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Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood



a large white building: Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood


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Supreme Court declines to hear South Carolina attempt to block Medicaid funding from Planned Parenthood

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked the South Carolina Department of Health from cutting off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The high court’s rejection means that last year’s ruling from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will remain in effect, prohibiting the state from terminating Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider.

While it takes four justices to approve a petition, the court doesn’t publish the vote totals and it declined to hear the case without comment.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) signed an executive order in 2018 prohibiting abortion clinics from participating in Medicaid.

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Medicaid, the health care program for the poor, generally doesn’t pay for abortions, but conservatives have longed pushed to cut any state and federal funding flowing to the Planned Parenthood, which also provides an array of other health care services.

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Under the order, South Carolina’s two Planned Parenthood Centers, which provide family planning and preventive care services, cancer screenings, and other health care, were terminated as Medicaid providers.

Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, representing one of its patients, filed suit, arguing the order is a violation of federal law that says Medicaid beneficiaries may get care from any qualified provider, and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed.

South Carolina appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the state has the right to determine what providers are “qualified” to participate in the Medicaid program.

The Supreme Court has in recent years declined to hear similar appeals from Louisiana and Kansas.

The decision Tuesday came during Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she repeatedly declined to offer her views on landmark cases establishing a woman’s right to an abortion.

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Super-speciality medicine block to come up at Wenlock Hospital

An old residential house, which hosted the district offices of tuberculosis prevention, leprosy and blindness prevention, on the premises of the Government Wenlock Hospital here will be demolished to construct a five-storeyed super-speciality medicine block of the hospital under the Smart City Mission.

Notices have been served on the district offices asking them to vacate from the old residential building.

The old residential building, which is behind the hospital’s Regional Advanced Paediatric Care Centre, belonged to the family of Albuquerque. It was in 1962 that the family gave this house to the District Health and Family Welfare Department for setting up the District Tuberculosis Centre. Subsequently, the district units of leprosy and blindness prevention were also opened in the building.

The District Tuberculosis Centre in Mangaluru was among the 400 centres that were opened across the country as part of the National Tuberculosis Prevention programme. Changes were made to the building to make space for stocking first line and second line drugs. Space was also created for holding training sessions for activists, health workers and doctors involved in the prevention of tuberculosis.

At present, the District Tuberculosis Centre is monitoring the health of 809 patients. While 685 patients are being seen in government hospitals, including those in the Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Centre in Wenlock Hospital, 124 patients are being seen by private doctors.

Mangaluru Smart City Limited will construct the super-speciality medicine block at an estimated cost of ₹ 35 crore. It will have a 30-bed ICU, 12 modular operation theatres and a 100-bed post operative ward.

The construction of this new block is part of MSCL’s project to develop the whole campus of the hospital. It has been proposed to widen the road connecting the hospital’s OPD block and the office of the Indian Medical Association, Dakshina Kannada.

The District Tuberculosis office and two other offices are being temporarily shifted to the District Drugs Warehouse. “We are making arrangements to have the District Tuberculosis Centre in the administrative block of the Wenlock Hospital,” Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra told The Hindu.

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The Latest: Judge Won’t Block NY Plan to Limit Gatherings | World News

ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge has refused to block New York’s plan to temporarily limit the size of religious gatherings in COVID-19 hot spots.

U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto issued the ruling Friday after an emergency hearing in a lawsuit brought by rabbis and synagogues who said the restrictions were unconstitutional.

They had sought to have enforcement delayed until at least after Jewish holy days this weekend. The rules limit indoor prayer services in certain areas to no more than 10 people.

The judge said the state had an interest in protecting public safety.

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— President Trump credits antibody drug for quick recovery

— Spain declares state of emergency in Madrid to contain surge

— As virus fills French ICUs anew, doctors ask what went wrong

— British government will announce more support for businesses to retain staff in the coming months if they are forced to close because of lockdown restrictions.

— President Donald Trump says he wants to try to hold a campaign rally in Florida on Saturday, despite his recent COVID-19 diagnosis.

— Follow AP’s pandemic coverage at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

RENO, Nev. — A recent spike in COVID-19 cases at the University of Nevada, Reno is prompting the school to suspend all in-class instruction effective Nov. 30.

UNR officials also are telling most students not to return to residence halls after Thanksgiving.

School officials said Friday they plan for students to return to dormitories for the spring semester and resume a combination of remote and in-class instruction Jan. 25. But during the period in between, all classes will be conducted remotely.

Only students facing extenuating circumstance will be allowed to live in campus housing. In recent weeks, one-out-of-nine of the county’s new cases have been tied to UNR.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Health officials in Alaska’s largest city on Friday recommended up to 300 people associated with a youth hockey tournament quarantine or isolate after “a cluster” of COVID-19 cases were identified.

