It’s been a rough couple of years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facing a barrage of criticism for repeatedly mishandling its response to the covid-19 pandemic and more recently monkeypox, the agency has acknowledged it failed and needs to change. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has tapped Mary Wakefield — an Obama administration veteran and nurse — to helm a major revamp of the sprawling agency and its multibillion-dollar budget. Making the changes will require winning over wary career CDC scientists, combative members of Congress, and a general public that in many cases has stopped looking to the agency for guidance. “If she can’t fix it, she’ll say, ‘It’s not fixable, here’s why, and here’s what needs to be done next,’” said Eileen Sullivan-Marx, dean of the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, who has known Wakefield professionally for decades.
The U.S. Department of Education highlighted Santa Fe Public Schools on Thursday during a press call to announce the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan “Back-to-School” checklist. The federal law provided $130 billion to school districts and state governments to, among other things, support students’ mental health needs. Santa Fe Public Schools is using its ARP funds for mental health and wellness of both students and staff, according to a news release. The money will also be used to expand the district’s restorative justice program, hire additional school psychologists and expand school counselor programming. According to a U.S. Department of Education fact sheet, the American Academy of Pediatrics and other mental health associations declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health in 2021.
According to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , girls experience persistent feelings of sadness and suicide at higher rates than boys and the trend is on an uptick. The report, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, shows that this problem has been on an upward trend since at least 2009. Kathleen Ethier, PhD and director of CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health led the survey and was the senior author on the mental health paper. She said through email to NM Political Report that “it’s not entirely clear why females are experiencing poorer mental health and suicidal thoughts and attempts.”
“However, previous research suggests that young women may be more adversely impacted by negative messages in social media and females experience more of certain types of violence like electronic bullying and sexual assault,” she said. In 2009, 26 percent of girls the CDC surveyed said they experienced persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness over the previous year. But in 2019, the CDC found that 37 percent of girls said they did.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that the federal government will end the Trump-era policy that has prevented asylum seekers from entering the U.S.
The policy will end May 23. The Trump administration initiated Title 42 in the first few days of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. The policy prohibited undocumented individuals from entering the U.S. through a port of entry. At the time, Trump cited the spread of the respiratory disease as a reason to establish the policy but critics quickly condemned the action as racist and inflammatory. The Biden administration, which ran on eliminating or reversing many Trump-era policies, kept Title 42 in place after entering office, despite widespread criticism from immigrant advocacy groups.
Renters in New Mexico who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are still protected under the New Mexico Supreme Court’s stay on evictions, said a court official. Barry Massey, public information officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, told NM Political Report that the state supreme court’s stay has no set time limit to it and will continue until the justices decide to end it. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a new order Tuesday that would stay evictions for most renters impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic until Oct. 3. Maria Griego, economic equity director for the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, said through email that the CDC eviction moratorium would cover areas heavily impacted by the virus, which amounts to about 90 percent of the U.S. population.
Access issues plaguing the state could be exacerbating women’s cancer screenings difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the American Cancer Society. Tim Tokarski, senior manager for development in New Mexico and El Paso for the American Cancer Society, told NM Political Report that the need to travel long distances to see a physician is an issue for people who need a breast cancer screening or other types of gynecological cancer screenings. “New Mexico has a tremendous amount of access issues,” Tokarski said. But, distance isn’t the only barrier to health care access, he said. “Geography and income and insurance and socioeconomic status” also pose barriers, he said.
Since March, the Trump administration has pushed thousands of migrant children back to their home countries without legal screenings or protection, citing the risk that they could be carrying COVID-19 into the United States.
But by the time the children are boarded on planes home, they’ve already been tested for the virus — and proven not to have it.
ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. In late June, after three months of near silence on the topic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finally weighed in on a question of critical importance to millions of American women and families: How dangerous is the coronavirus for pregnant women and new mothers? The CDC had been asserting that pregnant women don’t seem to be at higher risk for severe complications from the virus. As recently as late May, a spokesperson told ProPublica, “Current evidence shows pregnant women have the same risk of severe illness from COVID-19 as adults who are not pregnant.”
ByBryant Furlow, New Mexico In Depth and ProPublica |
Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque implemented a secretive policy in recent months to conduct special coronavirus screenings for pregnant women, based on whether they appeared to be Native American, even if they had no symptoms or were otherwise at low risk for the disease, according to clinicians.
The hospital screens all arriving patients for COVID-19 with temperature checks and asks them whether they’ve been in contact with people who have the illness. But for soon-to-be moms who appeared to be Native American, there was an additional step, according to clinicians interviewed on the condition they not be named.