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CDC now advises the public to take a coronavirus test before domestic travel, vaccinated or not. (Washington Post)
In response to the baby formula shortage, President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act so that formula manufacturers get first dibs on necessary ingredients, and he also authorized government planes to pick up baby formula from abroad, the White House said.
Wednesday night, the House passed a $28 million emergency funding bill that would allow the FDA to expedite inspections of formula from new domestic and international suppliers. (Bloomberg)
CDC is now reporting 180 pediatric cases of hepatitis of unknown cause in 36 states; no deaths have been reported since February and the proportion needing liver transplants has gone down from 15% to 9%.
Biden’s daughter Ashley tested positive for COVID-19. The White House says she is not considered a recent close contact to the President. (Politico)
And HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra tested positive for COVID-19 as well, during a trip to Germany, and is experiencing mild symptoms; Becerra saw Biden last Thursday but is not considered a close contact. (Politico,>)
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un berated his government officials for their “immaturity” in handling the COVID-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, he is not opening the country up to outside aid. (Al Jazeera, The Guardian)
As of Thursday at 8 a.m. EDT, the unofficial U.S. COVID toll reached 1,002,192 deaths, an increase of 711 compared with this time Wednesday, with new cases averaging over 96,000 per day.
Pro-Trump areas continue to have much higher COVID death tolls. (NPR)
An internal CDC review reveals longstanding concerns about the agency’s flexibility and responsiveness. (Bloomberg)
Households are finding that rising cost of living also means rising electricity bills from running oxygen machines and other necessary medical equipment. (Sky News)
Some states have yet to spend federal money allocated to combat coronavirus health disparities. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Pharma bro” Martin Shkreli, a convicted securities fraudster, has been released from prison but remains in federal custody until September. (STAT)
Sentencing has begun for Florida pharmacy owners convicted of a large pre-COVID healthcare fraud scheme related to invalid telemedicine prescriptions, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
A New York woman shared her sister’s medical bill that included $40 for crying, upcoded as emotional assessment by the provider. (Independent)
Nearly 1,000 U.S. Navy personnel are in “separation” due to their refusal to get COVID-19 vaccines. (USNI News)
The family of Henrietta Lacks, the progenitor of biotechnology’s indispensable HeLa cells, will soon hear from a judge whether their lawsuit against Thermo Fisher for “unjust enrichment” has legal standing. (Baltimore Sun)
A new artificial intelligence tool purportedly identifies which patients are most likely to die from COVID-19. (Euronews)
Musician Eric Clapton, a vocal skeptic of COVID-19 vaccines and lockdowns, is canceling shows because he has COVID-19. (CNN)