The Healing American Healthcare Podcast
The Healing American Healthcare Podcast

Episode 7 · 11 months 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.

Want to join our mailing list? Text HEALHEALTHCARE to 22828 to get started. And be sure to go to to learn more about the Healing American Healthcare Coalition™.

Welcome to the three minute read podcast. I'm John Golden, editor of the twice monthly newsletter of the healing Americanhealthcare coalition. Once or twice a year we actually publish a third issue andwe'll be discussing January's third issue today. Joining me once again is at Ikoron 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 believewe were still trying to figure it out. You can find our background and contactinformation at the end of the podcast and I launched the three minute readlast March to summarize some of the critical issues affecting busy clinicians and physicians asthey struggle through this pandemic. To date we've covered a hundred eleven articles fromfifty different sources on a variety of topics, including physician practices, insurance coverage anddrug costs and, of course, the pandemic. January, twenty twothousand and twenty one was the one year anniversary of the first covid nineteen caseconfirmed in Washington state was a traveler returning from Mohan province in China with morethan four and a thousand American deaths from the pandemic. President Joe Biden tookof us in Washington DC on January twenty, and long bunch and all that assaulton the coronavirus. Our first three article summaries deal with President Biden's initialactions on covid nineteen. So let's dig into the latest issue of three minuteread. The first article was entitled Biden looks to Galvanize Covid nineteen fight andvaccinations as he takes all office. It was from Reuters and was published onJanuary twenty, inauguration day. During his inaugural address. After taking the oathof all of us, President Biden asked for a moment of silence in memoryof the more than four a thousand Americans that perished in the pandemic. Hethen stated, quote in his address, we're entering what may be the toughestand deadliest period of the virus and as set aside politics and finally face thispandemic as one nation. Following his inauguration, he moved to the Oval Office wherehe signed his first three executive orders, one requiring masks to be worn onfederal property to rejoin the World Health Organization, and third, establishing anew Wood House Office for coordinating the response to the virus and led by JeffZemes. The federal mask mandate drew praise from the US Chamber of Commerce PresidentSuzanne Clark Call It, quote, a smart and practical approach. UN SecretaryGeneral Antonio Gootier, is also welcome the reengagement of the United States with theWorld Health Organization. Another UN spokesman said it was absolutely critical for a bettercoordinated global response against Covid nineteen, basically... have United States back involved again. Next up on Thursday from the Associated Press, talking about Biden signing aburst of virus orders and vowing that, quote, help is on the way. Next, on Friday, The New York Times summarize what's in by theseexecutive 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 firstfull day in office. He's giving bilment agencies a green light to use thedefense production act. That's a Cold War era act of Congress and act allowsthe 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 swabsto mask to certain chemicals and the agents used in testing. White House CoronavirusCoordinator Jeff Seen says, quote, we do not have nearly enough testing capacityin this country and that's one of the issues that he will be addressing thisthe federal mandate that requires masks wearing during travel across the state lines. Sowhether it's plains, trains or automobiles the crossing state lines, you must weara mask. When it comes to its national travel, with the transportation TSAwill be enforcing the mandate. He also looked to expand the nation's supply ofrapid tests, establishing the pandemic testing board once the double testing supplies and increasedlap space for tests and surveillance for corona virus hot spots. In expanding vaccineavailability, bidens established a goal of a hundred million shots in the first hundreddays 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 theend of December and actually by January nineteen, the day before the auguration, thetotal of vaccine shots administraed was sixteen point five million, far less thanthe twenty million promised by the end of December. You also established a healthequity task force to identify the parts of the population who are particularly hard hitby the virus, analyzing needs by race, ethnicity, geography and disability, amongother factors. Directed his agencies to publish guidance for safety, reopening schoolsand for protecting the health of workers. At his press conference on that Thursdayreport a question whether the hundred million shots in his first hundred days was toolow. A Bar Biden's response was quote. When I ann asked it, youall 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 fallif the vaccination campaign goes well.

