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Those working inside the Trump administration are getting so frustrated with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that they are going public. Named and unnamed whistleblowers — including one of the government’s top vaccine experts who was ousted from his job ―are out with stories of political favoritism, workers with no government experience overruling those who have done their jobs for decades, and an underlying disdain for science.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is hearing cases by telephone, including one this week that would give employers the broad ability to decline to offer no-cost birth control to women, a benefit guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.
This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Rachana Pradhan of Kaiser Health News.
Among the takeaways from this week’s
A coronavirus test made by Abbott Laboratories and introduced with considerable fanfare by President Donald Trump in a Rose Garden news conference this week is giving state and local health officials very little added capacity to perform speedy tests needed to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
“That’s a whole new ballgame,” Trump said. “I want to thank Abbott Labs for the incredible work they’ve done. They’ve been working around-the-clock.”
Yet a document circulated among officials at the Department of Health and Human Services and the Federal Emergency Management Agency this week shows that state and local public health labs were set to receive a total of only 5,500 coronavirus tests from the giant manufacturer of medical devices, diagnostics and drugs, according to emails obtained by Kaiser Health News.
That number falls well short of the “about 500,000 capacity of Abbott tests that” Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator,