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    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spent over $25,000 for media training and executive coaching for Director Rochelle Walensky to improve her communication skills as she heads the agency's public health messaging. The agency has paid $16,000 to Mandy Grunwald, a longtime Democratic political consultant, for media training since October 2021 and $9,750 since March 2021 for executive management coaching with Tim Sullivan, the founder of management consulting firm Wellesley Partners. US STRUGGLES TO RESPOND TO MONKEYPOX OUTBREAK Training with Grunwald would "assist [Walensky’s] team in crafting clear language to communicate CDC's public health guidance and coach Dr. Walensky to effectively deal with television interviews and other public communications," expense authorization filings detailed, according to Politico. A spokesperson for Walensky, Kathleen Conley, told the Washington Examiner that media training is a typical practice for CDC directors "to ensure they are effectively and clearly communicating to public health partners and the American people." "This type of training is not an unusual practice," Conley added. "It is a long-standing, prudent practice inside and outside of government...
    The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning visitors who may have come in contact with a bat while at an outdoor Malibu area restaurant to see a doctor for possible exposure to rabies, a fatal neurological disease. Public health officials were notified that a bat flew into a dining area at the Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch and one person and possibly more handled the bat, which came in proximity of a group of children, the agency reported. Malibu Cafe sign on Kanan Road on Monday, June 13, 2022. Los Angeles County Department of Public Health was notified that a bat was handled by one or more individuals at the Malibu Café at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu on Saturday, June 4, 2022.  The incident took place Saturday, June 4. Authorities are asking anyone who may have handled or touched the bat to see a doctor and get evaluated for post-rabies treatment, said Dr. Sharon Balter, director of communicable disease and prevention for the county DPH. The agency is asking that parents who were eating at the restaurant...
    LONDON (AP) — WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is expected to be confirmed by the U.N. health agency’s member countries for a second five-year term on Tuesday. No other candidate challenged Tedros for the post amid the ongoing difficulties of responding to the devastating coronavirus pandemic. Tedros, a former government minister from Ethiopia, has directed the World Health Organization throughout its management of the global response to COVID-19 and withstood occasionally withering criticism over its multiple missteps. He is the first African to lead the agency and the only director-general not qualified as a medical doctor. Under Tedros, the U.N. health agency failed to call out countries including China for blunders that WHO officials grumbled about privately, advised against mask-wearing for months, and said initially that the coronavirus wasn’t likely to mutate rapidly. Scientists drafted by WHO to investigate the coronavirus’ origins in China said the critical probe was “ stalled ” last year, after issuing a report that even Tedros acknowledged had prematurely ruled out the possibility of a laboratory leak. “There have been some...
    The House Energy and Commerce Committee overwhelmingly approved a bill to establish an independent high-risk, high-reward biomedical research division, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, to pursue medical breakthroughs. In a rare show of bipartisanship, the committee voted 53-3 to advance the ARPA-H Act to the full House floor for a vote. The agency is a biomedical research version of the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, famed for its role in developing the internet and GPS. The “no” votes came from three Republican members: Billy Long of Missouri, Debbie Lesko of Arizona, and John Curtis of Utah. FDA AUTHORIZES PFIZER-BIONTECH COVID-19 BOOSTERS FOR CHILDREN 5-11 The bill, first introduced in October 2021 by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), would establish the standalone ARPA-H within the Department of Health and Human Services as outlined in President Joe Biden’s 2022 budget proposal. In addition to the $1 billion allocated to the agency in the 2022 Appropriations Act, the bill would also authorize a fund to be replenished for the next five years with cash infusions of...
    The heavily criticized Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will revamp and review its messaging and processes after coming under fire for its handling of the covid pandemic. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky announced she's hired a senior health official to conduct a one-month review to 'kick off an evaluation of CDC's structure, systems, and processes,' according to an email sent to CDC staff that was obtained by the Washington Post and New York Times.  'Over the past year, I have heard from many of you that you would like to see CDC build on its rich history and modernize for the world around us,' she wrote. 'I am grateful for your efforts to lean into the hard work of transforming CDC for the better. I look forward to our collective efforts to position CDC, and the public health community, for greatest success in the future.' The review will be conducted by Jim Macrae, who served as acting administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration for two years and has held other senior positions at the federal Department of...
    American taxpayers foot the bill for more than $316 million in healthcare costs for illegal aliens detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency last year as millions of Americans continue to go uninsured. ICE’s annual report reveals that the agency spent well over $316 million in taxpayer money, allocated by Congress, to provide comprehensive medical, mental health, dental, and public health services to about 88,000 illegal aliens who were in the agency’s custody throughout the course of last year. ICE also oversaw the health care of nearly 170,000 illegal aliens who were detained at some point in private facilities across the United States last year. Agency officials wrote that ICE “is committed to providing the safe delivery of high-quality health care to” illegal aliens in their custody and “strives to be the best health care delivery system in detention and correctional health care.” A group of migrants is processed by United States Border Patrol agents after arriving illegally from Mexico on March 29, 2021, in Roma, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images) Last year, ICE facilitated 88,430 intake screenings, 13,622 emergency...
