COVID-19 Federal Responses: Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Federal Responses: Friday, May 15, 2020

The House of Representatives is voting on H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill introduced by House Democrats, although there are some Democrats who oppose it. The bill is not expected to receive much Republican support, if any, and will not receive consideration in the Senate. However, it could serve as the basis for future negotiations on bipartisan legislation.

The House is also voting on H.Res. 965, which would authorize House Members to vote remotely by proxy.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new guidance for businesses on how to reopen from the current state of lockdown. The guidance includes  schools, workplacescamps, child care programsmass transit systems, bars and restaurants.

The CDC also published new guidance for healthcare providers about the little-known  Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome potentially associated with COVID-19. It was only recently observed and potentially associated with COVID-19 from New York and throughout Europe.

Vice President Mike Pence announced the following additions to the White House COVID-19 Taskforce:

  • Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture.
  • Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Labor.
  • Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.
  • Dr. Peter Marks, FDA Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
  • Thomas Engels, Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin a clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine used with the antibiotic azithromycin to treat COVID-19.

President Trump is preparing an executive order requiring that certain essential drugs be manufactured in the United States.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an updated version of its FAQ on how the federal anti-kickback statute applies to the various temporary regulatory flexibilities. OIG also updated its work plan.

A new study published in Health Affairs describes the effectiveness of social distancing measures taken by federal, state and local governments.

NOTE: Information coming out of the Capital is beginning to slow. Starting the week of May 18, we will begin providing federal updates for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – unless there is breaking news.