Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn't visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent


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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

Regeneron filed for emergency authorization of its antibody COVID-19 treatment drug, just hours after President Trump claimed it basically cured him. Mitch McConnell hasn’t been to the White House in months, and a new analysis shows Americans’ job-based health care is continually getting more expensive.

We’ll start with Regeneron:

Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received

Biotech company Regeneron late Wednesday applied for emergency authorization for an experimental antibody treatment praised by President Trump.

“Subsequent to our discussions with regulatory authorities, we have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for our REGN-COV2 investigational antibody combination for COVID-19,” the company said in a news release.

The move came just hours after the president praised the efficacy of the treatment in a short video message posted on Twitter.

“They gave me Regeneron, it’s called Regeneron,” Trump said in the five-minute video Wednesday afternoon. “It was unbelievable. I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

Why it matters: Trump was taking several drugs for his illness, so it’s not clear which helped him feel better. He claimed he has the “emergency use authorization all set,” but the FDA is supposed to make decisions based on science and not demands from the president. Regeneron’s drug is still undergoing clinical trials, and while early results seem promising, the company has not released data to back up its claims.

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McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he hasn’t visited the White House in two months because of how it has responded to the coronavirus.

Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said that while he talks to President Trump frequently, he hasn’t been to the White House in person since Aug. 6.

“Because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” he told reporters.

McConnell’s comments come in the week after President Trump and roughly two dozen people in his orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Senate doesn’t have a mask mandate, though most senators wear masks around the Capitol and there are also signs to remind people to socially distance.

Unlike the Senate, the White House has rapid testing for those in contact with the president. But there have also been several events where the White House did not require social distancing and most people at the event did not wear masks.

McConnell on Thursday appeared to take a veiled jab at the White

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DC health department, other localities want White House event attendees to get tested for coronavirus

The Washington, D.C., Department of Health on Thursday released an open letter asking that White House staff and anyone who attended a Sept. 26 event in the Rose Garden contact their health department for guidance on the possible need to quarantine after multiple attendees, including the president, tested positive for COVID.

The letter, co-signed by nine other local health departments from neighboring jurisdictions, indicates a lack of confidence in the White House medical team’s own contact tracing efforts regarding an ongoing virus outbreak that has infected President Donald Trump, multiple senior staff members, and two U.S. senators, among others.

In this Sept. 26, 2020, photo President Donald Trump, center, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Former New Jersey Gov. 

In this Sept. 26, 2020, photo President Donald Trump, center, stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett as they arrive for a news conference to announce Barrett as his nominee to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington. Former New Jersey Gov. 
(AP)

The letter says the public appeal is based on “our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals.”

It asks individuals who have worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attendees of the Sept. 26 event and anyone who may have been in contact with those people to “contact your local health department for further guidance/questions regarding your potential need to quarantine.”

The letter marks abrupt shift in strategy by Mayor Muriel Bowser’s government, which had previously said it trusted the White House’s robust medical operation to handle its own contact tracing and follow-up. The Democratic mayor said earlier this week that repeated attempts to contact the White House over the outbreak had received a “very cursory” response but that she believed the necessary steps were being taken.

TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES HE WAS ‘VERY SICK’ WHEN HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR COVID

It was not immediately clear whether the letter had been directly sent to any White House employees or people who attended the Sept. 26 event, or if the D.C. government had been provided with a list of attendees.

The letter further shines a spotlight on the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony to introduce Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett. Multiple attendees, including Trump and Notre Dame University President Rev. John Jenkins, who flew in from Indiana for the ceremony, have now tested positive.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Monday that the White House “has established a robust contact tracing program led by the White House Medical Unit with CDC integration to provide appropriate recommendations.”

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The District of Columbia has reported 15,765 positive COVID-19 cases, with 634 deaths. Bowser on Wednesday announced she was extending the local state of emergency, which was scheduled to expire Oct. 9, through Dec. 31.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Texas Dems highlight health care in fight to flip state House

Texas Democrats are making health care the heart of their final pitch as they look to flip the state House, which Republicans have held since 2002.

