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

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President Donald Trump — who has spent the previous six months attempting to minimize the coronavirus pandemic — appears to have pivoted. In back-to-back briefings on July 21 and 22, Trump cautioned that the U.S. is in a harmful place vis-a-vis the pandemic. He urged the general public to put on masks — though he has hardly ever worn one in public.

Meanwhile, Republicans within the Senate are scrambling to place collectively a bundle for the subsequent COVID-19 reduction invoice, going through a July 31 deadline, when a number of the advantages handed within the spring expire. House Democrats handed their invoice 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 COVID-19 has stunned a few of his critics, it might persuade his supporters to take actions promoted by public well being officers. Trump’s emphasis on the significance of face coverings, maybe coupled with the rising variety of circumstances in elements of the nation, might persuade individuals who have been in any other case dismissive of masks. People who don’t essentially belief public well being officers could hearken to Trump. Republicans on Capitol Hill are in disarray on easy methods to strategy the subsequent coronavirus reduction invoice. They will not be in lockstep with the White House and will not be supporting Trump’s name for a payroll tax reduce. One purpose members of Congress will not be keen to chop the payroll taxes is that the financial downturn has spurred considerations the Medicare and Social Security belief funds are being depleted quicker than anticipated. However, analysts level out that when employment rises once more, a few of these considerations might dissipate. A key sticking level within the financial reduction bundle is whether or not to increase the bump in unemployment advantages that Congress authorised within the spring. Lawmakers are going through a tough deadline on the problem as a result of that cash runs out subsequent week, and the prohibition on evictions that was additionally a part of an earlier COVID-19 reduction invoice ends even sooner. With lease, mortgages and different payments coming due Aug. 1, unemployed customers might face a troublesome starting of the month. The Food and Drug Administration has authorised restricted use of pool testing for COVID-19. That permits authorised labs to place collectively a small variety of exams to run directly, thus conserving a number of the supplies wanted for the method. If the pool exams constructive, then these folks whose outcomes have been pooled need to be examined once more individually. The efforts have restricted usefulness when charges of transmission are excessive in a group, however they could be useful in particular settings, resembling colleges or workplaces. New knowledge reveals that opioid dependancy ticked again up in 2019, after a slight decline. Part of the issue is the rising use of the highly effective — and harmful — drug fentanyl. Economic woes additionally play a job. Addiction is sometimes called an epidemic of despair. Although it’s unlikely the judicial system will overrule the administration’s efforts to bolster short-term insurance coverage — that are usually inexpensive however don’t supply as a lot safety for customers as insurance policies offered on the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces — they might be circumvented if Democrats take over the White House. Even nonetheless, Democrats would seemingly need to discover a technique to make ACA plans extra reasonably priced.

Also this week, Rovner interviews Pam Fessler of NPR about her new e book, “Carville’s Cure.” It’s a historical past of the United States’ solely federal leprosarium, on an deserted sugar plantation alongside the Mississippi River in Louisiana.

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

Julie Rovner: The Washington Post’s “Keep an Eye on Your Coronavirus Budget,” by Leana Wen

Tami Luhby: The New York Times’ “This Hospital Cost $52 Million. It Treated 79 Virus Patients,” by Brian M. Rosenthal

Joanne Kenen: The Washington Post’s “Trump Keeps Boasting About Passing a Cognitive Test — But It Doesn’t Mean What He Thinks It Does,” by Ashley Parker and William Wan

Margot Sanger-Katz: The New York Times’ “During Coronavirus Lockdowns, Some Doctors Wondered: Where Are the Preemies?” by Elizabeth Preston

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