What We’re Reading: Biden to Update Vaccine Requirements; DOJ Plans to Sue Over Abortion Law; Theranos Trial Begins


President Joe Biden will reportedly require all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 without a testing alternative; the Department of Justice plans to sue over Texas’ new abortion law; the fraud trial against former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is underway.

Biden to Update Vaccine Requirements for Federal Employees

President Joe Biden is expected to sign an order updating the vaccination requirements for federal employees, according to a report from the Washington Post, doing away with the option for regular COVID-19 testing as an alternative to receiving a vaccine. The update is part of the president’s new robust plan to stop the spread of the Delta variant and to boost COVID-19 vaccinations. The administration is hoping that the plan and new requirement will help ease the strain on hospitals and prevent the need to restrict social gatherings. Biden is also planning to call for a global summit to be held during the United Nations General Assembly to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and boost vaccine supply to struggling lower- and middle-income nations.

Justice Department Plans to Sue Over Texas Abortion Law

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is planning to throw legal challenges at Texas over the state’s strict new abortion law, which allows for private citizens to sue those who perform or aid abortions that occur after 6 weeks of pregnancy. As reported by Politico, the news comes days after Attorney General Merrick Garland announced that the department is exploring options to push back against the law. The Biden administration has been facing pressure to act after the Supreme Court refused to block the law from taking effect in a 5-4 decision. The DOJ is expected to argue that the Texas law illegally interferes with federal interests.

Fraud Trial Against Former Theranos CEO Begins

Jurors heard opening arguments in the fraud trial of Elizabeth Homes, the former CEO of biotech startup Theranos, according to NPR. Holmes is facing up to 20 years of prison time if convicted and is charged with 10 counts of wire fraud and 2 counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Once the world’s youngest self-made billionaire, Holmes is alleged to have lied to investors about the technology used by her company, which claimed to be able to scan for hundreds of diseases with a simple pinprick of blood, a claim that never came to fruition. The defense claimed that Holmes believed in the mission of the company and made mistakes, but did not commit fraud. The prosecution claimed that Holmes willingly lied to investors to get money.

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