COVID-19

Biden to ask Congress for more Ukraine aid after earlier U.S. funding runs dry

BY: - April 23, 2022

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is preparing to ask Congress for billions more in aid to Ukraine as the war shifts to the eastern regions of the country, following Russia’s failure to take the capital city of Kyiv. “I’m asking the Defense Department to put together what they think we need,” Biden said this week. […]

CDC concludes a mask mandate is still needed for travelers, clearing way for court battle

BY: - April 20, 2022

The Biden administration will fight a court decision for the authority to mandate masks on airplanes, trains and other public transit, following a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation Wednesday night that a mandate was still needed. The CDC said in a statement that the mandate keeps transportation safer for immunocompromised people and the greater public. […]

Iowa COVID infection rate continues slow rise

BY: - April 20, 2022

There were 1,063 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Iowa in the past week — the largest weekly total in more than a month, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health’s update on Wednesday. The number is still only about 20% of the infection rate in January, when the omicron variant surge led to more […]

Federal judge in Florida throws out national mask mandate for travelers

BY: - April 18, 2022

A federal judge in Florida voided the nationwide mask mandate for airline and public transportation passengers Monday, saying the requirement was beyond the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s authority. A Biden administration official said agencies are reviewing the decision and potential next steps. “In the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking […]

Iowa COVID cases hold steady; hospitalizations rise

BY: - April 13, 2022

State health officials reported 900 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday for the past week — a slight decrease from the previous week’s numbers — but hospitalizations doubled. There were 68 people infected by the coronavirus receiving inpatient treatment at Iowa hospitals that day, according to U.S. Health and Human Services data. That’s an increase […]

U.S. lawmakers look for path ahead on billions in restaurant, small business aid

BY: - April 12, 2022

WASHINGTON — Restaurants and other businesses that have survived more than two years of COVID-19 restrictions could see an infusion of federal dollars in the coming months, as long as U.S. lawmakers reach final agreement on a multibillion-dollar package. The U.S. House has approved a bill with $42 billion for restaurants and $13 billion for a hard-hit […]

New federal COVID aid delayed after U.S. Senate Republicans insist on immigration debate

BY: - April 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress have departed their offices and hearing rooms on Capitol Hill for a two-week spring recess without passing additional funding to combat the coronavirus, amid a stalemate over immigration policy. Despite reaching a bipartisan agreement Monday for $10 billion for testing, treatments and vaccines, much of it needed in states, the […]

Iowa’s COVID infection rate nearly doubles but remains low

BY: - April 6, 2022

State health officials reported 930 new confirmed coronavirus infections on Wednesday for the past week, or an average rate of about 133 per day. That is nearly double the previous week’s rate of about 68 per day but is still far below the pandemic peak in January, when there were more than 5,000 new COVID-19 […]

Pause on federal student loan repayments extended by Biden through Aug. 31

BY: - April 6, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced plans Wednesday to extend the pause on federal student loan repayments until the end of August. “I recognized in recently extending the COVID-19 national emergency, we are still recovering from the pandemic and the unprecedented economic disruption it caused,” President Joe Biden said in a statement.  “If loan payments were […]

Biden administration details new research plan on ‘long COVID’ illness

BY: - April 5, 2022

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration announced plans Tuesday to create a national research action plan that could provide answers to public health officials trying to diagnose and treat so-called long COVID-19. The illness that lasts for months and possibly even years has so far confounded doctors trying to figure out exactly why some people are […]

U.S. Senate strikes bipartisan agreement on $10 billion in COVID-19 funding

BY: - April 4, 2022

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate reached a bipartisan deal on pandemic aid funding Monday, settling on $10 billion for added testing, treatment and vaccines. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, and Utah GOP Sen. Mitt Romney released separate statements Monday afternoon announcing the compromise, though Schumer was disappointed negotiators didn’t reach an […]

5 questions about COVID-19 funding that’s stuck in D.C.

BY: - April 2, 2022

WASHINGTON — Congress remains undecided over how exactly to provide billions more to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as a new variant spreads throughout states and public health officials caution the virus doesn’t show signs of fading away. Negotiators were close to an agreement for about $10 billion in federal spending, but as of Friday, several […]