Puerto Ricans ineligible for SSI disability benefits: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court issued a ruling denying access to disability benefits to residents of Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. Meanwhile, in news from other countries, covid cases declined last week.

Politico: Supreme Court rejects disability payments for Puerto Rico residents

The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an offer to allow residents of Puerto Rico to claim benefits under the federal government’s main disability insurance program, ruling that the Constitution does not obligate Congress to offer such payments. residents of the island even if the people born there are American. citizens. The sole dissenter from the High Court’s decision was Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was born in New York and is of Puerto Rican descent. (Gerstein, 04/21)

The Washington Post: Supreme Court rules Congress can exclude Puerto Ricans from SSI aid package

SSI benefits are available to US citizens living in any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Besides Puerto Ricans, those from the US Virgin Islands and Guam are excluded. Sotomayor said a program designed to help the poorest citizens should not be location dependent. “In my opinion, there is no rational basis for Congress to treat needy citizens living anywhere in the United States so differently from others,” she wrote. (Barnes, 04/21)

In global covid news —

Fox News: COVID cases fell further last week around the world: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in a weekly report that the number of new COVID-19 cases worldwide fell by nearly a quarter in the past week. The agency said nearly 5.59 million cases were reported between April 11 and April 17, down 24% from the previous week. Additionally, the number of newly reported deaths fell 21% to 18,215. While new cases fell across all regions, the Americas only saw a 2% decline. The countries with the highest number of cases reported last week were South Korea, France and Germany. (Musto, 04/21)

AP: British patient had COVID-19 for 505 consecutive days, study finds

A British patient with a severely weakened immune system had COVID-19 for nearly a year and a half, scientists have reported, stressing the importance of protecting vulnerable people from the coronavirus. There’s no way to know for sure if this was the longest-lasting COVID-19 infection because not everyone gets tested, especially on a regular basis like in this case. (Ungar, 04/21)

Press Association: Covid-19 infections in England: 70% of the country affected

Around seven in 10 people in England are likely to have had coronavirus since the early months of the pandemic, new figures show. An estimated 38.5 million people in private households – or 70.7% of the population – have had at least one infection since the end of April 2020. Figures were compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using data from its long-running Covid-19 Infection Survey. The survey began in England on April 27, 2020, meaning the estimates don’t cover most of the initial wave of the virus that started in early March. (Jones, 04/22)

Bloomberg: Thailand drops Covid testing mandate to attract more tourists

Thailand will scrap a mandatory Covid test on arrival as the Southeast Asian nation rolls back some of the pandemic-era measures seen as a deterrent to global tourists. RT-PCR tests will be replaced by voluntary self-administered antigen tests for those entering through air and land borders from May 1, Taweesilp Visanuyothin, spokesperson for the main national virus task force, told reporters. , after a meeting on Friday. (Nguyen, 04/22)

Bloomberg: Pfizer’s Covid pill gets WHO approval for high-risk patients

The World Health Organization has approved Pfizer Inc.’s Paxlovid antiviral pill for the most at-risk Covid-19 patients, saying it “strongly recommends” the drug for people who are not seriously ill. Older, unvaccinated or immunocompromised people should take the drug as soon as possible if they become ill to reduce the risk of hospitalization, according to a guideline published in the BMJ by a group of experts advising the health agency. (Hernanz Lizarraga, 04/21)

In the News on Canada’s Opioid Crisis —

The Globe and Mail: Some parents are losing not one, but two children to drug overdoses as Canada’s opioid crisis deepens

Most of us find it hard to imagine what it must be like to watch a child die of a drug overdose. But two children? A growing number of parents are going through this unfathomable experience. While experts can’t cite any numbers or studies on the phenomenon, they say it’s no longer uncommon. “It happens more than you think,” says Leslie McBain, one of the founders of the advocacy group Moms Stop the Harm, whose only child, Jordan Miller, died of an overdose at age 25. years. the results of the “other epidemic” in Canada. (Damn, 4/20)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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