In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Dr Anthony Fauci warned about the dangers of long Covid, which he called an “insidious” if hard-to-diagnose public health emergency for millions of people.
Speaking to the Guardian’s David Smith, the nation’s top infectious disease expert explained that the rates of long Covid are worrying, even if they receive far less attention than death and hospitalization rates.
“It isn’t that you have people who are hospitalized or dying, but their function is being considerably impaired,” he said.
One of the major challenges to diagnosing and treating long Covid is that relatively little is known about it. There is no test for long Covid, Smith writes, and its precise causes remain mysterious. Fauci said long Covid is likely more prominent among those with existing psychological issues, but he adds: “The one thing you don’t want to fall into the trap of saying is well, it’s all psychological, because it’s not, it’s real.”
Fauci urged Congress to continue investing in efforts to combat the virus and long Covid.
“We’ve hit a wall when it comes to further resources for Covid, including long Covid. There doesn’t appear to be a lot of resources that are waiting for us right now,” he said. “I hope that changes. If you declare victory, you’re declaring an imaginary victory because we haven’t won the battle yet.”
Read the full interview here:
Major retailers will begin selling hearing aids over the counter without a prescription and at a much lower cost, as part of a new Biden administration rule that take effect today.
“Starting today, hearings aids are now on store shelves across the country — for thousands of dollars less than they previously cost,” the White House said in a fact sheet on Monday.
The move comes as Democrats tout their efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs and ease the economic burden of high inflation and rising cost of living ahead of the midterms.
According to the White House, several major retailers, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart among them, will begin selling the devices today. It estimates that the rule could lower average costs by as much as $3,000 per pair of hearing aids. Nearly 30 million Americans have hearing loss, according to the fact sheet, including nearly 10 million adults under age 60.
Today the Guardian launched a four-part series on Latino voters – a fast-growing, incredibly diverse voting bloc with the collective power to sway the 2022 midterm elections.
Though Latino voters have historically favored Democrats – and recent polling suggests that they still do – the party’s grip on these voters is slipping as economic forces provide an opening for Republicans. This year, due in part to population growth and redistricting, Latino voters make up a significant slice of the electorate in several of the most competitive House and Senate races. The stakes for both parties could not be higher.
In the first installment, yours truly provides a very broad overview of the well-financed fight to engage and mobilize Latino voters this cycle. But look out for the rest of the series, with reports from Florida, Texas and the mountain west.
My colleague Joan Greve recently published this report from Maine, where she assessed the state of Paul LePage’s political comeback.
The state’s famously belligerent former governor – Trump before Trump, as he once claimed – announced his retirement from politics in 2018 and decamped to Florida. But now he’s back, challenging the state’s Democratic governor, Janet Mills.
Now, in his campaign to return to the governor’s mansion, LePage is distancing himself from the former president. He believes Biden won the 2020 election, a fact few Republicans are willing to accept publicly. But has he really changed?
Read the full report here.
Kevin McCarthy expects to be the next speaker of the US House of Representatives.
That is the takeaway from a frenetic two days on the campaign trail with the Republican leader, according to a new report in Punchbowl news. Along the way, McCarthy spoke candidly about his path to the speakership, how difficult it is for Republicans to keep the job and offered his view of why he thinks his party is on track to wrest the majority from Democrats.
McCarthy tells donors and supporters that Republicans’ chances are improving by the day. He is blunt that August was a bad month for Republicans, but says the tide is turning and the election is increasingly being fought on issues that advantage Republicans, such as the economy, immigration and crime.
“What happened was all the issues came back on the front page. The cost of living continued to rise. Kids are going back to school and you’re concerned about what type of education you’re getting. And if you question your school board, somehow you’re a terrorist. The price of gas was up seven cents last week with no hope of America being energy independent. We watch crime rise every single day,” McCarthy said at a fundraising event in Chicago.
Interestingly, McCarthy believes the tide began to turn sharply against Democrats after Biden’s Philadelphia speech, in which the president warned that Trumpism posed an acute threat to American democracy.
“It all stops Sept. 1, the night that President Biden gave a speech in Philadelphia – an angry speech,” McCarthy added.
He also believes he’ll be speaker no matter how big – or small – Republicans’ winning majority is, meaning he thinks he can unite his fractious party behind him.
