What We’re Reading: Long COVID-19 Research; Oklahoma Abortion Ban; Walgreens Opioid Lawsuit

President Joe Biden announced plans to increase research on long COVID-19; the Oklahoma House voted 70-14 in favor of a near-total abortion ban; Walgreens is going to trial in Florida’s opioid epidemic lawsuit.

Biden Administration Announces Plans to Increase Long COVID-19 Research

President Biden announced plans on Tuesday to increase research on long COVID-19, reports The Washington Post. According to a federal watchdog report published in March, long COVID-19 affects 7.7 to 23 million Americans. This government-wide action plan, coordinated by HHS, will include increased enrollment in a major National Institutes of Health study, expansion of long COVID-19 clinics run by the Department of Veteran Affairs, and greater federal protections for Americans with the condition. The Biden administration will issue a report after 120 days that details available services and support for these individuals.

Oklahoma House Votes in Favor of Abortion Ban

On Tuesday, Oklahoma lawmakers approved a near-total ban on abortion, reports The New York Times. The Oklahoma House voted 70-14 to send Senate Bill 612 to Governor Kevin Stitt, who vowed in September to sign “every piece of pro-life legislation” that was sent to him, according to his office. This bill states that performing an abortion, with the exception of saving a pregnant woman’s life in a medical emergency, would be considered a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Planned Parenthood operates 2 of the 4 abortion clinics in Oklahoma and plans to challenge the legislation in court.

Walgreens Refuses to Settle in Florida Opioid Lawsuit

The Associated Press is reporting that Walgreens will go to trial in Florida’s opioid epidemic lawsuit, despite most defendants in the case settling for more than $870 million. Florida is arguing that Walgreens has played a major role in the opioid epidemic, with 1 location selling 2.2 million opioid tablets in a town of 12,000 residents and other locations allegedly increasing their orders by 600% in 2 years. Walgreens has denied these claims. Opening statements are scheduled for early next week.