Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was hospitalized on Friday evening after he started experiencing "flu-like symptoms," in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Georgia.
- District of Columbia: The Supreme Court on Sunday released a statement announcing that Justice Clarence Thomas has been hospitalized with an infection and "flu-like symptoms" since Friday. According to the court, Justice Thomas was admitted to Sibley Memorial Hospital where "[h]e underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics. His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two." During his absence, Justice Thomas will continue to "participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts and audio of the oral arguments," according to the court's statement. (Chung, New York Times, 3/20; Bowman, NPR, 3/20)
- District of Columbia: The Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier this month announced that it discovered a wide range of alleged fraudulent and criminal activities linked to over $8 billion in federal Covid-19 aid. As a result, the agency announced that it would immediately appoint a new director tasked specifically with enforcing Covid-19 fraud. Kevin Chambers, who joined the DOJ as an associate deputy attorney general, "plans to focus on large-scale criminal enterprises and foreign actors who sought to profit at the expense of the American people," according to the DOJ. The agency's move follows President Biden's State of the Union commitment to pursue "the criminals who stole billions in relief money meant for small businesses and millions of Americans." (Weixel, The Hill, 3/10)
- Georgia: CDC on Wednesday released data that showed roughly 105,752 Americans died from overdoses during the 12 months ending October 2021—the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded in the United States in a single 12-month period. During 2021, around 15,000 more Americans died from drug overdoses than during the previous year. According to the report, most overdoses during that period involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Notably, overdose deaths increased in 46 states from October 2020 to October 2021, with Alaska reporting the largest annual increase of 78%. (Adams, Becker's Hospital Review, 3/17)