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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The Trump administration is urging hospitals to postpone elective surgeries to make room for coronavirus patients — and hospitals do need to free up more beds.

Yes, but: It's worth remembering that "elective" is a broad term, and these decisions — even if they're the right ones — will have real consequences for real patients.

Case in point: NBC News published a heart-wrenching story last night about a patient who needs a liver transplant, but whose transplant surgery — scheduled for later this month — was canceled amid concerns about the coronavirus.

  • To preserve beds in their intensive care units, some hospitals are only performing transplant surgeries for the patients most at risk of death, NBC reports.
  • Prolonging even more routine procedures — like knee replacements or dental procedures — may be difficult for some patients, even if it's ultimately safer for them and the community as a whole.

What they're saying: This plan "will not only preserve equipment, but it also allows doctors and nurses to help those that are on the front lines, and it will protect patients from unnecessary exposure to the virus," CMS administrator Seema Verma said Wednesday.

Go deeper: Pence asks hospitals to delay elective procedures amid coronavirus pressure

Go deeper

The elusive political power of Mexican Americans

Data: Pew Research Center, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Michelle McGhee/Axios

Mexican Americans make up the nation's largest Latino group, yet they remain politically outshined by more recently arrived Cuban Americans.

Why it matters: The disparities in political power between Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans reflect the racial, historical, geographical and economic differences within Latino cultures in the U.S.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
52 mins ago - Health

The barriers to vaccine passports

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccine passports could become available soon to help people resume their livesbut they face numerous scientific, social and political barriers to being accepted.

The big picture: Reliable and accessible proof of vaccine-induced protection from the novel coronavirus could speed international travel and economic reopening, but obstacles to its wide-scale adoption are so great it may never fully arrive.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate action on stimulus bill continues as Dems reach deal on jobless aid

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Democratic leaders struck an agreement with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) on emergency unemployment insurance late Friday, clearing the way for Senate action on President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package to resume after an hours-long delay.

The state of play: The Senate continued to work through votes on a series of amendments overnight into early Saturday morning.