An update on that later. Butachieving widespread herd immunity would require vaccinating as many as two hundred eighty million peopleare total populations around three thirty million in America. The issue to protect ordersthe health of workers during the pandemic is an important one. I think itwall can remember that the occupational safety and Hazard Administration kind of fell asleep atthe switch back last spring and one meat packing plants where workers are coming downwith covid nineteen and many of those workers died. So that is a particularlyimportant 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 Institutesof Health to draft a plan to support the study of new drugs of Covidnineteen for treatment for future public health crisis through large randomized trials. The treatmentshould be ones that, quote, can be easily manufactured, distributed and administeredboth domestically and internationally. End, quote, according to that executive order. Sowe declared or Covid nineteen virus for now, fifteen days into the bythe administration. And what he have in terms of updates? Well, thevaccinations 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 sevenmillion doses have been distributed in the United States. Earlier this week, JaneJa applied to the FDA for emergency utilization of their vaccine, and approval isexpected by February twenty eight. If that occurs, this vaccination could begin beingdistributed during the first week in March. ABC News reported this morning that theywould have a hundred million doses available by the beginning of June. Other sourcesof suggested they could have as many as two hundred million doses available early inMay. This is very significant because the J and J vaccine needs to bestored in regular refrigeration rather than in a freezer, and only one dose isrequired 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 ofone point six billion dollars in the middle of last year and they have donetrials in the Great Britain, Brazil and South Africa which yielded the community againstsome very difficult conditions. They have now retained twentyzero volunteers in the United Statesand expect to have full complement of Thirtyzero by the end of March and hopeto 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 dosesavailable by the end of June. Today it was announced by Dr Fouchi thathe expects approval for using the vaccines for a students from the age of twelveto eighteen in the United States in late May or early June. Back toyou. Lots of it is on the vaccine front. In fact, onethat we probably never will see here in the US. Russia's spot nick fivevaccine apparently also hits highly effective. The Russians actually thought of vaccinating before theclinical trials were through, and there was a lot of skepticism at that timeabout our premature issuance of the vaccines. But apparently they must have had afair amount of confidence in the vaccine. And now the latest reports is thatit is affected and they are exporting it to their member states, including mostrecently Iran. Next up, the US needs more covid testing and Minnesota hasfound a way. This was a major story in Bloomberg Business Week in theJanuary eleventh issue. So very lengthy and detailed enumeration of how Minnesota stepped upit'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 toinvest about a hundred fifty million in expanding their testing capability and that included amajor ramp up of a Salib attest that was developed here in New Jersey atRufus University last spring. They're one of the few states in the country that'sadopted the the kind of approach at Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan tookto avoid the worst of the bandemic's ruin. What their governor, Tim Waltz,instead quote, it was a catastrophic failure on the federal level, talkingabout the US approach testing. So Minnesota had begun their testing with the mazeof the PCR swabs and they were able to ramp that up to about tenthousand tests a day. They determined that they needed to have a lot moretesting 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 createda super spreader event. So what they did was to ramp up testing usingthe rutgers test. Infinity biologics is the company that involved from the rutgers spittest 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 depotand they currently are receiving about four deliveries daily from the ups and processing aboutthirtyzero tests per day, with the results available within forty eight hours. Soit's a major expansion from the NASAL PCR tests. Now, according to theAASDA, 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'shomes and even when they're administered at testing sites, collecting saliva samples requires fewermedical professionals and less personal protective equipment than using nasal or throw swabs. Soit's a more efficient than effective way of getting samples. foretesting spitting into atube is more comfortable than being swabbed, although the recommendation is that you smellpickles before you spit into a tube, because it doesn't require a fair amountof saliva. You can eat the pickles later. When neighboring North Dakota andSouth Dakota or showing the highest positivity rates in the nation, Minnesota rank twentyone. So governor walls this conclusion. Was that their strategy? Yeah,you bet you. It was effected. Next up on the vaccination front iscountry rose. Little West Virginia sets the pace on vaccine rollout. That wasan 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 theirmom and pop pharmacies to vaccinate residents under the theory that, well, youknow, in rural West Virginia the local pharmacist is not only a source formedical information, is part of our friends and family. So two hundred andfifty of their local pharmacists set up clinics in these rural communities and as aresult, the mountaineer state was the first in the nation to finish offering firstdoses to nursing home residents by the end of December. They got those shotsin 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 thatquote 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. Sogiving 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 comfortlevels for patients and communities, and West Virginia certainly is an example of thatworking 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 issuesof testing that you discussed on the previous line. One of the important aspectsfor the mitigation strategy is to increase testing, as has occurred in Minnesota, andit's important to realize that physicians are also trying to support more testing andsome of them have bought the equipment that's...