    SANTA CRUZ (AP) — Two California congressmembers are asking the federal government to study whether there’s evidence that potential toxic and contaminated drinking water at Fort Ord can be tied to specific cancers and other diseases. “Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to our servicemembers and their families,” said Reps. Katie Porter and Jimmy Panetta in a letter to the director of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. “By conducting a new study at Fort Ord, we may guarantee that those harmed while serving our country get the medical care they need.” READ MORE: UPDATE: Police Officer Dies In Salinas Friday-Night ShootingThe request follows an Associated Press report earlier this week about hundreds of people who lived and served near the Army base who are concerned that their health problems might be tied to chemicals there. In 1990, four years before it began the process of closing as an active military training base, Fort Ord was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s list of the most polluted places in the nation. Included in that pollution were dozens...
    by Scott McClallen   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is being audited over its response to lead-contaminated water lines in Benton Harbor. The investment was announced in a memo from the Office of Inspector General Director Michael Davis, EPA Environmental Investment and Infrastructure. The letter says the audit aims “to determine the extent to which the EPA followed its 2016 elevation policy memorandum” to fix Benton Harbor’s drinking water. “The anticipated benefits of this audit are to determine if the EPA can improve the speed at which public health protections are delivered to communities facing imminent and substantial public health risks,” the letter says. The audit follows groups complaining to the EPA about lead-contaminated water after Benton Harbor exceeded elevated lead levels for three years straight, despite attempted corrosion control. Those groups alleged Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) failed to warn residents the water was unsafe to drink. In an October hearing, EGLE Director Liesl Clark refused to answer five times whether Benton Harbor’s water was safe to drink before answering “no” and later calling the situation “inexcusable.” Whitmer issued an executive...
    Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery) leaves the House Chamber Annex during the 2021 General Assembly session. (Maryland Matters/Danielle E. Gaines) This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. The Maryland Department of Health has a backlog of unpaid invoices owed to contracted health care providers and grant recipients dating back six months. According to Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery), the agency has accumulated over 900 outstanding invoices from as far back as July 2021. The vendors have provided services to the state including mental health counseling and assistance in connecting people to treatment for opioid abuse. “So the cyberattack — the ransomware attack — though it may have slowed things down in December, does not answer why folks haven’t been getting paid since July,” Reznik told Maryland Health Secretary Dennis R. Schrader during a meeting of the House Appropriations Committee’s Health and Social Services Subcommittee on Monday afternoon. Reznik’s revelation comes as the agency continues to battle staffing shortages and myriad problems at the Office of the Chief...
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as received a 'high risk' designation from a key government watchdog group for its shortcomings not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but during previous crises that have struck the nation as well.  The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a part of the routinely reviews and audits federal agencies. While reports for each agency are generally published on a two-year cycle, though in examples like the HHS' they will issue these types of warnings before the next report date. The report released last week points out a lack of leadership and lack of preparedness for Covid, the zika virus outbreak, natural disasters like hurricanes and other events that fall into the agency's responsibilities. Since the release of the report, Xavier Becerra, secretary of the HHS, has been under fire, though White House officials have stood by him - at least in public. Jessica Farb (left), managing director of health care at GAO, said the HHS's shortcomings go beyond just Covid, but in its response to previous crisis's faced by the U.S. as well. Xavier...
    (CNN) — The Supreme Court on Thursday blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine or testing requirement aimed at large businesses, but it allowed a vaccine mandate for certain health care workers to go into effect nationwide. The decision is a huge hit to Biden’s attempts to use the power of the federal government to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE: Wayne County Judge Suspended For Six Months For MisconductThe president has emphasized the necessity of getting vaccinated against the virus for months and eventually decided to use the mandate on large employers as his main vehicle for convincing hesitant Americans to get their shots. In freezing a lower court opinion that allowed the regulation to go into effect nationwide, the majority sent a clear message the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, charged with protecting workplace safety, overstepped its authority in issuing such a sweeping emergency directive that would impact millions of workers. In contrast, the justices said that a separate agency could issue a rule to protect the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients. “Although Congress has indisputably given...
    People protest vaccine mandates in New York City in October 2021.John Lamparski/NurPhoto/Zuma Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.Unless you work in health care, federal vaccine mandates are off. In two decisions handed down Thursday afternoon, the Supreme Court blocked a rule requiring workers at large businesses to either get vaccinated or get tested weekly, but upheld a mandate that certain health care workers be vaccinated. All six conservative judges voted to block the vaccine-or-test rule for workers at companies with 100 or more staffers, arguing that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration didn’t have the authority to impose public health measures. In their dissent, the three liberal justices argued that OSHA’s rule enacted the agency’s core mission: “to ‘protect employees’ from ‘grave danger’ that comes from ‘new hazards’ or exposure to harmful agents.” But, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding could continue requiring workers to be vaccinated. While Justices Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Barrett all argued that...
