Trump

KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Trump Twists on Virus Response

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

President Donald Trump — who has spent the past six months trying to play down the coronavirus pandemic — seems to have pivoted. In back-to-back briefings on July 21 and 22, Trump cautioned that the U.S. is in a dangerous place vis-a-vis the pandemic. He urged the public to wear masks — although he has rarely worn one in public.

Meanwhile, Republicans in the Senate are scrambling to put together a package for the next COVID-19 relief bill, facing a July 31 deadline, when some of the benefits passed in the spring expire. House Democrats passed their bill in May.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times and Tami Luhby of CNN.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Although Trump’s renewed emphasis on
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Trump Administration’s Sudden Shift on COVID Data Leaves States in the Lurch

Just as the number of people hospitalized for COVID-19 approaches new highs in some parts of the country, hospital data in Kansas and Missouri is suddenly incomplete or missing.

The Missouri Hospital Association reports that it no longer has access to the data it uses to guide state coronavirus mitigation efforts, and Kansas officials say their hospital data may be delayed.

The Trump administration this week directed hospitals to change how they report data to the federal government and how that data will be made available.

In an email, Missouri Hospital Association spokesperson Dave Dillon called the move “a major disruption.”

“All evidence suggests that Missouri’s numbers are headed in the wrong direction,” Dillon said. “And, for now, we will have very limited situational awareness. That’s all very bad news.”

The absence of the data will make it harder for health and public officials, as well as the general public,

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KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Trump Administration’s War on Fauci

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

Not only does the Trump administration lack a comprehensive plan for addressing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it spent much of the past week working to undercut one of the nation’s most trusted scientists, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Reporters were given “opposition research” noting times when Fauci was allegedly wrong about the course of the pandemic, and Peter Navarro, a trade adviser to President Donald Trump, published an op-ed in USA Today attacking Fauci personally.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court may not hear the case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act before the November elections, although its existence is likely to serve as fodder for Democrats up and down the ballot.

And lower courts have been active on the reproductive health front since the high court declined to fully

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS, Trump Collide Over Transgender Rights

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

Transgender people have had a head-spinning week. First, the Trump administration issued long-promised rules rolling back the Obama administration’s protections against discrimination in health care. But just three days later, the Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, said that gay and transgender people are protected by the nation’s core employment anti-discrimination law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Meanwhile, the national divide over how to address the coronavirus pandemic continues to widen, with infections soaring in some conservative states, and a backlash building against public health advice.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of KHN, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of KHN.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • Even though states have begun the process of reopening their economies, the COVID-19 pandemic continues
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