Latest From California Healthline:
To date, the U.S. has multiple confirmed cases of the viral infection that originated in Wuhan, China. That includes cases in which the virus passed from person to person within this country. So why don’t health officials share more information with the public? (Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Anna Almendrala, 1/31)
Good morning! Here are your top California health stories for the day.
California Confirms 3 More Coronavirus Cases Pushing National Total To 11: Health officials in Northern California announced Sunday that three more people have been infected with the coronavirus, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the nation to 11, with more than half of those in the state. In all three cases, health officials confirmed that patients had been to Wuhan, China—the epicenter of the outbreak—or had been in close contact with someone who had. “I understand that people are concerned, but based on what we know today, the risk to general public remains low,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Santa Clara County’s health officer.
Nearly 200 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan are under a 14-day quarantine at a military base outside Los Angeles — the first by the government in half a century. Another planeload of passengers from China was expected to arrive Monday at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego, but that timing is now "fluid.”
Read more from Adam Elmahrek and Matt Hamilton of the Los Angeles Times; J.D. Morris of the San Francisco Chronicle; and Cathie Anderson and Vincent Moleski of the Sacramento Bee. For full coronavirus coverage, see more stories below.
Trump Administration Rejects Newsom’s Tax Proposal To Finance Medi-Cal: The Trump administration says it will not allow California to collect a key health care tax on managed care organizations, a decision that could cost the state nearly $2 billion a year for low-income benefits. The news does not immediately affect California’s budget because the state did not plan to receive that money this year or the budget year that begins July 1. But it could cost California $1.2 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2021, California Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer said. That number increases to $1.9 billion after that. Read more from Wes Venteicher of the Sacramento Bee and Adam Beam of The Associated Press.
Below, check out the full round-up of California Healthline original stories, state coverage and the best of the rest of the national news for the day.
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More News From Across The State
S.F. Lunar New Year Attendees Only Mildly Concerned About Coronavirus
After the first case of novel coronavirus in the Bay Area was reported on Friday, some Lunar New Year celebrations in the region were canceled or postponed. But not San Francisco's second annual Ocean Avenue celebration, which took place on Saturday. We spoke with some of its attendees to see how they felt about the global outbreak of the virus.The short answer: people were only mildly concerned. (Chang, 2/2)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Quarantine In California Is CDC's First In 50 Years
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered a quarantine of all 195 people from Wuhan, China, who were evacuated to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County this week after fleeing the coronavirus outbreak. The CDC also confirmed Friday that a Santa Clara County man had tested positive for the virus, becoming the seventh case in the country and the third in the state. (Shalby, 1/31)
Coronavirus Quarantine Stationed At Northern California Base
Fairfield’s Travis Air Force Base was named Saturday as the first quarantine site in Northern California for international travelers who may have come in contact with a new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, according to a statement posted on the base’s Facebook page. Travis, located just 32 miles southwest of Sacramento, is one of four military installations in the United States setting aside housing for the travelers at the request of U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who is making room for a combined 1,000 travelers to assist the federal Department of Health and Human Services. They are expected to be quarantined for 14 days because public health officials believe it can take that long before symptoms of the virus manifest. (Anderson and Ervin, 2/1)
Los Angeles Times:
2 California Bases Picked As Possible Coronavirus Quarantine Sites
The Defense Department said Saturday it has agreed to house up to 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas travel because of the coronavirus and that two of the four facilities selected are in California. Travis Air Force Base in Solano County and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego County are the two California sites that were selected, Lt. Col. Chris Mitchell, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement. (Wigglesworth, 2/1)
Los Angeles Times:
Coronavirus Fears Prompt Hoaxes And Misinformation
Residents of an off-campus housing complex near USC got a scare Monday night in the form of an email. The message from the manager of the Lorenzo apartments stated that a tenant had contracted the new strain of coronavirus that’s caused 304 deaths in China. A unit on the seventh floor of the building was cordoned off with caution tape, and someone was loaded into an ambulance outside, said Frank Zhu, 20, a USC sophomore who lives at the complex. (Wigglesworth, 2/2)
The Washington Post:
Get A Grippe, America. The Flu Is A Much Bigger Threat Than Coronavirus, For Now.