    Americans' frustration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was already at a boiling point before a new Washington Post report revealed the agency is about to recommend heavier masking for the coronavirus. The CDC has been blasted for misleading guidance in recent weeks, notably its confusing update on the amount of time those infected should quarantine and the efficacy of rapid testing. The agency was previously hit for changing guidance on masking, and it continued to add to the confusion this week after a report read that the agency would recommend people opt for N95 or KN95 masks for protection against the highly contagious omicron variant.  Coronavirus prevention face mask protection N95 masks and medical surgical masks at home. (iStock) CDC'S WALENSKY FAILS TO DISCLOSE HOW MANY DEATHS WERE ‘FROM’ COVID-19 "The agency is currently actively looking to update its recommendations for KN95 and N95 in light of omicron," an official told the Post. "We know these masks provide better filtration." Some Twitter users blasted the CDC for being almost two years "late" with the news. ...
    GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization said Friday that its director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is running unopposed for a second five-year term. The U.N. health agency made the announcement after the deadline for candidacies for the next term expired on Sept. 23. The formal selection of the next director-general takes place at the WHO’s next assembly in May. Tedros, an Ethiopian national who is the first African to head WHO, has overseen the agency’s complex response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has overshadowed his tenure. Trained in biology and infectious diseases with a doctorate in community health, he is also the first WHO chief who is not a medical doctor. A former health and foreign minister from Ethiopia, Tedros — who goes by his first name — received a strong endorsement when France and Germany announced their support for him shortly after the nomination period closed. Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. agency helping Palestinian refugees is facing an “existential” budget crisis and appealing for urgent funding of $120 million to keep essential education, healthcare and other services running, the agency’s chief said Friday. “We keep struggling, running after cash,” Philippe Lazzarini told a small group of reporters. “The financial situation is a real existential threat on the organization, and we should not underestimate this because it might force the organization to decrease services,” he added, and if that happens “we risk to collapse very quickly.” At stake is the agency’s ability to keep 550,000 children in school, provide health care for thousands, and pay the salaries for its 28,000 staffers in November and December, Lazzarini explained. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency known as UNRWA was established to provide education, health care, food and other services to the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948. Lazzarini added that it wasn’t clear for agency officials “if yes or no we will be able to keep...
    In this article PFETrung Nguyen, 13, gets his second dose of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine at the Philadelphia Zoo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 7, 2021.Rachel Wisniewski | ReutersThe Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer and BioNTech's Covid-19 booster shots for people 65 and older and other vulnerable Americans, in line with recommendations given Friday by its key vaccine advisory committee. The FDA's decision comes after a more than 8-hour agency meeting Friday where a panel of outside experts debated and voted on Pfizer's application to offer booster shots to the general public. The agency's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 16-2 against distributing the vaccines to Americans 16 and older, before unanimously embracing an alternate plan to give boosters to older Americans and those at a high risk of suffering from severe illness if they get the virus. The FDA granted emergency use authorization to administer the shots to older Americans, those with so-called co-morbidities and front-line health workers and others with jobs that place them at a greater risk of exposure to the virus. The...
    GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization says the negative health impacts of poor air quality kick in at lower levels than it previously thought and is setting a higher bar for policymakers and the public in its first update to its air quality guidelines in 15 years. The U.N. health agency released its revised Air Quality Guidelines on Wednesday as climate change is a leading topic at the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Chinese President Xi Jinping announced Tuesday that China will no longer fund power plants fired by coal, which generates several of the pollutants covered by the guidelines. Since the last update of the WHO recommendations, better monitoring and science has cleared up the global picture about the impact of six major air pollutants on human health. According to the agency, 90% of the world’s people already live in areas with at least one particularly harmful type of pollutant. The revisions also highlight another – and often parallel – aspect to environmental concerns beyond widespread worries about global warming and the impact of burning fossil...
