U.S. President Joe Biden speaks about his administration’s plans to respond to the economic crisis during a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response event in the State Dining Room at the White House in Washington, January 22, 2021.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Joe Biden has painted a bleak picture of the nation’s coronavirus outbreak in his first few days in office, warning that it will take months to turn around the pandemic’s trajectory and that fatalities are expected to dramatically rise over the next few weeks.

“A lot of America is hurting. The virus is surging. We’re 400,000 dead expected to reach well over 600,000,” Biden said on Friday before signing two executive orders designed to reduce hunger and bolster workers’ rights amid the pandemic.

The U.S. surpassed 400,000 total Covid-19 deaths on Tuesday, with a quarter of those coming over the previous 36 days, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. On Biden’s first full day as president on Thursday, he told reporters following a meeting with his Covid-19 advisors, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, that the nation would likely top 500,000 Covid-19 deaths in February.

Biden warned on Friday that as the outbreak continues, “there’s nothing we can do

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At the last minute, President Donald Trump granted pardons to several individuals convicted in huge Medicare swindles that prosecutors alleged often harmed or endangered elderly and infirm patients while fleecing taxpayers.

“These aren’t just technical financial crimes. These were major, major crimes,” said Louis Saccoccio, chief executive officer of the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association, an advocacy group.

The list of some 200 Trump pardons or commutations, most issued as he vacated the White House this week, included at least seven doctors or health care entrepreneurs who ran discredited health care enterprises, from nursing homes to pain clinics. One is a former doctor and California hospital owner embroiled in a massive workers’ compensation kickback scheme that prosecutors alleged prompted more than 14,000 dubious spinal surgeries. Another was in prison after prosecutors accused him of ripping off more than $1 billion from Medicare and Medicaid through nursing homes and other senior care facilities, among the largest frauds in U.S. history.

“All of us are shaking our heads with these insurance fraud criminals just walking free,” said Matthew Smith, executive director of the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. The White House argued all deserved a second chance. One man was said to have

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Johnson & Johnson board member Dr. Mark McClellan told CNBC that “if the clinical trial works out,” the company could significantly increase the nation’s Covid vaccine supply availability within the coming weeks. 

“I do know that J&J is making a very large supply, going all out with its production, both here in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, with the goal of having perhaps enough vaccines for 100 million Americans by spring, by this April or so,” said the former FDA Commissioner in a Thursday evening interview on “The News with Shepard Smith.” 

During remarks at the White House on Thursday, the government’s top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci said that Johnson & Johnson would have enough data on its vaccine to begin analysis within a week or two. McClellan told host Shepard Smith that the most important thing for the company’s vaccine is the large scale clinical trial that is under way now.  

“The independent scientists who are overseeing that study should be taking a close look in the very near future based on those results, and we’ll see how fast the vaccine could go forward,” McClellan said. 

The U.S. is averaging about 883,000 jabs of the

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) blamed Walgreens and the federal government for the Garden State’s sluggish vaccine rollout during a Wednesday evening interview on CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith.”

“The big reason is the federal program with CVS and Walgreens,” Murphy said. “They basically amassed these doses, they schedule visits to long-term care nursing homes, extended living, and they’re punching under their weight, particularly Walgreens, and that’s where most of the yet to be used doses are.”

Murphy suggested to host Shepard Smith that Walgreens “put more bodies on the case” in order to solve the rollout problem. 

On Tuesday, Murphy said that New Jersey was effectively equipped to dole out the vaccine, but that all the providers were missing “are the vaccine doses.” New Jersey has a population of approximately 8.882 million people, and has distributed 898,550 vaccines, while only administering 432,220 of them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Murphy pointed to the Covid vaccine doses under state control and said that they are getting into people’s arms more efficiently.

“You can’t find many doses in hospitals or other distribution points that we control directly, that are going unused,” Murphy said. “We’re

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When Allison Scott came out as a trans woman in 2013, she told not only family and friends, but also her primary care physician.

She didn’t need his help with hormone therapy. She had another doctor for that. But she wanted to share the information with her doctor of more than 10 years in case it affected other aspects of her health.

She was shocked when he told her he would no longer treat her.

“It was humiliating,” said Scott, now director of policy and programs for the Campaign for Southern Equality, an LGBTQ advocacy organization based in North Carolina. “It’s not because the provider doesn’t have the knowledge they need, but because the provider isn’t comfortable with who you are.”

Surveys in North Carolina and across the nation show that about one-third of transgender people have been refused treatment or suffered verbal or physical abuse from a medical provider.

Such concerns have become more worrisome during the covid-19 pandemic, when being denied health care — or avoiding it due to fear of discrimination and previous negative experiences — can have deadly consequences.

But Scott and other advocates in North Carolina now see an opening to push for city and

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At Leipzig University Hospital, pharmacy students Anne Brandt (l) and Sarah Schulz prepare six syringes from a vial of Biontech/Pfizer’s SARS-CoV-2 corona virus vaccine for the vaccination of medical staff. There are currently more requests for vaccination appointments than can be offered at the moment.

picture alliance | picture alliance | Getty Images

Since Germany kicked off its vaccination drive in late December, along with the rest of the EU, it’s come across a raft of logistical challenges.

Now, nearly a month into the program, its sluggish progress is causing frustration and concern among some German lawmakers and health professionals.

Health Minister Jens Spahn had targeted 300,000 inoculations a day, but so far the country has failed to hit that. Data from public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute, published Tuesday showed that in the previous 24 hours, just over 62,000 vaccinations (the majority of which were first doses) were carried out.

In total, since Germany began vaccinations in all its 16 states on Dec.27, almost 1.2 million people in Germany (the priority groups for now are healthcare workers, nursing home residents and staff and the elderly) have received a first dose of the coronavirus vaccine and almost 25,000 have

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