Welcome to Friday’s Overnight Health Care.
A government analysis finds COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting people of color in hotspots; a new poll shows one in three Americans say they won’t get a vaccine, though one has not yet been approved by the FDA; and the CDC acknowledged a limited immunity period for people who recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
We’ll start, though, with choice words from former President Obama:
Obama leans into Trump criticism on coronavirus
Former President Obama said in a podcast released Friday that President Trump made “terrible decisions” that have worsened the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking of the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as the vice presidential nominee, Obama said: “She is somebody who I think will be able to share the stage with Mike Pence, or whoever else, and dissect some of the terrible decisions that have been made over the last four years that have helped create worse problems than were necessary in the midst of this pandemic.”
Obama did not go into detail about Trump’s decisionmaking, but he referred to the “current administration that seems to purposely try to ignore or contradict experts.”
Trump’s response to the pandemic has been criticized by public health experts who say he resisted encouraging mask-wearing for months, pushed many responsibilities for the response to governors, downplayed the severity of the virus and encouraged states to reopen businesses before the virus was suppressed.
Read more here.
CDC analysis of coronavirus hot spots shows people of color are hit hard
A high percentage of COVID-19 cases in hot spots are among people of color, particularly Hispanic and Black residents, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The results are not particularly surprising, but underscore the public health challenges facing communities of color in the U.S.
Among 79 counties identified as COVID-19 hot spots, 76 had a disproportionate number of cases among communities of color between February and June, according to the data released Friday.
The CDC said that another 126 counties were also considered hot spots, but those did not have enough racial data of COVID-19 cases to include in the analysis.
Disparities among Hispanic people were found in 59 of those counties as well as among Black people in 22 of the 79 counties. Those groups made up a greater proportion of cases despite making up a smaller part of the population compared to white people.
Read more here.
CDC signals 3-month window of immunity after COVID-19 infection
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time has acknowledged a defined immunity period for people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection.
A person who has recovered from COVID-19 will likely be safe from re-infection for three months, according to updated CDC guidance.
“People who have tested positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine or get tested again for up to 3 months as long as they do not develop symptoms again,” the CDC said.
Anything beyond that time is still uncertain.
The CDC did not make a formal announcement of the findings; rather, the information was included as part of broader guidance about quarantining that was last updated earlier this month.
The advice: Because nothing is ever certain, the agency is still recommending people wear masks and maintain physical distancing, even if they’re within that three month post-infection period. CDC said we still need more science to better understand true and long-term immunity.
Read more here.
COVID-19: THE WAY FORWARD
As election day approaches, the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ever-present threat. On the sidelines of the 2020 Conventions, The Hill will host a discussion with policymakers and hospital and medical school leaders about lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of research and innovation in battling health care crises, and the value of a resilient and responsive health care ecosystem.
Wednesday, August 19 at 1PM EDT, Rep. Doris Matsui and more join us for the DNC; stay tuned for details on the RNC edition on Wednesday, August 26 at 1PM EDT.
RSVP now to hold your spot!
Health care industry launches new ads against public option for convention
The health care industry is not letting public option proposals go without a fight.
A coalition of major health care industry groups unveiled new ads on Friday against a public option for health insurance, an idea backed by presumptive nominee Joe Biden, that will run during the coming party conventions and into the fall.
The ads do not mention Biden by name, but they take aim at his signature health policy proposal, a government-run option for health insurance, as the health care industry looks to build opposition ahead of a possible Democratic takeover of Washington next year.
The ads come from a group called the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, whose members include many of the major players in the health industry, including drug companies, insurers and hospitals. Those industry players are united in opposing a public option, and are worried they would take a financial hit from the proposal.
“They make it sound great, but here’s what they don’t tell you: Your taxes would pay for a public option,” one of the ads states.
Biden’s campaign has proposed paying for his plan by raising taxes only on high earners.
Read more here.
What we’re reading
CDC asks 4 states and a city to draft coronavirus vaccine distribution plans (Washington Post)
13 states make contact tracing data public. Here’s what they’re learning (NPR)
Fauci believes normalcy will return by “the end of 2021” with coronavirus vaccine (Axios)
Nursing homes in the Sun Belt had months to prepare for rising coronavirus cases. They still weren’t ready (Washington Post)
Covid-19 clinical trials are failing to enroll diverse populations, despite awareness efforts (Stat News)
State by state
New York Gov. Cuomo says museums, bowling alleys to reopen in NYC, and gyms may be next (CNBC)
FAU pushes coronavirus skeptic as ‘expert’ even as scientists pan his views (Palm Beach Post)
Gov. Reeves: 6 Mississippi counties still battling high number of COVID-19 cases (Clarion Ledger)
State postpones implementation of mitigation measures for counties at ‘elevated risk’ of COVID-19, citing need for further review (Nevada Independent)
White House warns of ‘widespread and expanding’ COVID-19 spread in Georgia (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)