    LAGUNA NIGUEL (CBSLA) — A bat that was found at Laguna Niguel Regional Park over the weekend has tested positive for rabies, Orange County Health Care Agency officials said Thursday. (credit: OCGov.com) The bat was found at the park, 28241 La Paz Rd., on Saturday. READ MORE: Andrew Marnell Of Beverly Grove Pleads Guilty To Taking Out $9 Million In COVID Relief Loans For Gambling Trips To Vegas, Luxury Purchases Public health officials say that even though human rabies is very rare, but most U.S. cases in recent years have resulted from bat strains of rabies. READ MORE: Chey Smart Of Costa Mesa Arrested After Drone Carrying Drugs Lands At Theo Lacy Jail In Orange Rabies can spread from the bite or scratch of an infected animal if its saliva gets into the wound, authorities said. Bats have very small teeth and their bites can go unnoticed. Anyone who may have had physical contact with a bat or someone else making contact with a bat should call the OC Health Care Agency’s Communicable Disease Control Division at (714) 834-8180. People...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Thursday that it will fund its new heath preparedness and rapid response agency to the tune of 30 billion euros ($35 billion) over the next half dozen years, even pushing it higher if individual efforts from the member nations and private sector are taken into account. Caught off guard by the sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the 27-nation bloc long lagged behind the U.S. and Britain in vaccination rates before regrouping and meeting its goal of having 70% of EU adults vaccinated this summer. With Thursday’s official launch of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, or HERA, it wants to make sure the bloc will be ready when the next crisis strikes. “We need to be better prepared for future health crises. HERA will establish new, adaptable production capacities and secure supply chains to help Europe react fast when needed,” EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said. HERA will be able to draw from several of the EU’s Byzantine budget lines for a total of almost 30...
    SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil’s health agency Anvisa blames the Brazilian and Argentinian soccer federations and South American soccer body CONMEBOL for the chaos that halted Sunday’s World Cup qualifying match between the archrivals. The match was interrupted after seven minutes when an Anvisa agent and a policeman walked on to the pitch at NeoQuimica Arena to remove four Argentina players who the agency says should be in quarantine. Later the match was suspended. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez, defender Cristian Romero, midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso and winger Emiliano Buendia are English Premier League players who were in the United Kingdom in the previous 14 days upon their arrival in Brazil. They are investigated for allegedly providing false information. FIFA has opened an investigation. A decision has not been make on whether the match will be replayed. “We stress the lack of collaboration in the fulfillment of health protocols by those involved (CBF, CONMEBOL, AFA and the players themselves), who deliberately obstructed and embarrassed public officers as they performed their duty in favor of the Brazilian people’s health,” Anvisa said in...
    Health officials in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, are warning residents about a rabid raccoon found on the B&A Trail near Joyce Lane in Arnold. They want to know if anyone came in contact with the animal, which was located Aug. 24. “If you or your pet had contact with a raccoon, or your pet has unexplained wounds, please contact the Anne Arundel County Department of Health at 410-222-7254, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 443-481-3140 after business hours,” the agency said in a release. Since rabies is spread orally through bites and saliva from the infected animal, treatment might be needed for anyone who handled, fed or was attacked by the raccoon. “Rabies is a fatal disease and preventive treatment (injections) must be started as soon as possible,” the agency said. For more info on rabies, visit www.aahealth.org/rabies.
    The ad continued, "#GettingVaccinated sounds a lot easier. Protect yourself and those you love from the #Delta variant. #VaxxUpDE." Following outcry, the agency pulled the ad from its social media page and issued an apology. Fitness experts, according to WBOC, are speaking out as the Facebook post has since been taken down. Jennifer Kaufmann, a personal trainer at Rise Fitness & Adventure, told the station that shaming an audience into getting a vaccine will "only going to have the opposite effect." "I personally believe in the vaccine. I am vaccinated; I still take offense to this," Kaufmann said. "I think it's just mean-spirited. It's a low blow." Kaufmann added, "For us to look at public places and say 'This is a risk,' we are missing the whole boat here. If we are so worried about everyone's health, the gym should be the number one place everyone is going." In a statement, a spokesperson for the agency said, "We have updated an early post promoting vaccination. We understand some were...
    Health and Human Services (HHS) nominee Xavier Becerra attends his Senate Finance Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 24, 2021.Michael Reynolds | Pool | Reuters The Department of Health and Human Services is mandating Covid-19 vaccine shots for the agency's more than 25,000 employees, becoming the latest government agency to require immunizations in response to the delta variant's global surge. The mandate announced Thursday by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra applies to the Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps — three agencies overseen by the department — and employees who engage with patients in federal medical or clinical research facilities. "Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce, and vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from COVID-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives," Becerra said in a statement from HHS. Members of the Commissioned Corps must also get immunized against the virus in case they are called into active service as emergency personnel....
    The Department of Health and Human Services will require more than 25,000 of its clinical and research staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the agency announced Thursday. The move comes as the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus spreads across the nation, leading to a new wave of infections and strained hospitals in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.  In a statement, the agency said the requirement will be in place for all staff at the Indian Health Service (IHS) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) who serve in federally-operated health care and clinical research facilities who interact with patients, or even have the potential to come into contact with them. HHS said the requirement will also be in place for members of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, in order for them to prepare for potential deployment as emergency responders. Those personnel are already required to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine as well as other routine vaccinations, with processes for medical and religious exemptions.  HHS said the agencies would implement the COVID-19 vaccination requirement using the same...
