Coronavirus News Archive

COVID Is Causing Increase in Suicidal Thoughts and Decrease in Mental Health

According to recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, “40 percent of American adults have reported struggling with mental health or substance abuse” during the COVID-19 pandemic. One-third reported feelings of anxiety and/or depression, and one-quarter said that they were struggling with trauma-related issues. One in eight reported either developing or increasing substance-abuse problems.

Worst of all, 11 percent reported that they seriously considered suicide in the last few months.

White House update

Nursing homes are now required to test their staff twice a week, weekly, or monthly, depending on local factors such as an individual facility’s risk for COVID-19 transmission. Residents and staff will also be tested when there are new cases. In order to make this required testing easier and less costly, the Trump Administration is providing point-of-care testing devices and an initial supply of test kits to nursing homes. The Trump Administration has already shipped over 2 million point-of-care tests and over 5,600 point-of-care machines to the highest risk nursing homes. The Trump Administration is also actively monitoring supplies at every nursing home and sending 1.5 million N95 masks to those that have reported shortages.

FDA Issues Emergency Use Authorization for Convalescent Plasma as Potential Promising COVID–19 Treatment

Based on the scientific evidence available, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) that investigational convalescent plasma be used for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. According to the FDA, this product may be effective in treating COVID-19 and the known and potential benefits of the product outweigh the known and potential risks of the product.

Catholic Charities Pandemic Assistance Total Nearly $400 Million

“We are feeding more people than ever,” he said. Whereby in a typical month before the pandemic the program served between 5,000 and 7,000 people, agency statistics showed, the numbers rose significantly in the spring. In April it was 11,000, in May 21,000 and in June 25,000.

HHS Awards Over $35 million to Increase Access to High Quality Health Care in Rural Communities

“President Trump has made it a priority to strengthen rural health infrastructure and promote the health of rural Americans,” said HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan. “As someone who grew up in rural America and with rural healthcare providers in my family, I know the challenges they face, and I know there’s a need for transformation. These awards are in line with the actions the President called for in his Executive Order on Improving Rural Health and Telehealth Access and are part of our overall effort to improve rural access to care in sustainable and innovative ways.”

The Trump Administration Strongly Supports Telehealth Innovation

“The onset of COVID-19 has challenged our Nation and the world to rethink the future of healthcare delivery. The Trump Administration is advancing our Nation’s health through a shared public and private sector commitment to emerging technologies that make high quality healthcare more accessible for all Americans,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said.

Donate Blood

• The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. Blood is needed every day to provide lifesaving treatments to a variety of patients. You can help ensure that blood continues to be available for patients by finding a blood donor center near you to schedule your donation.
• To find where you can donate blood, visit aabb.org.

Trump Administration Uses Defense Production Act to Aid Our Most Vulnerable

"The federal efforts to supply nursing homes with rapid point-of-care antigen instruments and tests is our highest priority to save lives and the US Government will exert its full authority to complete this mission. We are invoking the priority rating of the Defense Production Act to expedite shipments of instruments and antigen tests to give nursing homes the ability to perform these rapid tests. HHS will continue to explore every possible avenue to get life-saving supplies to the frontlines of this war on the virus.” Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D., Assistant Secretary for Health and COVID-19 Testing Coordinator.

White House update - mobilization

Today, President Trump held a news conference on his Administration’s historic industrial mobilization to ensure Americans have the necessary PPE to fight the coronavirus.
• Today, the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy released a new report on how the Trump Administration has harnessed the full power of the Defense Production Act to achieve the greatest industrial mobilization since World War Two.
• The administration has exercised the authority under the Defense Production Act and related authorities 78 times, dispersing over $3.5 billion to speed the development and manufacturing of essential materials.
• Since the start of the pandemic, we have tripled the number of N95 masks on hand to over 40 million, tripled the number of gowns to over 15 million, and quadrupled the number of ventilators to 69,000.
• By September, the Strategic National Stockpile inventory is on track to contain over 300 million N95 respirators and surgical masks, over 4.5 billion gloves, and over 190,000 ventilators.
• The federal government is collaborating with McKesson Corporation, a central distributor of future COVID-19 vaccines and related supplies needed to administer the vaccinations, to rapidly distribute a coronavirus vaccine as soon as one is approved.
• We currently have three candidates in phase three clinical trials and are on pace to have more than 100 million doses of a vaccine ready before the end of the year and 500 million doses very shortly thereafter.

