Joe Biden Provides Update on Federal Government Response to Omicron
The Supreme Court has thrown out a vaccine mandate from the Biden administration that would have required 80 million workers to either be vaccinated or undergo regular testing.
In a blow to the president’s push to get more Americans vaccinated, the ruling comes as health experts believe the US is nearing the peak of the latest wave of Covid-19 caused by the highly contagious strain of Omicron.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci defended comments made at a recent hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases called Senator Roger Marshall “an idiot” when the senator asked Tuesday whether he should have a publicly available financial disclosure form.
dr. Fauci told MSNBC on Wednesday that he was stunned to know “that a sitting United States senator does not realize that my financial statement is public knowledge.”
The infectious disease expert also clashed during the hearing with Senator Rand Paul, whom he accused of politicizing the pandemic and “fueling the madness” with his comments. dr. Paul has since doubled down on his comments.
Covid-19 pill shortages as Omicron rages
Two new Covid-19 pills from Pfizer and Merck that have been critical to fighting the pandemic are in short supply and have played little role in fighting the Omicron wave.
The Biden administration ordered the two pills late last month, which would reduce the burden on hospitals.
However, it did not place massive orders as it did with vaccines, the Associated Press reported.
Pfizer said that since the pill takes Paxlovid six to eight months to produce, it could only deliver about 250,000 courses of treatment by the end of this month.
Merck’s pill, Molnupiravir, was produced in greater quantities, but latest tests showed the drug to be much less effective than Pfizer’s pill.
It also contains possible side effects for pregnant women and is considered a last resort according to federal government guidelines.
While the federal government has sent 164,000 Pfizer pills to states, their allocation by state public health officials has been inadequate.
There is also a shortage of antibody drugs, with federal officials limiting shipments to 50,000 doses per week.
Sravasti DasguptaJanuary 14, 2022 06:44
19 states have less than 15% ICU capacity
As Omicron cases increase in the US, hospitals are overwhelmed.
Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows that 19 states have less than 15 percent capacity for intensive care as hospital admissions continue to rise.
These include Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, Arizona, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont.
The data also showed that hospitals in four of these states, Kentucky, Alabama, Indiana and New Hampshire, have less than 10 percent capacity for intensive care.
As of Wednesday, hospital admissions in the US have reached a record high of 151,261.
Sravasti DasguptaJanuary 14, 2022 06:10
Why Anthony Fauci Called a GOP Senator an ‘Idiot’
dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, made his way to the headlines this week after calling a GOP senator an “idiot” on a hot microphone during a committee hearing.
It comes after a wave of unrelenting criticism from conservatives, writes John Bowden.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 05:30 am
Fauci ‘deserves everything he gets,’ says Rand Paul
Senator Rand Paul has suggested that Dr. Anthony Fauci “deserves” criticism for his dealings with Covid, telling: the independent he “disliked” the chief medical officer of the US who blamed him for threats against the top infectious disease expert.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 04:40
Biden Administration Sends Medical Teams To Six States
President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the federal government will send medical teams to six states to assist with Covid-19 care, where hospitals and health care systems have been overwhelmed by the spread of the Omicron strain.
Military medical teams will be sent to New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico.
The teams will support health care systems in major hospitals across the states.
A defense official said more than 40 Army, Air Force and Navy medical teams are available, including a total of 1,000 active-duty military medical personnel.
The teams will be mobilized in the coming weeks and deployed where they are needed.
A White House official says this is a “first wave of deployments” and other teams will also be sent to areas where they are needed.
Sravasti DasguptaJanuary 14, 2022 04:34
US Surgeon General ‘disappointed’ with SCOTUS-blocking vaccine mandate
US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy has said the Supreme Court’s decision to block a nationwide vaccine and testing mandate for major companies is “disappointing”.
Speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Dr. Murthy: “As a physician and public health professional, today’s news was disappointing.”
“We know that workplace vaccine requirements are an important part of how we can keep workplaces safer for both employees and customers.”
He added that the coming weeks will remain challenging as the US records rising cases driven by the Omicron variant.
“I think the coming weeks will be a challenge. We continue to see large numbers of cases. Our hospital systems in parts of the country are under pressure and will continue to be,” he said.
Sravasti DasguptaJanuary 14, 2022 04:19
SCOTUS stops Biden vaccine mandate for companies
The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn Joe Biden’s mandate for companies requiring companies with more than 100 employees to institute vaccinations or regular testing requirements.
John Bowden reports from Washington, DC.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 03:45 am
KN95 and N95: what you need to know
As the US struggles to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, reports have surfaced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is considering recommending that those who can should use a higher standard of mask. wear when in public – especially the KN95 and N95 masks that have been in high demand for the past two years.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 02:45
Coming soon: free masks and 1 billion Covid tests
President Joe Biden said his administration will unveil a plan to provide free masks to Americans to encourage their use to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Biden also said on Thursday that his administration will order an additional half a billion Covid-19 home tests for shipment to any American who requests one on an undisclosed website, on top of a previous order of 500 million placed by the administration last month.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 01:45
ABC News criticized for editing CDC director interview
ABC News has come under fire for editing a “Good Morning America” interview with CDC director Rochelle Walensky, which created uncertainty that is being exploited by vaccine critics.
Oliver O’ConnellJanuary 14, 2022 00:45