New research found that a male birth control pill was 99% effective when tested in mice, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia and Minnesota.
- District of Columbia: The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the U.S. Navy is allowed to factor vaccination status into plans for deployments or assignments for SEALs and special operations personnel. The Supreme Court's ruling came after the Biden administration requested that the Department of Defense be allowed to enforce its vaccination requirement. In January, a federal judge ruled in favor of 35 unvaccinated Navy SEALs, saying that they had a right to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine over religious beliefs. "In this case, the district court, while no doubt well-intentioned, in effect inserted itself into the Navy's chain of command, overriding military commanders' professional military judgments," Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in a concurring opinion. According to Kavanaugh, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which the service members previously argued gave them the right to a religious exemption, "does not justify judicial intrusion into military affairs in this case." (Chen, Axios, 3/25)
- District of Columbia: White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre on Sunday announced that she tested positive for the coronavirus after traveling to Europe with President Joe Biden. "I last saw the President during a socially distanced meeting yesterday, and the President is not considered a close contact as defined by CDC guidance," Jean-Pierre said. "Thanks to being fully vaccinated and boosted, I have only experienced mild symptoms. In alignment with White House Covid-19 protocols, I will work from home and plan to return to work in person at the conclusion of a five-day isolation period and a negative test," she added. (Falconer, Axios, 3/27)
- Minnesota: The American Chemical Society (ACS) on Wednesday announced that new research from a University of Minnesota (UMN) lab found that a new nonhormonal male birth control pill was 99% effective when tested in mice. According to Gunda Georg, head of the UMN lab conducting the research, human testing of the contraceptive could begin as early as the third of fourth quarter or 2022. "Scientists have been trying for decades to develop an effective male oral contraceptive," said Abdullah Al Noman, a graduate student involved in the research. However, there are currently no male birth control pills available in today's market. Notably, ACS said that most male birth control pills currently under development use hormones to target testosterone, which could result in side effects like weight gain and depression. "We wanted to develop a non-hormonal male contraceptive to avoid these side effects," Noman said. (Polus, The Hill, 3/24)