Health care – The White House is preparing for a wave of COVID

AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos

It looks like Harry and Meghan will be travel to uk next month for Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee, although we won’t be able to see them on the Buckingham Palace balcony this time around.

On health today, the White House is bracing for a potential spike in millions of new COVID-19 cases this winter, with the administration again warning that new funding is badly needed.

Welcome to night health care, where we follow the latest developments in policies and news concerning your health. For The Hill, we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weixel and Joseph Choi. Did someone forward this newsletter to you? Subscribe here.

The White House braces for a wave of COVID infections

The White House is bracing for up to 100 million Americans to be infected with COVID-19 in a surge this fall and winter if Congress does not provide new funds for vaccines and testing, a a senior administration official said Friday, warning that new funds are needed. have enough vaccines for everyone.

A senior administration official told a small group of reporters on Friday that the estimate is the median of a range of models from outside experts the administration consults, meaning it’s also possible that many more Americans are catching the virus, especially if there is a major new variant.

That compares to the roughly 130 to 140 million Americans believed to have been infected during the omicron wave this winter, leading to a significant increase in deaths.

The administration argues that the number of cases could be lower if new funding allows many Americans to get updated vaccines this fall and testing is plentiful.

Backup plan: The senior administration official said the contingency plan if Congress does not provide new funds is to withdraw all funding for testing, new treatments, and vaccine education and awareness, and to trying to hoard it to get enough to maybe buy enough updated vaccines just for the elderly.

No Money Free, Pfizer COVID Treatment Supplies Paxlovid is expected to run out by October or November, the official said, meaning if people caught the virus in a wave over the holidays, treatment would not be available.

Despite repeated pleas from the administration, new COVID-19 funding remains stalled in Congress amid Republican resistance. Republicans are demanding a vote to stop the administration’s lifting of pandemic-era restrictions on the southern border, known as Title 42, which is also politically risky for Democrats given that some of their moderate members s also oppose the lifting of the measure.

Learn more here.

CDC still unsure of cause of childhood hepatitis cases

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is issuing new guidance for clinicians on screening children for adenovirus as the cause of recent cases of pediatric hepatitis around the world remains unclear.

During a Friday press briefing, CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases Jay Butler shared an update on cases of hepatitis found in children in the United States. According to the most recent data, 109 children in 25 states were found to have hepatitis due to an unknown cause.

Ninety percent of the children were hospitalized, 14 required liver transplants and five died. The CDC was unable to share in which states the deaths occurred.

A CDC official noted that it is unclear whether or not these cases are a regular occurrence that the agency detects due to extensive testing or if it is in fact an unusual phenomenon.

A possible link: Adenovirus was found in some of the hepatitis cases, leading officials to investigate a possible link between the inflammation of the liver suffered by children and the virus. According to Butler, more than half of 109 patients in the United States had adenovirus.

“Following input and collaboration with labs across the country, the CDC is releasing new guidelines for clinicians regarding adenovirus testing and flagging possible cases of pediatric hepatitis of unknown cause,” Butler said.

Learn more here.

CONNECTICUT. GOVERNMENT PROTECTS ABORTION SEEKERS FROM OTHER STATES

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) on Thursday signed legislation that will protect people traveling to the state for abortions, as well as those who help them and state providers, from lawsuits or lawsuits for laws outside of Connecticut and would expand the types of medical providers who can perform the procedure in the state.

“It is a bill that I wanted to sign as soon as possible. I think you’ve heard a lot about what’s coming out of the Supreme Court and a preliminary ruling that looks set to end a woman’s right to choose and end Roe v. Wade, Lamont said in a video posted with the announcement of the signing of the bill.

“That’s not going to happen in the state of Connecticut. Not while I’m here. No politician will come between you and your doctor. You make the choice.

One of the provisions of the law changes the state’s extradition status so that a person from Connecticut cannot be extradited to another state if prosecuted for performing an abortion in Connecticut, the Hartford Courant reported. The change offers protection against laws such as the one passed in Texas allowing the state’s private citizens to sue those who violate its abortion restrictions.

Connecticut law also grants residents of the state the right to file a countersuit for reimbursement if they are sued under such out-of-state law.

Learn more here.

FDA LIMITS USE OF J&J VACCINE ON RARE BLOOD CLOTS

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Thursday that it is limiting the approval of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 to people who cannot or do not want to obtain other versions of the vaccine, citing the risk of rare blood clots. .

Authorization of the J&J vaccine, also known as the Janssen vaccine, is now limited to people for whom the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines “are not accessible or clinically appropriate” or “who choose to receive the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine because that they otherwise would not receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

That is, people can still get the J&J vaccine if they are allergic to mRNA vaccines from Pfizer or Moderna, or if personal issues with the other vaccines mean they would otherwise go without any inoculation.

The agency said it was making the decision after “conducting an up-to-date analysis, assessment and investigation of reported cases” of blood clots, which “justifies the limitation of the authorized use of the vaccine.”

It is important to note that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines do not carry the same blood clot risks because they use different technology than the Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Learn more here.

Democrats fear they have no plan to fight back against Roe

Democrats fear their party doesn’t have a clear plan to fend off what is sure to be an onslaught on abortion restrictions in the wake of a proposed Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

While Democrat after Democrat has cried out at the possibility that a conservative Supreme Court could eviscerate abortion rights, strategists say little is on offer in terms of a clear way to fight back.

“Why are we so behind on this? Where is the project? We knew this was happening in theory since [Justice Amy] Coney Barrett has joined the court and has been practicing since December,” said Democratic strategist Christy Setzer.

“I don’t want to hear hollow rhetoric that we’re not coming back, I want to hear there’s a legislative or federal plan to change things,” she added.

Limited Remedy: There are significant limits to what the White House and congressional Democrats can do if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade and GOP states start banning abortion rights.

Previous efforts to codify abortion rights into law have failed, and Democrats lack the votes in Congress to overcome a filibuster.

“I think their options are very limited, and what I’ve advised is that the White House focus on winning battles,” said Lawrence Gostin, professor of public health law at the University of Georgetown.

While some progressive Democrats have renewed efforts to remove the legislative filibuster, Biden is not joining that effort — at least not yet. Instead, he called on voters to elect more pro-abortion Democrats to Congress, a message that echoed throughout his administration.

Learn more here.

OP-EDS ON THE HILL

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