GOP balks at White House request for billions for public health, natural disasters, Ukraine

BY: - September 9, 2022

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress are lukewarm about providing $47 billion in new emergency spending for the ongoing Ukrainian war against Russia’s invasion, COVID-19 and monkeypox public health campaigns, and to help states recover from natural disasters. GOP senators, who have returned to Washington after Congress’ summer break, aren’t so sure the Biden administration’s request […]

Montana politics, politicians may have been able to save 1-in-3 COVID deaths

BY: , and - September 7, 2022

Note: This story was originally published by ProPublica. Vicky Rae Byrd had a sinking feeling. As she scrolled through her phone on election night, her pick for president — Joe Biden — seemed to have a slight edge. Byrd was too stressed to turn on the local news. Her husband sat down with her in […]

COVID-19 vaccine may become annual, like flu shot

BY: - September 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — COVID-19 boosters shots are on track to become as frequent as the annual flu shot, though high-risk people may need more than one dose per year, Biden administration officials said Tuesday. “For a large majority of Americans, we are moving to a point where a single annual COVID shot should provide a high […]

Unraveling the interplay of Omicron, reinfections and Long COVID

BY: - September 4, 2022

The latest COVID-19 surge, caused by a shifting mix of quickly evolving omicron subvariants, appears to be waning, with cases and hospitalizations beginning to fall. Like past COVID waves, this one will leave a lingering imprint in the form of long COVID, an ill-defined catchall term for a set of symptoms that can include debilitating […]

White House requests $47 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine, vaccines and more

BY: - September 2, 2022

The Biden administration is asking Congress for emergency funding to support Ukraine’s military, national COVID and monkeypox responses and to help communities affected by natural disasters. The current fiscal year ends Sept. 30 and Congress has not passed a funding measure for next year, so a short-term bill would be needed to keep the government […]

CDC endorses updated COVID-19 vaccine boosters for this fall

BY: - September 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention late Thursday signed off on the approval from the agency’s independent vaccine advisers that recommended an updated coronavirus vaccine booster this fall. The CDC recommended boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for those who are 12 years old and older and from Moderna for those who are 18 and older. These […]

Wastewater surveillance has become a critical disease tracking tool, but funding remains a problem.

BY: - August 28, 2022

To look at recent data posted on Clemson University’s covid-19 dashboard, one might assume that viral activity is low on the Upstate South Carolina college campus. The dashboard, which relies on positive COVID-19 tests reported by local laboratories and on-campus medical offices, identified 34 positive cases among students during the third week of August and […]

Anthony Fauci, leader on federal COVID response, to step down in December

BY: - August 22, 2022

WASHINGTON — Anthony Fauci, one of the federal government’s leading public health figures, announced Monday he’ll be leaving his post in December, though he made clear he’s not retiring. The 81-year-old doctor who runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, became a household name […]

COVID sewage surveillance labs join the hunt for monkeypox

BY: - August 14, 2022

The same wastewater surveillance techniques that have emerged as a critical tool in early detection of COVID-19 outbreaks are being adapted for use in monitoring the startling spread of monkeypox across the San Francisco Bay Area and some other U.S. communities. Before the COVID pandemic, wastewater sludge was thought to hold promise as an early […]

Dr. Ryan Cole defends his medical license, saying complaints are political attacks

BY: - August 5, 2022

The medical board in the state of Washington is considering disciplinary action against Dr. Ryan Cole, the Idaho pathologist who serves on a public health board while advocating against COVID-19 vaccines and accusing other public health agencies of fraud. In a 40-page response to complaints against him, Cole and his attorney argued that he did […]

Montana Supreme Court said masking in schools may serve legitimate, legal purpose

BY: - August 3, 2022

In a 5-0 decision, the Montana Supreme Court said that courts in Gallatin and Missoula counties were correct in refusing to issue an injunction that would have prohibited public schools in the state from COVID-19 masking requirements during the pandemic. The decision, issued Wednesday, was only limited to the issue of a temporary injunction, leaving […]

‘Who will take care of us?’: Montana’s nursing homes disappearing at an alarming rate

BY: - July 31, 2022

In the past six months, Montana has lost approximately 10 percent of its nursing home beds throughout the state as seven nursing homes have announced they are closing because they can’t continue to sustain a loss of more than $100 per day on each resident. The problem, which has been most pronounced in rural communities, […]