CDC Sidelined on COVID Data; Nursing Homes to Get Rapid Testing; Ginsburg Hospitalized


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Hospitals are now being ordered to send all information on COVID-19 to a database run by the Department of Health and Human Services, bypassing the CDC in the process. (New York Times)

No administration has politicized the CDC and its science the way the current one has, four former CDC directors wrote in the Washington Post.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will distribute point-of-care rapid COVID-19 tests to all 15,400 U.S. nursing homes, starting with 2,000 facilities next week. (McKnight’s Long-Term Care News)

As U.S. schools consider whether and how to reopen in the fall, Israeli officials say that the reopening of all their schools in May is what caused a resurgence of COVID-19 in their country. (Daily Beast)

The Trump administration has dropped a plan to deport all international students, including those in medical schools, who will be taking online-only classes in the fall due to the ongoing pandemic. (Politico)

“Terrible decision,” said President Trump, reacting to news that California’s two largest school districts would be online-only in the fall. (Reuters)

As of 8:00 a.m. EDT Wednesday, the unofficial U.S. tally stood at 3,431,744 cases with 136,468 deaths — up about 67,000 cases and 850 deaths since yesterday.

An ICU nurse in Texas describes how she ended up being admitted to the hospital for COVID-19 despite testing negative for the virus. (CNN)

A Michigan Department of Transportation employee was killed by police after he stabbed a man following an argument over wearing a mask inside a store. (Detroit News)

Meanwhile, in Houston, a man has been charged with fraudulently obtaining $1.1 million in coronavirus relief funds. (Houston Chronicle)

Promising a coronavirus vaccine before the end of the year is hurting efforts to fight the virus, Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier said. (FiercePharma)

Philadelphia officials have canceled all large events in the city through next February, including the famous Mummers Parade. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

John M. Barry, author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History” says the COVID-19 pandemic could get far worse, and suggests more large-scale shutdowns may be on the horizon. (New York Times)

The coronavirus is mutating, but is it getting more dangerous? (Science)

One unintended consequence of COVID-19: the resurrection of single-use plastic. (PBS NewsHour)

Some Florida labs are reporting very high — and erroneous — positivity rates for coronavirus tests. (Fox 35 News)

In other news:

  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been hospitalized with a possible infection; she is receiving intravenous antibiotics and is said to be resting comfortably. (CNBC)
  • Former nursing assistant pleads guilty to murdering seven patients at a West Virginia VA hospital. (WV Public Broadcasting)
  • Several companies are voluntarily recalling their extended-release metformin due to the possibility the medicines could contain unacceptably high levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), the FDA announced.
  • And in other FDA news, the agency has approved guselkumab (Tremfya) for adults with active psoriatic arthritis, Janssen announced; this is the first approval for a selective interleukin (IL)-23 inhibitor for this indication.

Last Updated July 15, 2020

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    Joyce Frieden oversees MedPage Today’s Washington coverage, including stories about Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, healthcare trade associations, and federal agencies. She has 35 years of experience covering health policy. Follow

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