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Overnight Health Care: Biden team to begin getting COVID briefings | Fauci says he would 'absolutely' serve on Biden's COVID task force | Major glove factories close after thousands test positive for COVID-19

Overnight Health Care: Biden team to begin getting COVID briefings | Fauci says he would 'absolutely' serve on Biden's COVID task force | Major glove factories close after thousands test positive for COVID-19
© Mark Makela/Getty Images

Welcome to Wednesday’s Overnight Health Care. Programming note: We will not be publishing a newsletter Thursday or Friday. We will return as usual Monday, Nov. 30.

In today’s news, the House Overnight and Reform Committee has invited the Sackler family to testify about their role in the opioid crisis. President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse Democrat touts resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress Science denialism in the new administration Jill Biden to offer input on helping reunite separated immigrant families: report MORE’s transition team received its first COVID-19 briefing today from federal agencies. And the largest rubber glove manufacturer in the world said this week it will temporarily close down factories, a bad sign for an already stressed supply chain.

Let’s start with Biden:

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Biden team to begin getting COVID briefings

The Biden transition team will begin receiving briefings from federal agencies Wednesday on the COVID-19 response, Biden officials said Wednesday. 

The transition team has requested briefings on the COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Operation Warp Speed, testing and the supply chain for personal protective equipment. 

“They are moving forward expeditiously,” said Kate Bedingfield, a spokesperson for Biden.

“Obviously our teams have had a lot of time to work through the core questions that they need to pose and the pieces of information that they most want to have clear visibility into,” she added. 

Agencies were not allowed to coordinate with the Biden team until a key Trump official officially approved the transition process this week. 

Why it matters: Biden and his team will now be able to access information from federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services on its COVID-19 response thus far, better preparing his administration to take over in January.

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Read more here

Biden also gave remarks Wednesday on Thanksgiving…

Biden empathized with families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19 this year. He also noted he would follow public health recommendations and have a small Thanksgiving at home this year.

“For our family, we’ve had a 40 plus year tradition of traveling over Thanksgiving, a tradition we’ve kept every year save one — the year after our son Beau died,” Biden said.

“This year, because we care so much for each other, we’re going to be having separate Thanksgivings.”

Biden is reinforcing public health guidance that isn't really coming from the White House right now — that Americans should avoid traveling and holding large gatherings to prevent an explosion of cases after the holiday weekend. 

Meanwhile, Fauci says he would ‘absolutely’ serve on Biden’s COVID task force

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care: Biden adviser delivers more pessimistic prediction on vaccine rollout | CDC says coronavirus could kill up to 514K by Feb. 20 | Vaccine research funds have been misused for decades, watchdog says Fauci confident vaccine companies ready for 'mutant' coronavirus strains Fauci defends Birx: 'She had to live in the White House' MORE, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said he would “absolutely” serve on President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID-19 task force if asked.

“Of course, yes. The answer is absolutely,” Fauci said in response to a question during a C-SPAN interview Wednesday.

Fauci, who's a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said he has been in contact with Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, but added they have not discussed the “nuts and bolts” of the COVID-19 response.

“Obviously, soon, we will be getting the transition team and the task force to give them the information that would make their assuming the responsibilities easier and more efficient,” Fauci said.

Why it matters: Biden is expected to elevate career civil servants like Fauci who have largely been sidelined under the Trump administration. It’s unsurprising that Fauci would join a Biden task force — he’s advised every president on public health matters since Reagan — but we’ll likely be seeing more of him in the new year.  

Read more here.

House Oversight panel asks Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family to testify on opioid crisis

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The House Oversight and Reform Committee has invited Purdue Pharma’s Sackler family to testify at a hearing next month on what the panel described as "their role in fueling the opioid epidemic." 

The invitation comes one day after the OxyContin manufacturer pleaded guilty to three federal criminal charges related to some of its sales and marketing practices related to the powerful painkiller. The deal was first announced in October as part of a larger $8 billion settlement. 

Committee Chair Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyDemocrats urge tech giants to change algorithms that facilitate spread of extremist content Hillicon Valley: Biden names acting chairs to lead FCC, FTC | Facebook to extend Trump ban pending review | Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler Judge denies request for Amazon to immediately restore Parler MORE (D-N.Y.) invited Richard Sackler, David Sackler, Kathe Sackler, and Mortimer Sackler to testify. She also invited Purdue Pharma CEO Craig Landau to appear before the committee. 

Maloney noted that Purdue Pharma pleaded guilty in federal court in 2007 to understating the risk of addiction to OxyContin, including failing to alert doctors that it was a stronger painkiller than morphine, and agreed to pay $600 million in fines and penalties. 

Read more here.

Major glove factories close after thousands test positive for COVID-19

The largest rubber glove manufacturer in the world said this week that orders would be delayed by weeks and some of its factories would be shut down after thousands of its workers tested positive for COVID-19.

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“To minimise the impact on our customers, we are allocating sales orders to unaffected factories and rescheduling deliveries where possible,” Top Glove Corp of Malaysia said in a statement.

According to the company, deliveries could be delayed by up to four weeks and new orders could take even longer.

As Reuters notes in its report, shares of the company have shot up in value this year due to the high demand for personal protective equipment. The company commands a quarter of the global latex glove market.

Top Glove operates 47 factories across Asia, 36 of which produce gloves. It previously had to shut down 16 factories and reduce the capacity of 12 others. In its statement the company did not say how many factories would be affected by the new order.

Top Glove's production capacity will likely be reduced to 50 percent of what it normally produces, according to Malaysian Industrial Development Finance research analyst Ng Bei Shan.

Read more here.

What we’re reading:

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After admitting mistake, AstraZeneca faces difficult questions about its vaccine (The New York Times)

Operation Warp Speed leader says he may step down soon (Politico

COVID-19 outbreaks in nursing homes hit record high (NBC News)

State by state

State health department will allow heath care workers with COVID-19 to keep working (tulsaworld.com)

Illinois authorities investigate outbreak at veterans’ home that killed 27 (NPR)