Today’s early morning highlights from the major news organizations.


Kaiser Health News:
How Lifesaving Organs For Transplant Go Missing In Transit


When a human heart was left behind by mistake on a Southwest Airlines plane in 2018, transplant officials downplayed the incident. They emphasized that the organ was used for valves and tissues, not to save the life of a waiting patient, so the delay was inconsequential. “It got to us on time, so that was the most important thing,” said Doug Wilson, an executive vice president for LifeNet Health, which runs the Seattle-area operation that processed the tissue. (Aleccia, 2/10)


Kaiser Health News:
Finding Connections And Comfort At The Local Cafe


Doug and Connie Moore met at seminary. He was a student and pastor of an inner-city congregation, and she was a student and a public health nurse. “She’s the one who drew me to the needs of the poor,” Doug says. The pair wed in 1974, and Doug became a pastor at the First Evangelical Free Church of Los Angeles in 1983. They became deeply involved in their community and dedicated much of their free time to teaching English as a second language, creating tutoring programs and mentoring students in poor communities here and abroad. (De Marco, 2/10)


Kaiser Health News:
In Fierce Debate, Democratic Candidates Expand Health Agenda Arguments


Democratic presidential candidates faced off on the debate stage for the eighth time this campaign season. Meeting in Manchester, N.H., they returned to now familiar health care themes — “Medicare for All” versus a public option, the cost of prescription drugs and other key areas they say are ripe for change. Once again, candidates sparred over the cost of the single-payer health reform bill promoted by Vermont  Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Luthra and Knight, 2/9)


Reuters:
Trump Slashes Foreign Aid, Cuts Safety Net Programs In New Budget Proposal


U.S. President Donald Trump will propose on Monday a 21% cut in foreign aid and slashes to social safety-net programs in his $4.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal 2021, according to senior administration officials. The budget would spend money to fund infrastructure projects and defense, but would also raise funds by targeting $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs in the United States. It assumes revenues around $3.7 trillion. (2/9)


The New York Times:
Trump To Propose $4.8 Trillion Budget With More Border Wall Funding


Those reductions encompass new work requirements for Medicaid, federal housing assistance and food stamp recipients, which are estimated to cut nearly $300 billion in spending from the programs. The budget will also cut spending on federal disability insurance benefits by $70 billion and on student loan forgiveness by $170 billion. The budget will propose cutting foreign aid spending by 21 percent and, as in previous budgets, eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It would cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention budget by 9 percent but increase funding levels for the center’s infectious disease activities. It targets specific programs, including some at the National Institutes of Health, for cuts. (Tankersley, Rappeport, Kanno-Youngs and Sanger-Katz, 2/9)


The Wall Street Journal:
Trump To Propose $4.8 Trillion Budget With Big Safety-Net Cuts


The White House proposes to cut spending by $4.4 trillion over a decade. Of that, it targets $2 trillion in savings from mandatory spending programs, including $130 billion from changes to Medicare prescription-drug pricing, $292 billion from safety-net cuts—such as work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps—and $70 billion from tightening eligibility access to disability benefits. The budget would lower future spending from where it would be under current policy. A senior administration official said government spending will continue to rise, but not as much as it would under current policy. (Davidson and Restuccia, 2/9)


The Associated Press:
Trump Budget To Face Skepticism, Overwhelming Politics


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that “once again the president is showing just how little he values the good health, financial security and well-being of hard-working American families.” “Year after year, President Trump’s budgets have sought to inflict devastating cuts to critical lifelines that millions of Americans rely on,” she said in a statement. “Americans’ quality, affordable health care will never be safe with President Trump.” (Taylor, 2/9)


The New York Times:
Victors In Iowa, Sanders And Buttigieg Are Targets In Democratic Debate


