COVID-19 Federal Response Update – Friday, May 15, 2020

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By Capitol Associates, Inc. 

  • The House of Representatives is voting on R. 6800, the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill introduced by House Democrats. If passed, the bill will not receive consideration in the Senate. However, it could serve as the basis for future negotiations on bipartisan legislation. The bill is not expected to receive much Republican support if any. There are also some Democrats who oppose the bill.
  • The House is also voting on Res. 965, which would authorize House Members to remotely vote 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, and bars and restaurants.
  • The CDC also published new guidance for healthcare providers about Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome Potentially Associated with COVID-19. Little is known about this syndrome. It was only recently observed in places ranging from New York to 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.
    • Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health.
    • 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 malaria drug hydroxychloroquine used with antibiotic azithromycin to treat COVID-19.
  • President Trump is preparing an executive order which will require that certain essential drugs are 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.

Please  contact the AHRA Regulatory Affairs Committee with any regulatory questions you may have at

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