HHS Testing Czar Rips Nevada for Stopping Rapid Tests in Nursing Homes

WASHINGTON — Nevada public health officials’ recent actions preventing nursing homes from using rapid screening tests for COVID-19 are “unjustified” and don’t follow the science on testing, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “testing czar” Adm. Brett Giroir, MD, said Friday.

The state’s actions are “not scientifically valid. They must cease their prohibition immediately,” Giroir said on a phone call with reporters. “If you need technical support,” he told the nursing homes, “we are enthusiastic to do more. Lives are at stake and our administration is not going to allow action to risk our seniors or any other vulnerable or underserved population.”

Letter Sent to Nursing Homes

On October 2, the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services sent a letter to healthcare providers and long-term care facilities, noting that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had sent point-of-care antigen tests to nursing homes across the country —

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HHS Secretary Azar says U.S. could have enough doses for every American by March

Alex Azar, secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), wears a protective mask during a House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. Azar is appearing before the committee to testify on the coronavirus crisis and the Trump administration’s portrayal of Covid-19 deaths. Photographer: Michael A. McCoy/The New York Times/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Thursday the U.S. could have enough Covid-19 vaccine doses for every American as early as March, a more optimistic estimate than President Donald Trump has publicly said.

The Trump administration’s coronavirus vaccine program Operation Warp Speed expects to have up to 100 million doses by the end of the year, Azar said during a keynote speech at the Goldman Sachs Healthcare virtual event on the coronavirus. That’s “enough to cover especially vulnerable populations,” he

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U.S. HHS announces further $20 billion funding to healthcare providers

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday announced a fresh round of $20 billion funding for frontline healthcare providers dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new allocation will take into account financial losses and changes in operating expenses caused by the coronavirus, the agency said, adding that providers that have already received relief fund payments can also apply for more funds.

Providers who have recently begun practice and behavioral health providers grappling with a surge in mental health and substance abuse issues since the virus outbreak can also apply.

The move comes as prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders surged in the second quarter compared to a year ago, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm.

Since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. government has announced billions of dollars in support for hospitals and medical providers to

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