The two victors in the Iowa caucuses, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., came under sharp and sustained criticism in a Democratic presidential debate on Friday, as their rivals tried to stop their momentum by assailing Mr. Sanders for his left-wing ideas and past opposition to gun control while targeting Mr. Buttigieg over his thin résumé and ties to big donors. … The gun issue was a major point of vulnerability for Mr. Sanders in his 2016 bid for the Democratic nomination, but until now had not been a significant part of the 2020 campaign. (Burns and Martin, 2/7)


The New York Times:
Sanders And Buttigieg Clash, Aiming For A Two-Person Race


In Dover, Mr. Buttigieg offered his own broadside, alleging that Mr. Sanders had not leveled with voters about the cost of his policy ambitions, especially single-payer health care. Rebuking Mr. Sanders again for what he has called an uncompromising view of leadership, Mr. Buttigieg suggested that voters “deserve somebody who can actually deliver math that adds up.” “What we could do without is a plan so expensive that Senator Sanders himself freely admits he has no idea how it’s supposed to be paid for,” Mr. Buttigieg said. (Burns and Corasaniti, 2/9)


The Washington Post:
Biden, Warren Battle For Third Place In New Hampshire


Biden also on Sunday took a swipe at Sanders’s health-care plan, saying it was too expensive and would take too long to enact. The Vermont senator’s biggest problem, Biden argued, was that he wasn’t being fully truthful with the American people. “Look, the one thing I think the public is looking for as much as anything is authenticity,” Biden said. “Just tell me the truth. And if you don’t know, don’t ask me to buy a pig in a poke.” (Wootson, Viser and Sonmez, 2/9)


The Associated Press Fact Check:
Dems Skew Health Care, Iraq Facts In Debate


Democratic presidential contenders stretched beyond the facts on policy and sometimes on their own records Friday in their New Hampshire debate.Amy Klobuchar called out Pete Buttigieg for an evolution on health care that he didn’t acknowledge. KLOBUCHAR, on Buttigieg’s evolution on health care: “And Pete, while you have a different plan now, you sent out a tweet just a few years ago that said henceforth, forthwith, indubitably, affirmatively, you are for ‘Medicare for All’ for the ages.” BUTTIGIEG: “Just to be clear, the truth is that I have been consistent throughout in my position on delivering health care for every American.”


Politico:
Buttigieg Takes A Beating, Biden Concedes N.H., And Klobuchar Goes Big: Key Debate Moments


One of Buttigieg’s biggest weaknesses is among black voters, specifically when it comes to his record as mayor of South Bend, Ind. And it’s a record that he didn’t want to talk about when it came to an increase of marijuana arrests among African-Americans when he led the city. “The reality is, on my watch, drug arrests in South Bend were lower than the national average, and specifically lower than in Indiana,” Buttigieg said, avoiding the question about the increase of arrests over marijuana during his term. He then spoke about opiate arrests and the crack epidemic of the 1990s. ABC debate moderator Linsey Davis then steered the issue back to the question, noting that arrests of black people for marijuana possession went up. Buttigieg said the arrests only increased in drug cases connected to serious crimes like “gun violence and gang violence, which was slaughtering so many in our community — burying teenagers, disproportionately black teenagers.” Davis then asked Warren if Buttigieg answered the question. “No,” Warren said. (Caputo and McCaskill, 2/7)


The Associated Press:
Nevada Union Warns Members Of Sanders, Warren Health Plans


Nevada’s most influential union is sending a subtle message to its members discouraging support for Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren over their health care stances even though the union has not yet decided if it will endorse a candidate in the Democratic presidential race. The casino workers’ Culinary Union, a 60,000-member group made up of housekeepers, porters, bartenders and more who work in Las Vegas’ famed casinos, began distributing leaflets in employee dining rooms this week that push back against “Medicare For All,” the plan from Sanders and Warren to move to a government-run health insurance system. (Price, 2/7)


Politico:
Why Employers Are Flirting With The Public Option


Big businesses are beginning to warm up to what was once unthinkable: a public option for health care. Democrats have bitterly split over whether to build on Obamacare by adding a government-run insurance choice to compete with commercial insurers, or whether to scrap the current system and move to “Medicare for All.” The public option was dropped from the original Obamacare bill a decade ago. (Luthi, 2/8)