In a “contract with Texas” that Democrats are rolling out Thursday and which was shared first with The Hill, the party is touting policies it would try to enact should it flip the net nine seats it needs to gain control of the chamber. The central pillar of the plan is expanding Medicaid in Texas, which has the highest number and rate of uninsured people in the nation, as well as boosting coverage for children and making care for women more equal. 

The party is betting that voters in the state who normally rank health care as a top issue will be even more receptive to messages around expanding coverage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has hit the Lone Star State particularly hard. And after Democrats across the country won in a “blue wave” in 2018 fueled by promises to improve coverage, Texas Democrats are confident their strategy will work. 

“I think we have seen for a while now, before the pandemic, before any of us heard of coronavirus, that health care was a top-ranked issue, really across the country. Certainly in the 2018 elections, health care was a key issue that year,” said state Rep. Chris Turner, chair of the Texas House Democratic caucus. “But this year, with this pandemic, with the health care crisis that is affecting everyone, it’s just through the roof right now. People expect policymakers to address health care access.” 

The heart of the Democrats’ “Affordable Health Care for Every Texan” plan is providing coverage for 2.2 million more residents by expanding Medicaid, which the party says would also lower premiums and prescription drug prices for all Texans. Estimates from the party gauge that Texas would receive $110 billion in federal money over a decade if Medicaid is expanded. 

The plan also calls for expanding coverage for children by extending children’s Medicaid “through 12 months of continuous eligibility to align with [the Children’s Health Insurance Program].”

Lastly, Democrats look to bolster women’s health care by ensuring access to abortion — including by ensuring clinics that offer the procedure receive proper funding — and reducing maternal mortality rates, including bringing down the disproportionate rate at which Black mothers die during childbirth.

The party is also eyeing other health care-related legislation, including bills to strengthen protections for people with preexisting conditions if ObamaCare is repealed and ending surprise medical billing.

Texas Democrats have long lamented Republicans’ policies on health care in the state, including their refusal to expand Medicaid and work to curb abortion access, but indicate those efforts would face reenergized resistance if they win back the state House.

“Without the gavel, we haven’t been able to dictate the tone and tenor of what happens on the floor, so this time around we will be able to keep divisive and hurtful legislation off the floor and we’ll

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Health officials urge attendees of White House event to get tested for coronavirus

The health officials urged people who worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the Supreme Court nomination announcement in the Rose Garden or have had close contact with people who did, to get tested and use their local health departments as a resource. The letter contains contact information for the departments.

“As an additional reminder, if you are identified as a contact, having a negative test does not limit the time period within which you are required to quarantine,” the leaders wrote, citing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that recommend a 14-day quarantine.

The letter was distributed to people and organizations in each health department’s network, which in D.C. included Advisory Neighborhood Commission members, the D.C. Council and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, city officials said.

D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Wednesday that Nesbitt had spoken with the White House about contact-tracing efforts after the mayor sent a stern letter to the Trump administration seeking cooperation on tracking the outbreak. Nesbitt and the White House began talks on contact-tracing efforts in the region shortly afterward.

In Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Thursday he is allocating $220 million in federal coronavirus aid to help public schools handle their response to the pandemic.

The money will be divided among the state’s 135 school districts to pay for testing supplies, personal protective gear, sanitizing, long-distance learning efforts and other expenses.

“Students, teachers, principals and parents are going to great lengths to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic amid a new school year, and we must do everything we can to support them,” Northam said in a statement.

The money will be drawn from about $1.3 billion in federal Cares Act funding that remains from the roughly $3.1 billion sent to the state earlier this year. It will be distributed based on enrollment, at a rate of $175 per pupil or a minimum of $100,000 for each school division, the governor’s office said.

The spending supplements $238.6 million in Cares Act funding that Virginia’s public K-12 schools received in May. The state’s colleges and universities received $343.9 million, also in May, while another $66.8 million in federal Governor’s Emergency Education Relief funding was split between K-12 schools and higher education institutions.

