WHO: Europe May See Over 2 Million Covid Deaths By Spring
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.
Longer Reads: Thanksgiving (Long) Weekend Edition
First up, get a peek into a few of the stories that KHN staffers shared with each other this week on our #whatwearereading chat:
Juul Settles Lawsuit For Allegedly Marketing To Young People In Arizona
The e-cigarette maker will pay out $14.5 million in the settlement. Separately, Florida’s Supreme Court rejected a $5 million damages suit against tobacco maker R.J. Reynolds over the death of a smoker in 2007.
Covid Proves More Deadly To Psychiatric Patients, Racial Minorities
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
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
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
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
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.
Covid Surge Means Delays For Non-Urgent Procedures In Massachusetts
News outlets also cover spiking covid numbers and strained health care facilities in Illinois, central California, Michigan — where hospitals are looking to military staff for help — plus Arizona and New England.
Reinstate Federal Vaccine Mandate Now, Justice Department Urges Court
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
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
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.
First Edition: November 24, 2021
Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations.
It Takes a Team: A Doctor With Terminal Cancer Relies on a Close-Knit Group in Her Final Days
Dr. Susan Massad created a “health team” after learning she had metastatic breast cancer. These friends and family members help her make difficult decisions and lead the most fulfilling life possible.
Florida Sen. Rick Scott Off Base in Claim That Rise in Medicare Premiums Is Due to Inflation
The Republican senator says President Joe Biden’s “inflation crisis” caused Medicare to raise monthly premiums, which will add hundreds of dollars to beneficiaries’ costs. But Medicare experts say inflation was not to blame and most beneficiaries will shoulder a much smaller increase than what Rick Scott claims.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Big Biden Budget Bill Passes the House
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
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.