Latest Morning Briefing Stories
Rebates for some Massachusetts health insurance customers and higher profits for CVS Health are two impacts of the pandemic; people used fewer health services.
“No one is tracking you. None of your personal information is saved,” Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said in a televised briefing. Across the country in California, a genetic testing company says it’s solved many of the hurdles holding back a simpler, faster COVID-19 test.
With the pandemic keeping both presidential candidates away from their national convention sites, President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden will likely deliver speeches closer to home. Other reports on how the epidemic is affecting the November election.
Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois) announced he tested positive. Davis had made more of an effort than many other Republican Congress members to wear a mask, reports Politico.
White House negotiators signaled that President Donald Trump is prepared to act unilaterally through executive orders if a deal is not reached with lawmakers by the end of this week.
Task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx cites coronavirus numbers ticking up in 9 cities and California’s Central Valley as areas for concern. Meanwhile, comments by Dr. Anthony Fauci and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro also make headlines.
A Washington Post analysis of coronavirus relief money distribution finds that hundreds of millions of dollars went to dozens of nursing home companies that settled recent lawsuits with the Justice Department over alleged improper Medicare billing, forged documents, substandard care and other abuses.
Meanwhile, state governments, courts, poll workers and voters all wrestle with the potential hazards of in-person voting as primaries proceed and the November election nears.
But lawmakers and the White House are still far apart on big-ticket items. Republicans say Democrats are taking too hard a negotiating line as the Senate’s scheduled August recess looms.
Another ballot measure campaign results in voters again overruling Republican state lawmakers who refused to expand Medicaid as part of the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, fewer unemployed have enrolled in Medicaid during the pandemic than expected.
And Mississippi is closing in on Florida to be the state with the most infections per capita. In one positive sign: the U.S. just reported the smallest daily case increase in over four weeks.
President Donald Trump reauthorized the mission of National Guard members deployed across the U.S. to help with coronavirus response efforts. He also reduced funding though, requiring state governments to contribute millions a month to the costs.
With COVID cases and deaths up in many states, media reports come from Florida, Illinois, Arkansas, Michigan and parts of the West.
Other health industry news on bonuses for executives, the Provider Relief Fund, cancer treatments, health insurers and more.
More schools report COVID cases and parents understandably fret. And President Trump’s son’s private school in Maryland remains closed.
While the economic damage of the COVID epidemic grows, the debate has resumed whether the country would be better off financially if it went on a brief, but intense, lockdown.
Other news on pandemic-related topics includes reporting on prison conditions; income and physical distancing; immunity; pregnancy; primary care; and more.
In China, new reports of mumps, measles and some sexually transmitted diseases have also fallen off. In other public health news: turning the Diamond Princess’ outbreak into a case study; research on ventilation systems; the impact of air conditioning; West Nile virus in Austin; and more.
Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers did exactly that on Thursday, issuing a statewide mask mandate. Meanwhile, men are dying from the virus at higher rates than women in Los Angeles.
Whether Missouri should expand its Medicaid program will be put to voters next Tuesday. In other Medicaid news: Texas extends pandemic flexibility; telehealth users want permanent change; and many doctors support benefits for unemployed.