Northam’s decision to send the money to public schools comes as the General Assembly is working to finish changes to the state budget in response to the pandemic during a special legislative session.

The House of Delegates and state Senate adopted spending plans that call for $200 million in Cares Act money for K-12 schools as they combat the virus. Northam has clashed with lawmakers over spending priorities, warning state lawmakers in a letter Wednesday that he would not sign a budget that restricts his ability to manage Virginia’s virus response efforts.

In Maryland, a scheduled public appearance with Gov. Larry Hogan (R) was postponed Thursday to avoid a possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The event was meant to celebrate the Associated Builders

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Interior Health reports 8 new cases of COVID-19

A larger-than-normal number of new COVID-19 cases was reported by Interior Health today.

The health authority announced eight new cases of the virus, which is just the fourth time since July 24 that eight or more new cases have been reported in a single day.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia

It brings the total number of cases in the BC Interior to 556 since the start of the pandemic.

Currently, 25 cases are active and two of them are in hospital.

There are now seven cases linked to the outbreak at Calvary Chapel Kelowna, which was declared on Sept. 25.

The Teck Coal Mines outbreak, which was declared all the way back on Aug. 27, is still active, but there hasn’t been a single IH resident associated with it.

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102 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C.; 8 in Interior Health


FILE PHOTO – B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks to reporters during a COVID-19 update, Aug. 24, 2020.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Province of B.C.



October 06, 2020 – 3:27 PM



Interior Health is reporting eight new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the regional total to 556.


That amounts to fewer than 10 per cent of new cases provincewide, which was 102. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 9,841 cases of COVID-19. In the last day there were two more COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 244 deaths  in B.C.


While the caseload is continuing to rise at a rate beyond what was seen earlier in the summer, provincial health officials still say that B.C. is turning a corner.


”People are doing the right thing and, as evidenced by the latest modelling data, individual actions are making a difference for all of us to stay safe and strong in the face of COVID-19,” Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, and Stephen Brown, deputy minister of health, said in a statement today, Oct. 6.


“Public health measures are a part of our ‘new normal.’ As a result, we are starting to flatten our curve once again. There is no question that what we do today directly influences the well-being of our communities tomorrow, so let’s continue to do our part to protect ourselves and each other – each day and every day.”


There are 1,384 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, while 3,089 people are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases.


Currently, 71 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 16 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.


Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 3,612 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 5,038 in the Fraser Health region, 221 in the Island Health region, 324 in the Northern Health region and 90 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.



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The confusing and contradictory statements about Trump’s health

Information about President Trump’s condition has been incomplete, confusing and, at times, contradictory since early Friday morning when the commander in chief announced that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Trump’s medical team, led by White House physician Sean Conley, has been criticized for painting a rosy portrait of Trump’s condition Saturday, without disclosing that the president had been given supplemental oxygen or put on a steroid that is usually reserved for severely ill coronavirus patients.

[Trump returns to White House, downplaying virus that hospitalized him]

“I was trying to reflect the upbeat attitude that the team, the president, over his course of illness, has had,” Conley said. “I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction. And in doing so, you know, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true. … The fact of the matter is that he’s doing really well.”

Conley and his team cleared Trump to be discharged from the hospital Monday evening, though many experts note that the president is still at a stage in the illness when patients are prone to unexpected complications, and Conley himself acknowledged that he wouldn’t take a “final deep sigh of relief” until early next week.

Mixed signals on the severity of Trump’s illness

Trump and his doctors have repeatedly assured the public that all is well, though Robert Wachter, chairman of the University of California at San Francisco’s department of medicine, told The Washington Post that, based on the details we know about the president’s hospitalization and treatment, it seemed unwise to discharge him from the hospital.

“For someone sick enough to have required remdesivir and dexamethasone, I can’t think of a situation in which a patient would be okay to leave on Day 3, even with the White House’s medical capacity,” he said.

Conley and his team have also refused to discuss the president’s lung scans, saying only that “there’s some expected findings, but nothing of any major clinical concern.”

