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Citing 25th Amendment, Pelosi, Raskin move to create panel that could rule on president’s fitness for office

The 25th Amendment formalizes that the vice president takes over the duties of the presidency in the event of a president’s death, inability to perform his duties or resignation from office. It also lays out a process by which a sitting president may be removed from office. Congress’s role in this, however, is limited.

President Trump’s four-day hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting the novel coronavirus forced the administration to answer questions about the 25th Amendment and succession.

Administration officials said Trump remained on the job despite his hospitalization for covid-19 and there were no plans for Vice President Pence to assume even temporary authority as president. Trump returned to the White House Monday evening.

Pelosi, who as speaker is second in line to the presidency, previewed the move on Thursday, telling reporters that she would discuss the 25th Amendment to the Constitution on Friday. She did not elaborate.

“Tomorrow, by the way, tomorrow, come here tomorrow,” Pelosi abruptly told reporters at her weekly news conference, during which she mainly spoke about the need for a new round of coronavirus economic relief. “We’re going to be talking about the 25th Amendment.”

Asked toward the end of her news conference whether she could give more details, Pelosi only reiterated her call for reporters to return Friday.

Raskin introduced a similar measure in 2017 that would establish a congressionally appointed commission of physicians and top leaders who could evaluate the president’s health — both mental and physical — and work with the vice president on a transfer of power.

At the time, the Maryland Democrat said the move was necessary because Trump had “thrown our country into chaos at every turn” since his inauguration that January.

“For the security of our people and the safety of the Republic, we need to set up the ‘body’ called for in the 25th Amendment,” Raskin said in 2017. “The president can fire his entire Cabinet for asking the same question tens of millions of Americans are asking at their dinner tables, but he cannot fire Congress or the expert body we set up under the Constitution.”

Since Trump’s discharge Monday, some Democrats have voiced concern about the potential side effects of his medical treatment.

During an interview Wednesday on ABC News’s “The View,” Pelosi suggested that Trump’s covid-19 medications, which include steroids, may be having an effect on his mental capabilities.

“I said yesterday to my colleagues, I said there are those who say that the steroids had an impact on people’s thinking. I don’t know, but there are those health-care providers who say that,” Pelosi said Wednesday. “Also, if you have the coronavirus, it has an impact, as well.”

Under the 25th Amendment, a president could be declared “disabled” and involuntarily removed from office by joint agreement of the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet, something that has never happened.

In an event with the 92nd Street Y on Tuesday, Pelosi dismissed any suggestion of the 25th Amendment

Endpoint Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center to Create World’s First Precision Medicine Trial Network Focused on Critical Illness

Late-stage interventional trials will evaluate personalized approaches to existing care and novel targeted therapies

Endpoint Health, the first targeted therapeutics company focused on integrated solutions for critical illnesses, today announced a new strategic partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) to create the first precision medicine clinical trial network focused on late-stage clinical trials in critical illness. The network will combine leading critical illness researchers, trialists and premier medical centers from across the country to create a sustained system for conducting phase II and III interventional trials intended to validate precision medicine technologies, therapies, and deployable patient-centric care approaches. It will prioritize trials investigating promising precision-driven interventions to prevent or treat critical illnesses such as sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which are the most expensive conditions to treat in the hospital setting and are associated with half of U.S. hospital mortality.

“Endpoint Health envisions a future where clinicians are empowered with an array of targeted therapies and personalized approaches to improve the outcomes of their sickest patients,” said Jason Springs, co-founder and CEO of Endpoint Health. “Our partnership with VUMC will establish a foundational piece of the ecosystem necessary to make this vision real for the critical care community.”

VUMC will serve as the trial network coordinating center with Endpoint Health providing the underlying technology that leverages digital and molecular patient data to predict likely therapeutic response. The goal of the network is to conduct an ongoing series of trials that study multiple precision-driven interventions to treat or prevent critical illness. Endpoint’s technology is already being piloted in a phase II randomized controlled trial at VUMC, which started enrolling patients this month. Endpoint will also sponsor the first precision interventional trial, which will evaluate one of the company’s investigational products.

“Precision medicine in critical care has long been a goal that healthcare has struggled to attain due to the complex and fast-moving nature of critical illnesses,” said Dr. Todd Rice, Director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit at VUMC. “Our partnership with Endpoint Health will help turn that vision into a reality. Together, we are building the infrastructure needed to run efficient and effective precision clinical trials that use advanced technologies to guide patient enrollment and treatment selection that ultimately improve patient outcomes.”

“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on the need for better, more personalized care that addresses critically ill patients in both the ED and ICU,” said Dr. Wesley Self, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Emergency Medicine at VUMC. “Our ability to validate new treatments in a manner that can be translated into actual clinical practice quickly and effectively is an essential step to bringing life-saving targeted therapies to some of the sickest patients. This is an exciting development for the medical community, and ultimately patients, as it will facilitate significant new research and therapy discovery opportunities.”

About Endpoint Health

Endpoint Health combines therapeutics, companion diagnostics, and artificial intelligence (AI) into an integrated platform designed to improve outcomes of patients with critical