‘Forced to fight a war on two fronts’: How healthcare workers say misinformation and messaging worsen the toll COVID takes in Mississippi

September 21, 2020, Mississippi Today, Erica Hensley – Daphne Webster-Quinn says a prayer before every shift to ask for protection for herself and coworkers, and healing for her patients. Donning full personal protective equipment, three days a week she works a primary care clinic on wheels, crisscrossing rural Holmes County to meet patients where they are. As a medical assistant for Mallory Community Health Center, she splits her time between the clinic in Lexington and a mobile unit that dispatches across every corner of the county to offer free COVID-19 tests and primary care check-ups to a community that’s been devastated by coronavirus. The majority-Black county has seen the highest number of cases per capita for most of the pandemic, currently double the rate of the state. View Story.

Not trusting the FDA, Black doctors’ group creates panel to vet Covid-19 vaccines

September 21, 2020, STAT, Eric Boodman – As trust in federal health agencies has withered over the last few months, a group of Black physicians has been working on an antidote: creating their own expert task force to independently vet regulators’ decisions about Covid-19 drugs and vaccines as well as government recommendations for curbing the pandemic.Organized by the National Medical Association — founded in 1895 as an answer to racist professional societies excluding Black doctors — the committee is meant to safeguard against any unscientific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. View Story.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Increases The Likelihood That Obamacare Is Repealed Next Year

September 19, Buzzfeed News, Paul McLeod – Repealing Obamacare would remove the ban on denying or jacking up prices for health insurance to people with preexisting health conditions. It would repeal the Medicaid expansion, which provides health insurance to millions of low-income Americans. Other provisions that would be eliminated include letting children stay on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26, caps on out-of-pocket cost sharings, a ban on annual or lifetime limits on what an insurance plan can pay out, and a list of benefits that all regulated plans must cover. This would also take place during a global health pandemic. View Story.

Pregnancy-related death is a national crisis. Medicaid expansion could help address that.

September 19, USA Today, Shefali Luthra – Expanding access to Medicaid could dramatically improve pregnant people’s access to health care and address some of the factors driving the nation’s disparity in pregnancy-related and postpartum deaths, according to new research published Tuesday. The study, published in the journal Health Affairs, followed almost 50,000 pregnant people from 2012 to 2017, comparing what happened in states that expanded Medicaid, an optional component of the Affordable Care Act, versus those that didn’t. In states that opted in, pregnant people’s likelihood of losing insurance in the perinatal period dropped by 10 percentage points. View Story.

U.S. Covid-19 death toll surpasses 200,000

September 18, 2020, NBC News, Erika Edwards and Denise Chow – In the predawn hours of March 30, Dr. Deborah Birx stepped in front of the camera on the White House lawn and made an alarming prediction about the coronavirus, which had, by then, killed fewer than 3,000 people in the United States. “If we do things together, well, almost perfectly, we can get in the range of 100,000 to 200,000 fatalities,” Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told Savannah Guthrie of NBC News’ “Today” show.”We don’t even want to see that,” she added, before Guthrie cut her off.”I know, but you kind of take my breath away with that,” Guthrie said. “Because what I hear you saying is that’s sort of the best-case scenario.””The best-case scenario,” Birx replied, “would be 100 percent of Americans doing precisely what is required.” On Saturday, Birx’s prediction came true, as the number of lives lost to Covid-19 in the U.S. topped 200,000. View Story.

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