Health care – Biden takes precautions at correspondents’ dinner

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Today, the public health debate revolves around the safety of this weekend’s White House Correspondents Association dinner. President Biden still plans to go, but with some extra precautions

Welcome to overnight health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news affecting your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Someone forwarded this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

Biden skips part of correspondents’ dinner

President Biden will take extra precautions at this weekend’s White House Correspondents Association dinner amid concerns about exposure to COVID-19, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden felt the event warranted attendance worth.

Biden can wear a mask if he doesn’t make comments at Saturday’s annual event, and he won’t be attending the dinner, Psaki said.

The President will arrive for the lecture program at which the White House Correspondents Association awards grants and awards to journalists covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Comedian Trevor Noah is also scheduled to speak at the event at the Washington Hilton.

“He made the decision to safely attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to demonstrate his support for the free press, for the work of all of you and not just for the work of your colleagues around the world Information about COVID, but also tell about the war in Ukraine and all the work that happens every day,” Psaki said at a briefing.

big picture: The dinner, which did not take place in 2020 or 2021 due to the pandemic, returns this year despite some lingering concerns about the possibility of spreading the virus as a contagious variant circulates across the country.

Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease commissioner, told news outlets on Wednesday that he had decided not to attend due to personal health and safety concerns.

Read more here.

House Committee is questioning McKinsey about opioids

House Democrats on Wednesday questioned consulting firm McKinsey & Company about its concurrent work with the Food and Drug Administration and Purdue Pharma, and the company’s potential role in fueling the opioid epidemic.

Carolyn Maloney MP (DN.Y.), chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in her opening remarks that she wanted to “promote accountability and seek justice for the millions of families whose lives have been devastated by this epidemic”. .

Earlier this month, the committee released a report alleging a years-long conflict of interest arising from McKinsey’s advisory work with federal agencies, which occurred concurrently with its collaboration with drug companies.

According to the committee’s report, Purdue Pharma, one of the company’s clients, “has hired McKinsey to provide advice on how to influence the regulatory decisions of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”

Maloney called the advice that was uncovered “incredibly shocking.”

Global Managing Partner of McKinsey Bob Sternfels firmly denied the allegation in the report when he addressed the committee on Wednesday.

“McKinsey has not served with both the FDA and Purdue on opioid-related matters. As both McKinsey and the FDA have made clear, our work for the FDA has focused on administrative and operational issues, including organizational, business process and technology improvements,” said Sternfels.

Read more here.

WHO CHIEF: WORLD ‘BLIND’ TO COVID TRANSMISSION, EVOLUTION

The World Health Organization (WHO) director-general is urging countries to maintain surveillance of COVID-19 and share information on its transmission and sequencing, saying reduced testing abroad “is making us increasingly blind to patterns of transmission and evolution.”

Speech during a press conference on TuesdayWHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus noted that the world must greet the news “with some caution” even as the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to decline.

“This makes us increasingly blind to transmission and evolutionary patterns. But this virus will not go away just because countries stop looking for it. It’s still spreading, it’s still changing, and it’s still killing,” Tedros said.

“The threat of a dangerous new variant remains very real – and while deaths are falling, we still don’t understand the long-term consequences of infection in survivors,” he added. “When it comes to a deadly virus, ignorance is not happiness. WHO continues to call on all countries to maintain surveillance.”

Read more here.

POLL: 45% SAY IT’S TOO EARLY TO COMPLETE THE TRANSPORT MASK TASK

Almost half of the Americans surveyed a new survey Released more than a week after a federal judge lifted the federal mask mandate for transportation systems like trains and planes, they said it was too early for an end to the requirement.

Politico-Morning Consult’s poll found 45 percent of respondents say it’s too soon to end mask requirements on transportation.

In comparison, 20 percent of respondents say it’s the right time to end the federal requirement, and another 16 percent say the mask requirement for transit systems should have ended already.

Another 12 percent say mask regulations should never have applied to transport.

More than half of respondents — 57 percent — support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extending the federal rule through May 3, while 36 percent oppose it.

Read more here.

The EU is relaxing from the emergency phase of the pandemic

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, announced on Wednesday that the bloc would emerge from its emergency phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

in one statement of the changeThe Commission nonetheless urged EU member countries to step up vaccinations, COVID-19 surveillance, testing, travel rules and vaccines and treatments as the bloc moves into a new phase.

“We are entering a new phase of the pandemic as we transition from emergency mode to a more sustainable approach to COVID-19,” said the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called. “Nevertheless, we must remain vigilant. Infection numbers in the EU are still high and many people are still dying from COVID-19 worldwide.”

“In addition, new variants can quickly emerge and spread. But we know the way forward,” she added. “We must continue to ramp up vaccinations and boosters, as well as targeted testing – and we must continue to closely coordinate our responses across the EU.”

Read more here.

WHAT WE READ

  • Covid encircles the White House. What are the risks for someone like Biden? (Stat)

  • Before Washington’s “Nerd Prom” a lot of risk-benefit analysis (New York Times)

  • US is no longer in ‘full-blown’ pandemic phase, says Fauci (Washington Post)

STATE BY STATE

  • ‘It’s insane’: Providers end Covid care for uninsured after Congressional inaction (Politically)

  • Met with $7,146 for two hospital bills, a family sought medical attention in Mexico (NPR)

  • Abortion counts are rising in Kansas, but patient counts are falling in Texas and Oklahoma (Topeka Capital Journal)

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s Healthcare page for the latest news and reports. See you tomorrow.

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