From The Washington Post

U.S. Passes 60,000 Dead as Hopes Rise for Remdesivir

April 30, 2020

U.S. deaths from covid-19 passed 60,000 on Wednesday, a figure President Trump had once projected would be the upper limit, as hopes rose for a drug treatment that the top U.S. infectious-disease expert said has shown a clear benefit in an early trial.

Trump welcomed the promising early signs that an experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir, can be effective in speeding the recovery time for covid-19 patients.

U.S. deaths from covid-19 passed 60,000 on Wednesday, a figure President Trump had once projected would be the upper limit, as hopes rose for a drug treatment that the top U.S. infectious-disease expert said has shown a clear benefit in an early trial.

Trump welcomed the promising early signs that an experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir, can be effective in speeding the recovery time for covid-19 patients.

“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Anthony S. Fauci said alongside Trump at the White House on Wednesday. “That is really quite important.”

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which Fauci leads, is overseeing a study of more than 1,000 patients in the United States and around the world….

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Chaotic Search for Coronavirus Treatments Undermines Efforts, Experts Say

April 15, 2020

In a desperate bid to find treatments for people sickened by the coronavirus, doctors and drug companies have launched more than 100 human experiments in the United States, investigating experimental drugs, a decades-old malaria medicine and cutting-edge therapies that have worked for other conditions such as HIV and rheumatoid arthritis.

In a desperate bid to find treatments for people sickened by the coronavirus, doctors and drug companies have launched more than 100 human experiments in the United States, investigating experimental drugs, a decades-old malaria medicine and cutting-edge therapies that have worked for other conditions such as HIV and rheumatoid arthritis.

Development of effective treatments for covid-19, the disease the virus causes, would be one of the most significant milestones in returning the United States to normalcy. But the massive effort is disorganized and scattershot, harming its prospects for success, according to multiple researchers and health experts. Researchers working around-the-clock describe a lack of a centralized national strategy, overlapping efforts, an array of small-scale trials that will not lead to definitive answers and no standards for how to prioritize efforts, what data to collect or how to share it to get to answers faster.

“It’s a cacophony — it’s not an orchestra. There’s no conductor,” said Derek Angus, chair of the department of critical care medicine at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, who is leading a covid-19 trial that will test multiple therapies. “My heart aches over the complete chaos in the response….”

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What’s in the $2.2 Trillion Coronavirus Senate Stimulus Package

March 26, 2020

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a roughly $2.2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus, pushing through one of the largest pieces of legislation in the modern history of Congress as the nation braces for the deepening impact of the outbreak.

The bill is aimed primarily at addressing the economic calamity that’s unfolding because of shutdowns intended to slow the spread of the outbreak, with analysts making dire predictions about soaring unemployment claims and economic contraction.

The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a roughly $2.2 trillion stimulus package to address the economic impact of the coronavirus, pushing through one of the largest pieces of legislation in the modern history of Congress as the nation braces for the deepening impact of the outbreak.

The bill is aimed primarily at addressing the economic calamity that’s unfolding because of shutdowns intended to slow the spread of the outbreak, with analysts making dire predictions about soaring unemployment claims and economic contraction.

The legislation takes a multipronged approach to confronting the mounting crisis. It contains a number of measures aimed directly at helping workers, including stimulus checks for millions of Americans, and others to shore up the government safety net, with provisions such as more food stamp spending and more robust unemployment insurance benefits….

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Sign-ups for Affordable Care Act Health Plans Hold Steady with No Insurance Penalty

December 21, 2019

The number of consumers signing up this fall for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act held almost steady from the year before, even though the government is no longer enforcing the requirement that most Americans have health insurance.

About 8.3 million people chose ACA health plans for 2020 in the 38 states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov enrollment system, according to federal figures released Friday that reflect a dip of less than two percent from a year ago.

The number of consumers signing up this fall for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act held almost steady from the year before, even though the government is no longer enforcing the requirement that most Americans have health insurance.

About 8.3 million people chose ACA health plans for 2020 in the 38 states that rely on the federal HealthCare.gov enrollment system, according to federal figures released Friday that reflect a dip of less than two percent from a year ago.

The enrollment snapshot shows a marginal increase in newcomers buying insurance through the federal marketplace — now just over 2 million….

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Infighting Between Alex Azar, Seema Verma Stymies Trump Health Agenda

December 12, 2019

Bitter infighting among President Trump’s top health officials — as well as his own shifting demands on signature policies — have undermined key planks of the president’s health-care agenda as he girds for a tough reelection campaign, according to current and former administration officials.

Though polls show the issue is critically important to voters, Trump has failed to deliver on his most important health-care promises. His plan to dramatically lower the prices consumers pay for prescription drugs has been stalled by internal disputes, as well as by technical and regulatory issues, said six people with knowledge of the process.

Bitter infighting among President Trump’s top health officials — as well as his own shifting demands on signature policies — have undermined key planks of the president’s health-care agenda as he girds for a tough reelection campaign, according to current and former administration officials.

Though polls show the issue is critically important to voters, Trump has failed to deliver on his most important health-care promises. His plan to dramatically lower the prices consumers pay for prescription drugs has been stalled by internal disputes, as well as by technical and regulatory issues, said six people with knowledge of the process. And an administration plan to replace the Affordable Care Act has not materialized even as the administration seeks to strike down the law in federal court….

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