Overnight Health Care — Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing


Welcome to Tuesday’s Overnight Health Care, where we’re following the latest moves on policy and news affecting your health. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup

A Maryland doctor performed the first successful animal-to-human heart transplant with a pig heart potentially opening up “an important new option for patients in the future.” 

Today’s big story: Biden administration health officials had a long day answering some pointed questions before the Senate Health Committee.

For The Hill, we’re Peter Sullivan (psullivan@thehill.com), Nathaniel Weixel (nweixel@thehill.com) and Justine Coleman (jcoleman@thehill.com). Write to us with tips and feedback, and follow us on Twitter: @PeterSullivan4, @NateWeixel and @JustineColeman8

Let’s get started. 

 

Health officials slammed over messaging 

There were a lot of tough questions over several hours on Tuesday for an array of administration health officials at a Senate hearing.

Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrOvernight Health Care — Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing Biden health officials slammed at hearing for confusing pandemic messaging Fetterman calls for ban on congressional stock trading MORE (N.C.), the top Republican on the Senate Health Committee, blasted the administration’s difficulties in communicating information on testing, boosters and isolation. 

“This administration has time and again squandered its opportunities and made things worse in the decisions you’ve made on testing and treatments and most crucially in communicating with the American people,” Burr said during the hearing. 

“I’m hoping that you’ll understand that my criticism comes from a place of concern. Because your communication efforts are a mess and have only made things worse,” Burr added. 

Burr slammed last summer’s announcement — and then reversal — that vaccinated people did not have to wear masks indoors.

The senator said the rollout of boosters was a “disaster” and the recent update to the isolation and quarantine period left people confused. 

Also testing: Burr expressed frustration at the continued shortage of at-home tests and questioned the administration’s ability to procure the 500 million tests that President BidenJoe BidenMcConnell: Rounds ‘told the truth’ about 2020 election Abrams thanks Biden for Georgia speech, backs call for Senate rules change Overnight Health Care — Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing MORE announced in December.  

“Something’s not right here, guys, on testing,” Burr said, noting that there are currently only contracts signed for 50 million tests.

Read more here.

FAUCI, PAUL CLASH AGAIN

These hearings now always seem to include a showdown between White House medical adviser Anthony FauciAnthony FauciOvernight Health Care — Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing Biden health officials slammed at hearing for confusing pandemic messaging Hot mic catches Fauci calling GOP senator ‘a moron’ MORE and Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care — Biden officials take heat at Senate hearing Hot mic catches Fauci calling GOP senator ‘a moron’ Fauci clashes with Paul, says attacks kindle ‘the…



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