The recent surge in COVID-19 cases is creating another health crisis in the US as more patients return to delaying medical care due to fear, confusion or problems accessing the care they need. Oncologist Dr. Debra Patt said screening mammograms are down by 90% in Austin, Texas, while Dr. David Fleeger, a colorectal surgeon in Austin, said many patients are canceling colonoscopies, and both physicians expressed worry that missed cancer screenings could hurt outcomes.
California, New Mexico and Oregon are reimposing restrictions on indoor activities, and at least 27 states have paused efforts to reopen businesses as COVID-19 cases spike across the country. The US has recorded over 3.3 million COVID-19 infections and at least 135,582 deaths since the pandemic started.
Up to 28 million Americans could face eviction in the next two months due to the COVID-19 pandemic "especially as the limited support and intervention measures that are in place start to expire," according to Emily Benfer, chair of the Task Force Committee on Eviction of the American Bar Association. Benfer said studies show that evictions are linked to increased mortality and other poor health outcomes, and with shelter in place being the main response to the pandemic, she fears that an increase in homelessness could further spread COVID-19.
A CDC analysis found Hispanic and nonwhite, non-Hispanic people under age 65 who died of COVID-19 tended to be younger than their white counterparts, and the percentage of deaths among Hispanic and nonwhite people was higher than their representation in the population. About 35% of Hispanics and 29.5% of nonwhite, non-Hispanic people who died of COVID-19 during the period were younger than 65, compared with 13.2% of their white peers.
Pharmaceutical firms working with the federal government are expected to start manufacturing a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of summer, according to a senior administration official who said officials are already working with drugmakers to set up manufacturing facilities and obtain raw materials. The administration's Operation Warp Speed is funding at least four vaccines and aims to produce 300 million vaccine doses by year's end.
Two of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine candidates, BNT162b1 and BNT162b2, were granted fast track status by the FDA, making them eligible for priority review. The partners plan to launch a large trial involving up to 30,000 participants, starting as soon as later this month.
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., called on the Trump administration to provide $25 billion to support vaccine development, ramp up production of vaccine-related items and create a framework for distribution in the next pandemic response package. "Rapidly and equitably developing, producing, distributing, and administering hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine will be a massive challenge, demanding effective management, discipline and transparency," Murray said.
The coronavirus pandemic offers a great time for financial advisors to integrate more technology solutions such as video and automation into their practices, writes Fred Duden of Broadridge Financial Solutions. However, firms must not sacrifice personalization while beefing up technology, Duden writes.
The Prudential Financial Wellness Census showed 34% of US adults with household incomes under $30,000 did not have a job in May, compared with less than 10% of those who had a household income of $100,000 or more. The survey found 51% of people said the novel coronavirus pandemic disrupted their financial health and among those who had lost a job or had income interrupted, 17% lost employer contributions to a retirement plan.
HHS, the Department of Labor, and the Treasury Department released a proposed rule giving health insurance plans grandfathered in by the Accountable Care Act some flexibility to make changes without affecting their grandfathered status. High-deductible health plans would be able to increase cost-sharing requirements, and there would be an alternate way of calculating cost-sharing increases for copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs.
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