    Alex Wong/Getty Images President Joe Biden’s administration has announced a vaccine mandate for yet another federal agency, adding the Department of Health and Human Services to the the list of entities requiring Covid vaccinations for employees. In a press release, the agency announced that all 25,000 members of its health care workforce will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19. “Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce, and vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from COVID-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “As President Biden has said, we are looking at every way we can to increase vaccinations to keep more people safe, and requiring our HHS health care workforce to get vaccinated will protect our federal workers, as well as the patients and people they serve.” HHS joins the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense in mandating vaccines, as the administration responds to the explosion of cases due to the...
    The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced it will require its health care workforce to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the latest federal agency to issue a vaccine mandate with cases of the more transmissible delta variant on the rise. Also on Thursday, the Department of Veterans Affairs expanded its vaccine mandate to include most Veterans Health Administration employees, volunteers and contractors. The HHS decision will affect more than 25,000 federal workers, the department said. "Our number one goal is the health and safety of the American public, including our federal workforce, and vaccines are the best tool we have to protect people from COVID-19, prevent the spread of the Delta variant, and save lives," HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said Thursday.  "As President Biden has said, we are looking at every way we can to increase vaccinations to keep more people safe, and requiring our HHS health care workforce to get vaccinated will protect our federal workers, as well as the patients and people they serve." DEFENSE SECRETARY TO MANDATE COVID-19 VACCINES FOR US MILITARY BY SEPT. 15...
    More On: Coronavirus Texas COVID-19 hospitalizations see 150% increase in last month US extends international travel bans over spread of Delta variant Sparked by pandemic, homeschooling surges across US Arkansas governor blames ‘myths’ for vaccine resistance The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first federal agency to mandate coronavirus vaccines for workers as cases of the disease increase across the country amid the Delta variant and as the number of people getting inoculated drops off. VA Secretary Denis McDonough said the directive will pertain to health care personnel — including physicians, dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, registered nurses, physician assistants, expanded-function dental auxiliaries and chiropractors — who work in VA facilities, visit the facilities or provide direct care to those served by the federal agency. The employees will have eight weeks to get fully vaccinated. “We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country,” McDonough said in a statement released by the agency. “Whenever a Veteran or VA employee sets foot in a...
    Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough on Monday made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all VA health care personnel, the first such mandate by a federal agency. The mandate includes physicians, dentists, nurses and others who work in patient-facing roles. The VA said it was taking this "necessary step" to keep the veterans it serves "safe." The VA said each employee will have eight weeks to be fully vaccinated. WHITE HOUSE SAYS COVID VACCINATIONS ‘PICKING UP’ AMID CONCERNS OF DELTA VARIANT "We’re mandating vaccines for Title 38 employees because it’s the best way to keep Veterans safe, especially as the Delta variant spreads across the country," McDonough said Monday.  Secretary of Veterans Affairs nominee Denis McDonough is sworn in during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Washington. (Leigh Vogel/Pool via AP) "Whenever a Veteran or a VA employee sets foot in a VA facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19," he continued. "With this mandate, we...
    The indonesian island of Bali you are running out of oxygen for your patients from COVID amid a surge in infections, said the head of your health agency, as the largest country in Southeast Asia faces the worst coronavirus epidemic in the region. Bali, famous for its beaches and tourist temples, along with the island of Java and 15 other regions are subject to strict restrictions due to the coronavirus, which expire on Sunday. The government is debating whether to extend them or not. We have had an oxygen shortage since July 14 and every day it is more critical due to the increase in new cases, “Ketut Suarjaya, head of the Bali health agency, said on Friday, as quoted by the state-run Antara news agency.” There is a oxygen crisis in Bali “. Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world, has had more than 3 million coronavirus infections and 80,598 deaths, according to official data. The contagions, driven by the Delta variant, have shown no signs of slowing down. The research organization Our World in Data He...
    More On: china All 14 workers trapped in horrific tunnel flood confirmed dead Here’s what’s gone ‘right’ after six months of Biden: Devine Stunning, record-breaking rainfall in China kills at least 25, displaces 1.2M people Rand Paul says he’ll seek criminal referral against Fauci over Wuhan lab China is rejecting the World Health Organization’s calls for transparency and cooperation as the agency plans to continue its probe into the origins of the pandemic — instead demanding that the organization dismiss the lab leak theory as a rumor. Speaking to reporters Thursday, Zeng Yixin, the vice minister of the National Health Commission said he was “rather taken aback” by the investigation, arguing that the idea that COVID-19 may have escaped from a Wuhan lab ran counter to common sense and science. “It is impossible for us to accept such an origin-tracing plan,” the senior Chinese health official said. Zeng’s comments came after the WHO last week presented its proposal for a second phase of its probe into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 4 million...