The rapidly spreading virus has closed schools in Knoxville, Tenn., cut blood donations to dangerous levels in Cleveland and prompted limits on hospital visitors in Wilson, N.C. More ominously, it has infected as many as 26 million people in the United States in just four months, killing up to 25,000 so far. In other words, a difficult but not extraordinary flu season in the United States, the kind most people shrug off each winter or handle with rest, fluids and pain relievers if they contract the illness. But this year, a new coronavirus from China has focused attention on diseases that can sweep through an entire population, rattling the public despite the current magnitude of the threat. (Bernstein, 2/1)
Los Angeles Times:
San Diegan’s Wife And Children Trapped In China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
San Diego resident Yanjun Wei traveled with her two small children to the city of Wuhan to celebrate the Chinese New Year with her parents. Now the family is holed up in a high-rise apartment building in the megalopolis, ground zero of the deadly coronavirus outbreak that’s killed more than 200 people and sickened thousands. (Emerson Smith, 1/31)
The Washington Post:
State Department Tells Citizens ‘Do Not Travel’ To China; World Health Organization Declares Coronavirus Outbreak A Global Health Emergency
The State Department heightened its travel advisory for China on Thursday, urging citizens not to travel there due to the rapid spread of coronavirus. The announcement came hours after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a “public health emergency,” setting in motion a plan for global coordination to stem the spread of the virus, which originated last month in Wuhan, China. (Denyer, Sun, Berger, Taylor and Iati, 1/30)
The New York Times:
Trump Defends Closing Borders To Travelers To Fight Coronavirus
President Trump defended a decision that would bar foreign nationals who had recently visited China from entering the United States as his administration continued to assess the growing threat of a coronavirus outbreak. Sitting with the Fox News personality Sean Hannity, Mr. Trump used a roughly nine-minute interview taped on Saturday evening at Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, and broadcast on Sunday as an opportunity to condense his usual rally-speak into Super Bowl pregame chatter. The topics included the virus, his impeachment and quick-paced insults of his potential 2020 rivals. (Rogers, 2/2)
Biden Slams Trump For Cutting Health Programs Before Coronavirus Outbreak
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Friday criticized President Donald Trump for reducing U.S. oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has spread rapidly to several countries including the United States. "We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus," said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats' first nominating contest on Monday. (2/1)
Gilead Working With China To Test Ebola Drug As New Coronavirus Treatment
Gilead Sciences Inc said on Friday it provided its experimental Ebola therapy for use in a small number of patients with the coronavirus that has killed over 200 so far in China and is working with the country's authorities to set up a study. The announcement comes a day after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. (2/1)
CA Veterans Charity Raised Millions. Needy Got Almost Nothing
Each year, Fred Salanti receives a check in the mail for a few thousand dollars. Salanti, a 72-year-old Vietnam veteran, uses the money to keep his small Redding-based charity afloat. It buys a few wheelchairs for veterans, covers student scholarships and sometimes funds a monument at the cemetery, he said. “We’re down here scrabbling with shoestrings,” Salanti said of his charity, Victory Ensured Through Service, or V.E.T.S. Salanti said he tries to not question much in life. (Pohl, 2/3)
California's Rising Rents, Severe Housing Shortage Fuel Homelessness
The sleeping couple is among 151,000 people living on the streets in California, and as the number climbs each year, many wonder how the state's housing crisis got so bad. Part of the answer lies in what happened last week when lawmakers failed to pass legislation that promised to ease the housing shortage by creating more density near jobs and transit routes. But opponents said Senate Bill 50 did not do enough to protect low-income residents from gentrification and complained it would take zoning power away from local jurisdictions. Its author, Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco, said the bill would have been a first step in creating housing. (Lozano, 2/2)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Disciplinary Charges Against Santa Rosa Doctor Who Exempted Kids From Vaccines
A state medical official has filed disciplinary charges against a Santa Rosa physician who exempted three healthy youngsters from vaccination, part of a surge of medical exemptions after California repealed parents’ authority to keep their children from being vaccinated because of personal beliefs. The accusations of gross negligence or incompetence could lead to the suspension or revocation of Dr. Ron Kennedy’s license to practice medicine, which he has held since 1975. (Egelko, 2/2)
The New York Times:
Would Your Wages Rise Under ‘Medicare For All’?
Hidden in the larger debate over “Medicare for all” is a fundamental economic question: Who pays for work-based health insurance? For the 157 million Americans who get health insurance through their work — or through the job of a spouse or parent — the answer may seem obvious, evident right on pay stubs. Employers pay most of it, and workers pay some. Last year, work-based coverage per person cost $7,188, with employees directly contributing 18 percent on average. Family coverage cost $20,576, of which employees paid 30 percent. (Frakt, 2/3)
Where Democratic Presidential Candidates Stand On 'Medicare For All'
Perhaps no issue has divided the field of Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls more than "Medicare for All." Liberal candidates favor the sweeping proposal, which would replace private health insurance with a single government-run plan. Moderate candidates have embraced less drastic measures they say would achieve broader healthcare coverage while allowing individuals to choose their plan. Here is where the top eight contenders stand on Medicare for All. (2/1)
The Associated Press:
FDA Approves First Treatment For Kids With Peanut Allergy
The first treatment for peanut allergies is about to hit the market, a big step toward better care for all kinds of food allergies -- but still a long way from a cure. Friday’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration promises to bring some relief to families who’ve lived in fear of an accidental bite of peanuts at birthday parties and play dates, school cafeterias and restaurants. Named Palforzia, it was developed by Aimmune Therapeutics. (Neergaard, 1/31)
'They Literally Take Food Off Their Table’
In a rare bipartisan move last June, Republicans and Democrats teamed up to scuttle an Agriculture Department proposal that would have shuttered job training centers for at-risk youth across the country — an idea that blindsided lawmakers and seemed to lack much explanation or underlying data. Rep. Dan Newhouse blasted Secretary Sonny Perdue’s plan, which he said would close some of the highest-performing facilities in the popular program, contrary to USDA’s claims. “It appears the administration’s rollout of this proposal was done carelessly — and without the data or the statistics to point to any rhyme or reason as to how the decisions were made,” the Washington Republican said at a committee hearing. (McCrimmon, 2/3)
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Aims To Build A Model For Tackling Rare Diseases
The 30 recipients, all focused on advancing research in a rare disease, will each receive $450,000 from the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, along with those additional resources, over two years. In a phone interview with STAT, Chan, a pediatrician, said that her own experiences in the clinic have shaped her views about the importance of elevating the perspective of patients. She described feeling stuck and embarrassed when families would come in with a child with a rare condition that she couldn’t even identify using the usual means — until she started asking the families to lead the way. (Robbins, 2/3)