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Delay. We have a new Beyoncé album coming out next month and we already know what it’s going to be called: Rebirth.

In health today, top GOP Senator Richard Burr (North Carolina) vowed Thursday to block additional COVID-19 funding unless administration officials provide more justification.

Welcome to Night Health Carewhere we follow the latest policy changes and news related to your health. For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan, Nathaniel Weichsel and Joseph Choi. Subscribe here.

GOP Senator Rejects Calls for More COVID Funding

The outlook for COVID-19 funding does not look too good.

On Thursday, a senior Republican senator strongly opposed calls from Biden administration health officials to increase funding to fight COVID-19, saying he would be a “roadblock” until officials provide a sufficient justification that the money is needed.

Comments Sep. Richard Burr (North Carolina), the top Republican on the Senate Health Committee, illustrate how difficult it will be for the Biden administration’s request for COVID-19 funding to get through Congress despite dire warnings from health officials that the money is needed to get enough updated vaccines for everyone. Americans this fall, by the way.

“I will continue to be a roadblock for anyone who thinks we can blindly embezzle emergency money, borrow it from the Chinese and spend it on something none of us have the slightest idea what the plan is,” Burr said. . during a hearing before the Senate Health Committee.

Dire warnings about lack of funds: Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Kaliff said people could die needlessly without new funding if they can’t access updated vaccines and treatments.

  • “For me, the most important thing that will happen is that people will die, be hospitalized, or suffer a long course of COVID from days to months, and maybe a lifetime unnecessarily if they do not have access to the latest vaccines. and antivirals,” Kaliff said.
  • The White House dismissed Burr’s claim that he did not submit a spending plan, citing a 97-page document released in March.

Read more here.

DeSantis: the state does not have funds for a children’s vaccine against COVID

Florida will not allocate any public resources to vaccinate young children against COVID-19, the governor said. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Thursday.

Asked after a press conference about the annual Everglades python hunt, DeSantis said that infants and young children are “virtually not at risk of anything with COVID” so the state would recommend against vaccinating these children.

“There will be no government programs that will try to give COVID vaccines to babies, toddlers and newborns,” DeSantis said to the applause of the crowd. “It’s not what we think is appropriate and therefore we’re not going to use our resources.”

  • At least 442 children under the age of 5 died due to COVID-19 through the end of May, more than deaths typically seen from the flu or other vaccine-preventable illnesses, according to federal data.

Not banned, but: The governor’s comments came a day after the state confirmed it would not pre-order any vaccines for vendors.

DeSantis said if parents want to get their kids vaccinated, they can, but he didn’t say when they might be available.

  • Initially, the White House made 10 million vaccines for young children available to states, tribes and other jurisdictions for pre-order pending approval.
  • Suppliers will still be able to order vaccines themselves, either directly through federal partnerships or from the state. But it’s unclear how long parents will have to wait.

Read more here.

WEATHER DELAYS OPENING OF BABY FORMULA PLANT

Abbott Nutrition has halted production at its troubled Sturgis, Michigan plant due to flooding caused by severe weather.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it had to stop production of EleCare and other specialty metabolic blends due to the damage.

  • Abbott resumed production at the plant just two weeks ago after a months-long closure due to a possible link between harmful bacteria and products manufactured at its facility.
  • The closure and subsequent recall helped spark an infant formula availability crisis. The new damage is likely to delay production of new products there by at least a few weeks, the company said.
  • High winds, hail, power outages and flooding have affected the plant, and the company will need to carry out repairs and sanitary tests before it can safely resume compound production.

Last month, the company signed an executive order with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), stating that no definitive link had been found between the detected bacterial infections and its products.

FDA Commissioner Robert Kaliff tweeted Wednesday night that the weather was unfortunate but the formula was more than enough to meet demand.

Read more here.

26 DEMS WANT TO EXPAND COOPERATION WITH CUBA ON VACCINES

A group of Democrats in the House of Representatives is calling on the Biden administration to further ease sanctions against Cuba to help distribute the Caribbean country’s COVID-19 vaccine around the world.

In a letter written by Representatives Ayanna Pressly (D-Massachusetts) and Steve Cohen (D-Tn), lawmakers praised President Biden’s relaxation of restrictions on travel and money transfers to the island while requesting bilateral public health cooperation.

“As a first step, we ask that you review U.S. policy towards Cuba to promote greater global vaccine equity, with a focus on ensuring that U.S. sanctions do not hinder Cuba’s current or future efforts to share vaccines against COVID-19 and related them technology and medical support in low-income countries around the world,” they wrote.

The Democrats’ call is sure to anger hardliners on both sides of the aisle on Cuba.

But the Biden administration has shown a willingness to gradually review the restrictions imposed on the communist island by the Trump administration, especially in policy areas with humanitarian implications.

Read more here.

How America Prepares for Reality After Row

Americans are awaiting a Supreme Court ruling in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that will decide the fate of abortion rights in states across the country.

The Supreme Court’s official ruling follows a draft opinion leaked in April by Politico that suggested the court would strike down Roe v. Wade.

The decision to dismiss Roe v. Wade will bring the abortion rights issue back to the states, with abortion rights activists on high alert. Thirteen states have trigger laws that will take effect if Roe is overthrown.

In some cases, state laws include severe restrictions on abortion that do not include exceptions for rape or incest. In liberal states, officials took steps to protect the procedure by enshrining the right to abortion in their state laws.

Follow the link below to watch The Hill reporters discuss the implications of Roe’s possible overthrow.

Read more here.

WHAT WE READ

  • Senate passes historic bill to help veterans exposed to fire pits while on military service (CNN)
  • 100 million people in America are saddled with healthcare debt (Kaiser Health News)
  • Facebook obtains sensitive health information from hospital websites (Stat)

STATE BY STATE

  • Low testing rate may be hiding Texas’ COVID wave: experts (ABC)
  • Number of COVID-19 cases in Georgia up 20% in last week (Tribune Ledger News)
  • Florida hospitals, doctors struggle as DeSantis refuses vaccine order for young children (The Gainesville Sun)

POSTCARDS ON THE HILL

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Visit The Hill’s Health Care page for the latest news and coverage. See you tomorrow.

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