‘All the Beds Are Taken’; COVID Baby Airlifted in Texas; Zeke Emanuel as FDA Chief?

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“All the beds are taken up by COVID victims also getting ECMO,” said Floridian Susan Walker, who is anxiously searching for a hospital where her unvaccinated husband can receive the extracorporeal life support for his severe COVID-19. (CNN)

As cases soar and ICU beds fill in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is facing heat for banning mitigation efforts like masking requirements and vaccine mandates. (New York Times)

A baby with COVID was airlifted out of Houston and flown 150 miles away due to a shortage of pediatric bed space in hospitals there. (ABC13)

Though Florida leads the country in the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations among children, according to the latest HHS data. (New York Post)

Meanwhile, the state’s board of education unanimously passed a rule to let parents transfer their children to another school if their own requires masking, calling such masking policies “COVID-19 harassment.” (ABC News)

As of Monday at 8:00 a.m. EDT, the unofficial COVID-19 toll was 35,765,233 cases and 616,829 deaths, increases of 760,641 cases and 3,601 deaths versus a week ago.

Kids with mild or asymptomatic infections can get long COVID, and the ripple effects can trigger a “downward spiral,” said one doctor. (New York Times)

USA Today’s editor-in-chief Nicole Carroll gave readers a glimpse into the mindset of the unvaccinated via an interview with one of the millions of Americans who has yet to get the shot: her brother.

Whispers on the Hill suggest Ezekiel Emanuel, a key author of the Affordable Care Act, may be tapped by President Biden to lead the FDA. (Politico)

Slow down! There were more deaths from highway accidents in 2020 than at any point in the last decade, despite the fact that cars and trucks drove fewer miles due to the pandemic. (AP)

Due to the Delta variant, COVID-19 deaths and breakthrough cases were significantly higher in Mesa County, Colorado, as compared with other counties in the state. (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report)

Anthony Fauci, MD, chief medical advisor to President Biden, said FDA approval of COVID vaccines — which he hopes will be “within the next few weeks” — would give businesses more leverage to impose mandates. (AP)

Athira Pharma is facing legal action in the wake of data manipulation charges; the research helped secure a $15 million federal grant, which the company will now need to repay, plus penalties. (BioSpace)

In brighter news, the Senate passed a bill calling for a pilot program to teach military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder to train and ultimately adopt service dogs. (NJ.com)

Montana wants to add work requirements to its Medicaid expansion program, but federal health officials are expected to scuttle those plans. (Kaiser Health News)

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    Shannon Firth has been reporting on health policy as MedPage Today’s Washington correspondent since 2014. She is also a member of the site’s Enterprise & Investigative Reporting team. Follow

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