5 things for healthcare execs to know from the Senate COVID-19 hearing

Four top U.S. health officials spoke via video conference with Senate leaders May 12 for a full committee hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic and strategies on reopening the economy.

Here are five things from the hearing for healthcare executives to know:

1. On a vaccine: Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said it is likely a COVID-19 vaccine will be found in a year or two, though it won't be ready in time for students who go back to school in August, according to USA Today.  

2. On reopening: Dr. Fauci and CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, warned about the consequences the nation could face if economies are reopened without enough tests and contact tracing. 

"There is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control," Dr. Fauci said. He added that reopening too quickly could result in "some suffering and death that could be avoided," but, "could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery," according to The New York Times.

3. On death count: Dr. Fauci said the COVID-19 death count in the U.S. — which is more than 80,000 — is likely an undercount, according to The Guardian. The death count doesn't account for people who may have died at home without going to a hospital. 

4. On remdesivir: FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, said the government "learned a lot of lessons" from confusion surrounding which hospitals could get Gilead Sciences' remdesivir. Dr. Hahn said the federal government is developing a "data-driven" process to redistribute the drug, according to STAT.

5. On delaying non-COVID-19 medical care: Senators are concerned about delays in elective services among their constituents. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, raised concerns about delaying dental care and how skipped appointments under social distancing guidelines could affect health outcomes down the road, according to STAT

 

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