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What We're Reading: VA Nursing Home Funds; J&J Lawsuit; White House Stance on Vaccines


VA to Better Fund Rural Nursing Homes

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is looking to better funnel money to nursing homes in rural areas. According to the AP, rural areas typically aren’t awarded grants under the current guidelines, which prioritizes based on demographics and the need for beds. As a result, veterans and lawmakers have been seeking funding for a new veterans’ home in southwestern Montana for a decade. New regulation to change guidelines and ensure money goes to rural areas will have to undergo a public comment period.

Jury Awards $417 Million in J&J Talcum Powder Case

A jury in Los Angeles has awarded the largest award in a lawsuit tying ovarian cancer to Johnson & Johnson talcum powder. The jury has ordered the company to pay $417 million in damages to a woman who developed ovarian cancer after using its talcum powder, reported The New York Times. The company has been sued by thousands of women with only a few lawsuits going to trial. Most of the jury awards have been far smaller, such as $110 million to a Virginia woman. Research into the connection between talcum powder and ovarian cancer have been inconsistent and Johnson & Johnson plans to appeal the verdict.

White House’s Vaccine Safety Commission on Hold

A White House vaccine safety commission, which would have been chaired by a leading vaccine skeptic, might be on hold. A STAT exclusive with Robert Kennedy, Jr, outlined how he hadn’t spoken to White House officials about the commission in months, but that he had been meeting with officials at the FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). At the beginning of the year, the idea of a vaccine safety commission had first been announced by Kennedy, who said President Donald Trump had asked him to serve as chairman. The NIH has maintained that vaccines are safe and effective, and the new FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, MD, continues to express support for vaccines.

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