The court order said that CMS had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers participating in the two government healthcare programs for the elderly, disabled and poor.
Cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus popped up in countries on opposite sides of the world Sunday and many governments rushed to close their borders even as scientists cautioned that it's not clear if the new variant is more alarming than other versions of the virus.
State and local governments have struggled to determine who among the many workers who braved the raging coronavirus pandemic before vaccines became available should qualify for so-called hero pay: Should it go to a small pool of essential workers like nurses or be spread around to others, including grocery store workers?
Federal health regulators say an experimental COVID-19 pill from Merck is effective against the virus, but they will seek input from outside experts on risks of birth defects and other potential problems during pregnancy.
The world should now be “wide awake” to the threat of the coronavirus, “but omicron’s very emergence is another reminder that although many of us might think we are done with COVID-19. It’s not done with us,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Currently identified as B.1.1.529, the new variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong in travelers from South Africa. The World Health Organization's technical working group is to meet Friday to assess the new variant.