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Around the nation: Blinken tests positive for Covid-19


Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday tested positive for the coronavirus, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Arkansas, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts.

  • Arkansas: Walmart Health's telehealth company MeMD last week launched a telehealth program aimed at improving diabetes management. The Walmart Health Virtual Care Diabetes Program was developed for employers and payers and can be used as a stand-alone offering or as part of a comprehensive telehealth program. "Walmart Health collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to bring this evidence-based virtual program to fruition," said Walmart CMO John Wigneswaran. "Our aim is to empower patients with the most up-to-date diabetes education and clinical care so they can take control of their health," he added. "Our program focuses on a patient's physical and mental health, which also helps employers maintain healthier workforces and drive down overall healthcare costs." (Jercich, Healthcare IT News, 5/2)
  • District of Columbia: The State Department on Wednesday announced that Secretary of State Antony Blinken tested positive for the coronavirus. Blinken, who has received the Covid-19 vaccine and booster, is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms. According to The Hill, he will follow CDC guidelines and work virtually before returning to his in-person duties. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Blinken is not a close contact of President Joe Biden, as they have not seen each other "in several days." (Lonas, The Hill, 5/4)
  • Massachusetts: Biogen on Tuesday announced that CEO Michel Vounatsos, who has led the company since 2016, is stepping down. In addition, the company announced that it will end the marketing of Aduhelm after facing widespread backlash from patients, doctors, insurers, and other health experts. According to the company, it is "substantially eliminating" expenditures on Aduhelm as part of its $1 billion dollar cost-saving plan. Vounatsos, who oversaw the approval and launch of Aduhelm, will continue to lead the company until a replacement is found. (AP/Modern Healthcare, 5/3; Walker, Wall Street Journal, 5/3; Robbins, New York Times, 5/3)

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