USA Today:
Medicare For All? Obamacare? No Buzzwords And US Agrees On Health Care


Health care is one of the most divisive issues of the 2020 presidential campaign, with candidates disparaging insurers and polarizing labels creating deep divisions even among Democrats. But remove the buzzwords from the policies, and voters who will decide the election aren’t so far apart in their own positions, new research shows. Regardless of party affiliation, nearly everyone wants to see the nation’s health care system improved, and a majority want big changes. That includes people for whom the system is working well, and those who may be political opposites. (O’Donnell, 2/7)


Stat:
A Closer Look At Bernie Sanders’ Plans To Upend Pharma, Lower Drug Prices


Sen. Bernie Sanders is making high drug prices a signature issue on the campaign trail. The Vermont senator, who identifies as an independent, “Democratic socialist”-style progressive, reshaped Democratic politics with his insurgent bid for the party’s nomination in 2016, and now appears to be a frontrunner for the party’s nomination in 2020. Since before his presidential bid, Sanders has also become even more involved on the issue of prescription drug pricing in his role as a senator. In a meeting during the fall of 2018, Sanders told an aide he hoped to introduce legislation that would reduce U.S. prescription drug prices by half. In late 2018, and again in 2019, he introduced a bill to cap U.S. drug payments at the mean level paid by five peer nations: Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and France. The measure is even more aggressive than a similar Trump administration proposal, which would enact a pilot program capping payments for physician-administered drugs under Medicare’s Part B at 126% the price of a similar but wider “basket” of developed nations. (Facher, 2/7)


The New York Times:
Coronavirus Epidemic Reaches Bleak Milestone, Exceeding SARS Toll


The coronavirus epidemic in China surpassed a grim milestone on Sunday with a death toll that exceeds that of the SARS outbreak 17 years ago, a development that coincided with news that World Health Organization experts might soon be in the country to help stanch the crisis. The outbreak has killed at least 908 people in China in the month since the first death was reported in January in Wuhan, the city where the novel coronavirus emerged in December, apparently in a wholesale food market. Two people have died outside China. (Myers and Zraick, 2/9)


The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Outbreak Has Killed More People Than SARS


The outbreak of SARS killed 774 people after its emergence in southern China in 2002 and 2003, mostly in mainland China and Hong Kong. The coronavirus now surpasses SARS in both the number of confirmed cases and fatalities. China’s cabinet-level National Health Commission on Sunday confirmed 3,062 new cases of infection, up from 2,656 on Saturday, bringing the total to 40,171. SARS infected 8,098 people during its outbreak. (Woo, 2/9)


The Associated Press:
Mainland China Virus Cases Rise Again After Earlier Decline


Mainland China has reported another rise in cases of the new virus after a sharp decline the previous day, while the number of deaths grow by 97 to 908, with at least two more outside the country. On Monday, China’s health ministry said another 3,062 cases had been reported over the previous 24 hours, raising the Chinese mainland’s total to 40,171. (2/8)


The New York Times:
C.D.C. And W.H.O. Offers To Help China Have Been Ignored For Weeks


For more than a month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been offering to send a team of experts to China to observe its coronavirus outbreak and help if it can. Normally, teams from the agency’s Epidemic Intelligence Service can be in the air within 24 hours. But no invitation has come — and no one can publicly explain why. (mcNeil and Kanno-Youngs, 2/7)


The Washington Post:
WHO Has Praised China’s Coronavirus Response. That Baffles Some Health Crisis Experts.