Statements are from Trump’s doctors, President Trump or other White House officials.

Friday Oct. 2
Friday afternoon
Friday evening
I’m going to Walter Reed hospital. I think I’m doing very well.President Trump
Saturday Oct. 3
Saturday evening
The president’s vitals over the last 24 hours were very concerning, and the next 48 hours will be critical in terms of his care. We’re still not on a clear path to a full recovery.— Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff
Saturday night
President Trump continues to do well, having made substantial progress since diagnosis. This evening he completed the second dose of Remdesivir without complication.— Sean Conley
Sunday Oct. 4
Sunday morning
The President has experienced two episodes of transient drops in his oxygen saturation … It was the determination of the team … that we initiate Dexamethasone.— Sean Conley
Sunday morning
[Asked why he was
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Despite the White House’s COVID-19 Outbreak, the Trump Campaign Continues to Ignore Public Health Guidelines

It’s safe to say that if most political campaigns had seen its candidate, campaign manager, and more than a dozen associates test positive for COVID-19 within days of each other, they would likely reassess the strategy of holding large, in-person events that could be potential breeding grounds for the highly-infectious and deadly disease.



a person looking at the camera: A car with U.S. President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


© Alex Edelman—AFP/Getty Images
A car with U.S. President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

Not so with the Trump campaign.

While briefly pausing in-person events after President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump disclosed their positive diagnoses on Oct. 2, the campaign announced, just a day later, that “Operation MAGA”—a series of in-person events that the campaign touted as a way to “energize and mobilize the MAGA universe to maintain full speed until the President returns to the campaign trail”—will commence later this week. Trump himself tweeted on Oct. 5, the same day he was discharged from the hospital, that he “will be back on the Campaign Trail soon.”

The Trump campaign’s schedule is already jam-packed. On Oct. 8, Vice President Mike Pence will hold a rally at a tactical gear manufacturing company in Peoria, Ariz. On that same day Donald Trump Jr. is scheduled to hold an event at a Holiday Inn in Panama City, Fla., Lara Trump will join Trump campaign advisers Mercedes Schlapp and Katrina Pierson for a “women for Trump bus tour event in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and Eric Trump will host two events in North Carolina.

“I expect us to have upwards of fifty folks all around the country,” said Jason Miller, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, on NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday, “flooding the zone in the battleground states later this week.”

Republican strategists say that one main reason the Trump campaign struggled to pivot after the President’s diagnosis is because its strategy, unlike many other Presidential campaigns in the past, is almost entirely dependent on the man on the top of the ticket. Instead of switching the focus to messaging about specific policy promises or other moves a second-term Trump Administration might embrace, they’re hamstrung by their dependence on Trump’s personal draw as a candidate.

“This campaign relies on the candidate to carry [it] more than most campaigns do,” says Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who worked on Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s 016 presidential run. “It’s clearly not helpful to not have the candidate traveling the country in the final weeks of the election.”

But the Trump campaign’s decision to stick to the current strategy carries its own risks. Trump is trailing Biden in the polls by double digits, and a CNN poll released on Oct. 5 found that two thirds of Americans thought he handled the risk of coronavirus irresponsibly. It’s unlikely that continuing to hold in-person events will improve the President’s standing on this latter point.

Pence and Trump Jr.’s in-person rallies this week pose a particular issue. If these

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Trump returns to White House despite mysteries around his health

Trump left Walter Reed Medical Center by helicopter on Monday evening, with Marine One touching down on the White House South Lawn about 15 minutes later. He walked out of Walter Reed under his own power, but did not take questions from reporters gathered outside.

Upon his return, Trump walked up the stairs to the White House wearing a white mask before taking it off on the balcony, standing for a few moments for a photo op before walking in without wearing the mask. Experts say that someone in Trump‘s progression of the virus is still likely contagious, and multiple people could be seen waiting for him on the other side of the entrance.

Trump’s discharge comes as the White House faces accusations of a lack of transparency about the severity of the president’s illness, and as the president has sought to project some semblance of normalcy despite contracting the virus.