    More On: genetics Prenatal test developed in collaboration with Chinese military collects gene data When you lose your virginity may be up to your genes: study Honeybee can clone itself millions of times, study shows Scientists saving endangered salmon get help from gene-slicing tool LONDON — The World Health Organization issued new recommendations Monday on human genome editing, calling for a global registry to track “any form of genetic manipulation” and proposing a whistle-blowing mechanism to raise concerns about unethical or unsafe research. The U.N. health agency commissioned an expert group in late 2018 following a dramatic announcement from Chinese scientist He Jiankui that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies. In two reports Monday, WHO’s expert group said all studies involving human genome editing should be made public, although the committee noted that wouldn’t necessarily stop unprincipled scientists. “In the field of stem cell research, unscrupulous entrepreneurs and clinics have deliberately misused clinical trial registries by registering procedures they plan to undertake as if they were properly sanctioned clinical trials,” the group said, calling for WHO to...
    WASHINGTON - The acting head of the Food and Drug Administration on Friday called for a government investigation into highly unusual contacts between her agency's drug reviewers and the maker of a controversial new Alzheimer's drug.  Dr. Janet Woodcock announced the extraordinary step via Twitter. It's the latest fallout over last month's approval of Aduhelm, an expensive and unproven therapy that the agency OK'd against the advice of its own outside experts.  Woodcock made the request to the Department of Health and Human Services' inspector general, the watchdog agency that oversees the FDA and other federal health agencies. The move comes after numerous calls for a probe into the approval from medical experts, consumer advocates and members of Congress. Two congressional committees have already launched their own review.  The FDA's Janet Woodcock speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration building on June 14, 2011."We believe an independent assessment is the best manner in which to determine whether any interactions that occurred between the manufacturer and the agency's review staff were inconsistent with FDA's...
    Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrNorth Carolina senators tell governor to turn down federal unemployment benefits GOP gambles with Pelosi in opposing Jan. 6 commission Overnight Health Care: Moderna says COVID-19 vaccine is 100 percent effective in 12- to 17-year-olds | US achieves full vaccinations for half of adults | Trump on Wuhan lab: Now everyone agrees 'I was right' MORE (R-N.C.) issued a scathing memo criticizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) response to the coronavirus pandemic, calling for “structural” reform of the agency following what he called “mistakes” responding to COVID-19. “Structural and cultural reforms at CDC are needed to ensure the organization is modern, nimble, mission-focused, and able to leverage cutting-edge science so that the United States is better prepared for the next threat that will come our way,” Burr, the top Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, wrote in a five-page brief. “The CDC is responsible for providing clear, concise information to the American people on public health threats like emerging infectious diseases. This information is only as effective as its messengers...
    A person sits in Bryant Park after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new guidelines regarding outdoor mask wearing and vaccination during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Manhattan, New York City, New York, U.S., April 27, 2021.Andrew Kelly | Reuters Disney was quick to announce that it plans to further raise capacity limits at its U.S. theme parks a few hours after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced relaxed mask guidelines for the U.S. on Thursday. "[It's] big news for us, particularly if anybody's been in Florida in the middle of summer with a mask on," CEO Bob Chapek joked with analysts on an earnings call about two hours after the new recommendations were released. "Given the guidance that just came today from the CDC, and earlier guidance that we got from the governor of Florida, we've already started to increase our capacities," he said. The CDC now says fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in most settings, whether outdoors...
    President Joe Biden's new deputy in a White House office of strategy and outreach urged her followers to shut down ICE offices in a 2018 tweet amid protests over agency raids and the Trump administration's border policy. With protesters surrounding the ICE office in Portland and camping out in tents, Natalie Montelongo, the new White House official, wrote: 'If you're looking for a way to help - look up your nearest ICE office and shut-it-down,' Natalie Montelongo wrote on Twitter on June 21, 2018.' Montelongo, a Texas native, served as political director for former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who was one of a large field of Biden presidential primary rivals.  Natalie Montelongo, the new White House deputy director for political strategy and outreach, urged her Twitter followers to shut down ICE offices amid protests in 2018 Castro delivered one of the most slashing internecine attacks on Biden during the campaign, and her hiring signals Biden is not holding grudges. In a September 2019 debate, Castro went after Biden during an exchange on health care. 'Are you...
    President Biden on Wednesday told the nation that it's "within our power" to end cancer, as part of a larger argument for creating an advanced health research agency similar to the Defense Department's DARPA. The president grew emotional when discussing the disease, which claimed the life of his son Beau Biden in 2015.  "The Defense Department has an agency called DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – [...] to develop breakthroughs to enhance our national security," Mr. Biden said during his address to a joint session of Congress. "...It's led to everything from the discovery of the internet to GPS and so much more that's enhanced our security."   "The National Institutes of Health, the NIH, I believe, should create a similar Advanced Research Projects Agency for health," the president added. "And here's what it would do — it would have a singular purpose: To develop breakthroughs – to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, and cancer."  Mr. Biden then veered from his prepared remarks to discuss how a cancer proposal passed during the Obama administration...
