October 29, 2020

Around the nation: White House says release touting 'ending Covid-19 pandemic' was 'poorly worded'

Daily Briefing

    A White House spokesperson on Wednesday said a release issued Tuesday listing "ending the Covid-19 pandemic" as one of President Trump's accomplishments during his time in office so far was "poorly worded" and that the administration does not consider the pandemic to be over, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Washington D.C.

    • California/Nevada/Oregon/Washington: The governors of Nevada, Oregon, and Washington announced they will join California Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) effort to have a panel of experts independently review any federally approved Covid-19 vaccine before it's administered to state residents. According to Newsom, the review "will not cause delays" in administering the vaccine, but rather will "increase transparency and trust." Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) added, "The independent review conducted by this panel of doctors, scientists, and health experts will ensure that a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine is available to everyone, especially communities [who] have been disproportionately impacted by this disease" (Cowan, New York Times, 10/27).

    • New Jersey: Quest Diagnostics announced Thursday it will return the funds it received as part of the CARES Act, as the company's overall revenue for its third quarter hit $2.8 billion—a 42.5% increase compared with the same period in 2019—and its third-quarter earnings per share hit $4.14, an increase of 165%. "Several months into this [epidemic], we do not require this funding," Steve Rusckowski, chair, CEO, and president of Quest, said. "As a result, we believe returning these funds to the government now is the right thing to do" (Sim, Crain's New York Business/Modern Healthcare, 10/26).

    • Washington D.C.: A White House spokesperson on Wednesday said a release issued Tuesday listing "ending the Covid-19 pandemic" as one of President Trump's accomplishments during his time in office so far was "poorly worded" and that the administration does not consider the pandemic to be over. Alyssa Farah, White House strategic communications director, during a Fox News interview on Wednesday said, "The intent was to say that it is our goal to end the virus." Farah added, "Cases are still rising and we need the American public to remain vigilant. This is the top priority of the president, defeating this virus and rebuilding our economy" (Weixel, The Hill, 10/28).

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