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Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Amid Grave Shortage Of Ventilators, Some Hospitals Start Sharing Between Patients, Searching For Alternatives

KHN Morning Briefing

Public health experts are calling on the federal government to take responsibility for getting hospitals the necessary equipment. But in the meantime, desperate hospitals are trying to work with what they have. Meanwhile, there’s a heated and private debate among doctors on the front lines of the epidemic about a suggested do-not-resuscitate policy for all coronavirus patients.

NSC’s Pandemic Handbook Listed Out Step-By-Step Instructions For The White House To Follow. It Was Ignored.

KHN Morning Briefing

A 69-page National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics laid out what to do on most fronts when trying to curb the spread of the disease. The playbook was designed “so there wasn’t piecemeal thinking when trying to fight the next public health battle,” said one former official who contributed to the playbook. Trump administration officials said the advice, which was curated in 2016, was dated. Meanwhile, ProPublica takes a deeper look at the Defense Production Act and what powers it gives the president.

Businesses Wary Even As Trump Pushes To Reopen U.S. By Easter; Experts Think Through How To Do So Responsibly

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump has said he wants to restart the economy and normal life in America by Easter, but not all of the businesses that shift might help want to lift social distancing practices. Meanwhile, eventually life will have to move forward, but is there a safe and responsible way for it to happen? Stat talks to experts about the possibilities.

Federal Reserve Pulls Out All The Stops To Try To Bolster Economy

KHN Morning Briefing

But calls for the Fed to lend to all corners of the economy are striking given a move by Congress just 10 years ago to restrict its emergency lending authority after the last economic meltdown. Meanwhile, governors plead with the federal government and Congress for financial help as their unemployment claims skyrocket.

State Officials Plead With Federal Government To Use War Powers To Address Chaotic Medical Device Market

KHN Morning Briefing

Governors and hospital leaders fear the voluntary efforts from private companies will be too scattershot without federal coordination. But President Donald Trump has been hesitant to actually use the Defense Production Act, which could compel companies to manufacture medical equipment and protective gear. A FEMA official caused confusion on Tuesday when he mentioned the act, but the agency later walked back statements that it had been invoked.

Senate, White House Reach Agreement On $2T Stimulus Bill With Oversight Requirements Democrats Demanded

KHN Morning Briefing

The measure is the largest economic rescue package in U.S. history and would give direct payments to most Americans, expand unemployment benefits and provide a $367 billion program for small businesses to keep making payroll while workers are forced to stay home. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants to pass the legislation on unanimous consent so that she doesn’t have to call lawmakers back to the Capitol, but Republicans signal at least one member is protesting that move.

Deadly Outbreak At Florida Assisted Living Facility Displays How Vulnerable Homes For Seniors Are As Hot Spots

KHN Morning Briefing

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said allowing construction workers, staff and cooks to mingle with the residents of Atria Willow Wood ”is exactly what you’re not supposed to do.” In Florida, nearly 20 facilities suspect or confirm cases. One quarter of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred at elder care facilities. Beyond Seattle facilities where the virus was first reported, the pandemic has emerged in 22 states operating senior facilities including Louisiana, Ohio, and Virginia.

Checks Would Go Out To Americans In Two Waves Under Trump’s $1T Stimulus Proposal

KHN Morning Briefing

President Donald Trump is seeking $500 billion to go directly to taxpayers and then an additional $500 billion for small businesses. Still, the prospect of escalating government intervention fell far short of reassuring investors Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Fed and Europe’s Central Bank continues taking emergency measures to try to stabilize the markets.

McConnell Vows Senate Will Work At ‘Warp Speed’ And Won’t Leave Washington Until Deal Is Passed

KHN Morning Briefing

There’s reportedly a high-level of interest among Republicans to support the administration’s proposal to send checks to Americans to help stimulate the economy. The Senate will also take up, and expects to OK, a House-passed, $100 billion coronavirus stimulus bill referred to as “Phase 2.” Senate GOP aides said the bill could be through the chamber as early as Wednesday. Meanwhile, as industries scramble to get emergency money, Democrats try to stave off Congress writing business blank checks.

Nonprofit Health Centers On Frontlines Of Crisis Face Federal Funding Cut Off In May

KHN Morning Briefing

Community health centers face dwindling equipment and resources as they try to care for uninsured Americans amidst the COVID-19 emergency. And there’s an added stress for these facilities because their federal funding will run out in May. Meanwhile, how insurance will cover coronavirus testing and treatment remains an open question.