    SAN JOSE — The state’s workplace safety watchdog has fined the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority a total of $16,200 for COVID-19 health and safety violations, months after the death of a bus driver who contracted the virus. California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, often referred to as Cal/OSHA, issued two citations to VTA on March 2, claiming the transportation agency failed to “effectively implement and maintain its Injury and Illness Prevention Program” during the pandemic. VTA “did not require or ensure the use of face coverings at all times by employees at the facility and while operating the buses,” the citations allege. The agency also “did not provide effective training and instruction to employees,” the state said, including about “how the virus is spread and measures to avoid infection, the signs and symptoms of infection, and the employer’s procedure to control transmission in the workplace.” The citations, each with a fine of $8,100 attached, were the result of inspections Cal/OSHA conducted between early September, and late February. The state agency categorized both violations as “serious.” The fines were...
    The Government of Lenín Moreno seeks legal mechanisms so that the Municipalities of Ecuador can import directly vaccines against him covid-19the Health Ministry reported on Friday. « This Ministry is conducting the corresponding consultation with the Attorney General of the State so that the execution of this collaboration occurs in strict compliance with the corresponding legal principles, » said the Secretary of State in a communication sent to the Association of Municipalities of the Ecuador (AME). In recent days the AME asked the Government to authorize municipalities to directly import the vaccines against the disease caused by the new coronavirus. The Ministry of Health made it a condition that the negotiation be made directly with the manufacturer, without intermediaries. Another requirement is that patents have the approval of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Source: Sputnik Coronavirus in the world today: all the information Coronavirus in Argentina: All the information about the pandemic throughout the country Coronavirus vaccine: progress in...
    TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration underwent a major shake-up on Friday, with an announcement of the resignation of the secretary of the Department of Children and Families and the shuffling of two other top officials to lead DCF and the Agency for Health Care Administration. The moves could be a prelude to other changes shortly after the midpoint of DeSantis’ four-year gubernatorial term. The DeSantis administration announced that DCF Secretary Chad Poppell resigned, effective Feb. 19 and that Shevaun Harris will replace him at the agency in charge of Florida’s oft-beleaguered child welfare system. Harris has been serving as interim secretary at the Agency for Health Care Administration, where she has held a series of posts since 2005. DeSantis named Simone Marstiller, who headed the Department of Juvenile Justice, to become secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration, which oversees Florida’s $30 billion Medicaid program and is charged with regulating hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care facilities. Meredith Beatrice, a spokeswoman for DeSantis, said Josie Tamayo, who had been serving as Marstiller’s chief of staff, will be...
    GENEVA (AP) — The Biden administration has taken quick steps to keep the United States in the World Health Organization and reinforce financial and staffing support for it — part of his ambition to launch a full-throttle effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in partnership with the world. Biden, just hours after his inauguration Wednesday, made good on a campaign pledge and revoked a Trump administration order that would have pulled the U.S. out of the U.N. health agency this summer. Early Thursday, his top medical adviser on the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, was dispatched to show new U.S. support for WHO. Here’s a look at the U.N. health agency and its handling of the pandemic: WHAT IS WHO? Established in 1948, the Geneva-based agency brings together 194 U.N. members under the founding principle that health is a human right. Today, it counts over 7,000 staffers working in more than 150 countries. It is the only health agency in the world with the authority to coordinate a global response to public health threats like like COVID-19 —...
    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Nearly half of Indiana counties were rated with the highest risk level of coronavirus spread in Wednesday’s state update after state officials corrected a flaw in Indiana’s reporting. The Indiana State Department of Health tracking map labeled 45 of the state’s 92 counties the most dangerous red category, up 21 from a week earlier. Forty-six other counties were in the next-riskiest orange rating of the four-level system, which is updated weekly. Only east-central Indiana's Jay County was rated “moderate risk,” the first county in four weeks to enter the yellow category. A software error has caused underreporting in statewide COVID-19 positivity rates and for individual counties since the pandemic began, the state's health commissioner, Dr. Kristina Box, announced last week. The fix, published Wednesday, raised Indiana’s rate by 2.3 percentage points, bringing the reported positivity rate to 14.1% for all tests administered as of Dec. 22. Although Box previously said some smaller counties could see a decline in positivity rate after the changes, only six counties across the state recorded rates below 10%, a drop from 15...
    A healthcare worker holds a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine vial at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center in Glendale, California, U.S., December 17, 2020.Lucy Nicholson | Reuters The European Medicines Agency on Monday authorized Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for conditional use, opening the door to a inoculation program across the European Union. "EMA has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation for the vaccine Comirnaty, developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in people from 16 years of age," the regulator said in a statement. "EMA's scientific opinion paves the way for the first marketing authorisation of a COVID-19 vaccine in the EU by the European Commission, with all the safeguards, controls and obligations this entails," the agency said. This is a breaking news story. Please check back for more details.Related Tags Breaking News: Europe Pfizer Inc BioNTech SE Biotech and Pharmaceuticals Health care industry
    President-elect Joe Biden says he had chosen North Carolina regulator Michael S. Regan as his nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency and New Mexico Rep. Deb Haaland as his pick for interior secretary. Biden said Thursday that the selections round out what he said would be an experienced climate team ready from their first day in office to tackle the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality of climate change.” Biden is proposing a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s transportation and electrical systems to cut the oil, gas and coal emissions behind worsening global warming. The picks also help Biden fulfill his promise to put together a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of America. Regan is Black, while Haaland would be the first Native American Cabinet member in U.S. history. Biden will introduce Regan, Haaland and other newly named nominees at an event Saturday. Regan became environmental chief in North Carolina in 2017 and made a name for himself by pursuing cleanups of industrial toxins and helping the low-income and minority communities hit hardest by pollution. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who...
