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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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05/15/2020

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Key Updates:

  • President Trump is appointing Moncef Slaoui to lead the Administration’s efforts to develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. Slaoui used to lead GlaxoSmithKline’s vaccine development department. 
  • President Trump will sign an Executive Order to that outlines how his Administration will strengthen the Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies.
  • Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, is publicly asking Subcommittee Chair Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) to hold a hearing on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) distributions of its Provider Relief Fund. It’s not clear if Chairwoman Eshoo will agree to hold the hearing.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) says it will honor state licensure compacts that give licensure reciprocity for providers from different states. MACs will accept CMS-855 enrollment applications from providers reporting an interstate license compact. In addition to meeting the licensure requirements in the practitioner’s primary state, they are required to meet the licensure requirements established by the interstate compact laws adopted by state legislation.
  • HHS distributed $15 million between 159 providers to help them expand their use of telehealth. HHS received the funding from the CARES Act.
  • Officials in New York are warning about a new autoimmune disease affecting children and teenagers. It is not clear if the disease is linked to COVID-19.
  • Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, expressed confidence that colleges and universities can resume on-campus classes and activities for the fall semester.
    • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease Director Dr. Anthony Fauci is concerned about reopening campuses in the fall.
    • President Trump disagreed with Dr. Fauci. He, along with Chairman Alexander, are more confident that schools can resume in the fall semester.
    • Vice President Mike Pence and top White House COVID-19 response advisor Dr. Deborah Birx held a conference call with 14 institutions of higher education about how to safely reopen.
  • A new study shows that Abbot Labs promising COVID-19 test that can diagnose the virus on site within minutes displays many inaccurate test results.