Healthcare – Monkeypox is officially considered a public health emergency

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Today in health care, monkeypox has been declared a public health emergency in the United States, as the Senate prepares to move forward with a comprehensive health and climate package this weekend.

Welcome to Overnight Health Care, where we keep track of the latest political moves and news that affect your health. For The Hill, we’re Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Wexel, and Joseph Choi. Someone sending you this newsletter? Subscribe here.

White House: Monkeypox is a public health emergency

On Thursday, the Biden administration formally declared monkeypox a public health emergency, a move aimed at freeing up emergency funding and improving the distribution of vaccines and treatments.

  • “We stand ready to take our response to the next level in tackling this virus, and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and take responsibility for helping us tackle this virus,” Secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, said during a briefing.

The announcement comes amid heavy criticism of the Biden administration’s failure to recognize the severity of the outbreak, which has led to a shortage of vaccine doses and diagnostic tests even as demand is high.

The nation has already purchased most of the global supply of Jynneos vaccine, the only monkeypox vaccine licensed in the United States, but much of it is stored frozen in bulk. It needs to go through a process called “fill and finish” to put the vaccine into usable vials to be charged and then administered.

Where to help: The public health emergency will not alleviate vaccine shortages, but it may speed up the approval process for new treatments and provide more flexibility for federal agencies to respond to outbreaks.

  • “This public health emergency will allow us to explore additional strategies to obtain vaccines and treatments that work quickly on affected communities. Robert Fenton, the department’s newly appointed national coordinator for the monkeypox response, said:

Read more here.

“Baxlovid recovery” raises questions

President Biden’s testing positive for COVID-19 again days after completing a course of baxolvids has raised the question of whether the duration of antiviral treatment should be reconsidered.

Just days after completing a five-day round of antiviral treatment for COVID-19, Biden’s doctor, Kevin O’Connor, said in a letter Saturday that the president has tested positive for the virus again. As of Wednesday, Biden Tests are still positive for COVID-19.

This phenomenon has become known as ‘baxlovid rebound’, when a person is infected with coronavirus again even after initially testing negative after a round of antiviral treatment.

Reasons to consider this:

  • Some experts have called for priority studies of extending baxlovid treatments to be prioritized, as early research has suggested that baxiloid rebound could be caused by insufficient exposure to the drug. Researchers from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine He said last month The drug may not reach a sufficient number of infected cells in time.
  • People with HIV infections are still at risk of transmitting COVID-19 to other people. Michael Charnes, a researcher at the Boston Veterans Administration Medical Center, recently told CNN that he and his colleagues observed at least two cases of people infecting others after their symptoms reappeared. Both cases involved people who tested positive again after taking baxlovid.

“I’m actually still surprised we didn’t do a clinical trial to find out. Robert Wachter, MD, chief of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, told The Hill.

“It wouldn’t cost much to be able to pool enough patients in a week or two and follow them up for a few weeks so we could get an answer,” Wachter said, adding that the data needed to extend the duration of the tour Paxlovid could have already been collected if trials had started a few months earlier. Just.

Read more here.

Senate prepares first vote on Saturday on Schumer-Mansion deal

Looks like it’s going to be a long weekend in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DNY) announced that the Senate will begin consideration of a $740 billion budget reconciliation package that would lower drug prices and tackle climate change on Saturday afternoon, preparing a weekend of round-the-clock voting.

“To brief senators, the Senate will convene on Saturday afternoon. The next vote will take place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, on a motion to discharge a nomination. We expect a vote on the motion to advance reconciliation legislation on Saturday afternoon,” Schumer announced in the hall.

Next steps: If a majority of senators vote to advance the legislation, they will then debate for up to 20 hours before holding an open series of votes, Known as the Rama votebefore the final up or down vote, expected now on Sunday or possibly early Monday morning.

Sinema question: Senator Kirsten Senema (D-Arizona) is still negotiating changes to the legislation, according to people familiar with the discussion, but Schumer appears optimistic a deal can be struck with her before the package comes to a final vote on the floor.

Read more here.

The state deputy suspends the state’s attorney

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) suspended Hillsborough County District Attorney Andrew Warren Thursday on charges of “negligence of duty” after the attorney general rejected a ban on abortion and transgender surgery.

DeSantis said in Press Conference In the county mayor’s office.

“So today we are suspending Attorney General Andrew Warren effective immediately.”

Warren, a Democrat, was first elected in 2016, when he defeated the incumbent Republican president, and was candid voice for criminal justice reform.

DeSantis cited Warren’s signature on a letter saying he would not impose “prohibitions on sex-change operations for minors” and another said that he would not enforce “any laws protecting the right to life” as evidence that state attorneys had evaded his work. Duty of the Prosecutor.

“He shouldn’t put himself above that and say he’s not going to enforce the laws,” DeSantis said, accusing Warren of acting as if he had a “veto power” over the state legislature.

Read more here.

Kansas allows abortion rights advocates to be optimistic

Voters in Kansas are giving abortion rights advocates and Democrats cause for optimism. When Tuesday night’s election came, they seemed to confirm what the groups had been saying all along: Americans broadly support abortion rights.

Nearly 60 percent of Sunflower State voters rejected a state constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would have given the state legislature more power to regulate access to abortion, the first time Americans have been asked to consider abortion rights after a court overturned Supreme ru case. against Wade.

In the first elections since then [the ruling] Where abortion was front and center, the people of a country that had not voted a Democrat for president since 1964 unequivocally supported the right to abortion. This should send shock waves through politics at every level, David Cohen, professor of law at the Thomas R. Klein School of Law at Drexel University, said in an email after the vote in Kansas.

Where to watch next:

  • In Kentucky, residents will be required to consider a state constitutional amendment that states that “there is nothing in this Constitution that can be interpreted to secure or protect the right to abortion or to require abortion funding.”
  • In Michigan, residents will vote on a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution, protecting the right to make decisions on reproductive issues such as contraception and abortion.
  • In Montana, there is also a ballot measure that requires medical care to be provided to children born after attempting an abortion.

Read more here.

what we read

  • Patients searching for new weight loss drugs find the ‘wild west’ of online prescriptions (stat)
  • How the 2022 midterm strategy could change after the abortion vote in Kansas (NPR)
  • The three COVID developments I’m still looking forward to (Atlantic Ocean)

Country by state

  • West Virginia Medicaid must cover gender confirmation processes, judge rules (Axios)
  • Indiana lawmakers vote to block exceptions to abortion ban (News agency)
  • Whitmer to Supreme Court: ‘Fire Drill’ on Abortion Rights Monday Requires Immediate Action (Detroit news)

Hill OP-ED

We need a national action plan to contain monkeypox now

That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health care page For the latest news and coverage. see you tomorrow.

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