Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Memo: Democrats pitch Biden as the back-to-normal candidate Obama congratulates Biden on formal nomination Jill Biden gives personal portrait of husband Joe MORE’s response to COVID-19 was front and center in the kickoff to the Democratic National Convention this week; Anthony FauciAnthony FauciLiz Cheney wins Wyoming GOP primary in reelection bid Overnight Health Care: Fauci says he does not see US mandating COVID-19 vaccine | WHO warns against ‘nationalism’ in coronavirus fight Fauci says he does not see US mandating COVID-19 vaccination for general public MORE said it’s unlikely the U.S. will mandate coronavirus vaccinations; and West Virginia will sue CVS and Walmart for allegedly aiding the opioid epidemic.
Let’s start with Fauci:
Fauci says he does not see US mandating COVID-19 vaccine for general public
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, said Tuesday he doesn’t see the U.S. mandating a COVID-19 vaccine.
“I don’t think you’ll ever see a mandating of vaccine particularly for the general public,” Fauci said during a livestreamed interview with Healthline.
Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that some workplaces, particularly those in health care fields, might prevent employees from coming to work or interacting with patients if they haven’t been vaccinated for the flu.
Schools generally require students be vaccinated for measles and other infectious diseases before they are allowed to attend classes.
But Fauci said he’d “be pretty surprised if you mandated it for any element of the general public.”
Why it matters: Few serious health experts have floated the idea of mandating COVID-19 vaccines. It would be a first in American history and would very likely backfire. Instead, experts have tried to think of other ways to address vaccine hesitancy through culturally sensitive outreach and messaging and combating misleading claims on social media.
Speaking of vaccines… WHO warns against ‘nationalism’ in coronavirus fight
The World Health Organization (WHO) is warning countries that hoarding supplies and an eventual coronavirus vaccine will prolong the global epidemic at a steep cost to poor and developing nations.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said his agency is developing plans to distribute the vaccine equitably across the globe, once the science shows that a potential vaccine candidate is both effective at generating an immune response and is safe in humans.
“We need to prevent vaccine nationalism,” Tedros said. “Sharing finite supplies strategically and globally is actually in each country’s national interest. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, countries hoarding supplies of protective and medical equipment has contributed to snags in the global supply chain. Now public health experts are warning that the same supply chain failures could hinder the manufacture and distribution of the drugs needed to bring the pandemic to an end.
West Virginia sues CVS, Walmart for aiding opioid epidemic
West Virginia’s attorney general filed lawsuits Tuesday against Walmart and CVS, alleging the companies helped create the state’s devastating opioid epidemic.
Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) said in separate lawsuits that the companies should remediate what has become a public health and financial crisis.
The companies “reaped billions of dollars in revenues while causing immense harm to the State of West Virginia and its residents,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuits allege Walmart and CVS filled suspicious orders of opioids that were of unusual size and frequency, and then distributed those drugs to retail pharmacies.
Not the first: West Virginia filed similar lawsuits in June against Rite-Aid and Walgreens. More than 3,000 states, local governments and Native American tribes have sued manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies, blaming them for contributing to the opioid epidemic.
COVID-19 in spotlight at Democratic convention
The Democratic National Convention kicked off last night, with no shortage of criticisms lobbed at President Trump’s COVID-19 response.
The daughter of one of Trump‘s 2016 supporters who later died from the disease blistered the president during a speech.
Kristin Urquiza, who previously penned an obituary criticizing Arizona Gov. Doug DuceyDoug DuceyLatino PAC debuts ad with Dem convention standout Kristin Urquiza Daughter of Trump voter who died of COVID-19 addresses Democratic convention The Hill’s 12:30 Report – Speculation over Biden’s running mate announcement MORE (R) following her father’s death, said Monday that her father told her before his death that he felt “betrayed” by the president due to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump,” Urquiza said.
“Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his his irresponsible actions made it so much worse,” she added.
The Hill hosts:
COVID-19: THE WAY FORWARD
As election day approaches, the COVID-19 pandemic remains an ever-present threat. On the sidelines of the 2020 Conventions, The Hill will host a discussion with policymakers and hospital and medical school leaders about lessons learned from the coronavirus pandemic, the importance of research and innovation in battling health care crises, and the value of a resilient and responsive health care ecosystem.
Whitmer faults Trump for fighting other Americans more than virus
Michigan Gov. Gretchen WhitmerGretchen WhitmerThe Memo — Michelle Obama shines, scorching Trump Whitmer faults Trump for fighting other Americans more than virus The Hill’s Convention Report: Democratic National Convention kicks off virtually MORE (D) faulted President Trump for fighting “his fellow Americans” more than the coronavirus during her speech at the Democratic National Convention.
“We’ve learned who is essential … not just the wealthiest among us. Not the president who fights his fellow Americans rather than fight the virus that’s killing us and our economy,” she said in her speech at the convention, which is being held virtually because of COVID-19.
“It’s the people who put their own health at risk to care for the rest of us. They are the MVPs,” she added, naming nurses, doctors, utility workers, grocery clerks, auto workers and mail carriers among others.
What we’re watching for tonight:
We’re likely to hear more virus talk tonight at the convention, with speeches from Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden compares relationship with Harris to one with Obama: We trust each other The Hill’s Convention Report: Democrats gear up for Day Two of convention Progressive Bowman endorses Markey ahead of Massachusetts primary MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.).
But keep an eye on Ady Barkan.
Barkan is a progressive activist who has become a champion of Medicare for All after his terminal diagnosis of ALS in 2016. Biden doesn’t support Medicare for All, but Barkan endorsed him anyway.
In past interviews, Barkan has said that if Biden wins, progressives should push him on their priorities. Barkan has said he wants progressives to understand that even though they may disagree with Biden, they shouldn’t let that stand in the way of voting President Trump out of office. His speech tonight could be memorable.
What we’re reading
Flu season will be a test run for the U.S.’s biggest-ever vaccine campaign (Bloomberg)
The myth of Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoOvernight Health Care: Fauci says he does not see US mandating COVID-19 vaccine | WHO warns against ‘nationalism’ in coronavirus fight The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from night 1 of Dem’s virtual convention Andrew Cuomo penning new book on coronavirus response MORE (The Atlantic)
Isolation, disruption and confusion: coping with dementia during a pandemic (Kaiser Health News)
Cellphone apps designed to track covid-19 spread struggle worldwide amid privacy concerns (Washington Post)
State by state
Cellphone data shows how Las Vegas is ‘gambling with lives’ across the country (ProPublica)
Tulsa health department director describes ‘rough year’ of long days, death threats (Tulsa Public Radio)
Georgia Gov. reopened state while health care workers needed millions of masks and gowns (Kaiser Health News)
Op-eds in The Hill