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The primary vaccine to guard towards COVID-19 could possibly be authorized within the U.S. inside days, however laws to assist fund its distribution stays mired in Congress.
And President-elect Joe Biden has tapped California Legal professional Normal Xavier Becerra as his secretary of Well being and Human Providers. The selection of Becerra, who served 12 phrases within the Home of Representatives, is being criticized by Republicans for his help of single-payer well being care.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Well being Information, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Kimberly Leonard of Enterprise Insider and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Name.
Among the many takeaways from this week’s podcast:
- Regardless of indications that each Republican and Democratic lawmakers are desirous to push out a brand new COVID aid invoice, they’re having hassle discovering frequent floor on the difficulty of legal responsibility protections for employers whose employees or prospects might get sick. And the celebration leaders, notably Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell, haven’t tipped their palms on whether or not they are going to go together with the trouble.
- Complicating the COVID aid invoice talks is Congress’ lack of ability to this point to return to phrases on a spending invoice for the federal government for the fiscal 12 months that started Oct. 1.
- A number of the delay in getting offers on spending and COVID aid is linked to the uncertainty over which celebration will management the Senate after the January particular elections in Georgia, which is able to decide two Senate seats. Though many observers count on the Republicans to win not less than one, if not each, of these races, McConnell can’t ensure. He doubtless goals to make use of what political muscle he has now with the bulk and an ally within the White Home to get offers favorable to his causes.
- Regardless of the grumbling by some Republican senators over Becerra’s nomination, it’s nonetheless too early to counsel that he received’t win approval. The end result might also rely on whether or not McConnell stays majority chief and whether or not Republicans decide that this can be a nomination they wish to take a stand on — or whether or not they save the gunpowder for one more nominee.
- Dr. Vivek Murthy, chosen by Biden to be the subsequent surgeon basic, is prone to have a broader portfolio than that workplace usually has due to his sturdy relationship with Biden.
- An advisory committee for the Meals and Drug Administration is assembly to think about an utility for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine. If the request is authorized, shoppers ought to nonetheless anticipate there could possibly be glitches in distribution and a few unexpected points with the vaccine, such because the unwanted effects famous in Britain this week in individuals with sturdy allergy symptoms. However, this vaccine and others could be anticipated to make vital progress within the battle towards the coronavirus.
- The medical trials for the COVID vaccine have proven it reduces the severity of the illness, but it surely’s not clear whether or not the vaccine will cease illness transmission.
Additionally this week, Rovner interviews Michael Mackert, director of the Middle for Well being Communication on the College of Texas-Austin and a professor each on the Dell Medical College and the Stan Richards College of Promoting and Public Relations.
Plus, for further credit score, the panelists suggest their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose you must learn, too:
Julie Rovner: Politico’s “How Biden Aims to Covid-Proof His Administration,” by Alice Miranda Ollstein and Daniel Lippman
Kimberly Leonard: Enterprise Insider’s “Here’s How the GSA Plans to Disinfect the White House Between Trump’s Departure and Biden’s Arrival,” by Robin Bravender and Kimberly Leonard
Mary Ellen McIntire: The Atlantic’s “The Danger of Assuming That Family Time Is Dispensable,” by Julia Marcus
Joanne Kenen: The New Yorker’s “How Will We Tell the Story of the Coronavirus?” by Andrew Dickson
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