White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House on Thursday. "Large swaths of the federal government coming to a screeching halt would certainly not be beneficial to pandemic response, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate," Psaki said.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House on Thursday. "Large swaths of the federal government coming to a screeching halt would certainly not be beneficial to pandemic response, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate," Psaki said. Evan Vucci / AP

Coronavirus Roundup: White House Works to Mitigate a Potential Shutdown’s Effect on Pandemic Response; 92% of Troops Vaccinated

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

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee on immunization practices voted on Thursday to recommend individuals who received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine should receive a booster shot if they are 65 or older, or are younger and have underlying medical conditions that put them at a high risk for coronavirus complications. Then an announcement early on Friday morning said that CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky was endorsing booster shots for frontline workers as well, thus overruling the advisory committee. 

“This aligns with the [Food and Drug Administration] booster authorization and makes these groups eligible for a booster shot,” Walensky said in a statement released a little after midnight. “We will address, with the same sense of urgency, recommendations for the Moderna and [Johnson & Johnson] vaccines as soon as those data are available.” Here are some of the other recent headlines you might have missed. 

Some CDC staff members were surprised that Walensky went against the advisory committee’s recommendation, The New York Times reported. “The CDC director’s endorsement of the advisory committee’s recommendations is typically just a formality,” said the report. “Hours before her statement, agency insiders predicted she would stick with the usual protocol because doing otherwise would undermine the process and upset the advisers as well as her own staff. But experts outside the C.D.C. said Dr. Walensky may have had no choice but to align herself with the FDA’s decision.”

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki spoke during the briefing on Thursday about how a possible government shutdown could impact the public health agencies. “We’re taking every step we can to mitigate the impacts of a potential shutdown on our pandemic response, economic recovery or other priorities,” she said. “Direct public health efforts can generally proceed during a shutdown because they’re exempt and that is certainly our intention. But large swaths of the federal government coming to a screeching halt would certainly not be beneficial to pandemic response, but we are doing everything we can to mitigate.” Following standard procedure, the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday reminded “agency senior staff of the need to review and update orderly shutdown plans.” Funding for federal agencies is set to run out Sept. 30 if Congress fails to act. 

Ninety-two percent of active-duty military personnel are vaccinated, President Biden said during remarks on Friday morning.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona supports and encourages states requiring vaccines for school children, Politico reported on Friday. A vaccine has not yet been approved for children younger than 12, however. 

Public health experts are “flabbergasted” that Biden hasn’t named a nominee for FDA commissioner yet, Kaiser Health News reported earlier this week. “Under federal law, [acting Commissioner Dr. Janet] Woodcock can serve as acting commissioner until mid-November unless Biden nominates a permanent commissioner, in which case she can remain until that person is confirmed by the Senate,” said the report. 

Government Executive obtained an updated version of the Federal Bureau of Prisons coronavirus response plan dated September 7, which has new information on procedures for fully vaccinated staff, official travel and more. It should be noted this was issued two days before President Biden announced the vaccine mandate for federal employees. 

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee is looking for a contracting officer, which is a “once in a career opportunity leading our procurement activities to support independent oversight of over $5 trillion in federal pandemic relief,” said Robert Westbrooks, executive director of the committee. 

Upcoming: 

  • The White House coronavirus response team and public health agencies will give a briefing at 12:30 p.m.
  • White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and Homeland Security Department Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas will give a briefing at 2:30 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.