It was a striking statement, even for a president who has repeatedly played down the threat of the virus throughout the pandemic, and worked to project normalcy and portray himself as undaunted by it throughout his stay in the hospital.

His administration, meanwhile, has been panned for its response to the pandemic more generally.

Trump was first transferred to Walter Reed on Friday evening out of what the White House said was an “abundance of caution.” His aides have since been eager to show that Trump is still carrying out the duties of the office despite his hospitalization.

But Sean Conley, the president’s physician, appeared to confirm Sunday that Trump’s condition is more serious than the White House had so far acknowledged.

And in a news briefing on Monday afternoon, Conley conceded that the president “may not be entirely out of the woods yet.”

But, he continued, “the team and I agree that all our evaluations — and most importantly his clinical status — support the president’s safe return home, where he’ll be supported by world-class medical care 24/7.“

Trump’s discharge comes at a potentially delicate time, as questions persist about his health.

Some patients see sharp declines about seven to 10 days after infection, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that Covid-positive patients continue to self-isolate for 10 days after symptoms begin to emerge. Trump, whose age and weight increase his risk of severe disease, announced his diagnosis early Friday — four days ago.

The drugs Trump is receiving, and some of the details revealed by Trump’s medical team, suggest that the president has a moderate to severe case of Covid-19.

Trump has received two experimental drugs, care that many of the millions of Americans infected with the virus likely would not have had access to, as well as one steroid generally reserved for patients with severe or critical coronavirus cases.

Conley acknowledged on Monday that

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Trump Health Update On Monday : NPR

White House physician Sean Conley (center) arrives to answer questions surrounded by other doctors for an update on President Trump’s health on Monday.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images


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Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

White House physician Sean Conley (center) arrives to answer questions surrounded by other doctors for an update on President Trump’s health on Monday.

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump’s medical team once again held a briefing outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday for an update on the president’s COVID-19 treatment.

The doctors said that the president is doing well and meets all standard hospital discharge criteria. Dr. Sean Conley, the White House physician, confirmed a tweet by the president earlier in the day that he was “feeling really good” and would be leaving Walter Reed. The president headed back to the White House just after 6:30 p.m. ET.

Trump will continue to receive his five-day course of remdesivir, taking the fifth and final dose at the White House Tuesday evening, doctors said.

Conley declined to answer repeated questions about when the president had his last negative test. He also refused to giving information about Trump’s lung scans or whether there were signs of pneumonia, citing patient privacy regulations.

Read the transcript of the news conference below.

SEAN CONLEY, WHITE HOUSE PHYSICIAN: Good afternoon, everyone, thank you for being here. Over the past 24 hours, the president has continued to improve. He’s met or exceeded all standard hospital discharge criteria. He’ll receive another dose of Remdesivir here today and then we plan to get him home. It’s been more than 72 hours since his last fever.

Oxygen levels, including ambulatory saturations and his work of breathing are all normal. Though he may not entirely be out of the woods yet, the team and I agree that all our evaluations and most importantly his clinical status support the president’s safe return home, where he’ll be surrounded by world class medical care 24/7. I’d like to bring Dr. Duli up to review some more specifics.

SEAN DOOLEY, PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE DOCTOR: Good afternoon, just a brief update this morning, as Dr. Connelly mentioned, the president uh continues to do very well. His vital signs this morning were notable for a temperature of 98.1. His blood pressure was 134 over 78, the respiratory rate of 17 respirations per minute. His heart rate was 68 beats per minute and his last oxyhemoglobin saturation was 97% on room air.

He currently does not endorse any respiratory complaints. And aside from our evaluation with the multidisciplinary team this morning has maintained a full schedule ambulating and working on the White House medical unit. And I’ll turn it over to Dr. Garibaldi and again discuss therapeutics.

BRIAN GARIBALDI, PULMONARY CRITICAL CARE DOCTOR: Hi, good afternoon. And again, I just wanted to echo the sentiment of what an honor it is to to be part of this wonderful team here at Walter Reed.

Yesterday evening, the president

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