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Overnight Health Care: Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony | CDC: Children might play 'important role' in spreading COVID-19 | GOP leader wants rapid testing at Capitol

Overnight Health Care: Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony | CDC: Children might play 'important role' in spreading COVID-19 | GOP leader wants rapid testing at Capitol
© Bloomberg/Pool

Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care. Top Trump administration health officials testified before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. House Democrats say the administration overpaid for ventilators, and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyPelosi, leaders seek to squelch Omar controversy with rare joint statement Omar: I wasn't equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries Schumer bemoans number of Republicans who believe Trump will be reinstated: 'A glaring warning' MORE wants testing in the Capitol. 

We’ll start with today’s big hearing:

Five takeaways from Fauci's testimony

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Anthony FauciAnthony FauciDelta variant's UK dominance sparks concerns in US Overnight Health Care: FDA says millions of J&J doses from troubled plant must be thrown out | WHO warns Africa falling far behind in vaccinations | Top CDC official says US not ready for next pandemic Top CDC official warns US not ready for next pandemic MORE, as well as other top administration health officials, were back on Capitol Hill Friday, and offering a few hopeful notes amid the pandemic. 

Some takeaways:

Fauci appears optimistic about vaccine prospects

“There's never a guarantee that you're going to get a safe and effective vaccine, but from everything we've seen now in the animal data, as well as the early human data, we feel cautiously optimistic that we will have a vaccine by the end of this year and as we go into 2021,” the infectious disease expert said.

Testing delays persist 

Adm. Brett Giroir, the health official leading the Trump administration’s COVID-19 testing strategy, said a two to three day turnaround time for all test results is not currently possible, raising concerns about the effectiveness of contact tracing.

Fauci pushes back on hydroxychloroquine study touted by Trump

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A study from Henry Ford Hospital that appears to show hydroxychloroquine as an effective COVID-19 treatment is “flawed,” Fauci told an inquiring member of Congress.

Republicans, CDC voice support for reopening schools

“I think it’s important to realize that it’s in the public health best interest of K-12 students to get back in face-to-face learning,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield. “There's really very significant public health consequences of the school closure.”

Conservatives take combative approach toward Fauci

Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanSunday shows preview: Biden foreign policy in focus as Dem tensions boil up back home House Judiciary releases McGahn testimony on Trump Democrats control the language of politics and culture — but for how long? MORE (R-Ohio) pressed Fauci on the risks of ongoing protests in spreading the virus. Fauci, however, did not address the protests directly, saying more broadly: "Avoid crowds of any type no matter where you are ... I don't judge one crowd versus another crowd.”

Read more here

House Democrats find Trump officials overpaid for ventilators by as much as $500 million

A report from Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee released Friday finds that the Trump administration overpaid by as much as $500 million for ventilators and was slow to respond to an offer to accelerate shipments in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak. 

The report finds that the Trump administration paid the manufacturer Philips $15,000 per ventilator, more than any other American purchaser. Some purchasers buying as few as just one ventilator negotiated prices down to as low as $9,327 per unit, the report said. 

The committee said the administration failed to negotiate the price down, labeling the talks “inept negotiations led by White House official Peter Navarro.”

On Jan. 21, the committee said, a Philips staffer emailed Department of Health and Human Services official: “Please let us know how we could help out or if you may expect a need to accelerate any shipments.”

But the report found that the administration did not respond to this offer for six weeks, finally asking about speeding up production on March 4.

Read more here.

CDC: Children might play 'important role' in spreading COVID-19

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A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says children might play a bigger role than previously thought in the spread of COVID-19, raising new concerns about holding in-person classes this fall.

In a report published Friday, the CDC said more than 250 people — mostly children — tested positive for the coronavirus after attending an overnight summer camp in Georgia where masks weren’t required.

A total of 597 Georgia residents attended the summer camp in June. The camp imposed most but not all of the CDC’s guidelines to slow or prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Of the 344 test results that were available to the CDC, 260 — or 76 percent — were positive, indicating children might play an “important role” in transmitting the disease, according to the report.

Why it matters: The CDC and the White House are pushing hard for schools to reopen in the fall. The authors of this report acknowledge that kids might play an important role in spreading COVID. “This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to [COVID-19] and contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission,” the report reads.

“This investigation adds to the body of evidence demonstrating that children of all ages are susceptible to [COVID-19] and contrary to early reports, might play an important role in transmission,” it adds.

Read more here

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GOP leader wants to make rapid testing available at Capitol

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he is looking at options for Republicans to bring rapid testing to the Capitol that would be offered to members in both parties along with staff and reporters. 

Republicans have amplified their calls for testing at the Capitol after Rep. Louie GohmertLouis (Louie) Buller GohmertWray grilled on FBI's handling of Jan. 6 Gohmert asks if federal agencies can change Earth's or moon's orbits to fight climate change Democrats debate shape of new Jan. 6 probe MORE (R-Texas) became the ninth member of Congress to test positive for the virus this week. 

Gohmert had repeatedly been seen not wearing a mask at the Capitol. 

“I'm actually looking at space that we have to actually bring people in and set up our own testing and we'll offer it to Democrats as well as the Republicans,” McCarthy told The Hill on Friday, adding that it would also be extended to staff and the press. 

Read more here

What we’re reading

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Bill Gates says 3 coronavirus treatments being tested now 'could cut the death rate dramatically.' They may be available within months. (Business Insider

How Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerThe Israel-Hamas ceasefire is holding — what's next? Eric Trump buys .2M home near father's golf club in Florida CDC's about-face on masks appears politically motivated to help a struggling Biden MORE’s secret testing plan ‘went poof into thin air’ (Vanity Fair

St. Louis Cardinals' game postponed after positive coronavirus tests (CNN)

State by state

A Houston doctor on his hospital's 'deadliest week' so far (NPR

Contact tracing is failing in many states. Here’s why. (The New York Times

N.J. coronavirus transmission rate is highest in 3 months. ‘Alarms are going off,’ Murphy warns. (NJ.com