The Healing American Healthcare Podcast
The Healing American Healthcare Podcast

Episode 7 · 1 year ago

Biden Declares War on COVID-19 & Other Vaccination News


John Dalton, Editor of Three Minute Read™, and Ed Eichhorn share news of Biden’s plans for mitigation as well as how certain states are approaching the testing and vaccination process. They also call out the “healthcare profiteers” of the pandemic.

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Welcome to the three minute read podcast. I'm John Golden, editor of the twice monthly newsletter of the healing American healthcare coalition. Once or twice a year we actually publish a third issue and we'll be discussing January's third issue today. Joining me once again is at Ikor on the coalition, is Co founder and Co author of healing American healthcare, a plan to provide quality care to all while saving one trillion dollars a year. Together, ed and I have nearly a century of healthcare experience and believe we were still trying to figure it out. You can find our background and contact information at the end of the podcast and I launched the three minute read last March to summarize some of the critical issues affecting busy clinicians and physicians as they struggle through this pandemic. To date we've covered a hundred eleven articles from fifty different sources on a variety of topics, including physician practices, insurance coverage and drug costs and, of course, the pandemic. January, twenty two thousand and twenty one was the one year anniversary of the first covid nineteen case confirmed in Washington state was a traveler returning from Mohan province in China with more than four and a thousand American deaths from the pandemic. President Joe Biden took of us in Washington DC on January twenty, and long bunch and all that assault on the coronavirus. Our first three article summaries deal with President Biden's initial actions on covid nineteen. So let's dig into the latest issue of three minute read. The first article was entitled Biden looks to Galvanize Covid nineteen fight and vaccinations as he takes all office. It was from Reuters and was published on January twenty, inauguration day. During his inaugural address. After taking the oath of all of us, President Biden asked for a moment of silence in memory of the more than four a thousand Americans that perished in the pandemic. He then stated, quote in his address, we're entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus and as set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation. Following his inauguration, he moved to the Oval Office where he signed his first three executive orders, one requiring masks to be worn on federal property to rejoin the World Health Organization, and third, establishing a new Wood House Office for coordinating the response to the virus and led by Jeff Zemes. The federal mask mandate drew praise from the US Chamber of Commerce President Suzanne Clark Call It, quote, a smart and practical approach. UN Secretary General Antonio Gootier, is also welcome the reengagement of the United States with the World Health Organization. Another UN spokesman said it was absolutely critical for a better coordinated global response against Covid nineteen, basically... have United States back involved again. Next up on Thursday from the Associated Press, talking about Biden signing a burst of virus orders and vowing that, quote, help is on the way. Next, on Friday, The New York Times summarize what's in by these executive orders aimed at curbing the pandemic. Let's take a look at them. He signed ten more executive orders aimed that jump starting the national covid nineteen strategy. That was a two hundred page document that was also revealed on his first full day in office. He's giving bilment agencies a green light to use the defense production act. That's a Cold War era act of Congress and act allows the government to direct private industry to produce supplies needed in times of national emergency. So, for example, in this case it could be anything from swabs to mask to certain chemicals and the agents used in testing. White House Coronavirus Coordinator Jeff Seen says, quote, we do not have nearly enough testing capacity in this country and that's one of the issues that he will be addressing this the federal mandate that requires masks wearing during travel across the state lines. So whether it's plains, trains or automobiles the crossing state lines, you must wear a mask. When it comes to its national travel, with the transportation TSA will be enforcing the mandate. He also looked to expand the nation's supply of rapid tests, establishing the pandemic testing board once the double testing supplies and increased lap space for tests and surveillance for corona virus hot spots. In expanding vaccine availability, bidens established a goal of a hundred million shots in the first hundred days in office. That was announced on January eight. To some skepticism, because remember the trump administration of promised twenty million shots in the arms by the end of December and actually by January nineteen, the day before the auguration, the total of vaccine shots administraed was sixteen point five million, far less than the twenty million promised by the end of December. You also established a health equity task force to identify the parts of the population who are particularly hard hit by the virus, analyzing needs by race, ethnicity, geography and disability, among other factors. Directed his agencies to publish guidance for safety, reopening schools and for protecting the health of workers. At his press conference on that Thursday report a question whether the hundred million shots in his first hundred days was too low. A Bar Biden's response was quote. When I ann asked it, you all said it's not possible. Come on, give me a brakeman. Dr Fachie, at the same conference, commented that if we hit that mark, the US could return to, quote, a degree of normality by the fall if the vaccination campaign goes well.

