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Mexico identifies two women who may have received non-consensual surgeries in ICE detention

The finding is part of a larger Mexican investigation into allegations of improper medical care for detained migrant women at ICE’s privately-run Irwin Country Detention Center in Ocilla, Georgia.

In a statement released during the weekend, Mexico’s Foreign Ministry said one Mexican national received “a surgical intervention” that she did not authorize. The ministry specified that the operation was not a hysterectomy, and said she did not receive post-operative care. The woman also did not receive treatment for a hernia, the statement adds.

A second woman in Mexico allegedly underwent a gynecological surgery “without her full consent,” according to the Ministry, which did not specify the type of surgery. The statement says she did not “receive an explanation in Spanish of the medical diagnosis or the nature of the medical procedures that would be performed.” The government says it is “verifying” this case.

Reached for comment on Tuesday, ICE released a statement attributed to Acting Director Tony Pham that the allegations “raise very serious concerns that deserve to be investigated,” and are being reviewed by both the Office of Inspector General where the original whistleblower complaint was filed, and the Department of Homeland Security.

“If there is any truth to these allegations, it is my commitment to make the corrections necessary to ensure we continue to prioritize the health, welfare and safety of ICE detainees,” Pham said in the statement.

In September, Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse formerly employed at Georgia’s Irwin County Detention Center filed a complaint raising concerns about an undetermined number of hysterectomies supposedly performed there, as well as alleged medical neglect.

At least 20 women have since been interviewed by Mexican officials as part of the ongoing investigation. According to an earlier statement by the Foreign Ministry, five women said they had “interactions” with a doctor who has been linked to allegedly improper surgeries.

Dr. Ada Rivera, medical director of the ICE Health Service Corps, has said in a statement that since 2018, only two individuals at the Irwin County Detention Center have been referred to certified, credentialed medical professionals at gynecological and obstetrical health care facilities for hysterectomies.

“Based on their evaluations, these specialists recommended hysterectomies. These recommendations were reviewed by the facility clinical authority and approved,” Rivera said, citing agency data.

Through a spokesperson, LaSalle Corrections, the company that operates Irwin facility, said in a statement that “all females in our care receive routine, age-appropriate gynecological and obstetrical health care, consistent with recognized community guidelines for women’s health services.”

LaSalle also mentioned the two cases cited by ICE’s Rivera as the only two referred to certified, credentialed medical professionals at gynecological and obstetrical health care facilities for hysterectomies in compliance with National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) standards.

According to the Ministry, Mexico’s consulate in Atlanta, Georgia is in contact with a lawyer for a possible class action lawsuit and “with the women who could be included in it, in order to explore legal channels that address the violation of their rights.”

Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn't visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

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Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

Regeneron filed for emergency authorization of its antibody COVID-19 treatment drug, just hours after President Trump claimed it basically cured him. Mitch McConnell hasn’t been to the White House in months, and a new analysis shows Americans’ job-based health care is continually getting more expensive.

We’ll start with Regeneron:

Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received

Biotech company Regeneron late Wednesday applied for emergency authorization for an experimental antibody treatment praised by President Trump.

“Subsequent to our discussions with regulatory authorities, we have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for our REGN-COV2 investigational antibody combination for COVID-19,” the company said in a news release.

The move came just hours after the president praised the efficacy of the treatment in a short video message posted on Twitter.

“They gave me Regeneron, it’s called Regeneron,” Trump said in the five-minute video Wednesday afternoon. “It was unbelievable. I felt good immediately. I felt as good three days ago as I do now.”

Why it matters: Trump was taking several drugs for his illness, so it’s not clear which helped him feel better. He claimed he has the “emergency use authorization all set,” but the FDA is supposed to make decisions based on science and not demands from the president. Regeneron’s drug is still undergoing clinical trials, and while early results seem promising, the company has not released data to back up its claims.

Read more here.

McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Thursday that he hasn’t visited the White House in two months because of how it has responded to the coronavirus.

Speaking in Kentucky, McConnell said that while he talks to President Trump frequently, he hasn’t been to the White House in person since Aug. 6.

“Because my impression was their approach to how to handle this was different from mine and what I insisted we do in the Senate, which was to wear a mask and practice social distancing,” he told reporters.

McConnell’s comments come in the week after President Trump and roughly two dozen people in his orbit have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Senate doesn’t have a mask mandate, though most senators wear masks around the Capitol and there are also signs to remind people to socially distance.

Unlike the Senate, the White House has rapid testing for those in contact with the president. But there have also been several events where the White House did not require social distancing and most people at the event did not wear masks.

