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WHO: Europe May See Over 2 Million Covid Deaths By Spring

KHN Morning Briefing

News outlets report on the WHO’s warnings over surging covid in some European countries, with Germany considering a full lockdown. Meanwhile, a little-known cult in South Korea is reportedly a source of a new outbreak.

Covid Proves More Deadly To Psychiatric Patients, Racial Minorities

KHN Morning Briefing

Two new studies highlight the higher death risks from covid infections for racial minorities and patients with schizophrenia and other mood disorders (despite fewer infections). Meanwhile, an Israeli drug, called the “only cure for late-stage covid,” shows promise in trials.

200 Homicide Total In D.C. Is Highest In 18 Years

KHN Morning Briefing

Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble recalled some Old Spice and Secret antiperspirant sprays after contaminating benzene was found, San Francisco declared a water shortage emergency, and reports highlight 10 million people who are uninsured could still qualify for public marketplace health.

Covid Sees Doctors In Demand, Pharmacists Short-Staffed, Stressed

KHN Morning Briefing

Axios reports on increasing competition from pharmacies and insurers to hire doctors and nurse practitioners, and the Baltimore Sun covers staff burnouts in pharmacies. NYU Langone, AstraZeneca, Medicare brokers, and a story on a doctor with terminal cancer are also in the news.

FDA Nominee’s Senate Hearing Likely Delayed After Paperwork Is Tardy

KHN Morning Briefing

The Senate and Biden administration are trying to push through the nomination of Dr. Robert Califf before the end of the year, but paperwork for the Senate committee was late getting to Capitol Hill, Politico reports. Meanwhile, Califf’s financial statements show large investments in drug companies.

A Successful Turkey Day: Dressing, Gravy And Plenty Of Covid Caution

KHN Morning Briefing

As families seek a more routine holiday celebration this year, they can’t let their guard down, public health officials warn. Those who are unvaccinated still present a risk. And former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb warns that breakthrough infections are a threat for those who got their vaccinations early last year but haven’t yet had a booster.

Reinstate Federal Vaccine Mandate Now, Justice Department Urges Court

KHN Morning Briefing

Citing the “grave danger of covid-19 in the workplace,” the Biden administration asked a federal appeals court to lift a stay and let OSHA move forward with implementing a rule requiring vaccinations for employees of larger businesses.

Vaccine Mandates Face More Pushback

KHN Morning Briefing

But in Indiana, numerous medical groups argued against a Republican proposal aimed at ending the covid emergency situation in the state. The proposal forces “broad” vaccine mandate exemptions. Meanwhile, hundreds of Google staff push against the shots, and in Chicago first responders do too.

CVS, Walgreens And Walmart Found Liable In ‘Milestone’ Opioids Lawsuit

KHN Morning Briefing

The verdict in the closely watched Ohio case comes as the pharmacy giants face thousands of lawsuits filed by communities across the U.S. for their role in the national opioid epidemic. The companies say they did nothing wrong and will appeal this ruling.

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House

KHN Original

President Joe Biden’s social spending budget is on its way to the U.S. Senate, where Democratic leaders are (optimistically) hoping to complete work by the end of the year. Meanwhile, covid is surging again in parts of the country, along with the political divides it continues to cause. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of Politico and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner previews next week’s Supreme Court abortion oral arguments with Florida State University law professor Mary Ziegler.

US Warns Against Travel To Germany, Denmark; French PM Covid-Positive

KHN Morning Briefing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and State Department added Germany and Denmark to the “Do Not Travel” lists, amid a covid surge. Separately, reports say France’s prime minister tested positive for covid and the European Union considers J&J booster shots.