Evan Vucci / AP

Coronavirus Roundup: OSHA COVID-19 Standard Takes Effect; Biden Seeks Permanent HHS Inspector General

There's a lot to keep track of. Here’s today’s list of news updates and stories you may have missed.

The Government Accountability Office said in a recently published report that during the pandemic there were “potential racial and ethnic disparities” among the unemployment insurance recipients for the three pandemic programs. “For example, Census Bureau survey data indicates that 80% of white applicants reported receiving benefits, as compared to 73% of Black applicants,” said the report. “We didn't determine the reasons for these differences, but the results could suggest that states may be approving, or processing unemployment claims differently for applicants in different racial and ethnic groups.” GAO said it's continuing to investigate, but wanted to share the preliminary results ahead of these programs expiring in September. Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed. 

The emergency temporary standard for COVID-19 (applying to the health care industry only) was published in the Federal Register and took effect on Monday. This is an interim final rule and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is seeking comments by July 6 on whether or not it should become a final rule. 

OSHA, under the Biden administration, has stepped up the enforcement of coronavirus workplace protections, Bloomberg Law reported on Monday. Five months into the administration, OSHA “has issued more than three times as many violations of the general duty clause, a provision of federal law, than it did during the Trump administration,” said the report. “OSHA also has increased the number of inspections of workplaces where COVID-19 could be a hazard, even if an employer or workers haven’t reported complaints to the agency.” However, the proposed fines under the two administrations are about the same.

Biden announced on Friday he intends to nominate Christi Grimm, currently serving as acting Health and Human Services inspector general, to be the permanent one. Grimm, who has been in the role since January 2020 but has worked for the office since 1999, came under fire early in the pandemic from then-President Trump about a report her office put out about vast supply shortages hospitals were facing. 

Politico published a deep dive on Monday about how Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, is navigating the challenges of the country’s reopening as well as managing the agency, where employees felt demoralized and sidelined under the Trump administration. Agency communications on guidance changes and the roll out of these changes, as well as restrictions on CDC staff speaking with the media, have been points of contention, said the report. 

The White House is considering ending the Trump-era public health order that allows officials to turn away migrant families at the border as early as July 31, Axios reported on Sunday. The order was aimed at preventing the influx of coronavirus infections into the United States. “The administration has been in negotiations with the [American Civil Liberties Union], which has put a temporary hold on its lawsuit targeting the practice of expelling families,” said the report. “Although thousands of families have been kicked back to Mexico under Title 42 in recent months, since March, the policy has been applied to less than half of family encounters...The administration also has set up a process for exempting more migrants from Title 42 out of humanitarian concern.” 

The CDC advisory committee meeting on vaccine safety, scheduled for last Friday, was rescheduled in observation of Juneteenth, which just became a federal holiday. The discussion will be a part of the committee's meetings on June 23-25, says the CDC’s website

Upcoming: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will give a briefing at 1 p.m. 

Help us understand the situation better. Are you a federal employee, contractor or military member with information, concerns, etc. about how your agency is handling the coronavirus? Email us at newstips@govexec.com.

NEXT STORY: Kill the 5-Day Workweek

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.