Day: June 25, 2020

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: The Pandemic Shifts; The Politics, Not So Much

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President Donald Trump caused a stir when he said at his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last weekend that he wanted less testing for COVID-19. While aides denied that, it didn’t help when on Wednesday the administration announced it would cut off federal funding for a number of state testing sites, including several in Texas, which is in the midst of a large spike in cases.

Meanwhile, in non-coronavirus news, the Trump administration won a round in its effort to require hospitals to make the prices they charge public, although that case is far from over. And as the administration submits its brief for the Supreme Court case that could invalidate the Affordable Care Act, Democrats on Capitol Hill unveil their bill to shore up the health law.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Margot

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Watch: Fauci, Other Health Officials Weigh California’s COVID Response

Samantha Young, California Healthline’s California politics correspondent, helped moderate a discussion hosted by the Sacramento Press Club about California’s response to the coronavirus crisis. The discussion touched on the reopening of the economy, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s order requiring Californians to wear face coverings and whether hospitals are ready to handle a surge in cases as infections continue to rise statewide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading public health voice on the COVID-19 pandemic, kicked off the event, with praise for the state’s approach. He urged Californians to keep social-distancing and wear their masks. His comments were later echoed in a panel discussion that included Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s public health director, who was one of the drivers behind the nation’s first stay-at-home order; Dr. Sarah Medeiros, an emergency medicine physician at UC Davis Health; and state Assembly member Jim Wood, a Democrat who chairs the

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Packed Bars Serve Up New Rounds Of COVID Contagion

As states ease their lockdowns, bars are emerging as fertile breeding grounds for the coronavirus. They create a risky cocktail of tight quarters, young adults unbowed by the fear of illness and, in some instances, proprietors who don’t enforce crowd limits and social distancing rules.

Public health authorities have identified bars as the locus of outbreaks in Louisiana, Florida, Wyoming and Idaho. Last weekend, the Texas alcohol licensing board suspended the liquor licenses of 17 bars after undercover agents observed crowds flouting emergency rules that required patrons to keep a safe distance from one another and limit tavern occupancy.

Adriana Megas found HandleBar Houston so crowded when she went one night two weekends ago that she left. “They weren’t counting who came in and came out,” said Megas, 38, a nursing student. “Nobody was wearing any masks. You would never think COVID happened.”

The owners of HandleBar Houston, one of

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As COVID Cases Spike, California Shifts Its Strategy

Coronavirus infections are rising so fast in Fresno County that California public health officials have identified it as one of nearly a dozen counties entering dangerous territory as economies reopen.

Cases there have more than doubled over the past month, and county residents are testing positive at nearly twice the rate of Californians as a whole. Outbreaks at nursing homes and Avenal State Prison in nearby Kings County — where more than 900 inmates and workers have been infected — are big contributors.

But Fresno County’s health officer, Dr. Rais Vohra, fears the crisis could get worse because people are mingling in ways unimaginable three months ago. Family gatherings and celebrations among friends are causing infection rates to climb quicker than expected, giving the disease fertile territory to spread exponentially in homes and workplaces.

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