...needed for the saliva test that Johnmentioned. It was developed in runkers. However, the reimbursement for that providedby most insurance companies is approximately twenty one dollars. The cost for the reagentsfor each test is forty two dollars, so there needs to be an adjustmentabout how this is reimbursed for test on in the position office another logical placeto do this testing because of patient might come in with symptoms, have thisAlivean test and before they leave the office they would know whether or not theyhad the virus. So there needs to be some updating of fee schedules sothat physicians actually are reimbursed for the services they provide when they do this testin their own us. Okay. Next up is our final article and it'sthe 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 madegeneric drug Garra Prim which is the only known cure for toxoplasmosis, and afteracquiring the generic drug, he raised the price from thirteen dollars a fifty centsto seven hundred fifty dollars per pill. Allow on institute began four years agoissuing what they called the screlly awards, and it's kind of like being electedto 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 thataren't on our slide today. Fifth place was given to pharmaceutical giants astrasEneka, Glaxo Smith, climb fiser and Johnson and Johnson, because they refuseto share intellectual property on Covid nineteen. Instead decided to quote, compete fortheir profits. Instead, the technology access pool would have made participants discovery's openlyavailable to more easily develop, a distribute coronavirus treatments, vaccines and diagnostics.So Dr Don Burwerk, who is the founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvementand then, during the Obama Administration, moves the Ministry of the Centers forMedicare and medication services said, quote, what would it be like if wewere in a world in which a company like fiser or Maderna or the nextcompany that develops a really great breakthrough says I'm the heir for the wellbeing inhuman 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 bigfarmer companies decided to know, we're going to keep it to ourselves. Inseventh 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 nineteensafety issues were called out for their behavior.

And I think and I can bothbe call times here when Metro New York was in a crisis in Marchand April where some hospitals in our area we're firing people for speaking out aboutlack of PPE and people have used in ninety five masks, which is supposedto use once per patient, have use them for an entire day. We'relooking ways to sterilize and we use personal protective equipment. So there's two morein the scrlly call of shame. And third place, where for California HospitalSystems that refuse to take covid nineteen patients or the delay transferation hospitals that wereout 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 basedon the patients ability to pay. Many of the patients who are on Medicaidor uninsured. For some reason, these four California health systems ignore the factthat 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 patientdumping because in many parts of the country, for profit hospitals were sending patients whoare 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 fourCalifornia hospital systems seem to forget that, and I understand that several of themare 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 seta 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, includingthe 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 federalfunding to accelerate the process of developing US vaccine. And who did they workwith on it? The scientists at the Federal National Institutes of Health. Remindsme of the one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven film Wall Street, whichstarred Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko. And if you remember the key phrase fromthat quote, read is good and quotes freed is not good. We Americantaxpayers funded Maderna's research, gave them the best in the brightest and natural institswhust 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 toairlift PPE from overseas and bring it to the US quickly. It did bringsome person projective equipment to the US very quickly, but instead of getting itto the host spots, the PP was distributed to six private medical supply companieswho then sold it to the highest bidder...

...and that created a bidding war amongthe states. We can all remember the crisis here in the Metro New Yorkarea when Ppee was unavailable or scarce supply, and we had people actually sewing masksat home and a lot of businesses converted their equipment to be able tomake the face shields that coincions had to wear in treating pay as. Manyof 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 bridgedid was to create bending more among the states for PPA. Interviews with theten 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 inthe allow shame awards, except we're interested in your thoughts and at the coalitionwe'd like to know your thoughts about the future of healthcare in America and wehave 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 coveragethat we all have in private health insurance or with Medicare or Medicaid. Andif you take the survey you can have two options. You can receive ournewsletter, the three minute read, at no cost to yourself for three monthsand in addition to that, if you like to learn more about the surveyas 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 anda report will be available by the middle of May. So we really appreciateit if you would consider taking our survey and helping us to understand some ofthe variables in health insurance coverage and in future podcasts will certainly give you feedbackabout this study and will also be talking about universal health care versus Medicare forall. Now, in the early responses to our survey, we've gotten questionsfrom people who have participated asking or saying to US universal healthcare. That's socializedmedicine. I don't want that and a universal healthcare does not have to besocialized medicine. Medicare for all is a single payer system. That is asocialized medicine model and we don't advocate for that. We advocate for the planthat we wrote in our book healing American healthcare, and that's the ICORN Hutchinsonall care plan, which is actually a very capitalistic oriented plan that provides choicefor employers and for individuals, and you can certainly read about it in ourbook, but we'll be covered in future podcasts. So thanks today. Weappreciate your being with us and if there's anything you'd like us to look intodiscover right about now, let us know, contact us and we'd be happy tofollow up with you and bring that... the three minute read and ifyou would like to join the mailing list, text heal healthcare to two, two, eight, to eight to get started and meantime, until the nextpodcast, wash your hands, watch your distance and where I'm ask thank you.

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