Monday's health stories

Trump says executive order on pre-existing conditions would be a "signal" on GOP stance

President Trump told reporters on Monday that his executive order to support insurers covering pre-existing conditions would be a "signal" to show Americans where Republicans stand on the issue.

Why it matters: The Trump administration is currently arguing before the Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act — which enforces the policy that Trump is referencing — should be struck down.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

The winter from hell

Photo: Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The hope and promise of May is gone, replaced by the realization that America is in for another miserable year of COVID-19.

Why it matters: Another winter — and another flu season — is on the way as the U.S. engages in a whack-a-mole strategy that slows down the virus in one region, but sees it flaring up in another.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

At least 48 local public health leaders have quit or been fired during pandemic

Former California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell on Feb. 27 in Sacramento, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

At least 48 local and state-level public health leaders have retired, resigned or been fired across 23 states since April, according to a review by the AP and Kaiser Health News.

Driving the news: California public health director Dr. Sonia Angell resigned on Sunday without explanation, a few days after the state fixed a delay in reporting coronavirus test results that had affected reopenings for schools and businesses, AP reports.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

Europe's CDC recommends new virus restrictions amid "true resurgence in cases"

Revellers enjoy an informal Bal des Pompiers next to the fire station at Point Éphémère on July 13, 2020 in Paris. Photo: Kiran Ridley/Getty Images

The European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned on Monday that the continent is seeing a "true resurgence" in coronavirus cases and recommended that affected countries consider reimposing certain restrictions.

Why it matters: Many European countries, including former global hotspots Italy and Spain, were able to successfully curb the spread of COVID-19 over the summer through stringent lockdown restrictions and a phased reopening. The ECDC warned that the "recent increase" in infections is a result of countries relaxing their social distancing and other mitigation measures.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

German biotech company CureVac sets terms for IPO

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

CureVac, a German Phase 1 biotech company developing mRNA-based cancer therapies and vaccines as well as a potential coronavirus vaccine, announced terms for its IPO.

Why it matters: COVID-19 is the biggest story in the world right now and any company that can potentially contribute to the fight is a big deal.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 10, 2020 - Economy & Business

Richer Americans are more comfortable eating out

Reproduced from CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

A new survey from CivicScience shows higher-income Americans are returning to dining and delivery at a higher rate than their less wealthy peers.

Why it matters: Wealthy Americans have a greater share of overall U.S. income than ever before and increased spending could be a boon to the restaurant and fast food sectors.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Aug 10, 2020 - Health

How to do smarter coronavirus testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With testing once again a huge vulnerability to America’s coronavirus response, public health officials are calling for a revamped strategy that features the use of more tests, even if they're imperfect.

Why it matters: The system is overwhelmed by the demand for tests, and yet prolific testing is key to identifying asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic coronavirus cases. Experts say the solution is smarter testing — which doesn't require perfect accuracy.

Aug 10, 2020 - World

Azar conveys Trump's "strong" support for Taiwan during historic visit

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks as Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen looks on during his visit to the Presidential Office in Taipei on Monday. Photo: Pei Chen/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised Taiwan during a visit Monday for being a "vital partner, a democratic success story, and a force for good in the world."

Why it matters: The highest-level visit by a U.S. cabinet official to Taiwan since 1979 shows the increasing importance of the island state, which China considers to be part of its territory. It comes at a time of heightened tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese government.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

97,000 children test positive for coronavirus in two weeks

A boy has his temperature checked as he receives a free COVID-19 test in South Los Angeles in July. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

At least 97,000 children tested positive for COVID-19 in the final two weeks of July and there's been an estimated 338,000 cases involving kids in the U.S. since the pandemic began, a new report finds.

Why it matters: The report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children's Hospital Association comes as schools and day cares look to reopen in the U.S.

Updated Aug 10, 2020 - World

PM prepares for "COVID election" as NZ marks 100 days of no community spread

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attends the launch of the Labour Party's election campaign in Auckland on Saturday. Photo: Michael Bradley/AFP via Getty Images

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday.

Why It Matters: New Zealanders are going to the polls on Sept. 19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw NZ lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June. She sees her government's response to and recovery from the coronavirus outbreak as key to her Labour Party being re-elected.

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

New York reports new low positive coronavirus test rate

People physically distancing at tables in New York City's Times Square in June. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced Sunday 515 people, or 0.78% of those tested, returned a positive reading for COVID-19 the previous day.

Why it matters: It's the lowest single-day positive rate since the start of the pandemic. It's another sign that the state that was once a global coronavirus epicenter is curbing the spread of the virus. "Our daily numbers remain low and steady, despite increasing infection rates across the country, and even in our region," Cuomo said in a statement. "But we must not become complacent: Everyone should continue to wear their masks and socially distance."