An update on that later. But achieving widespread herd immunity would require vaccinating as many as two hundred eighty million people are total populations around three thirty million in America. The issue to protect orders the health of workers during the pandemic is an important one. I think it wall can remember that the occupational safety and Hazard Administration kind of fell asleep at the switch back last spring and one meat packing plants where workers are coming down with covid nineteen and many of those workers died. So that is a particularly important executive order. Finally find more treatments for covid nineteen a future pandemic. He's calling on health and Human Services Secretary and the director of the National Institutes of Health to draft a plan to support the study of new drugs of Covid nineteen for treatment for future public health crisis through large randomized trials. The treatment should be ones that, quote, can be easily manufactured, distributed and administered both domestically and internationally. End, quote, according to that executive order. So we declared or Covid nineteen virus for now, fifteen days into the by the administration. And what he have in terms of updates? Well, the vaccinations have been going reasonably well recently. As of February fourth thirty six million, almost thirty seven million Americans have received at least one vaccination and fifty seven million doses have been distributed in the United States. Earlier this week, Jane Ja applied to the FDA for emergency utilization of their vaccine, and approval is expected by February twenty eight. If that occurs, this vaccination could begin being distributed during the first week in March. ABC News reported this morning that they would have a hundred million doses available by the beginning of June. Other sources of suggested they could have as many as two hundred million doses available early in May. This is very significant because the J and J vaccine needs to be stored in regular refrigeration rather than in a freezer, and only one dose is required for development of immunity. There are other promising vaccines on the horizon. Novovacs was retained by the United States and develop a vaccine at the cost of one point six billion dollars in the middle of last year and they have done trials in the Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa which yielded the community against some very difficult conditions. They have now retained twentyzero volunteers in the United States and expect to have full complement of Thirtyzero by the end of March and hope to apply by the end of April or the beginning of May for emergency utilization, and they believe that they can have... many as three hundred million doses available by the end of June. Today it was announced by Dr Fouchi that he expects approval for using the vaccines for a students from the age of twelve to eighteen in the United States in late May or early June. Back to you. Lots of it is on the vaccine front. In fact, one that we probably never will see here in the US. Russia's spot nick five vaccine apparently also hits highly effective. The Russians actually thought of vaccinating before the clinical trials were through, and there was a lot of skepticism at that time about our premature issuance of the vaccines. But apparently they must have had a fair amount of confidence in the vaccine. And now the latest reports is that it is affected and they are exporting it to their member states, including most recently Iran. Next up, the US needs more covid testing and Minnesota has found a way. This was a major story in Bloomberg Business Week in the January eleventh issue. So very lengthy and detailed enumeration of how Minnesota stepped up it's testing. You starting the state that's not necessarily our biggest or our wealthiest, but with a progressive governor and a budget surplus, they were able to invest about a hundred fifty million in expanding their testing capability and that included a major ramp up of a Salib attest that was developed here in New Jersey at Rufus University last spring. They're one of the few states in the country that's adopted the the kind of approach at Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan took to avoid the worst of the bandemic's ruin. What their governor, Tim Waltz, instead quote, it was a catastrophic failure on the federal level, talking about the US approach testing. So Minnesota had begun their testing with the maze of the PCR swabs and they were able to ramp that up to about ten thousand tests a day. They determined that they needed to have a lot more testing done because their numbers were looking pretty dismal in the fall again, ministers, not that far away from surge of South Dakota where the motorcycle rally created a super spreader event. So what they did was to ramp up testing using the rutgers test. Infinity biologics is the company that involved from the rutgers spit test last June. They are Oakdale lab located ten miles from downtown Saint Paul. Is the center of what they implemented. Less fail to increase their testing capability. Importantly, it's located right next door to a united parsal service depot and they currently are receiving about four deliveries daily from the ups and processing about thirtyzero tests per day, with the results available within forty eight hours. So it's a major expansion from the NASAL PCR tests. Now, according to the AASDA, the saliva tests are as sensitive and accurate as the nasal PCR tests, but they're much easier to administer.