As a mysterious virus spread through Wuhan last month, the World Health Organization had a message: China has got this. And as the coronavirus swept across the Chinese heartland and jumped to other nations, the WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, applauded the “transparency” of the Chinese response. Even as evidence mounted that Chinese officials had silenced whistleblowers and undercounted cases, Tedros took a moment to extol the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Rauhala, 2/8)


The New York Times:
As Deaths Mount, China Tries To Speed Up Coronavirus Testing


Dr. Zhang Xiaochun, who works in a hospital in Wuhan, was in dismay. Her patient had been running a fever for nine days, and a CT scan showed signs of pneumonia — symptoms of the new coronavirus sweeping across the central Chinese city. But a test to confirm the diagnosis would take at least two days. To Dr. Zhang, that meant a delay in isolating her patient — and getting potentially lifesaving treatment. This past week, Dr. Zhang started a social media campaign with an urgent call to simplify screening for the new coronavirus. (Wee, 2/9)


The Wall Street Journal:
China’s Leader Wages A War On Two Fronts—Viral And Political


Faced with a coronavirus outbreak that so far has killed 630 people and infected more than 31,000 world-wide, China’s President Xi Jinping has mobilized the vast state machinery. China has quarantined entire cities, thrown up hospitals in days, and deployed military doctors and Communist Party members to the front lines, a massive effort Mr. Xi likens to a military campaign. That effort is intended to beat the coronavirus outbreak, and also win a battle on a second front—against the most intense volleys of public rage since he took power in 2012. (Page and Wei, 2/7)


The New York Times:
A New Martyr Puts A Face On China’s Deepening Coronavirus Crisis


More than 700 people have died. Tens of thousands are infected. Millions are living under lockdown, and the government has sought to silence complaints. But what provoked an online revolt in China on Friday, the fiercest assault on the censors in almost a decade, began with the death of one man: the doctor who tried to warn others about the coronavirus. The deluge of mourning and anger at the death of the doctor, Li Wenliang — from the same virus he was reprimanded for mentioning — at times overwhelmed China’s sophisticated censorship and propaganda systems. (Buckley and Mozur, 2/7)


The New York Times:
He Warned Of Coronavirus. Here’s What He Told Us Before He Died.


The doctor who was among the first to warn about the coronavirus outbreak in late December — only to be silenced by the police — died Friday after becoming infected with the virus, the hospital treating him reported. The death of the 34-year-old doctor, Li Wenliang, set off an outpouring of grief and anger on social media, with commenters on social media demanding an apology from the authorities to Dr. Li and his family. (2/7)


The Washington Post:
As Anger Explodes Over Doctor’s Death, Beijing Firm Gives Chinese Government Advice


When sorrow and rage erupted on China’s Internet early Friday after the Wuhan “whistleblower doctor” Li Wenliang succumbed to the coronavirus, many political observers saw one of the biggest challenges to the Communist Party in years. In Beijing, Qi Zhongxiang saw an opportunity. Within 24 hours, Qi and his 150-person company, Womin Technology, quickly compiled a “public sentiment” report drawing on posts from more than 100 social media sources and submitted it, along with their recommendations, to the Communist Party’s central leadership. (Shih, 2/8)


The Wall Street Journal:
In China, Anger Simmers Over Coronavirus Doctor’s Death


Chinese online commenters have been calling on the Wuhan government to apologize to Dr. Li for having reprimanded him for sending warnings about the virus. Dr. Li himself contracted the virus, and as news of his declining health spread online Thursday evening, a hashtag calling on the Wuhan government to apologize to him spread quickly on China’s Twitter-like Weibo service. Public anger grew further after the hashtag appeared to be censored. (Cheng, 2/7)


The New York Times:
First American Dies Of Coronavirus, Raising Questions About U.S. Response


A United States citizen died from the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, American officials said on Saturday. It was the first known American death from the illness, and was likely to add to diplomatic friction over Beijing’s response to the epidemic. The death is also certain to raise questions over whether the Trump administration and the State Department in particular have taken sufficient action to ensure the safety of Americans in China and to aid in the evacuation of those who want to leave. (Zhong and Wong, 2/8)


The Wall Street Journal:
American Citizen Diagnosed With Coronavirus Dies In China


The person was 60 years old and died Thursday at Wuhan’s Jinyintan Hospital, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said Saturday. He provided no further details. “We offer our sincerest condolences to the family on their loss,” he said. “Out of the respect for the family’s privacy, we have no further comment.” A spokesperson at Jinyintan Hospital referred questions to the Wuhan foreign affairs office, which didn’t answer phone calls. (Woo, 2/8)


