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Doctors to Weigh if Trump Can Leave Hospital on Monday: Trump Aide | Top News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s medical team will weigh whether he can leave the hospital later on Monday after being admitted last week for COVID-19, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said, adding that he was optimistic Trump will be discharged.

Meadows, in an interview with Fox News, said he had spoken with Trump earlier on Monday morning and that his condition appeared to have improved overnight. He added that doctors would consult with Trump late Monday morning and that a decision about Trump’s possible discharge would likely not be decided until early Monday afternoon.

“That determination has not been made yet,” he said. “His health continues to improve.”

“We’re still optimistic … that he will be released, but that decision won’t be made until later today,” he added.

Meadows also defended a controversial decision for the president to leave his hospital suite on Sunday to drive by supporters outside Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, despite having the highly infectious novel coronavirus. Critics said the action put Trump’s security officers at risk.

Meadows noted that U.S. Secret Service had been with Trump before in cars and had traveled with him to the hospital. Critics, including some medical experts, have said the additional drive outside the hospital was an unnecessary risk.

“We took additional precautions with PPE (personal protective gear) and others to make sure that they were protected,” he said.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Lisa Lambert; Editing by Catherine Evans and Chizu Nomiyama)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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California voters weigh in again on care at dialysis clinics

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California voters will again weigh in on the quality of care dialysis clinics provide to about 80,000 people in the state with kidney failure.

Proposition 23 would require a doctor or highly trained nurse at each of the state’s 600 dialysis clinics whenever patients are being treated to improve patient care. It was placed on the ballot by unions that represent health care workers.

Opponents, financed by dialysis clinic companies, say that under that mandate, between two and three doctors would be required at every facility because most are open at least 16 hours a day, creating a financial burden that could lead some clinics to close.

“There are a tremendous number of complications that can occur during and around dialysis, and a doctor onsite will be able to respond not only to emergencies such as cardiac arrest, bleeding, dangerous fluctuations in blood pressure — all other common side effects of dialysis — but they also will be able to oversee the overall quality of care,” said Steve Trossman, a spokesman for the Oakland-based Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West, which spent more than $6 million in a signature drive to get it on the ballot.

Proposition 23 is the second attempt by the union to increase regulations of dialysis clinics in California, where DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care — two of the country’s largest for-profit dialysis providers — operate about three-quarters of the state’s dialysis market. Early voting begins Monday for the Nov. 3 contest.

In 2018, the union-backed Proposition 8, which sought to cap dialysis clinics’ profits and force them to invest more of their profits in patient care. Voters rejected the measure but not before it became the most expensive initiative on the 2018 ballot, generating more than $130 million in campaign spending — more than $111 million from dialysis companies to kill the initiative and about $19 million from unions that supported it.

Dialysis providers say most California clinics already offer high-quality care and are regulated by federal and state authorities. They also point out all patients already have a nephrologist — a kidney specialist — who oversees their care and that nephrologists also direct each clinic in California. They say the initiatives are part of a tactic to pressure the dialysis companies to let workers unionize.

“The motive is to force the dialysis community to spend a bunch of money to defeat it because ultimately this is more about a union organizing battle. I have no doubt that in 2022 there will be another initiative on the ballot targeting dialysis providers and dialysis patients,” said Kathy Fairbanks, a spokeswoman for No on Prop. 23, a coalition led by DaVita and Fresenius that also includes the California Medical Association and American Nurses Association-California.

The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office estimates dialysis companies currently make roughly $3 billion a year from their California operations.

So far this year, the union has raised nearly $6.2 million backing it and the coalition against Proposition