Assistance for Communities

Assistance for Communities
CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. These grants are being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Donate blood

Donate Blood
• The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. Blood is needed every day to provide lifesaving treatments to a variety of patients. You can help ensure that blood continues to be available for patients by finding a blood donor center near you to schedule your donation.

White House update - vaccines

• Today, President Trump announced an agreement with Moderna to manufacture and deliver 100 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine candidate.
• Recently, we also secured partnerships with Johnson & Johnson, as well as Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline, to support the large-scale manufacturing of their vaccines.
• Three vaccine candidates are now in phase three trials already – the final stage of clinical trials.
• We are investing in the development and manufacture of the top six vaccine candidates to ensure rapid delivery and are on track to rapidly produce 100 million doses as soon as the vaccine is approved, and up to 500 million shortly thereafter.
• We’ve treated more than 86,000 Americans with convalescent plasma.
• The United States has now conducted more than 66 million tests, far more than any other nation in the world.
• Protecting our nursing home residents remains a critical focus for the Trump Administration. HHS recently announced that they will use the provider relief fund to deliver an additional $5 billion dollars to further protect nursing homes and long-term care facilities as they continue to combat the coronavirus.
• We have delivered over 1800 rapid point-of-care testing devices to nursing homes and we are in the process of delivering these devices to all 15,000 Medicare and Medicaid certified nursing homes by the end of September.
• 87% of the counties in the United States reported declining cases.
• Mortality has declined by 7% and hospitalizations are declining rapidly.
• States that were primary hotspots such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona have reduced cases by nearly 25%.
• Since the end of July, the seven-day average for cases in the United States has fallen by nearly 20%.

White House update - schools

Today, President Trump participated in a forum on getting America’s children safely back to school. President Trump continues to be committed to helping schools safely reopen for the wellbeing of America’s children and has already dedicated significant resources and efforts to support our schools. Fact sheet: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-supporting-americas-students-families-encouraging-safe-reopening-americas-schools/

Donating plasma

Donate COVID-19 Plasma
• If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. Learn more here.
• To find where you can donate source plasma, visit donatingplasma.org.

White House update

Today, both President Trump and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany provided an update on the Administration’s COVID-19 efforts.
• In the last seven days, nationwide cases declined by 14%, hospitalizations decreased by 7%, and fatalities decreased by 9%.
• President Trump built the world’s leading testing system from nothing, based on a virus we have never faced before. To date, we have already conducted more than 65 million tests, far outpacing any other country.
• The Administration continues to take actions to protect the most vulnerable populations in nursing homes and senior citizens areas. We have delivered over 1,800 rapid point-of-care testing devices and shipped over 700,000 tests to nursing homes.
• This weekend, President Trump took executive action designed to provide relief to those who need it most. Through four executive orders, he took the following steps:
o On the payroll tax, he deferred payments of the employee portion of certain payroll taxes from September 1st through the end of 2020.
o On unemployment assistance, states will provide 25 percent cost sharing, amounting to a total of $400 per week in benefits through the end of the year.
o He extended eviction protections by directing HUD to prevent evictions resulting from financial hardships caused by the virus, doing everything in his executive capacity to make sure renters and homeowners are protected.
o Finally, on student loans, he extended 0 percent interest and suspended loan payments through the end of the year.

FDA Commissioner: “No Matter What, Only A Safe, Effective Vaccine Will Get Our Approval”

This Op-ed by Dr. Stephen Hahn, FDA Commissioner, writes about the large-scale clinical trials already have begun for several promising vaccine candidates and what information the FDA will require to decide whether approval of the vaccine for general use is justified.

CDC Updated Toolkit for Young Adults – 15 to 21


Resources and tools designed for youth and young adults to keep them healthy as they venture out.

Proposal to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries and Advances in Access to Care in Rural Areas


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access.

Donate Blood

• The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. Blood is needed every day to provide lifesaving treatments to a variety of patients. You can help ensure that blood continues to be available for patients by finding a blood donor center near you to schedule your donation.

White House news conference

Today, President Trump held a news conference on COVID-19, where he announced plans to retroactively cut payroll taxes from July 1st through the end of year, enhance unemployment benefits through the end of the year, defer student loan payments and forgive interest until further notice, and extend the eviction moratorium.

Assistance for Communities


CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. These grants are being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Phase 3 Clinical Trial of Investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins


A Phase 3 clinical trial designed to evaluate if an investigational vaccine can prevent COVID-19 in adults has begun. The vaccine was co-developed by the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc. and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The trial, to be conducted at 89 U.S. clinical research sites, is expected to enroll approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who do not have COVID-19. (See next item)

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