The New York Times:
Inundated With Flu Patients, U.S. Hospitals Brace For Coronavirus


With an intense flu season in full swing, hundreds of thousands of coughing and feverish patients have already overwhelmed emergency rooms around the United States. Now, hospitals are bracing for the potential spread of coronavirus that could bring another surge of patients. So far, only a dozen people in the United States have become infected with the novel coronavirus, but an outbreak could severely strain the nation’s hospitals. (Abelson and Thomas, 2/7)


Stat:
U.S. Hospitals Call All Hands On Deck To Brace For More Coronavirus Cases


Hospitals across the country are convening near-daily meetings to check in on their emergency preparedness plans. And they’ve called all hands on deck. Nearly everyone — from physicians and nurses to public affairs representatives and the employees responsible for ordering supplies and keeping the hospital clean — is involved in making sure a hospital’s existing emergency plans are up to date. U.S. health officials have stressed that the risk to the American public remains low. About 99% of the more than 28,000 cases have occurred in China, where the outbreak began. There have been 12 people in the U.S. infected with the virus, 10 of whom had recently traveled to China and two of whom had been in close contact with two of the initial U.S. patients. “But as we project outward with the potential for this to be a much longer situation, one of the things that we’re actively working on is projecting the long-term needs for our health care system,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on Wednesday. (Thielking, 2/7)


The Washington Post:
Americans Quarantined For Coronavirus On Military Bases Share Experiences


Jarred Evans has explored every inch of the Air Force barracks where he has lived under federal quarantine for the past eight days. He has measured out its exact length: 0.45 miles. He has run through every stairwell, hallway and parking lot row hundreds of times, trying to keep in shape and stay sane. “It’s all in the mind. You have to stay mentally strong,” said Evans, 27, who was playing American football professionally in Wuhan, China, before he became one of 195 evacuees now living at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif. (Wan, Sun and Satija, 2/6)


The Washington Post:
On America’s College Campuses, The Coronavirus Delivers A Chill


Some students of Asian descent at Arizona State University felt a chill in the campus atmosphere soon after the disclosure last month that a person connected to the school tested positive for the novel coronavirus. It struck them that a routine cough or sneeze might draw sidelong looks from classmates worried about getting infected from a virus believed to have originated in China. (Anderson and Moriah, Balingit, 2/8)


Stat:
Fluctuating Funding And Flagging Interest Hurt Coronavirus Research


The waxing and waning interest in coronaviruses has perpetuated gaps in the scientific understanding of the pathogens. Scientists don’t know how long people remain immune to a coronavirus after being infected. There are still looming questions about transmission. There aren’t any drugs approved specifically to treat coronaviruses. Work begun to test existing drugs to see if they were effective against SARS was abandoned when that threat faded; having that information now would have given doctors in China help they badly need. “When this [new] epidemic began, I think there were three or four of us who answered the majority of the calls. Because there are very few of us who are really doing this,” said Dr. Stanley Perlman, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Iowa. “I’ve trained a lot of people. Most of them don’t go into coronavirology,” he added. (Branswell and Thielking, 2/10)


The Washington Post:
Coronavirus Came From Bats Or Possibly Pangolins Amid ‘Acceleration’ Of New Zoonotic Infections


The outbreak of a new kind of coronavirus in central China is loaded with mysteries, and among the biggest is how the virus made the jump from an animal host into humans. This global health crisis is a reminder of the danger of zoonosis — the ability of pathogens, including bacteria and viruses, to enter the human population from an animal host. The coronavirus is similar to two viruses that circulate in bats, but it might have skipped through another species before infecting humans. (Achenbach, 2/7)


Los Angeles Times:
Misinformation About Coronavirus Abounds. Correcting It Can Backfire


