Tag Archives: Health

Sturgis motorcycle rally spread coronavirus across the nation, leading to $12 billion in health care costs

Sturgis motorcycle rally spread coronavirus across the nation, leading to $  12 billion in health care costsA month after 460,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, S.D., researchers have found that thousands have been sickened across the nation, leading them to brand the rally a “superspreader” event that will involve more than $ 12 billion in health care costs.

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California's top public health director out, no reason given

California's top public health director out, no reason givenCalifornia's top public health official has resigned, just days after the state announced a fix for a glitch that caused a lag in reporting coronavirus test results used to make decisions about reopening businesses and schools. Dr. Sonia Angell said in a resignation letter made public late Sunday that she's departing from her role as director and state public health officer at the California Department of Public Health. Angell often appeared during news conferences about California's response to the pandemic alongside Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who had appointed her to the dual roles.

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Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over Hydroxy

Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over HydroxyWhite House trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly bashed yet another White House public health expert on Monday while touting an unproven anti-malarial drug, saying he took “exception” to coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir dismissing hydroxychloroquine as an effective coronavirus treatment.Days after CNN cut short a Navarro interview after he kept repeating the racist phrase “China virus,” the network invited him on for yet another contentious segment that featured the combative Trump aide disseminating coronavirus disinformation.Navarro, who has been an outspoken proponent of hydroxychloroquine and has repeatedly attacked top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for warning about the drug’s lack of efficacy, doubled down on his embrace of the drug while taking aim at Giroir.“One of the president’s chief advisers on the coronavirus pandemic, Adm. Giroir, he said given five studies now that have found the drug hydroxychloroquine—that there’s no proof that it helps with COVID-19 patients,” host Jim Sciutto noted. “I just wonder, given your past public support for it, is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?”Navarro—who recently groused that the government is “sitting on millions of doses” of the drug—shot back that he takes “exception to Giroir’s analysis, adding that the HHS official “hasn’t looked at the data” within the past two weeks.“It’s his job to look at data,” Sciutto interjected.After demanding that CNN bring on a couple of doctors who claim the drug is beneficial for COVID-19 patients—CNN had actually interviewed one of them hours earlier—Navarro brushed off the large number of experts criticizing hydroxychloroquine.“My view of this now is doctors' opinions are a dime a dozen and some doctors say it doesn’t work,” he exclaimed. “You’ve got some doctors who say it does.”The CNN host, meanwhile, retorted that this isn’t a “both sides thing,” prompting Navarro to insist that is exactly what it is.“No, it is a both sides. It is—it is both sides,” he declared.Sciutto went on to note that several high-quality double-blinded clinical trials show that there is no benefit to the drug and that the FDA has revoked emergency use of hydroxychloroquine due to concerns over potentially deadly side effects.“This hasn’t passed muster so why all the focus on that drug,” the CNN anchor wondered aloud. “Why not focus on things that work like remdesivir?”Undeterred, Navarro claimed that there is now a study that shows hydroxychloroquine “works better” than remdesivir—even though White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said just last week that randomized trials have shown the anti-viral drug has no efficacy as a treatment. She also reiterated that there appears to be no benefit to hydroxychloroquine.Team Trump has suddenly rallied back around the controversial malaria drug after a fringe doctor—who believes that demon sperm causes female medical problems and “alien DNA” is being used in medication—proclaimed it a coronavirus “cure” in a viral video last week. Despite that doctor’s bizarre past claims, President Donald Trump has called her “spectacular,” “very respected,” and an “important voice.”Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Trump news – live: Administration rolls back LGBT+ health protections as president demands end to Seattle 'autonomous zone'

Trump news – live: Administration rolls back LGBT+ health protections as president demands end to Seattle 'autonomous zone'Donald Trump has blamed the scenes of police brutality recorded at George Floyd protests across the US on “bad apples”, claiming to have “dominated the streets with compassion” to maintain law and order and pledging an executive order to establish a use-of-force standard, stopping short of broader reforms.Speaking at a roundtable event in Dallas, Texas, the president sought to allay ongoing frustrations by commenting: “We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear, but we will make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labelling tens of millions of decent Americans as racist or bigots.”