“If I’m even up for speaker, that means we won seats. I’ve been [the top House Republican for] two cycles. I’ve never lost seats, I’ve only won,” he tells Punchbowl.
McCarthy is also open about how hard it is for a Republican to keep the job, noting that his most recent predecessors left after only a few years. By contrast, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has led her party for decades.
First lady Jill Biden sat down for an interview this weekend with Newsmax, the far-right news network that cast doubt on her husband’s election victory in 2020.
According to a press release touting the 20-minute interview, Biden discussed her efforts to combat cancer and her meeting with Ukraine’s first lady.
“There are things Americans disagree with, but fighting cancer is one thing that unites Americans; and we’re honored to have Dr. Biden talk of her efforts and President Biden’s to combat this deadly condition,” Newsmax Media CEO Christopher Ruddy said.
The Newsmax host, Nancy Brinker, is the founder of the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
The interview airs at 9pm.
A new NYT/Siena poll looks glum for Democrats. After their fortunes appeared to reverse this summer, Republicans have regained their edge with voters just weeks left before election day.
According to the poll, Republicans hold a 49-45 lead in the race for Congress, with the economy being a top priority for voters in 2022. The shift was driven by women who identified as independent voters.
“In September, they favored Democrats by 14 points. Now, independent women backed Republicans by 18 points.”
The poll found the share of voters who ranked the economy or inflation as a top issue climbed nearly 10%. Republicans have long held an advantage on the economy, a trend that is even more pronounced with inflation at a 40-year-high and Democrats in control in Washington. A far smaller share of voters prioritize issues that favor Democrats, such as abortion and guns.
Moreover, voters are extremely dissatisfied with the president, a factor that further hurts Democrats.
Read more here and play with the crosstabs here.
Steve Bannon should be sentenced to six months in prison and a $200,000 fine for “his sustained, bad-faith contempt of Congress,” the justice department said in a legal filing on Monday.
Bannon, the former Donald Trump White House strategist, was found guilty on two counts of criminal contempt of Congress in July for ignoring a subpoena from the committee investigating the January 6 attack.
The department submitted its recommendation for his punishment on Monday ahead of his scheduled sentencing on Friday.
Some early-breaking news: Ye, formerly Kanye West, is buying the rightwing social media network Parler for an undisclosed sum, the platform announced on Monday.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, the Guardian reports. News of the purchase comes a week after Twitter and Instagram locked the rapper’s accounts over antisemitic posts.
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement.
Last year, Parler was effectively forced offline for allowing violent videos of the January 6 Capitol attack to circulate on its platform.
This is only the latest in a series of controversial moves by the artist. Over the weekend, Ye claimed in a podcast appearance that George Floyd died from a drug overdose. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of Floyd’s murder in May 2020. Floyd’s family is considering taking legal action.
And that was after Ye appeared wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week.
Good morning, US politics blog readers. I hope everyone had a nice weekend. We’re in the heat of election season, with just a handful of weeks left before Americans go to the polls.
Hours ago, Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with “kamikaze” drones, killing at least three people. For the latest, we encourage you to follow our Ukraine live blog.
Here’s a look at what else is happening today in US politics:
Last night, Georgia Senate GOP candidate Herschel Walker was a no-show for his second and final debate with Democratic senator Raphael Warnock, hosted by the Atlanta Press Club debate on Sunday. The race is among the most competitive in the country and polling suggests the candidates are effectively tied.
We’re also watching an NBC interview with Walker set to air tonight. In a preview, Walker admits giving his ex-girlfriend a $700 check, but denies it was for an abortion after being “confronted with a receipt from an abortion clinic and a check dated days later and bearing his name”.
This evening, candidates in battleground states will square off in a series of crucial debates. In Georgia, Republican Governor Brian Kemp will debate Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. In Utah, Republican senator Mike Lee debates his independent challenger, Evan McMullin. The candidates for Ohio’s open senate seat – Democratic congressman Tim Ryan and Republican JD Vance – will hold their second debate this evening. While in Iowa, Republican governor Kim Reynolds faces her Democratic challenger, Deidre DeJear, in a debate.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden is returning to the White House after spending the weekend in his home state of Delaware. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief reporters at 1.30pm.
The January 6 committee is expected to formally subpoena Donald Trump this week, in an attempt to compel the former president to answer questions about his role in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.