The Anchorage Health Department said players, coaches and fans from parts of south-central Alaska and Juneau attended the tournament, which was held Oct. 2-4.

The department said it encouraged everyone who attended who does not have symptoms to quarantine for 14 days, except to get tested, and encouraged those with symptoms to isolate for 10 days, except to get tested.

Dr. Janet Johnston, the department’s epidemiologist, said that means the department is recommending up to 300 isolate or quarantine.

Heather Harris, the department’s director, could not provide “concrete” numbers of positive cases associated with the tournament. She said the tournament organizers said they tried to enforce masking guidelines and kept a contact log of participants.

Contact trace investigations indicated “significant close contact in indoor spaces, including locker rooms, with inconsistent use of face coverings,” the city health department said in a release.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Gov. Jim Justice announced Friday that bars around West Virginia University in Morgantown can

As Trump hails Regeneron treatment, his administration tries to block the science it used

President Donald Trump has been celebrating the dose of experimental monoclonal antibodies he was given last Friday, saying he thinks it helped him vanquish his coronavirus infection in record time.



a sign on the side of a building: A logo sign outside of the headquarters of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Tarrytown, New York on November 21, 2015. Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***


© Kristoffer Tripplaar/SIPA/Sipa USA/AP
A logo sign outside of the headquarters of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., in Tarrytown, New York on November 21, 2015. Photo by Kristoffer Tripplaar *** Please Use Credit from Credit Field ***

“It was incredible the impact it had,” he said in a video he tweeted Thursday.

What he didn’t say is that the treatment was developed using technology his administration has worked for four years to ban.

It has to do with abortion politics, and the science of using human tissue to test and to make medicines. Regeneron’s therapy indirectly relied on tissue taken from an abortion.

Trump’s base, of course, is strongly against abortion rights and his administration acted quickly to reverse many Obama era policies — including policies that moved forward scientific research involving human fetal tissue.

Especially involved are human embryonic stem cells, made using days-old embryos, usually taken from fertility clinics. They’re left over from when couples make extra fertilized eggs and then do not need them. In the past, this tissue was also sometimes taken from abortions.

People against abortion rights oppose both uses, as does the Trump administration. The US Department of Health and Human Services has stopped the National Institutes of Health from obtaining any more fetal tissue for research and has set up a board that has virtually stopped it from funding any academic groups that use it.

The federal government cannot stop private industry from using fetal tissue and Regeneron supports its use.

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While Regeneron did not directly use human fetal cells to make the monoclonal antibody treatment given to Trump, it did use cells derived from an abortion in the Netherlands back in 1972 to make the targets for its antibodies — the mimics of the coronavirus’ spike protein.

Monoclonal antibodies home in on specific targets. To fight coronavirus, they are engineered precisely to attack the spike protein used by the virus to grapple onto cells. To make sure their antibodies were working right, Regeneron needed to use laboratory facsimiles of this spike protein, and for that, they used the fetal cells.

Scientists have used this batch of cells, called the HEK-293 cell line, for close to 50 years for all sorts of experiments. It’s one reason these embryonic stem cells are so valuable. They have a kind of immortality and flexibility that other cells do not. It’s why scientists fight so hard to keep access to this research, despite the efforts of anti-abortion activists.

“Research using such stem cells allows Regeneron to model complex diseases, test new drug candidates and can help unlock new scientific insights that ultimately could lead to the discovery of new treatments for people with serious diseases,”

Facebook, Twitter Block Post Claiming COVID Is Less Deadly Than Flu

Social media giants Facebook and Twitter have blocked a post from President Donald Trump on Tuesday falsely claiming COVID-19 is less deadly than the flu. Facebook has removed the post, while Twitter has added a message saying it broke the rules on “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.” 

“We remove incorrect information about the severity of COVID-19,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters.

Trump, who is currently recovering from the virus, posted the controversial tweet early in the day.

“Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!” Trump tweeted.

According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control, 22,000 deaths were linked to the flu during the 2019 to 2020 influenza season.

Trump admitted to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward in February that he had been intentionally downplaying COVID-19 on purpose. The recordings of the conversation were released in September and used as source material for Woodward’s latest book, “Rage.”

In the interview with Woodward, Trump said COVID-19 is “more deadly than even your strenuous flus” but admitted to downplaying the virus in order to not cause a panic. 

Trump is currently at the White House, after spending several days at Walter Reed Military Hospital to receive treatment for the virus. First lady Melania Trump, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and three Republican senators are the latest political figures to contract COVID-19.

Coronavirus cases continue to rise across the United States. As of Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET, there are nearly 7.5 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S., with the domestic death toll over 210,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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