McConnell on Thursday appeared to take a veiled jab at the White

Trump Says Coronavirus Diagnosis A ‘Blessing From God’, Shares COVID-19 Treatment He Received


  • Trump called his coronavirus diagnosis a ‘blessing from God’
  • The president shared a five-minute clip where he touted his Regeneron treatment regimen
  • He also said he wants to make the treatment available for free to the general public

President Donald Trump on Wednesday uploaded a video on his Twitter account where he called his recent coronavirus diagnosis a ‘blessing from God’ and touted the benefits of an experimental drug treatment he received. 

In the nearly five-minute clip, the president — who spoke from the White House Rose Garden — praised his treatment regiment, including the antibody cocktail made by Regeneron, for helping him “feel great.”

“For me, I walked in, I didn’t feel good. A short 24 hours later I was feeling great. I wanted to get out of the hospital,” Trump said. “And that’s what I want for everybody. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president, because I feel great. I feel, like, perfect.”

“I think this was a blessing from God that I caught it. This was a blessing in disguise,” he added.

Trump claimed he told his doctors to give him the Regeneron treatment. The president also said he is now convinced that his treatment regimen should be made available for free to the broader public. It is unclear how he planned to make the cost of the drugs free for thousands of patients, The Hill reported.  

Regeneron, a New York-based biotech company, made the drug REGN-COV2 that is intended to mimic the human body’s immune system and provide it with molecules to fight off the novel coronavirus. 

According to USA Today, REGN-COV2 is currently being tested in people who contracted COVID-19, including those who have been diagnosed with the virus, are symptomatic, but not hospitalized. The drug has yet to receive approval for use in the U.S. or other countries. 

The video is the latest attempt from the White House to project optimism after numerous reports alleged that Trump’s coronavirus condition may be severe after he received the antiviral drug remdesivir and the steroid dexamethasone. 

The president covered other talking points in the clip, including his belief that a coronavirus vaccine will soon be ready. He also said he pushed health agencies to speed up their approval processes and claimed China will “pay a big price” for the virus originating there. 

No mask, no worries, says US President Donald Trump No mask, no worries, says US President Donald Trump Photo: AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM

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Trump Received Experimental Antibody and Remdesivir for Coronavirus

President Trump, who has tested positive for Covid-19, is taking a volley of therapies, including an experimental antibody infusion that has shown promise in early-stage patients but hasn’t finished being tested, as well as the antiviral drug remdesivir that has been cleared for emergency use by regulators.

As a precautionary measure, the president received an eight-gram dose of

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.’s

antibody drug cocktail, the White House said Friday. Remdesivir, made by

Gilead Sciences Inc.,

has been authorized for treatment of hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Regeneron said that Mr. Trump received its experimental drug under a compassionate-use request, which allows unapproved medicines to be used in patients with serious diseases who don’t have other treatment options.

The company describes its drug as providing a substitute immune response for patients who haven’t mounted their own yet and who have high virus levels in lab tests.

“Older people are among those who have trouble mounting an immune response, which would mean that they have less ability to fight the virus,” said George D. Yancopoulos, Regeneron president and chief scientific officer. These patients “should benefit the most from getting an immune response from the outside,” he said.

The president’s physician, Sean Conley, said in a memo late Friday that the president had also completed his first dose of remdesivir.

It is among just a few drugs that studies have shown to treat Covid-19, and been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for such use.

The FDA authorized use of remdesivir, which is sold under the brand name Veklury, after researchers reported it shortened the recovery times of hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Remdesivir patients recovered in 11 days, four days faster than the placebo group, the researchers reported.

Since the authorization, remdesivir has become a standard course of treatment for hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

“While we cannot comment on individual patient cases, our thoughts are with everyone who is fighting Covid-19. We join the rest of the country in wishing the President and First Lady a speedy recovery,” Gilead said.

White House officials said Mr. Trump, who is 74 years old, was experiencing mild symptoms after his diagnosis. As a precaution, the officials said, Mr. Trump was taken to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he will work from the presidential offices there the next few days.

Most people who contract the virus experience mild symptoms and recover. Yet Mr. Trump is at a higher risk of facing severe illness than younger people. The risk for a severe case of Covid-19 increases with age, along with factors including whether a person has other medical conditions like cancer, diabetes or obesity, studies show.

Mr. Trump weighed 244 pounds as of his last physical, made public in June, and stood 6 feet, 3 inches tall, which meant he narrowly met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition of obesity.

The obesity rate among adults in the U.S. is 42.4%, according to the CDC. Obesity may triple the risk that a patient is hospitalized due to