    Nashville's public health director, Dr Michael Caldwell has quit after criticism of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and a report that corroborated allegations of sexism The man in charge of leading the city of Nashville through the coronavirus pandemic has resigned from his job after allegations he discriminated against women at his agency. Health Director Dr. Michael Caldwell resigned on Thursday although he will still be paid until the end of the year and serve in a 'remote advisory role.'  Caldwell was given little choice as to his future at the Health Department after the Board of Health discussed a pending motion to fire him following an in depth report by the HR deparment into the health agency. Chairman of the board Alex Jahangir gave Caldwell an ultimatum to either resign on the spot or face a motion to terminate him.  Nashville's mayor, John Cooper, released a statement to DailyMail.com stressing how there was little concern the Health Department would be without leadership following Caldwell's departure. 'Mayor Cooper supports Dr. Caldwell's decision to resign, following a comprehensive investigation by...
    By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization has an unwelcome but potentially life-saving message for the holiday season: Don't hug. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, WHO's emergencies chief said Monday that the “shocking” rate of COVID-19 cases and deaths, particularly in the U.S., means that people shouldn't get too close to their loved ones this year. “The epidemic in the U.S. is punishing. It’s widespread," said Dr. Michael Ryan. "It’s quite frankly, shocking, to see one to two persons a minute die in the U.S. — a country with a wonderful, strong health system (and) amazing technological capacities,” he said. At the moment, the U.S. accounts for a third of all COVID-19 cases in the world, Ryan added. According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has recorded more than 280,000 coronavirus deaths to date. Ryan was responding to a question during a news conference about whether hugs could be considered “close contact” — which the U.N. health agency has generally advised against in areas of high coronavirus transmission. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical...
    JERUSALEM (AP) — The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said Monday it needs to raise $70 million by the end of the month or it will not be able to pay the full salaries of thousands of employees through the end of the year. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency, known as UNRWA, said it has notified its entire workforce of 28,000 that it will be forced to defer their salaries for the rest of the year. The agency said most of the workers affected are refugees themselves and the cuts will impact employees in countries across the Middle East. “If additional funding is not pledged in the next weeks, UNRWA will be forced to defer partial salaries to all staff,” said the agency’s commissioner-general, Philippe Lazzarini. “I am deeply saddened to know that the earned salaries of our fearless, resilient social, sanitation and health-care workers on the front lines and our teachers working to ensure students’ education continue during this emergency health crisis are at risk.” The agency said in a statement that its funding had run out on...
    By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Federal health officials on Friday issued new rules that will enable large cruise ships to start sailing again in U.S. waters, though not immediately. Among the requirements spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Ship owners must test all passengers and crew at the start and end of all voyages, which are limited to seven days. In mid-March, the CDC ordered cruise ships to stop sailing to U.S. ports because several outbreaks convinced officials that the vessels were potential cauldrons of infection. The order was renewed a few times, with the latest renewal set to expire Saturday. The new guidelines effectively bring the no-sail order to an end. To resume carrying passengers, the companies have to demonstrate they have procedures for testing, quarantining and isolating passengers and crew. They will have to build test labs on all ships, and make their own arrangements to isolate or quarantine passengers on shore if needed. Before being allowed to sail, they will have to conduct mock voyages with volunteers playing...
    Photo credit: Tami Chappell, AFP via Getty Images. The Trump administration is reportedly redirecting $300 million within the Department of Health and Human Services for a massive, public relations campaign to “defeat despair” and tout the White House’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Politico, the nation’s cabinet-level health agency will roll out an ad blitz, starring Dennis Quaid among others, that was the brainchild of Michael Caputo, the agency’s former spokesperson and vocal pro-Trump advocate. Caputo stepped down from the agency recently after a series of outrageous comments online and bizarre, conspiracy-laden rants. The timing also suggests a political motivation is driving the HHS’s PR campaign, as Politico reports that the agency’s plan is to begin the positive public messaging right before Election Day. House Democrats have already signaled that they will investigate if Caputo or any other political appointee put pressure on the agency to burnish Trump’s image down the homestretch of the 2020 election. But 10 current and former health officials told POLITICO that they have have concerns about the campaign’s scope, goals and even how it has been...
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