- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the Senate will hold a vote this week to approve additional small business funding as well as a vote on a Republican-led COVID-19 relief bill that provides about $500 billion worth of relief.
- Democrats are trying to get the Trump Administration to agree to a $1.8 trillion relief bill but Congressional Republicans do not support a bill that large.
- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) gave the Administration until Monday night to reach an agreement if they want to pass a relief bill before Election Day. Reports indicate progress is being made in those talks.
White House and Federal Agencies
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will increase payments to labs for COVID-19 tests and will continue to pay more for tests that produce results within two days.
- CVS and Walgreens are partnering with the government to provide COVID-19 vaccines in nursing homes once a vaccine is approved.
- NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blogpost discussing the science behind mental health responses to disasters with Dr. George Everly Jr., a psychologist and professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore.
- BARDA and Beckman Coulter are working together to aid in the detection of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a severe complication following SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates
- CDC updated the COVID Data Tracker to reflect updated maps, charts, and data on COVID-19 infections across the U.S.
- CDC released information on monitoring the impact of COVID-19 during pregnancy to protect pregnant people and their babies. CDC is working with state, local, and territorial health departments and external partners to learn more about COVID-19 during pregnancy.
- A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC shows that persons aged ≥65 years and members of minority racial and ethnic groups are disproportionately represented among COVID-19–associated deaths.
- The CDC does not support mandatory coronavirus testing for K-12 schools.
Economy, Vaccine, Testing and Treatment
- Public health experts are warning that increasing cases across the world is the beginning of a third wave in the United States.
- No details have been provided for Johnson & Johnson’s decision to pause its COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial after a patient reported an adverse reaction last week.
- FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn urged people not to be overly alarmed when COVID-19 vaccine trials pause after a reported adverse reaction. He reminded everyone that this is how the process is supposed to work and that these incidents are common across all types of clinical trials.
- In an open letter clarifying the timeline for developing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, Pfizer will not submit data to the FDA to begin the approval process until the third week of November.
- The NIH is beginning Phase 3 trials for three drugs to test if they are effective at controlling immune system overreactions in COVID-19 patients.
- A poll from STAT News and The Harris Poll shows that only 58 percent of the population said they will get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available. This is down from 69 percent from a poll conducted in mid-August.
- A study from the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes that four drugs have little to no effect as treatments for COVID-19, though some of them are commonly used to treat patients. The drugs are remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon. Critics of the study say it was not peer reviewed.