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A Las Vegas feed store is there require Customers looking for ivermectin to show a picture of their horse before purchasing the drug. The store is suffering from a shortage of the anti-parasite drug as people have chosen to take it as a COVID-19 treatment – despite strong warnings from virtually all professional health organizations, states, the federal government, and the drug’s manufacturer.
Meanwhile, the Biden government is stepping up its war against GOP governors banning schools from wearing masks. In five civil rights investigations, the Ministry of Education is investigating whether the nationwide bans discriminate against students with disabilities.
For The Hill we are Peter Sullivan ([email protected]), Nathaniel Weixel ([email protected]) and Justine Coleman ([email protected]). Write to us with tips and feedback and follow us on Twitter: @ PeterSullivan4, @NateWeixel and @ JustineColeman8.
Five state-wide bans on school mask mandates as part of the federal investigation
The Department of Education announced Monday that it has launched civil rights investigations into five statewide bans on mask mandates to see if they discriminate against students with disabilities.
School officials in Iowa, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah received letters from the Office for Citizens’ Rights (OCR) detailing how the ban on universal masking requirements could prevent schools from implementing policies to protect students from COVID-19, particularly those with underlying medical conditions “related to their disability”.
The investigation will investigate whether the prohibitions violate portions of the Rehabilitation Act 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act that prohibit discrimination based on an individual’s disability and give all students the right to free public education. The OCR said it would collect data from the five education departments “in the coming weeks.”
What you say: “It is simply unacceptable that heads of state should put politics above the health and education of the students for whom they have sworn an oath,” said Education Minister Cardona in a statement.
But: The department has not launched an investigation into a school mask ban in every state because Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, and Texas are not yet enforcing their policies due to legal disputes or “other state actions”.
“The department will continue to monitor these states closely and stands ready to take action if leaders prevent local schools or counties from introducing universal indoor masking, or if current court rulings are reversed,” the bureau said in a statement .
Read more here.
FEAR RUNNING UP AS COVID-19 THREATENES THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL
Students in the U.S. begin another school year under a cloud of uncertainty as the delta strain of coronavirus rips across the country, threatening to disrupt plans for a second straight year.
The unpredictability of the pandemic has caused great concern among children and teachers alike as they attempt to return to classroom school for the first time since March 2020, with lingering fears that COVID-19 could once again jeopardize education.
Back to school has left children and families with mixed feelings. Many are excited to return to face-to-face lessons after months of virtual learning, while some adults keep a vigilant eye on the rise in pediatric cases and hospitalizations.
“Routines are so important to children, and we all live in a state where routines are impossible to predict,” said Sheila Desai, director of educational practice for the National Association of School Psychologists. “With uncertainty comes fear, of course.”
Read more here.
CDC panel says more evidence is needed on boosters
An advisory panel at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) pointed out Monday that it could take a significantly different approach to booster dosing of COVID-19 vaccines than that proposed by the Biden government.
Members of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said the evidence of booster vaccination was not clear, suggesting that a risk-based approach that would prioritize long-term care facility residents and health workers rather than all eligible Americans at once would likely be considered.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to offer high levels of protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death. While some studies have found declining effectiveness against infection, the panel members said the evidence is not clear enough to warrant a booster recommendation.
Meaning: The panel did not vote on Monday, but it was clear that confirming a booster recommendation would not be a slam dunk if one had been held. Pfizer and BioNTech are calling on federal regulators to approve a third dose of booster dose for all eligible Americans. A representative from Pfizer said studies on the need for boosters are underway and initial data may not be available until late September or early October.
Timed coordination: But the Biden government has already announced that boosters will be available from the week of September 20th. Scientists and public health experts have sharply criticized the announcement, accusing the administration of pre-empting the evidence.
Vaccine approval: The panel voted 14-0 in favor of recommending the vaccine for people aged 16 and over. The move was essentially a formality as it comes a week later the FDA has granted full approval.
The panel had previously voted for a tentative recommendation before the vaccine was fully approved.
Read more here.
ASTRAZENECA REQUIRES US EMPLOYEES TO GET VACCINATIONS
AstraZeneca requires all of its U.S. employees to get the coronavirus vaccination if they plan to return to work or need to interact with customers.
“At AstraZeneca we are science driven and pushing boundaries every day to provide life changing medicines. To protect the health and well-being of our employees and communities, we must follow science and, as part of our approach to return to work, we require that all US-based AstraZeneca and Alexion employees who are on site or ours Visiting customers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, ”a spokesman for the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company said in a statement to The Hill on Monday.
The spokesman said the decision was made about two weeks ago and staff were notified afterwards.
Read more here.
Abortion providers ask SCOTUS to block the Texas “fetal heartbeat” law
A group of abortion providers on Monday called on the Supreme Court to block a Texan law that would ban virtually all abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detected.
The law, which authorizes citizens to perform or “support” abortions after the roughly six-week ban is triggered, is due to come into force this week.
“Almost fifty years ago this court ruled that Texas must not ban abortions until they were viable,” the group wrote in a court brief, referring to the landmark 1973 Roe v Wade decision. “But without the intervention of that court, in less than two days on Wednesday, September 1st, Texas will do just that.”
The application was submitted to the judiciary Samuel AlitoSamuel Alito Supreme Court Rejects Biden for “Stay in Mexico” Policy from the Trump era Biden urges the Supreme Court to keep the eviction moratorium intact. Is the eviction moratorium legal? MOREhandling emergencies from Texas.
Bigger picture, challenges for Roe v. Calf: The Texas measure is one of a series of abortion restrictions put in place by state lawmakers in recent years that pose a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which forbids states to ban abortions before the fetus is viable, usually around 24 weeks.
Read more here.
WHAT WE READ
- The demand for worming agents for Covid is increasing, although there is little evidence that it works (The New York Times)
- In Pfizer’s laboratories, “variant hunters” race to be one step ahead of the next turn of the pandemic (Statistical News)
- Concert halls rely on vaccine detection or negative tests to win fans back (Kaiser Health News)
- The wave of vaccinations kept health care as profitable as ever (Axios)
STATE BY STATE
- Butler County judge orders West Chester Hospital to treat ivermectin to a COVID-19 patient despite CDC warnings (Ohio Capital Journal and The Enquirer)
- The state is sending thousands of health workers to Texas hospitals amid a new COVID-19 surge. Will it be enough? (The Texas Grandstand)
- Alaskans await vital records as the State Department of Health comes back online after a cyber attack (Public media in Alaska)
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