The kids can be sent to people's homes and even when they're administered at testing sites, collecting saliva samples requires fewer medical professionals and less personal protective equipment than using nasal or throw swabs. So it's a more efficient than effective way of getting samples. foretesting spitting into a tube is more comfortable than being swabbed, although the recommendation is that you smell pickles before you spit into a tube, because it doesn't require a fair amount of saliva. You can eat the pickles later. When neighboring North Dakota and South Dakota or showing the highest positivity rates in the nation, Minnesota rank twenty one. So governor walls this conclusion. Was that their strategy? Yeah, you bet you. It was effected. Next up on the vaccination front is country rose. Little West Virginia sets the pace on vaccine rollout. That was an Associated Press article that appeared on January nineteen, the day before in auguration. What did West Virginia do? They initially rejected the federal partnership with CBS, of all Greens, because they thought the role that would be too slow. They were correct on mess for and it staid. They relied on their mom and pop pharmacies to vaccinate residents under the theory that, well, you know, in rural West Virginia the local pharmacist is not only a source for medical information, is part of our friends and family. So two hundred and fifty of their local pharmacists set up clinics in these rural communities and as a result, the mountaineer state was the first in the nation to finish offering first doses to nursing home residents by the end of December. They got those shots in the arms and they currently lead the US in per capital vaccination rates, followed closely by, guess where? Alaska. So Republican Governor Jim Justice proclaimed that quote little West Virginia. That was still for a hundred of years, you know, as a place where maybe we were backward or dark or dingy. Turns out that quote, West Virginia has been d diamond in the rough. He said that on face the nation a couple of weeks ago. So giving concerns about vaccine safety. American farms has association the tested to West Virginia, saying having access to a healthcare provider like a community pharmacist provides a comfort levels for patients and communities, and West Virginia certainly is an example of that working very, very well. Ed Any comments on the testing and vaccine successes? Actually, to comment that I'm going to make here goes to the issues of testing that you discussed on the previous line. One of the important aspects for the mitigation strategy is to increase testing, as has occurred in Minnesota, and it's important to realize that physicians are also trying to support more testing and some of them have bought the equipment that's...

...needed for the saliva test that John mentioned. It was developed in runkers. However, the reimbursement for that provided by most insurance companies is approximately twenty one dollars. The cost for the reagents for each test is forty two dollars, so there needs to be an adjustment about how this is reimbursed for test on in the position office another logical place to do this testing because of patient might come in with symptoms, have this Alivean test and before they leave the office they would know whether or not they had the virus. So there needs to be some updating of fee schedules so that physicians actually are reimbursed for the services they provide when they do this test in their own us. Okay. Next up is our final article and it's the scrilly awards shames healthcare profiteers that appeared on medpage today in January sixth. The screlly awards were named for Entrepreneur Martin Screlli who acquired the company that made generic drug Garra Prim which is the only known cure for toxoplasmosis, and after acquiring the generic drug, he raised the price from thirteen dollars a fifty cents to seven hundred fifty dollars per pill. Allow on institute began four years ago issuing what they called the screlly awards, and it's kind of like being elected to the whole of the shame. So we'll cover the top three awards, but they wore ten awards each year and, just like the talk about to that aren't on our slide today. Fifth place was given to pharmaceutical giants astras Eneka, Glaxo Smith, climb fiser and Johnson and Johnson, because they refuse to share intellectual property on Covid nineteen. Instead decided to quote, compete for their profits. Instead, the technology access pool would have made participants discovery's openly available to more easily develop, a distribute coronavirus treatments, vaccines and diagnostics. So Dr Don Burwerk, who is the founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and then, during the Obama Administration, moves the Ministry of the Centers for Medicare and medication services said, quote, what would it be like if we were in a world in which a company like fiser or Maderna or the next company that develops a really great breakthrough says I'm the heir for the wellbeing in human race? We will make this intellectual property available to anyone who wants it. That's the way things should work, but in this case, before big farmer companies decided to know, we're going to keep it to ourselves. In seventh place, the allows it to called out hospitals that punished commissions for, quote, scaring the public, suspending or firing them because they, quote, insisted on wearing in ninety five masks and other protective equipment in the hospital. So hospitals who fired a threatened the fire commissions for speaking out on Covid nineteen safety issues were called out for their behavior.

