Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpTucker Carlson assures viewers his show ‘not going anywhere’ following presidential election Trump senior advisers dissuaded president from military strike on Iran: report Senators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need your instruction’ MORE‘s refusal to cooperate with President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenTucker Carlson assures viewers his show ‘not going anywhere’ following presidential election Trump senior advisers dissuaded president from military strike on Iran: report Senators clash on the floor over wearing masks: ‘I don’t need your instruction’ MORE has major implications for the pandemic, and leading medical groups are turning up the pressure on the White House.
Meanwhile, more state restrictions were announced as COVID continues to spread across the country.
We’ll start with the transition:
Leading hospital, doctor associations call on Trump to share COVID-19 information with Biden
Top medical groups are upping the pressure on the Trump administration to cooperate with incoming Biden team amid the pandemic.
The American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, and American Nurses Association wrote in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday that cooperation on the coronavirus response with Biden transition officials is crucial.
“Real-time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation’s assets needs to be shared to save countless lives,” the groups wrote.
“All information about the capacity of the Strategic National Stockpile, the assets from Operation Warp Speed, and plans for dissemination of therapeutics and vaccines needs to be shared as quickly as possible to ensure that there is continuity in strategic planning so that there is no lapse in our ability to care for patients,” they added.
Sharing vaccine plans has been a particular focus due to distribution complexities.
“More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden told reporters on Monday, citing the need to plan for a vaccination campaign.
Read more here.
CEO of biotech group says lawsuits are on the table to stop Trump drug proposal
Industry is on guard ahead of a possible Trump move on drug prices this week.
The Trump administration could move forward as soon as this week on a proposal to lower certain Medicare drug prices by tying them to lower prices paid in other wealthy countries, an idea fiercely opposed by drug companies, which are now mobilizing both to try to stop the rule and plan for a fight if it does go forward.
“I would say all tools would be at our disposal because it would just have such a devastating impact on our ability to bring new cures for patients,” Michelle McMurry-Heath, CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, told The Hill on Tuesday.
And on the details: McMurry-Heath said her understanding is that the administration’s proposal will only affect drugs in Medicare Part B, meaning drugs administered in doctors offices, and not those in Part D, which is drugs people pick up at the pharmacy counter.
Read more here.
Pfizer CEO says no concerns about distribution of vaccine
Pfizer’s CEO on Tuesday sought to calm concerns about the distribution challenges of needing ultra-cold storage for his company’s COVID-19 vaccine.
“I feel very very confident about it,” Albert Bourla said during an interview at a STAT News event.
Bourla said the company has developed a special isothermic box which will not need to be shipped in refrigerated trucks or planes.
“It can be sent with any normal transportation,” Bourla said. “Inside it has a thermometer and gps so we can track not only where the box is at every point in time, but also what the temperature is” to make sure it doesn’t fall above or below the specifications.
The vaccine needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius, or nearly minus 100 degrees Fahrenheit, far colder than any standard freezer.
Read more here.
Stanford seeks distance from Trump adviser over coronavirus comments
Officials at Stanford University are attempting to distance the school from comments made by Scott Atlas, a research fellow there serving on President Trump‘s coronavirus task force who has peddled controversial theories about the pandemic and the politics behind it.
“The university has been asked to comment on recent statements made by Dr. Scott Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who is on leave of absence from that position,” the school said late Monday evening in a statement. “Stanford’s position on managing the pandemic in our community is clear. We support using masks, social distancing, and conducting surveillance and diagnostic testing. We also believe in the importance of strictly following the guidance of local and state health authorities.”
Atlas over the weekend attacked Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerStanford seeks distance from Trump adviser over coronavirus comments Overnight Health Care: Moderna says coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 percent effective | Biden slams Trump for lack of cooperation on vaccine plans | Trump officials preparing to move forward with major step to lower Medicare drug prices State GOP lawmakers say they’ll seek to impeach Whitmer MORE (D), who announced new restrictions on public gatherings, restaurants and other aspects of life in an effort to stymie ballooning cases of COVID-19.