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CIA Believes China Tried to Prevent WHO from Declaring Coronavirus ‘Global Health Emergency’: Report

CIA Believes China Tried to Prevent WHO from Declaring Coronavirus ‘Global Health Emergency’: ReportThe CIA reportedly believes that China attempted to prevent the World Health Organization from declaring a global health emergency during the beginning stages of the coronavirus pandemic in January.In a report titled "U.N.-China: WHO Mindful But Not Beholden to China," the CIA detailed that China threatened to cease cooperating with the WHO's coronavirus investigation if the agency declared a global health emergency, Newsweek reported on Tuesday. The threats came at the same time that China reportedly "intentionally concealed the severity" of the outbreak in order to hoard medical supplies.U.S. officials told Newsweek that they could not say whether Chinese premier Xi Jinping was personally involved in the effort to pressure the WHO. A German intelligence report published by Der Spiegel last week concluded that Xi was indeed involved in the effort.The WHO declared a global health emergency on January 30, about one month after China confirmed the emergence of the then-unidentified pathogen in the city of Wuhan."Let me be clear: This declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China's capacity to control the outbreak," WHO Director-General Tedros Anhanom told reporters at the time. The coronavirus outbreak has since become a pandemic, causing over 4,000,000 confirmed infections and killing almost 300,000 worldwide as of Tuesday.Accusing the WHO of mishandling the crisis and kowtowing to China, President Trump in April announced he would suspend U.S. funding for the organization."I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the WHO while a review is conducted to assess the WHO’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus,” Trump said at a White House press conference. “The WHO failed in this basic duty and must be held accountable.”



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During a Pandemic, an Unanticipated Problem: Out-of-Work Health Workers

During a Pandemic, an Unanticipated Problem: Out-of-Work Health WorkersAs hospitals across the country brace for an onslaught of coronavirus patients, doctors, nurses and other health care workers — even in emerging hot spots — are being furloughed, reassigned or told they must take pay cuts.The job cuts, which stretch from Massachusetts to Nevada, are a new and possibly urgent problem for a business-oriented health care system whose hospitals must earn revenue even in a national crisis. Hospitals large and small have canceled many elective services — often under state government orders — as they prepare for the virus, sending revenues plummeting.That has left trained health care workers sidelined, even in areas around Detroit and Washington, where infection rates are climbing, and even as hard-hit hospitals are pleading for help."I'm 46. I've never been on unemployment in my life," said Casey Cox, who three weeks ago worked two jobs, one conducting sleep research at the University of Michigan and another as a technician at the St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea Hospital near Ann Arbor, Michigan. Within a week, he had lost both.Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York has begged doctors and other medical workers from around the country to come to the city to help in areas where the coronavirus is overwhelming hospitals."Unless there is a national effort to enlist doctors, nurses, hospital workers of all kinds and get them where they are needed most in the country in time, I don't see, honestly, how we're going to have the professionals we need to get through this crisis," de Blasio said Friday morning on MSNBC.And the Department of Veterans Affairs is scrambling to hire health care workers for its government-run hospitals, especially in hard-hit New Orleans and Detroit, where many staff members have fallen ill. The department moved to get a federal waiver to hire retired medical workers to beef up staff levels.But even as some hospitals are straining to handle the influx of coronavirus patients, empty hospital beds elsewhere carry their own burden."We're in trouble," said Gene Morreale, the chief executive of Oneida Health Hospital in upstate New York, which has not yet seen a surge in coronavirus patients.Governors in dozens of states have delivered executive orders or guidelines directing hospitals to stop nonurgent procedures and surgeries to various degrees. Last month, the U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Jerome M. Adams, also implored hospitals to halt elective procedures.That has left many health systems struggling to survive.Next week, Morreale said, Oneida will announce that it is putting 25% to 30% of its employees on involuntary furlough. They will have access to their health insurance through June. Physicians and senior staff at the hospital have taken a 20% pay cut."We've been here 121 years, and I'm hoping we're still there on the other side of this," Morreale said.Appalachian Regional Healthcare, a 13-hospital system in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia, has seen a 30% decrease in its overall business because of a decline in patient volume and services related to the pandemic. Last week, the hospital system announced it would furlough about 8% of its workforce — around 500 employees.Hospital executives across the country are cutting pay while also trying to repurpose employees for other jobs.At Intermountain Healthcare, which operates 215 clinics and 24 hospitals in Utah, Idaho and Nevada, about 600 of the 2,600 physicians, physicians assistants and registered nurses who are compensated based on volume will see their pay dip by about 15%, said Daron Cowley, a company spokesman.Those reductions are tied to the drop in procedures, which has fallen significantly for some specialties, he said. The organization is working to preserve employment as much as possible, in part by trying to deploy 3,000 staff members into new roles."You have an endoscopy tech right now that may be deployed to be at hospital entrances" where they would take the temperatures of people coming in, Cowley explained.In Boston, a spokesman for Partners HealthCare, with 12 hospitals, including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's, said staff members whose work has decreased are being deployed to other areas or will be paid for up to eight weeks if no work is available.But redeployment is not always an option. Janet Conway, a spokeswoman for Cape Fear Valley Health System in Fayetteville, North Carolina, said many of the company's operating room nurses trained in specialized procedures have been furloughed because their training did not translate to other roles."Those OR nurses, many have never worked as a floor nurse," she said.Conway said nearly 300 furloughed staff members have the option to use their paid time off, but beyond that, the furlough would be unpaid. Most employees are afforded 25 days per year.Some furloughed hospital workers are likely to be asked to return as the number of coronavirus cases rise in their communities. But the unpredictable virus has offered little clarity and left hospitals, like much of the economy, in a free fall.Many health systems are making direct cuts to their payrolls, eliminating or shrinking performance bonuses and prorating paychecks to mirror reduced workload until operations stabilize.Scott Weavil, a lawyer in California who counsels physicians and other health care workers on employment contracts, said he was hearing from doctors across the country who were being asked to take pay cuts of 20% to 70%.The requests are coming from hospital administrators or private physician groups hired by the hospitals, he said, and are essentially new contracts that doctors are being asked to sign.Many of the contracts do not say when the cuts might end, and are mostly affecting doctors who are not treating coronavirus patients on the front lines, such as urologists, rheumatologists, bariatric surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists.Such doctors are still being asked to work — often in a decreased capacity — yet may be risking their health going into hospitals and clinics."It's just not sitting well," Weavil said, noting that he tells doctors they unfortunately have few options if they want to work for their institution long term."If you fight this pay cut, administration could write your name down and remember that forever," he said he tells them.In other cases, physicians are continuing to find opportunities to practice in a more limited capacity, like telemedicine appointments. But that has not eliminated steep pay cuts."Physicians are only paid in our clinic based on their productivity in the work they do," said Dr. Pam Cutler, the president of Western Montana Clinic in Missoula. "So they're automatically taking a very significant — usually greater than 50% or 25% — pay cut just because they don't have any work."In some areas, layoffs have left behind health care workers who worry that they will not be able to find new roles or redeploy their skills.Cox in Michigan said he was briefly reassigned at his hospital, helping screen and process patients coming in with coronavirus symptoms, but eventually the people seeking reassignments outgrew the number of roles.He also expressed concern that inevitable changes in the health care industry after the pandemic — paired with the possibility of a lengthy period of unemployment — could make it difficult to get his job back."I'm just concerned that the job I got laid off from may not be there when this is over," Cox said. "The longer you're away, the more you worry, 'Am I going to be able to come back?' So there's a lot of anxiety about it."Even as many of the largest hospital networks grapple with sudden financial uncertainty, much smaller practices and clinics face a more immediate threat.According to a statistical model produced by HealthLandscape and the American Academy of Family Physicians, by the end of April, nearly 20,000 family physicians could be fully out of work, underemployed or reassigned elsewhere, particularly as cities like New York consider large-scale, emergency reassignments of physicians."Many of these smaller practices were living on a financial edge to start with, so they're not entering into this in a good position at all," said Dr. Gary Price, the president of the Physicians Foundation. "Their margins are narrower, their patients don't want to come in, and many of them shouldn't anyway, so their cash flow has been severely impacted and their overhead really hasn't."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company