And I think and I can both be call times here when Metro New York was in a crisis in March and April where some hospitals in our area we're firing people for speaking out about lack of PPE and people have used in ninety five masks, which is supposed to use once per patient, have use them for an entire day. We're looking ways to sterilize and we use personal protective equipment. So there's two more in the scrlly call of shame. And third place, where for California Hospital Systems that refuse to take covid nineteen patients or the delay transferation hospitals that were out of it and needed to transfer pations with hospitals they had available ICU capacity. A Wall Street Journal investigation found that these refusals or delays were generally based on the patients ability to pay. Many of the patients who are on Medicaid or uninsured. For some reason, these four California health systems ignore the fact that law of biopsies were outlawed in one thousand nine hundred and eighty six. Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment and active Labor Act and talent to stop patient dumping because in many parts of the country, for profit hospitals were sending patients who are uninsured or with well reimbursement to their public hospitals in various hospital districts. So Wall of BOPs biopsies are outboard in nineteen eighty six. These four California hospital systems seem to forget that, and I understand that several of them are being investigated by the California Attorney Tomital's office. In second place, vaccine, making Maderna of one of the heroes of operation warp speed, which set a price of thirty two to thirty seven dollars produced for its double doose vaccine. That's more than the US agreed to pay for other covid vaccines, including the one from fiser and which is also a messenger R in a based. Now, let's face it, the modernity seved almost a billion dollars in federal funding to accelerate the process of developing US vaccine. And who did they work with on it? The scientists at the Federal National Institutes of Health. Reminds me of the one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven film Wall Street, which starred Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko. And if you remember the key phrase from that quote, read is good and quotes freed is not good. We American taxpayers funded Maderna's research, gave them the best in the brightest and natural instits whust of Health to work with and they set a price which was double visors. First place goes to jared cushioner and the federal government's project average quote to airlift PPE from overseas and bring it to the US quickly. It did bring some person projective equipment to the US very quickly, but instead of getting it to the host spots, the PP was distributed to six private medical supply companies who then sold it to the highest bidder...

...and that created a bidding war among the states. We can all remember the crisis here in the Metro New York area when Ppee was unavailable or scarce supply, and we had people actually sewing masks at home and a lot of businesses converted their equipment to be able to make the face shields that coincions had to wear in treating pay as. Many of our stoles found creative ways to stretch their scarce supplies of personal protective equipment, but it was a major crisis. However, what the project air bridge did was to create bending more among the states for PPA. Interviews with the ten hard a sit counties revealed that they received no PP from project average. So Shang on Jared Kushner and Project Air Bridge. They took first place in the allow shame awards, except we're interested in your thoughts and at the coalition we'd like to know your thoughts about the future of healthcare in America and we have a brief survey that we would ask you to take. It's completely confidential, takes two or three minutes to complete and gives us information about the coverage that we all have in private health insurance or with Medicare or Medicaid. And if you take the survey you can have two options. You can receive our newsletter, the three minute read, at no cost to yourself for three months and in addition to that, if you like to learn more about the survey as you take it, you can request a copy of the final report. The survey will be active in live between now and the end of April and a report will be available by the middle of May. So we really appreciate it if you would consider taking our survey and helping us to understand some of the variables in health insurance coverage and in future podcasts will certainly give you feedback about this study and will also be talking about universal health care versus Medicare for all. Now, in the early responses to our survey, we've gotten questions from people who have participated asking or saying to US universal healthcare. That's socialized medicine. I don't want that and a universal healthcare does not have to be socialized medicine. Medicare for all is a single payer system. That is a socialized medicine model and we don't advocate for that. We advocate for the plan that we wrote in our book healing American healthcare, and that's the ICORN Hutchinson all care plan, which is actually a very capitalistic oriented plan that provides choice for employers and for individuals, and you can certainly read about it in our book, but we'll be covered in future podcasts. So thanks today. We appreciate your being with us and if there's anything you'd like us to look into discover right about now, let us know, contact us and we'd be happy to follow up with you and bring that... the three minute read and if you would like to join the mailing list, text heal healthcare to two, two, eight, to eight to get started and meantime, until the next podcast, wash your hands, watch your distance and where I'm ask thank you.

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