It’s starting to look like Christmas at the White House – even before Thanksgiving – like Jill BidenJill BidenBiden will speak on Business Tuesday, with Biden imminent greeted the White House tree for the first time as a first lady.
According to the White House, more than 90 percent of federal employees will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 before today’s deadline.
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Most federal employees vaccinated on time
More than 90 percent of the federal workforce have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, the White House said on Monday President BidenJoe BidenBiden speaks in the business world on Tuesday, with the Fed pick imminentthe federal personnel mandate.
Another roughly 5 percent comply by having a valid exemption or request for an extension, a senior administration official said, bringing the total to 95 percent.
For the small percentage of non-compliant employees, which still equates to the thousands of more than 3.5 million federal employees, “authorities begin a training and advisory process, followed by further enforcement steps over time if necessary” . Official said.
Wider thrust: The Biden government hopes that the high adoption rate among federal employees will set an example for employers in the private sector as part of a larger vaccine mandate. The government’s vaccination or testing requirement for companies with 100 or more employees is due to go into effect Jan. 4, although it is currently being suspended by a federal appeals court.
“As progress across the federal government has shown, these requirements work – and we hope our implementation can serve as an example for other companies of all sizes to advance similar measures to protect their employees, protect their customers, and protect our communities” said the senior administrator.
Read more here.
Fauci: Do not end the mask requirement “prematurely”
Top infectious disease expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday Shows – Spotlight Shifts to Senate Biden Spending Schedule Fauci Says Fully Vaccinated Families Can “Absolutely” Enjoy Mask-Free Vacations on Monday warned against “prematurely” dropping mask mandates as Washington, DC, is lifting its indoor masking requirements despite opposition from city council members.
President Biden’s senior medical adviser said The “Morning Edition” of NPR that the move “adds an extra level of risk” to the city as the country sees rising cases and hospitalizations during the holiday season.
“When you have that dynamic … you have to be really careful,” he said. “Masks won’t last forever. The more people vaccinated, the more people vaccinated, the lower the rate of infection in the community will be, and then you start thinking about pulling the masks off.
“But you don’t want to do it prematurely,” he added. “As much as you would like to do it, you have to be careful.”
Pointing out the national surge in cases, Fauci pointed out that they are up 29 percent from two weeks earlier. Hospital stays are up 6 percent while deaths are still falling, despite warning that deaths are “usually a delayed indicator”.
What’s next: When asked when mask mandates can end, Fauci said it was “difficult to predict” but he hoped it would be “during winter and spring”.
“But you can’t guarantee it,” he added. “This virus has deceived us once before. It’s a very cunning virus – that Delta variant.
Read more here.
GROUPS PRESS BIDEN TO DISCLAIM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY FOR COVID-19 VACCINE
More than a dozen medical and human rights groups have come together to call on President Biden to take action to support an intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines in order to keep pressure on the administration for global access to vaccinations to improve.
The 15 organizations, including Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and Public Citizen, sent a letter to the White House on Friday requesting Biden’s “personal commitment” on the matter. The groups are pushing for a temporary exemption from the World Trade Organization (WTO) to increase production and supply of COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and tests.
The groups said they were “very disappointed” with the Biden administration for failing to take action beyond the presidential approval in May, “as millions die or become seriously ill while waiting for effective vaccines and treatments.”
The administration has previously declared his support for an intellectual property waiver for the COVID-19 vaccines in May. The White House last month called on all WTO members to support a renunciation of intellectual property for the vaccines.
But the organizations said in the letter that there had been “no progress in implementation”.
The groups called for action on this derogation at the upcoming WTO ministerial conference scheduled for later this month.
Read more here.
House seeks interview with former FDA leader
The House of Representatives subcommittee investigating the U.S. response to the coronavirus wants to ask the question Stephen HahnStephen HahnTrump discussed sending infected Americans to Guantanamo Bay: Book Stephen Hahn, who joins the venture capital company behind Moderna Redfield, says Azar pressured him to revise COVID-19 data reports MORE, formerly, formerly President TrumpDonald TrumpTwo Fox News contributors quit Jan 6th because of Tucker Carlson’s documentary GOP Senator: Decisions on bills that aren’t based on whether to hurt or help Trump or Biden O’Rourke won’t say whether he wants them Biden fights for him in the Texas Senate race MORE‘s Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, on attempts to improperly interfere with the agency’s review of COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines and promote drugs with minimal benefit.
The committee sent a letter to Hahn on Monday asking him to sit for an interview on December 16 and to submit documents and communications by December 6.
The FDA faced a rush of policy officials across government to hasten approval of therapeutics and vaccines that would show the Trump administration was in control of the pandemic, including hydroxychloroquine and convalescent plasma.
“Given the ongoing campaigns to promote the use of dubious coronavirus treatments, the Select subcommittee seeks to understand the full extent and implications of the Trump administration’s efforts to influence these FDA decisions,” said panel chairman James Clyburn (DS.C.) wrote.
Search for answers: The committee would like information on efforts by Trump officials to promote the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, antimalarial drugs that Trump has touted as a miracle cure despite a lack of evidence.
The agency issued an emergency permit for hydroxychloroquine at the end of March 2020. The panel cited news between Hahn and other agency officials expressing concerns that hydroxychloroquine was ineffective and potentially dangerous; the FDA only formally revoked the approval in June.
The panel also wants to learn more about the approval of convalescent plasma. The FDA rushed to grant emergency approval for plasma on Aug. 23, 2020 after Trump pressured the agency to accelerate the spread of coronavirus treatments and vaccines, despite scientists saying more research was needed.
Read more here.
AMA WARNING OF SERIOUS, NON-REPAIR DAMAGE IF THE IMPROVEMENT MANDATE IS INTERRUPTED
The American Medical Association (AMA) warned that discontinuing the Biden government’s coronavirus vaccine or testing requirements for private companies would “seriously and irreparably harm the public interest.”
In one Filed in the U.S. 5th District Court of AppealsThe AMA said COVID-19 poses a “grave threat to the public” that has “had a devastating impact on communities across the country.” The association said it submitted the friend of the court letter because it had “an interest in providing evidence-based guidance on public health issues”.
The 5th District has since suspended the order nationwide, but now all lawsuits have been pooled in the 6th District, which has yet to rule on all applications.
Specifically, the Medical Association found that COVID-19 transmissions in the workplace accounted for a large part of the spread of the virus in a variety of industries.
“The more workers vaccinated, the closer we are to slowing the spread of the virus and creating a safer environment,” the AMA said.
The filing also named vaccine requirements a “critical” part of ending the pandemic, referring to previous vaccine mandates for diseases such as measles and smallpox.
Read more here.
WHAT WE READ
- Stubborn Covid surges signal a gloomy winter (politics)
- Medical Debts Crush Black Americans and Hospitals Don’t Help (Bloomberg news)
- Concerns about the safety of Aduhelm increase after the death of the patient receiving the drug (New York Times)
- Why You Can’t Find Cheap Covid Tests To Do At Home (Kaiser health news)
STATE BY STATE
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s health page for the latest news and coverage. Until Tuesday.