KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: Blowing The Whistle On Trump Team’s COVID Policies

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Those working contained in the Trump administration are getting so pissed off with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic that they’re going public. Named and unnamed whistleblowers — together with one of many authorities’s prime vaccine consultants who was ousted from his job ―are out with tales of political favoritism, staff with no authorities expertise overruling those that have completed their jobs for many years, and an underlying disdain for science.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is listening to instances by phone, together with one this week that may give employers the broad means to say no to supply no-cost contraception to ladies, a profit assured beneath 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 podcast:

Mixed messages from the Trump administration on the marketing campaign to defeat the coronavirus are complicated the general public. Even one thing as fundamental as whether or not the presidential process drive will proceed to function — the White House stated this week its work could be progressively dissolved, then reversed that call and stated that it will proceed however that its function would change ― is unnerving to shoppers and state officers. The uncertainty concerning the federal function leaves states with questions on who’s finally answerable for securing provides and setting the agenda to struggle COVID-19. That additionally has led some states to band collectively to attempt to reply extra successfully. President Donald Trump has usually stated that he doesn’t see the necessity to fill many key political roles within the federal authorities. But that always signifies that profession authorities officers who might query White House priorities are left to information federal efforts. A living proof is Rick Bright, who claims he was ousted from his position because the chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Agency at HHS after he tried to place the brakes on stockpiling the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which was promoted by the president, and to halt contracts with politically related consultants. Efforts to craft the subsequent COVID aid invoice are underway on Capitol Hill, however there are main chasms between partisan targets. Senate Republicans have stated they should have new legal responsibility protections for companies whereas House Democrats are searching for extra money for states and maybe additional cash payouts to shoppers, in addition to expanded medical insurance choices. In addition to the contraception case the Supreme Court heard this week, the excessive courtroom is scheduled to take up a swimsuit within the fall filed by Republican state officers searching for to overturn the ACA. Briefs had been due in that case this week. The Trump administration has supported the GOP effort and, regardless of some issues by key Republicans that the stance might damage the president in his reelection marketing campaign, the administration didn’t change its coverage.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they suppose it’s best to learn too:

Julie Rovner: Kaiser Health News’ “UVA Lawsuits,” by Jay Hancock and Elizabeth Lucas

Anna Edney: Reuters’ “Bayer’s Chloroquine Donation to U.S. Raises Concern About FDA Standards in Pandemic,” by Katherine Eban

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The Arizona Republic’s “State Health Department Tells University COVID-19 Modeling Team to Stop Work, Limits Data Access,” by Rachel Leingang

Rachana Pradhan: ProPublica’s “How Profit and Incompetence Delayed N95 Masks While People Died on the VA,” by J. David McSwane

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It is an editorially unbiased program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which isn’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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