What We're Reading: Trump Aims to Stall ACA Case; First Death Reported From Chinese Virus; Flu's Toll on Children

January 13, 2020

The Trump administration has indicated that the Supreme Court should wait to take up a case on the Affordable Care Act (ACA); a Chinese pneumonia outbreak claimed the life of one victim; this year’s flu strain is hitting children the hardest.

Trump Administration Urges Stalling of Obamacare Lawsuit

In a filing to the Supreme Court on Friday, the Trump administration urged the court to wait in taking up the case of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), citing the absence of a “present, real-world emergency.” A key campaign point in 2016, President Donald Trump’s promise to repeal the ACA has yet to be fully accomplished. Democratic opponents hope for a quick ruling by the Supreme Court, so the case doesn’t go back to lower courts and the Fifth Circuit. If 5 justices agree the case can be seen on an “expedited basis,” the ruling would be issued by the end of the current session in June, prior to the 2020 election, reports The New York Times.

Chinese Pneumonia Outbreak Claims First Death

A mysterious outbreak of the pneumonia virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan claimed its first death on Thursday, according to Chinese Health authorities. The viral infection is responsible for 41 cases of pneumonia in the region. Reports of the virus first emerged December 12, but officials reported no new infections as of January 3. In addition, scientists recently released the genetic sequence of the virus to further research into the outbreak, STAT reports. The outbreak has been tied to a seafood market that sells meat of exotic animals. The market has since been closed.

Children Bear the Brunt of This Year’s Flu Strain

A viral strain of influenza B has taken a toll on children throughout the country, with a total of 32 deaths being reported since the beginning of the flu season. Due to the early start of the season, in July, many children went unvaccinated and were infected by a subgroup of the influenza B early on. This subgroup is not included in this year’s vaccine. Of the 32 pediatric deaths recorded, 21 were the result of influenza B. According to the CDC, the flu is widespread in almost every state in the country. Officials urge everyone aged 6 months and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible, as it takes the body 2 weeks to develop a full immune response, reports The Washington Post.