Stamping out falsehoods about the coronavirus will require much more than blocking a Twitter account. Indeed, thanks to the way we are wired to process information about new and mysterious threats, it may be all but impossible, experts say. “Misinformation is a worrisome consequence of any emerging epidemic,” said Dartmouth College political scientist Brendan Nyhan, who studies conspiracy theories and those who believe them. “But the assumption that facts and science alone are going to be decisive in countering misinformation is wrong, because they often aren’t.” (Healy, 2/8)


The Wall Street Journal:
Coronavirus Concerns Spread Faster And Further Than Pathogen


A deadly new coronavirus has spread to two dozen countries from China. So far, Iceland isn’t one of them. That hasn’t stopped the country of 363,000 people from preparing a building called “Place X” to quarantine hundreds of people, should the need arise. Iceland has also established a coordination center, where emergency and government officials meet for daily briefings. Local officials in many remote corners—from Iceland to Antarctica—are rushing to prepare for the possible arrival of the virus, a reflection of China’s global reach and how quickly fear is spreading. (MacDonald, 2/9)


Stat:
Coronavirus Fears Trigger Run On Supplies, Shortages For Health Workers


Concern about the new coronavirus spreading in China has triggered a run on global supplies of equipment used to protect health workers from infection, the World Health Organization said Friday, with stockpiles depleted and producers reporting four- to six-month waits for new supplies. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said demand for personal protective equipment, or PPE as it is called, is 100 times higher than normal and prices have skyrocketed to 20 times usual rates. Tedros said “widespread, inappropriate use of PPE outside of patient care” is the cause, and he urged the public as well as all parties in the supply chain to adjust their practices to ensure fair and rational use of supplies. (Branswell, 2/7)


NPR:
Will Coronavirus Quarantines Help Or Hurt? A Look Back At Leprosy


Hundreds of people returning to the U.S. from Wuhan, China face mandatory two-week quarantines. And in China, the government is rounding up those who show signs of the deadly coronavirus, to be confined in massive quarantine centers. Protecting public health is a delicate balance between the rights and freedom of individuals and the safety of society. But past efforts to isolate disease show that such moves — as well-intentioned as they might be — don’t always go as planned. And perhaps offer a cautionary lesson. (Fessler, 2/7)


The Wall Street Journal:
Hospitals Pushed To The Brink In Wuhan: ‘I Just Want To Save His Life’


Patients packed the waiting room at Wuhan’s Tongji Hospital on Friday, intravenous drips in their arms. Medical staff wheeled patients slowly through the crowd. In the hallways, the sick lay curled up on cots, hooked to oxygen tanks. Doctors and nurses in full-body protective suits, gloves, goggles and masks waded through, changing IVs and trying to determine who was in most urgent need of medical attention. (Deng and Woo, 2/7)


The Wall Street Journal:
‘I’m So Sorry’: Coronavirus Survivor’s Cross-China Travel Left Dozens Quarantined


Looking back, Shen Wufu thinks he must have caught the virus during a few hours in Wuhan. The 32-year-old architect briefly stopped off in the city on Jan. 18 to hold a business meeting as he headed from northern China to the south for a family visit during China’s weeklong Lunar New Year holiday. It had been more than two weeks since China announced a mysterious pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan and 11 days since it confirmed the cause: a new type of coronavirus that has now claimed more lives—over 900 in mainland China as of Saturday—than severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, did nearly two decades ago. (Page, 2/10)


The New York Times:
Her Grandmother Got The Coronavirus. Then So Did The Whole Family.


