Coronavirus Roundup: GSA’s Budget Request Looks to the Future of Work After the Pandemic
There's a lot to keep track of. Here’s a list of this week’s news updates and stories you may have missed.
The future of work after the pandemic is top of mind in the federal government’s landlord’s budget proposal and strategic plan for fiscal 2024 released on Monday.
Increased telework rates in conjunction with the fact that in the next five years over half the leases held by the General Service Administration's Public Buildings Service will expire “illustrate how this budget request and others in the near future will determine the makeup, condition, size and functionality of tomorrow’s real estate portfolio.”
In the strategic plan, GSA says it “strives to be a leader in the evolving workplace landscape by offering new, innovative, sustainable and flexible solutions that meet the varying workplace needs of our customers,” as Government Executive previously covered. “GSA will make critical investments into GSA-controlled facilities that not only support these workplace solutions, but also provide for a modernized and optimized federal footprint.”
The budget request also includes $5 million to address the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's protocol for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases in GSA facilities. GSA’s watchdog has previously flagged issues with GSA’s public health procedures during the pandemic.
Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed.
There is still no answer on whether President Biden will sign the bill that passed the House and Senate requiring the director of national intelligence to declassify information related to the origins of COVID-19. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said on Thursday they’re still looking at it.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Pfizer/BioNTech’s updated booster for children six months to four years old. These young kids “who completed their three-dose primary series with the monovalent Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine more than two months ago are now eligible to receive a single booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent,” said a press release from the FDA.
The White House is struggling to find a nominee to be director of the National Institutes of Health, after Dr. Francis Collins stepped down from the role over a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. “At least two potential choices for the job have walked away, and the White House has struggled finding qualified candidates willing to fill a job that would probably force them to take a substantial pay cut and face popular attacks on scientists, people familiar with the search said,” said the report. “The search has stretched on so long that some potential choices aren’t interested, some of the people said, because a new director would have very little time to establish himself or herself in the post before a potential change in administrations could push that person out.”
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