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Coronavirus: CDC advises health workers to use homemade masks or bandanas amid shortages as ‘last resort’

Coronavirus: CDC advises health workers to use homemade masks or bandanas amid shortages as ‘last resort’As healthcare workers and hospitals face shortages across the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has released new guidelines for using face masks.Shortages in surgical and respirator masks started after citizens panic bought boxes in stores and online so they could wear when out. But this decision has since left hospitals short of the necessary facial guard.



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Coronavirus may force Americans to avoid crowds and cancel cruises, health official warns

Coronavirus may force Americans to avoid crowds and cancel cruises, health official warnsWASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Americans, especially those who are vulnerable, may need to stop attending big gatherings as the coronavirus spreads through U.S. communities, a top health official said on Sunday, as investors braced for another volatile week in financial markets. Anthony Fauci, the head of the infectious diseases unit at the National Institutes of Health, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that after initial missteps distributing tests, there should be 400,000 more tests available by Monday and 4 million by the end of the week. In the United States, 19 people have died out of about 450 reported cases of coronavirus, which originated in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.



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U.S. airport screeners, health workers plagued by fear and anger as coronavirus spreads

U.S. airport screeners, health workers plagued by fear and anger as coronavirus spreadsScreeners with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asked their supervisors this week to change official protocols and require stronger masks, according to an internal document reviewed by Reuters. On Friday evening, they learned their worst fears were realized: Two screeners, both working at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), had tested positive for the virus. “Sad news,” a senior quarantine official at the CDC wrote in an email Friday evening to colleagues about the two workers.



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