Bella Zhang hung an intravenous drip on a spindly tree branch and slumped down on a large stone planter outside the crowded hospital. Her mother and brother sat wearily beside her, their shoulders sagging, both also hooked up to their own drips. In recent days, Ms. Zhang, 25, a perfume saleswoman with tinted blue hair, had watched helplessly as one by one, her relatives were sickened by the coronavirus that was tearing through her hometown, Wuhan. First, her grandmother got it, then it spread to her grandfather and mother. She and her younger brother were next. (Qin, 2/9)


The New York Times:
As Virus Cases Rise On Quarantined Cruise Ship, Passengers Are On Edge


As the Diamond Princess cruise ship steamed back into port in Yokohama, Japan, on Sunday morning after a night of quarantine at sea, passengers lucky enough to have windows and balconies could see fire trucks and 15 ambulances waiting for the ship. It was an unnerving sign for the nearly 3,700 people who had been confined for six days on the ship, which has become host to the highest concentration of coronavirus cases outside China. (Rich and Yamamitsu, 2/9)


Politico:
Chinese Diplomat Pushes Back Against Coronavirus ‘Rumors’ From GOP Senator


Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai on Sunday pushed back on what he called “suspicion” and “rumors” about the origins of the Wuhan coronavirus. In an interview with CBS’ Margaret Brennan on “Face the Nation,“ Cui acknowledged that “a lot is still unknown, and our scientists, Chinese scientist, American scientists, scientists of other countries are doing their best to learn more about the virus.” (Beavers, 2/9)


The Wall Street Journal:
On A Coronavirus Cruise, A Knock On The Door: ‘You Tested Positive’


Rebecca and Kent Frasure were sitting down to breakfast Friday morning when a stream of ambulances pulled up beside the cruise ship docked at the Yokohama port where they were quarantined for two weeks because of the novel coronavirus. “Oh, there must be more people,” Mr. Frasure remembers telling his wife. The couple from Forest Grove, Ore., had watched twice previously that week from the balcony of their room on the Diamond Princess as ambulances spirited away people who had tested positive for the virus. (Bhattacharya, 2/9)


The Associated Press:
‘We’re Definitely Not Prepared’: Africa Braces For New Virus


At a Chinese-run hospital in Zambia, some employees watched as people who recently returned from China showed up with coughs but were not placed in isolation. A doctor tending to those patients has stopped coming to work, and health workers have been ordered not to speak publicly about the new virus that has killed hundreds around the world. The virus that has spread through much of China has yet to be confirmed in Africa, but global health authorities are increasingly worried about the threat to the continent where an estimated 1 million Chinese now live, as some health workers on the ground warn they are not ready to handle an outbreak. (Kang, Sichalwe and Anna, 2/8)


Reuters:
In China’s Locked-Down Coronavirus City, Grocery Delivery Is A Lifeline


Reluctant to go outside for fear of catching the new coronavirus sweeping the Chinese city of Wuhan, Edward Wang found a lifeline: grocery delivery services provided by local retailers. But with hundreds of thousands of other people in Wuhan also stuck inside their homes doing the same thing, and retailers struggling to get hold of their staff, the service became overloaded. (2/8)


The New York Times:
Lessons That Go Beyond The Coronavirus Outbreak


News of coronavirus infections is causing many people to panic. It’s unclear how widespread or deadly this illness is going to be, but for once, instead of telling you not to worry, I’m going to suggest riding that wave. Channel that fear into useful action — and find the lessons that go beyond this outbreak. There are absolutely things we can do to protect people from infection by this novel respiratory virus, which has caused hundreds of deaths in Wuhan, China, and has spread to other countries. Some involve a societal response, but others are very simple. (Carroll, 2/10)


The Washington Post:
VA Chief Wilkie Sought To Dig Up Dirt On Woman Who Complained Of Sexual Assault, Agency Insiders Say


The Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general is reviewing a request from a top House leader to investigate allegations that VA Secretary Robert Wilkie sought to dig up dirt on one of the congressman’s aides after she said she was sexually assaulted at VA’s Washington hospital. The appeal late Friday from House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) came after he received information from a senior VA official, confirmed by The Washington Post, that Wilkie worked to discredit the credibility of the aide, senior policy adviser Andrea Goldstein. (Rein, 2/8)


ProPublica:
VA Secretary Looked For Dirt On A House Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault In A VA Hospital, Complaint Says


