What explains the shortage of stocks in the United States
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– The country’s stock of emergency medical supplies is well below federal targets, leaving the United States vulnerable if coronavirus cases increase again.
– New survey shows demand for Covid-19 vaccine continues to slow, with only a small percentage of the unvaccinated population still anxious to get vaccinated.
– The hospital industry will fight financing plans the bipartisan White House infrastructure bill that could divert Covid-19 relief funds.
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WHAT DRIVES THE AMERICAS SHORTAGE OF STOCK – A year and a half after Covid-19 reached U.S. shores, the country’s reserve of essential medical supplies remains far too small to fight a generalized pandemic.
The national strategic stockpile is running out of hundreds of millions of surgical masks, gloves and gowns, reports POLITICO’s Erin Banco – with internal data showing the current inventory at less than 7% of federal targets.
The administration is also struggling to meet oxygen demands from abroad, sending only a fraction of the supplies hard-hit countries have requested. Nepal, for example, has requested nearly 20,000 oxygen cylinders. But a recent shipment from the United States contained only about 1,000.
Difficulties with increasing stocks risk leaving the United States unprepared for a further increase, especially since the vaccination rate stagnates and the more transmissible Delta variant circulates.
The government still has no good way to quickly ramp up production of needed supplies, and lawmakers are just beginning to explore ways to better finance and organize the federal stock.
The administration believes it now has enough supplies to meet the state’s small demands and handle a moderate increase in cases. But a larger spike would reduce the federal government to simply supplementing the states’ own stocks.
It is also likely to remain limited in its ability to help foreign countries. Although the United States allocated $ 18 million last year to increase the supply of medical oxygen to 11 countries, the machines purchased only reached three of those countries.
And as Covid-19 continues to spread around the world, demands on the United States are increasing; already dozens of other countries are seeking emergency oxygen supplies.
MORE SIGNS REQUEST FOR VACCINES DECREASES – According to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, only 3% of adults plan to be vaccinated against Covid-19 – the lowest proportion recorded to date.
The finding is the result of two trends: a rising vaccination rate among those wanting to be vaccinated, and a hardening among the minority of Americans who don’t want it – leaving fewer people in the so-called mobile environment. that the Biden administration is still trying to reach.
The good news: According to the KFF survey, about 65 percent of adults are at least partially vaccinated, of which 85 percent are older people and 7 in 10 women. Among most demographic groups, at least half now report being vaccinated.
This has contributed to a wave of optimism, with three quarters of the public saying the United States is nearing the end of the pandemic.
But here’s the bad news: Fourteen percent of adults are strongly opposed to the vaccination, and 6 percent won’t unless they have to – and those numbers have remained largely stable since January.
Resistance is greatest among the uninsured, Republicans and rural dwellers, where nearly a quarter say they “definitely” don’t get shot. It also causes the gender gap to widen, with women being more likely to be vaccinated than men.
“This difference seems to reflect largely the differences in partisan identification between men and women, with 43% of men identifying themselves as Republicans or Independents with Republican leanings against 27% of women,” the KFF report said.
What could make the difference: Full vaccine approval by the FDA – a development that may allay safety concerns among some refractory groups. But, in the meantime, the survey says it’s all about making vaccines attractive and easily accessible, including offering incentives and bringing the vaccines directly to those who are not vaccinated.
COULD LONG COVID CONCERNS BOOST VACCINATIONS? – That’s the suggestion of an initiative led by former CDC director Tom Frieden, who found in his own investigation that nearly a third of adults are unaware of the threat of long-term complications from Covid. -19.
After symptoms were described, 32% of unvaccinated respondents said they were more likely to get the vaccine, according to the Resolve to Save Lives survey. After watching video testimonials from long Covid patients, this proportion rose to 39%.
Yet even these results indicated that there remained a determined unvaccinated population, with 42% of them saying they cared little or no for the long duration of Covid, as too much is still unknown about the disease. – or they do not believe at all that they will contract the disease.
HPITAL BLAST BIDEN INFRASTRUCTURE PAY-FORS – Nine hospital organizations criticize the White House plan to fund billions of dollars in new infrastructure spending under a bipartisan deal.
In a letter to congressional leaders, the coalition took particular interest in the potential for reallocating funds from Covid-19 to pay for legislation. Hospitals are still waiting for billions more in pandemic aid to be distributed through the Provider Relief Fund.
The groups also oppose extending planned cuts to federal programs, including Medicare.
“Medicare funds should not be used to pay for roads and bridges,” wrote the coalition, which includes the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals.
As part of the White House plan, About $ 80 billion in funding from Covid-19 would go to fund the bill, as well as extending cuts to federal programs and a range of other measures. But Congress has repeatedly waived those cuts, and it is still unclear how it would muster the $ 80 billion from various sources of relief in the event of a pandemic.
The infrastructure deal is also threatened on the Hill. After striking a bipartisan deal, the Main Democrats are now trying to allay concerns within their own party about their infrastructure strategy, report Sarah Ferris and Nicholas Wu of POLITICO.
AMA BEGINS LOOKING FOR NEW JAMA CHIEF EDITOR – The American Medical Association appoints a search committee to find a new leader for the medical journal, weeks after the much-publicized ousting of its former editor.
The 18-person panel, who will lead the extensive recruitment and hiring process, includes a range of prominent academics and public health experts. Johns Hopkins University Professor of Oncology and Epidemiology, Otis Brawley, will chair the committee.
The backstory: Former JAMA editor-in-chief Howard Bauchner announced his resignation earlier this month amid scrutiny of a March podcast questioning the existence of structural racism in healthcare. health. A tweet from the official JAMA account promoting the episode claimed that “No doctor is racist, so how can there be structural racism in healthcare?
Bauchner and others from JAMA and AMA then apologized for the podcast and tweet, both of which were deleted. Bauchner, who was also put on administrative leave, officially resigns today.
April Kapu is the new president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. Kapu is a Nursing Executive at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Professor and Associate Dean at Vanderbilt School of Nursing.
Students enrolled in Caribbean medical schools – many of which are for-profit – are finding it increasingly difficult to gain acceptance into residency programs, reports Emma Goldberg of the New York Times.
California’s once-vaunted vaccination campaign has stalled in black and Latino neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, reports Angela Hart of Kaiser Health News.
The dizzying drop in daily new cases of Covid-19 gives health officials another chance to successfully implement contact tracing programs, writes Betsy McKay of the Wall Street Journal.