Feb 1, 2017

What we learned from Tom Price's written answers

Andrew Harnik/AP

Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price answered a lot of written questions from Finance Committee members after his hearing last week, and while you won't learn a lot about his stock dealings, you will learn more (in some cases) about issues he'd have to deal with at HHS. Here are some highlights from his answers:

  • The "gag order" for HHS employees is "standard" for a new administration and has a "clear and expedited process for adequate review" for how to communicate with members of Congress.
  • The Healthy Indiana Plan — written by Seema Verma, the likely next head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services — "has long been and continues to be a national model for state-led Medicaid reforms."
  • Said the Trump administration's Obamacare replacement plan is "a work in progress."
  • Said he would defer to Congress on whether the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation should continue.
  • Said he supports the goals of new health care models like accountable care organizations "in general," but that their successes have been "modest to date."
  • Said only that "there likely will be overlap" between his goals on cancer research and the goals of former Vice President Joe Biden's "cancer moonshot" program.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,513,358 — Total deaths: 88,415 — Total recoveries: 329,329Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 430,376 — Total deaths: 14,739 — Total recoveries: 23,707Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Top Trump administration officials had been developing a plan to give cloth masks to huge numbers of Americans, but the idea lost traction amid heavy internal skepticism.
  4. States latest: New York has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe. Chicago's Cook County jail is largest-known source of coronavirus in U.S.
  5. Business: One-third of U.S. jobs are at risk of disappearing, mostly affecting low-income workers.
  6. World: WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to put politics aside "if you don’t want to have many more body bags.”
  7. Environment: COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.
  8. Tech: A new report recommends stimulus spending to help close the digital divide revealed by social distancing.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: New York tops previous day's record death toll

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in the state in 24 hours. The state has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

Why it matters: Public health officials have warned this would be a particularly deadly week for America, even as New York began to see declining trends of hospitalizations and ICU admissions.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 57 mins ago - Health

The pandemic and pollution

New York City's skyline on a smoggy day in May 2019. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

COVID-19 is underscoring the connection between air pollution and dire outcomes from respiratory diseases.

Why it matters: Old-fashioned air pollution is almost certainly the single biggest environmental health threat, contributing to the deaths of some 7 million people a year according to the WHO, making it comparable to deaths from smoking.

Go deeperArrow4 hours ago - Health