The written complaint was obtained by ProPublica. In addition, a former senior official with direct knowledge of the matter said Wilkie discussed damaging information he collected about the aide and suggested using it to discredit her. Another person said he spoke with other officials who were in those discussions, and they corroborated the former senior official’s and the written complaint’s account. The people interviewed spoke on the condition of anonymity, saying they feared retaliation.Wilkie denied inquiring into the aide’s past. “I never would do that to a fellow officer,” he said in a statement. “It is a breach of honor.” (Arnsdorf, 2/7)


The Washington Post:
Navy SEAL’s Family Pushes For Recognition Of Traumatic Brain Injuries After Son’s Suicide


Throughout his 10 years of service as a decorated Navy SEAL operator and explosives breacher, Ryan Larkin was regularly exposed to high-impact blast waves. Struggling with the psychological effects of serving in four combat tours and an undiagnosed brain injury, Larkin died by suicide on a Sunday morning in 2017, dressed in a SEAL Team shirt with the medals he earned in service next to him. (Price, 2/9)


The Associated Press:
Air Force Suicides Surged Last Year To Highest In 3 Decades


Suicides in the active-duty Air Force surged last year to the highest total in at least three decades, even as the other military services saw their numbers stabilize or decline, according to officials and unpublished preliminary data. The reasons for the Air Force increase are not fully understood, coming after years of effort by all of the military services to counter a problem that seems to defy solution and that parallels increases in suicide in the U.S. civilian population. (2/8)


The Wall Street Journal:
Vaping-Related Deaths Fall, But Families Still Look For Answers


Kimberly Boyd keeps a stack of her son’s medical files on her dining-room table, in neatly organized folders. In a Ziploc bag, there are some of the nicotine vaping cartridges he used at their Orlando, Fla., home before the 28-year-old died in November. Across the country, in Seattle, Robin Hurt is waiting for a response to a public-record request she filed with the state’s medical examiner in Oregon, asking for the autopsy report on her 23-year-old grandson, who unexpectedly died in October after having recently taken up vaping. (Ansari, 2/9)


ProPublica:
A Group Of Agents Rose Through The Ranks To Lead The Border Patrol. They’re Leaving It In Crisis.


On a Saturday evening in late September, Deputy Chief Scott Luck gathered with family and friends in the crystal-chandeliered ballroom of the Trump National Golf Club, nestled along the shores of the Potomac River in Virginia, to celebrate his retirement after 33 years in the U.S. Border Patrol. The party was adorned with a who’s who in Border Patrol leadership, past and present. There was the unmistakable figure of Luck’s boss, Chief Carla Provost, tall and broad with her trademark fringe of brown bangs, and her longtime friend Andrea Zortman, who helps oversee foreign operations for the agency. (Del Bosque, 2/10)


The Washington Post:
Trump Delays Kidney Dialysis Rule Amid Industry Complaints


The Trump administration has delayed a signature health-care initiative to boost the number of U.S. kidney patients who undergo dialysis at home and get transplants, amid resistance from kidney doctors and large dialysis companies whose payments from the Medicare system could be reduced under the plan. Trump listed his plan to improve kidney care as a key initiative in his State of the Union speech this week. (Rowland, 2/7)


The Washington Post:
WHO’s Aggressive, Three-Part Strategy Aims To Make Cervical Cancer A Thing Of The Past


In just 35 years, the United States managed to reduce cervical cancer rates by 54 percent with the help of Pap smears. Now, human papillomavirus vaccination, double screening and more effective treatment might be able do away with the cancer. In two new studies in the Lancet, the World Health Organization lays out how. The studies model what might happen if the United Nations’ health agency commits to a three-part strategy to wipe out cervical cancer. (Blakemore, 2/8)


The New York Times:
Half Of Us Face Obesity, Dire Projections Show


Climate change is not the only source of dire projections for the coming decade. Perhaps just as terrifying from both a health and an economic perspective is a predicted continued rise in obesity, including severe obesity, among American adults. A prestigious team of medical scientists has projected that by 2030, nearly one in two adults will be obese, and nearly one in four will be severely obese. (Brody, 2/10)


This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.



Source link