“The only way this stops is if people rise up,” Atlas said in a tweet. “You get what you accept.”
Why it matters: Atlas has repeatedly clashed with Anthony FauciAnthony FauciStanford seeks distance from Trump adviser over coronavirus comments Overnight Health Care: Moderna says coronavirus vaccine is 94.5 percent effective | Biden slams Trump for lack of cooperation on vaccine plans | Trump officials preparing to move forward with major step to lower Medicare drug prices Vaccine optimism runs up against distribution challenges MORE and other infectious disease experts over the nation’s COVID-19 response. Atlas, who is not an infectious disease expert, has questioned mask mandates, restrictions on businesses and other measures intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Read more here.
CDC quietly removes guidance pushing for school reopenings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has quietly removed controversial guidance from its website that pushed for schools to reopen in the fall and downplayed the transmission risks of COVID-19 to children and others.
The documents, one of which was reportedly written by political appointees outside of the CDC, stated that children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults and that children are unlikely to be major spreaders of the virus.
The CDC removed two guidance documents from its website in late October with no public announcement.
When reached for comment, a CDC spokesperson said, “Some of the prior content was outdated and as new scientific information has emerged the site has been updated to reflect current knowledge about COVID-19 and schools.”
Read more here.
Ohio to impose 10 p.m. curfew starting Thursday
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWineMike DeWineBiden vents frustration with Trump on transition Michigan Gov. Whitmer says she has authority to issue second stay-at-home order Trump says Ohio governor’s race will be ‘hotly contested’ after DeWine acknowledges Biden win MORE (R) announced on Tuesday that the state will begin a 10 p.m. curfew in an effort to curb rising cases of the coronavirus.
The state reported 7,079 new cases of the virus on Tuesday, bringing its cumulative case total to 312,443. A total of 5,772 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Ohio.
DeWine said in a press conference that the goal behind the three-week curfew is to reduce the number of contacts people have by 20 percent to 25 percent.
Retail establishments will close by 10 p.m. and people should be at home, DeWine said. The curfew, which runs until 5 a.m., will not apply to those who need to be at work, those who have an emergency or those who need medical care.
Read more here.
Maryland tightens COVID-19 restrictions amid massive case surge
New restrictions from Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) will limit the hours of bars and restaurants and reduce the capacity of retail stores across the state in an attempt to curb a massive statewide spike of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
Maryland on Tuesday reported 2,149 new coronavirus cases, the second-highest daily total since March. There have been 13 straight days with more than 1,000 cases, Hogan said, and the state’s seven-day positivity rate is 6.85 percent.
Effective Friday at 5 p.m., bars and restaurants will be required to close indoor dining rooms at 10 p.m.
The new order brings Maryland in line with neighboring Virginia, as well as New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and other states that have not shut down indoor dining, but instead limit the hours of operation.
Other measures announced Tuesday will bring retail and religious establishments back to 50 percent capacity, ban fans from college and professional sporting events, and essentially ban visitations at hospitals and nursing homes.
Read more here.
What we’re reading:
Immunity to the coronavirus may last years, new data hint (The New York Times)
Pfizer may file authorization request for COVID-19 vaccine within days (STAT)
New COVID surge engulfs US, bringing fresh restrictions (The Wall Street Journal)
Moderna’s covid vaccine: what you need to know (New York Times)
State by state:
Coronavirus: California’s cases are skyrocketing, hospitalizations not far behind (San Jose Mercury News)
GOP lawsuits restrain governors’ COVID-19 actions (Stateline)
As coronavirus cases climb in Florida, health department top spokesperson resigns (Orlando Sentinel)
The county with no coronavirus cases (The New York Times) New bar, restaurant and gym COVID-19 restrictions expected in Minnesota (Star Tribune)