Morning Consult Health will be off Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. The weekday newsletter will resume Monday.
3 in 10 Voters Have Never Heard of HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
A quick data nugget for you this morning: We asked voters what they think of President Joe Biden’s Cabinet, and found that 25 percent have a favorable view of Xavier Becerra, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, while 22 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Keep in mind, though, that voters were almost as likely to say they don’t have any opinion of Becerra at all, at 21 percent. And a full 31 percent of the electorate has apparently never heard of the nation’s top health official.
One possible contributor: Becerra has been much less visible in the Biden administration’s COVID-19 response than officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. Check out the crosstabs here.
An Ohio jury found that pharmacy chains Walmart Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. fueled the country’s opioid crisis by failing to create legally required systems to monitor painkiller prescriptions, marking the latest loss for the pharmaceutical industry in opioid legislation. The two Ohio counties that brought the lawsuit are seeking $2.4 billion for addiction treatment, social services and police, according to people familiar with the plans, and a judge will hear their arguments in May. (Bloomberg)
The Biden administration asked a Cincinnati appeals court to immediately reinstate its COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employers, which allows workers to opt out through weekly testing, saying in an emergency court motion that the rules reflect “the grievous harms the virus inflicts on workers” and that they could save more than 6,500 worker lives over the next six months. If the court denies the Biden administration’s request, it could seek intervention from the Supreme Court. (The Wall Street Journal)
The Biden administration will require essential travelers who aren’t U.S. residents and are crossing U.S. land borders, like truck drivers and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 beginning on Jan. 22, according to a senior official. The official said the new rule aligns vaccination requirements for this group with rules for nonessential travelers, which took effect earlier this month. (The Associated Press)
The Department of Health and Human Services said it will distribute $7.5 billion to more than 40,000 rural health care providers to help offset increased expenses and revenue losses during the pandemic, with an average payment of $170,700. The funding comes from a COVID-19 relief bill passed in March. (The New York Times)
The Biden administration is facing increased pressure to fulfill its commitment to a global waiver on Covid-19 vaccine intellectual property protections as countries gear up for a renewed discussion on the proposal at a World Trade Organization meeting next week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has moved Denmark and Germany to its highest-risk category for travel as Europe continues to grapple with rising numbers of infections and deaths, leading some countries to reintroduce lockdowns and other restrictions they not long ago considered things of the past.
Coronavirus cases in children in the United States have risen by 32 percent from about two weeks ago, a spike that comes as the country rushes to inoculate children ahead of the winter holiday season, pediatricians said.
A plan to speed Robert Califf’s nomination for FDA commissioner through the Senate next month is on hold after the Biden administration failed to submit the necessary paperwork to Congress in time, three people with knowledge of the matter told POLITICO.
A little-noticed provision of the House-passed Build Back Better Act that would lower the share of health-care premiums employees must pay could jeopardize company-sponsored plans, pushing millions of workers into Medicaid or Obamacare coverage, according to employer groups and the Congressional Budget Office.
An anesthesiologist organization is accusing Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina of using the upcoming surprise billing ban as justification to “strong-arm” in-network clinicians into lower rates.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center saw rising revenues across its business divisions and a nine-month net income of $1.2 billion, well above the $263 million it had recorded by this time last year.
Roseland Community Hospital in Chicago kept quiet about a possible sexual assault of one patient by another in its psychiatric unit. Only after ProPublica asked questions did Illinois’ public health officials alert law enforcement.
Robert Califf, President Biden’s choice to lead the Food and Drug Administration, earned $2.7 million as an executive at Google’s life science arm Verily, and he holds between $1 million and $5 million in equity in the company, according to a recent financial statement filed with the White House.
High drug costs are driving much of the criticism over the FDA’s decisions to speed up certain approvals by using data that predicts patient benefit instead of demonstrating it, the agency’s acting head said.
Patients in north Africa and the Middle East are using antibiotics in sharply rising quantities far beyond the global average, raising concerns over the escalating risks of resistance to medicines to treat bacterial infections, according to a new analysis.
The San Francisco-based company aims to simplify patient outreach and reduce administrative burdens by automating aspects of the care experience like appointment reminders, scheduling and patient education. Its platform integrates with over 80 electronic health record systems.
Epic’s sepsis early warning system, which notifies clinicians of potential signs of sepsis in their patients, sent out an overload of alerts during the COVID-19 pandemic that may have contributed to alert fatigue, a new study suggests.
In this survey study, 5,395 individuals with minimal depressive symptoms on initial survey who reported use of Snapchat, Facebook, or TikTok were more likely to report increased levels of depressive symptoms on a later survey.