US Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Issues New Guidance for Health Care Providers on Civil Rights Protections for People with Disabilities

US Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Issues New Guidance for Health Care Providers on Civil Rights Protections for People with Disabilities. “Today, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued guidance to health care providers on civil rights protections for people with disabilities. The guidance, issued by HHS’ Office for Civil Rights, makes clear that in light of the continuing public health emergency, when resources can be scarce, it is vital that individuals with disabilities are not prevented from receiving needed health care benefits and services as this violates federal civil rights laws.”

BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Violated Federal Law By Silencing Staffers During The COVID-19 Outbreak

BuzzFeed News: The Trump Administration Violated Federal Law By Silencing Staffers During The COVID-19 Outbreak. “The Department of Health and Human Services broke the law last year when it told staff members not to speak with the media during the coronavirus pandemic, a federal watchdog found. In February, BuzzFeed News published internal agency emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act showing that Michael Caputo, who had been tapped by President Donald Trump to control messaging around the pandemic, had harshly criticized a CDC spokesperson for speaking to CNN about COVID-19 response plans.”

GovInfoSecurity: HHS Launches Repository for Health Sector Cybersecurity Help

GovInfoSecurity: HHS Launches Repository for Health Sector Cybersecurity Help. “The new website provides a single repository for healthcare and public health sector entities to access an array of resources, best practice documents, videos, newsletters and other tools aimed at raising awareness, driving behavioral change and moving toward consistency in mitigating the cybersecurity threats most relevant to the sector, HHS says.”

Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Launches Spanish Language App to Help Latinos Navigate Health Care Questions, Issues New Report Highlighting Latino Coverage Issues

Department of Health and Human Services: HHS Launches Spanish Language App to Help Latinos Navigate Health Care Questions, Issues New Report Highlighting Latino Coverage Issues. “Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a Spanish version of its QuestionBuilder app, which can help Latino patients prepare for their in-person or telehealth appointments. The HHS Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) built QuestionBuilder en Español, which is being released during Hispanic Heritage Month and Health Literacy Month, to improve health care access and equity for Latinos.”

Rolling Stone: Trump Official Planned to Give Santa Claus Performers Early Access to Covid-19 Vaccine

Rolling Stone: Trump Official Planned to Give Santa Claus Performers Early Access to Covid-19 Vaccine. “You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I’m telling you why. Santa Claus has early access to the Covid-19 vaccine. At least, that’s how it would be if Michael Caputo, one of Trump’s HHS assistant secretaries, had his way. In perhaps one of the strangest plans to come out of this White House, Caputo proposed a $250 million campaign that would give Santa Claus performers access to the coronavirus vaccine before the general public. In exchange, the performers would agree to promote the vaccine to all the boys and girls who came to sit on their lap at Christmastime. And don’t fret about Mrs. Claus and the elves, because this hair-brained plan included giving them the vaccine, too.”

‘A mass exodus’: HHS staffers jumping ship amid pandemic, fears of Trump loss (Politico)

Politico: ‘A mass exodus’: HHS staffers jumping ship amid pandemic, fears of Trump loss. “At least 27 political appointees have exited the embattled Health and Human Services department since the start of the Covid-19 crisis in February, according to a POLITICO review, and senior leaders are bracing for dozens more officials to depart swiftly if President Donald Trump loses re-election.”

Politico: HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away

Politico: HHS ad blitz sputters as celebrities back away. “The health department’s $300 million-plus, taxpayer-funded vehicle to boost confidence in President Donald Trump’s response to the pandemic is sputtering. Celebrities are refusing to participate, and staff are arraying against it. Some complain of the unstated aim of helping Trump’s re-election. Others point to an ill-prepared video team and a 22-year-old political appointee who has repeatedly asserted control despite having no public health expertise, according to six people with close knowledge of the campaign and documents related to its operations.”

‘It’s like every red flag’: Trump-ordered HHS ad blitz raises alarms (Politico)

Politico: ‘It’s like every red flag’: Trump-ordered HHS ad blitz raises alarms . “The health department is moving quickly on a highly unusual advertising campaign to ‘defeat despair’ about the coronavirus, a $300 million-plus effort that was shaped by a political appointee close to President Donald Trump and executed in part by close allies of the official, using taxpayer funds.”

New York Times: In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.

New York Times: In ‘Power Grab,’ Health Secretary Azar Asserts Authority Over F.D.A.. “In a stunning declaration of authority, Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, this week barred the nation’s health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing any new rules regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines.”

New York Times: C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections

New York Times: C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections. “A heavily criticized recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last month about who should be tested for the coronavirus was not written by C.D.C. scientists and was posted to the agency’s website despite their serious objections, according to several people familiar with the matter as well as internal documents obtained by The New York Times.”

NBC News: Top HHS official takes leave of absence after Facebook rant about CDC conspiracies

NBC News: Top HHS official takes leave of absence after Facebook rant about CDC conspiracies. “In the video, first reported by The New York Times, Michael Caputo, HHS’ assistant secretary for public affairs, charged that scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ‘don’t want America to get well.’ He also urged supporters of President Donald Trump to load up on ammunition in preparation for a violent left-wing rebellion if the president wins re-election.”

Politico: How Michael Caputo transformed what the public learned about coronavirus

Politico: How Michael Caputo transformed what the public learned about coronavirus. “On Wednesday, after POLITICO detailed Caputo’s efforts to interfere with the weekly scientific reports coming out of the CDC and a disastrous rant in which he accused health officials of plotting against Trump, the 58-year-old spokesman announced he was taking a 60-day medical leave. HHS officials are left to assess the damage to their credibility at a time when they need the public to accept the safety and effectiveness of the coronavirus vaccine they choose as soon as next month.”

Times-Union: Feds shipping 7 million masks to New York for students, teachers

Times-Union: Feds shipping 7 million masks to New York for students, teachers. ” As students head back to school, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will send 6.9 million cloth face coverings to New York this month for distribution to students, teachers and staff at schools across the state. Masks arriving in September may prove useful to some schools, but most schools offering in-person learning have already had to procure thousands of face coverings and districts are unsure if they’ll get reimbursed for those new costs, amid state budget cuts and limited federal aid.”

Politico: Emails show HHS official trying to muzzle Fauci

Politico: Emails show HHS official trying to muzzle Fauci. “Emails obtained by POLITICO show Paul Alexander — a senior adviser to Michael Caputo, HHS’s assistant secretary for public affairs — instructing press officers and others at the National Institutes of Health about what Fauci should say during media interviews. The Trump adviser weighed in on Fauci’s planned responses to outlets including Bloomberg News, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post and the science journal Cell. Alexander’s lengthy messages, some sent as recently as this week, are couched as scientific arguments. But they often contradict mainstream science while promoting political positions taken by the Trump administration on hot-button issues ranging from the use of convalescent plasma to school reopening.”