Coronavirus: The Hill and the Headlines, June 2021 - Final Issue

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Your guide to the latest Hill developments, news narratives, and media headlines from Hogan Lovells Government Relations and Public Affairs practice.

Dear Readers: We will be ending the publishing of Coronavirus: The Hill and the Headlines today. We thank you for joining us as we navigated the rush of information and expansive government actions since the beginning of the pandemic over a year ago. We appreciate your readership.

In Washington:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky urged parents to vaccinate adolescents and teenagers against the coronavirus Friday, adding that COVID-19 can be severe for this age group. A study showing increased rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations among adolescents 12–17 years old accompanied a statement from Walensky noting her concern. Nearly one-third of the 204 adolescents hospitalized between January 1 and March 31 required intensive care unit admission.
  • The CDC issued new guidance on Friday saying colleges and universities that fully vaccinate their campuses can host in-person learning at full capacity without requiring mask or physical distancing. Partly unvaccinated schools will have to wade through many federal recommendations and decisions to determine how to resume campus life this fall. The Department of Education posted a new report to advise on strategies for safe operation and addressing the impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education facilities.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody drug for injections. Regeneron said in a statement on Friday that the agency also lowered the authorized dose of its drug REGEN-COV. The company said it plans to deliver at least 1 million doses to the federal government by the second quarter of this year.
  • The U.S. labor market added 559,000 jobs in May, according to Labor Department figures released Friday. Economists had expected roughly 671,000 new jobs, a significant step up from April's disappointing 266,000. The unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent, from 6.1 percent the previous month. There were 9.3 million unemployed Americans in May, a 60 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. "The May jobs report was a major improvement over April's, but we're still not in full-speed-ahead mode," said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union.
  • A group of landlords on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to end a nationwide freeze on evictions so that property owners can proceed with removing financially distressed renters from their homes. The emergency request comes a day after a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., rebuffed the group’s bid to nullify the CDC’s eviction moratorium. A federal district court judge had invalidated the moratorium, but stayed her ruling. The appeals court left that stay in place. The landlords are now asking the Supreme Court to undo the stay.

In the News:

  • On Wednesday, the U.S. recorded almost 19,000 new COVID-19 cases and 601 deaths from the virus, according to Johns Hopkins University. In total, COVID-19 has thus far killed over 592,000 Americans. The worldwide death toll now stands at 3.7 million people. According to CDC data, 51 percent of all Americans have received at least one vaccine dose, and 41 percent are fully vaccinated. Worldwide about 2 billion vaccine doses have been administered.
  • The United Kingdom has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children ages 12-15. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said clinical trial data showed the vaccine was "safe and effective in this age group."
  • The Biden administration announced Thursday that the U.S. will provide 25 million COVID-19 vaccines for the world and will donate 75% of its surplus doses through an international initiative for countries in need.
  • In response to vaccine shortages in Canada, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization of Canada said people can mix their AstraZeneca vaccine with a different one for the second dose. Although they recommend both shots be the same brand, limited supplies of Moderna and AstraZeneca may result in a Pfizer follow-up.

[View source.]

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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