europe and Chile. Life expectancy for U.S. women dipped 1.65 years. The declines were bigger for men than women in most of the 29 countries analyzed.

Get Ready: Critical Week On Hill Will Shape Fiscal Future, Biden’s Agenda

KHN Morning Briefing

Amid shaky support within its own caucus, House Democratic leaders are continuing to move forward on dual tracks with the massive social spending package and a Thursday vote on the infrastructure bill. Also in the mix is the debt limit and partial government shutdown threats.