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August 23, 2021

Around the nation: 3 U.S. senators report breakthrough infections

Daily Briefing

    Three U.S. senators last week tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Texas.

    • District of Columbia: Three U.S. senators—John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.)—on Thursday announced they had tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated. According to The Hill, the three senators tested positive after returning to their home states last week. Each senator said he tested positive after experiencing mild symptoms and is now isolating at home. As of last week, a total of four U.S. senators, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), have experienced breakthrough cases, The Hill reports. (Carney, The Hill, 8/19)
    • New Jersey: Johnson & Johnson (J&J) on Thursday announced its CEO Alex Gorsky will step down from his position and become the company's executive chair, effective Jan. 3, the Wall Street Journal reports. "It has been an honor and privilege to lead this company as chairman and CEO for nearly a decade," Gorsky said, "and I am pleased to serve as executive chairman to help oversee Johnson & Johnson's ongoing progress improving the health of people and communities everywhere." Joaquin Duato will take over as CEO as Gorsky transitions to the executive chair role. Duato is currently J&J's vice chair and formerly led the company's pharmaceutical business. (Rockoff, Wall Street Journal, 8/19; Anderson, Becker's Hospital Review, 8/19)
    • Texas: The Texas Education Agency on Thursday released new guidance saying that it will temporarily stop enforcing Gov. Greg Abbott's (R) ban on mask mandates in public schools. In addition, the guidance requires schools to report positive Covid-19 tests to the state health department, their local health departments, and all teachers, family, and staff who share a space with the infected individual. According to Axios, seven counties and 48 school districts have already enacted mask mandates in defiance of Abbott's ban, with several lawsuits making their way through the state's courts. (Axios, 8/20)

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