Joel Carillet / iStock.com

Coronavirus Roundup: Smithsonian and National Archives Advance Reopenings; Court Sides with CDC on Cruises 

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

The Health and Human Services inspector general office tweeted on Monday that July 26-30 is whistleblower Appreciation Week. “Whistleblowers play a critical role in keeping our government honest, efficient [and] accountable,” said the tweet. “We will share one #MythandFact each day during the week to help dispel myths about whistleblowers.” It doesn’t mention the novel coronavirus, but whistleblowers have been central to shedding light on gaps in the federal government’s pandemic response. Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed. 

The Smithsonian Institution is phasing out time entry passes and extending museum hours starting on Tuesday. Also, the Smithsonian will go back to pre-pandemic capacity levels at the museums and national zoo. There are still several health and safety measures in place, as outlined in a press release

The National Archives is starting a limited reopening of its research rooms on August 2. “[The National Archives and Records Administration] services will look very different from the services provided prior to COVID-19. Research visits will be by appointment only and will require a virtual consultation prior to the onsite visit,” said a press release. “Boxes of records will be pulled in advance and will be waiting at an assigned table. Research appointments will initially be for four to five hours total, depending on the location. In addition, we have implemented a number of measures to ensure the safety of our researchers and staff.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention affirmed in a statement on Friday that unaccompanied migrant children can enter the United States, which is an exception to a pandemic policy instituted by the Trump administration. The Biden administration temporarily made this exception in February and now the decision is solidified. There have been many calls recently for the administration to get rid of the policy altogether, claiming it is inhumane and/or not needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. 

In a late-night ruling on Saturday, a federal appeals court allowed the CDC to enforce its more measured plan for resuming cruises, which was a setback for Florida’s attempts to ramp up cruises, Politico reported. “The appeals court’s one-page order, issued just before midnight Saturday, offered no explanation for the decision beyond saying the federal government had made ‘the requisite showing’ to obtain a stay allowing the CDC rules to remain in effect,” said the report. “The panel did indicate that one judge dissented.”

In an interview with Reuters last week, the CDC defended the continued mandate to wear masks on public transportation, amid calls from Republicans to repeal it. “I get we're all just over this emotionally. but I do think we will succeed together if we realize the virus is the enemy and it's not your fellow citizen or the person sitting next to you on a plane or a piece of cloth that you have to wear over your face,” said Marty Cetron, director for the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. 

During the briefing on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the Biden administration will be encouraging other groups to require vaccines for their employees or residents and she said, “We believe that local communities, entities, organizations are going to make decisions about what they need to do to keep their community safe.”

In a follow-up question the reporter asked, “and what about for federal workers or members of the military?” Psaki replied she had no news to share on that front. 

Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said at an event on Monday that domestic FDA inspections are back to normal, Politico reported

Postal workers in Minnesota filed Occupational Safety and Health Administration complaints about their distribution center last year and “the limited response to [Alejandra] Hernandez and her colleagues’ appeals for help provides a window into the failures of the Postal Service, one of the country’s largest employers, and OSHA,” ProPublica reported. “Postal workers have routinely sought help from OSHA during the pandemic, but their complaints have had little effect,” said the report. “Since February of last year, USPS employees across the country have filed more than 1,000 complaints alleging COVID-19-related hazards. Following those complaints, OSHA issued citations for four violations, all of which the Postal Service has contested. The USPS hasn’t been obligated to make changes or pay penalties for any of the reported safety hazards.” 

The Defense Department inspector general published its quarter three COVID-19 oversight plan on Friday. There are six listed ongoing investigations, which includes how department contracting officials handled terminated contracts during the pandemic and how the department managed its vaccine distribution. 

Upcoming: White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki will give a briefing at 12:30 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.

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.