Health Care

Overnight Health Care: Experimental COVID-19 vaccine shows immune response in early results

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Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care. There’s new encouraging data on a potential COVID-19 vaccine but still many, many unanswered questions. There are more than 3.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., including 136,000 deaths. A new analysis estimates 5.5 million workers who lost their jobs also lost their job-based coverage. And CDC Director Robert Redfield wants President Trump to wear a mask. 

Let’s start with vaccine news: 

Some good news: 

Experimental COVID-19 vaccine shows immune response in early results

An experimental vaccine to treat COVID-19 manufactured by the biotech company Moderna was able to induce an immune response in all of the volunteers in an early-stage trial, according to data published online in a medical journal. 

The initial results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine Tuesday, showed the vaccine was generally safe and well-tolerated in 45 volunteers, with no serious adverse events.

The study, run by the National Institutes of Health, showed some antibodies were produced after one dose of the vaccine, but two doses were needed before the volunteers showed a dramatic immune response.

The results were encouraging, but there are still many unknowns about immunity, including whether antibodies actually protect against infection, and how effective that protection is.

Read more here

CDC director says Trump, Pence should wear masks to set example

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said Tuesday the president and vice president need to wear masks to set an example for the public.

President Trump wore a mask in public for the first time over the weekend, nearly three months after the CDC issued guidance recommending the use of face coverings when social distancing isn’t possible.

“Glad to see the president wear a mask this week and the vice president, and clearly in their situation they could easily justify that they don’t need to because of all the testing around them and they know they’re not infected,” Redfield said during a live streamed interview with Howard Bauchner, editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Medical Association. 

“But we need them to set the example, as you said, for other individuals,” he added. 

Why it matters: Mask-wearing is still a partisan issue, with Democrats more likely than Republicans to wear masks outside of their homes. Public health experts have urged Trump to wear a mask to encouraged mask-wearing among his supporters. Redfield said is “everybody” wore masks, the epidemic could be controlled over the next “four, six, eight weeks.” 

Read more here.

Coronavirus testing czar pushes back after Trump targets health officials: ‘None of us lie’

The official leading the Trump administration’s coronavirus testing efforts on Tuesday rebuffed the notion that health experts are lying after President Trump retweeted a Twitter post saying that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others were spreading falsehoods about the virus. 

“We may occasionally make mistakes based on the information we have, but none of us lie,” Adm. Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of Health and Human Services, said on NBC’s “Today.” “We are completely transparent with the American people, and my experience on the task force is that the vice president and everyone there has been completely transparent.”

The comments from Giroir came a day after Trump retweeted a series of Twitter posts from former game show host Chuck Woolery about the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. In one, Woolery said that “the most outrageous lies” are the ones about COVID-19, claiming that the CDC, the media, Democrats and some doctors were among those spreading them.

Read more here.

White House tells hospitals to bypass CDC on COVID-19 data reporting 

Hospitals will begin sending coronavirus-related information directly to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), not the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), under new instructions from the Trump administration.

The move will take effect on Wednesday, according to a new guidance and FAQ document for hospitals and clinical labs quietly posted on the HHS website.

Previously, hospitals reported to the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network, which the agency describes as the nation’s most widely used health care-associated infection tracking system. 

The CDC tracked information including how many beds are available, the number of ventilators available and how many COVID-19 patients the hospitals have.  

Read more here.

Analysis finds 5.5M have lost health insurance amid pandemic

Nearly 5.5 million people who lost their jobs between February and May of this year also lost their health insurance, according to a new analysis released Tuesday. 

The analysis from Families USA, a consumer health care advocacy organization, finds that the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic crisis have caused the greatest health insurance losses in American history. 

Nearly half of the coverage losses occurred in five states: California, Texas, Florida, New York and North Carolina. 

Read more here.

What we’re reading: 

Republicans are breaking from Trump’s coronavirus talking points (Politico

Almost half of all states are spiking at a faster rate than in the spring, USA TODAY study finds (USA Today)

What’s next for Anthony Fauci, if the White House continues to sour on him? (Stat News)

State by state:

Texas hospitals are running out of drugs, beds, ventilators and even staff (Texas Tribune)

Virginia to Crack Down on Restaurants Breaking Coronavirus Rules (NBC Washington)

North Carolina bowling alleys, reopened by court order last week, must close again (NBC 12)

Officials shut down 2 Silver Spring eateries for not obeying coronavirus restrictions (WTOP)

Op-eds in The Hill

Quarantines for out-of-state visitors exceeds governors’ emergency authority

The truth about masks

Expand COBRA, but do it the right way

Tags Anthony Fauci Donald Trump

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