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Trump signs executive order initiating coronavirus ‘Mental Health Working Group’

When Trump said he would continue his presidential duties from Walter Reed Medical Center, they weren’t kidding.

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Donald Trump

When White House officials said Trump would continue his presidential duties from Walter Reed Medical Center, they weren’t kidding.

President Trump signed an executive order Saturday aimed at “saving lives” of those suffering from mental and behavioral health needs, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Daily Caller.

The executive order, issued Monday morning, called for more crisis-intervention services to those in “immediate life-threatening situations” and encouraged increased availability of continuing care after crises, nurture mentorship programs, expanded availability of telehealth and more.

“The pandemic has also exacerbated mental – and behavioral – health conditions as a result of stress from prolonged lockdown orders, lost employment and social isolation, the executive order says.

“Survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that during the last week of June, 40.9 percent of Americans struggled with mental-health or substance-abuse issues and 10.7 percent reported seriously considering suicide,” the order continues. “We must enhance the ability of the Federal Government, as well as its State, local and Tribal partners, to appropriately address these ongoing mental – and behavioral – health concerns.

The order specifically establishes a Coronavirus Mental Health Working Group, aiming to facilitate a government response to mental health conditions exacerbated by the pandemic.

This includes issues related to suicide prevention, the order explains.

“The Working Group will be co-chaired by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or his designee, and the Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, or her designee,” the order said.

“The Working Group shall be composed of representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Education, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, the the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and such representatives of other executive departments, agencies, and offices as the Co‑Chairs may, from time to time, designate with the concurrence of the head of the department, agency, or office concerned,” the executive order stated.

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COVID-19

Biden Admin Announces First COVID Shots For Kids Under 5 Likely By June 21

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Covid-19 vaccination record card with syringe and vial

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced that children under 5 will be able to get their first COVID-19 vaccination doses as soon as June 21, if regulators authorize the shots for this age group as expected.

According to the Associated Press, White House COVID-19 coordinator Ashish Jha “said the Food and Drug Administration’s outside panel of advisers will meet on June 14-15 to evaluate the Pfizer and Moderna shots for younger kids. Shipments to doctors’ offices and pediatric care facilities would begin soon after FDA authorization, with the first shots possible the following week.”

Jha added that states can begin placing orders for the pediatric vaccines on Friday and the administration will initially have 10 million doses available.

“Our expectation is that within weeks every parent who wants their child to get vaccinated will be able to get an appointment,” Jha said. “At the end of the day we all want to move fast, but we’ve got to get it right.”

The news comes the week after Pfizer announced that three doses of their vaccine offers strong protection against COVID-19 in children under 5.  However, according to former FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a third dose is unnecessary because the vaccines do not prevent infection.

“I think the decision matrix has changed around the vaccine for [ages] 6 months to 4 years old and so far as we know that the vaccine isn’t as protective at preventing infection,” Gottlieb said. “Previously, we had data showing that the childhood vaccine for 6 months to 4 years wasn’t as protective against infection as the adult vaccine.”

“That’s the reason why they pushed it out and asked for that third dose. But now, if the goal of the vaccine is to get baseline immunity in the kids to prevent really bad outcomes, and you’re really not using the vaccine as a tool to prevent infection in the first place, two doses could do that,” he added.

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COVID-19

Kamala Harris Tests Positive For COVID-19

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Kamala Harris

On Tuesday, the White House announced that Vice President Kamala Harris has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not currently showing symptoms.

“Today, Vice President Harris tested positive for COVID-19 on rapid and PCR tests,” said Kirsten Allen, press secretary to the vice president. “She has exhibited no symptoms, will isolate and continue to work from the Vice President’s residence. She has not been a close contact to the President or First Lady due to their respective recent travel schedules. She will follow CDC guidelines and the advice of her physicians. The Vice President will return to the White House when she tests negative.”

Harris wrote on Twitter that she was going to continue to isolate and is showing no symptoms.

“Today I tested positive for COVID-19. I have no symptoms, and I will continue to isolate and follow CDC guidelines. I’m grateful to be both vaccinated and boosted,” Harris tweeted.

Harris last reportedly saw President Biden at the Easter Egg Roll on April 18 before leaving for California, which she returned from on April 25.

The vice president has been vaccinated against COVID-19 and has received two booster shots, receiving the second booster on April 1.

“Yesterday I received my second COVID-19 booster shot,” Harris tweeted on April 2. “We know that getting vaccinated is the best form of protection from this virus and boosters are critical in providing an additional level of protection. If you haven’t received your first booster—do it today.”

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