The coronavirus has forced drug rehabilitation centers to scale back operations or temporarily close, leaving people who have another potentially deadly disease — addiction — with fewer opportunities for help.
Since the start of the pandemic, prisoners and their families have contradicted state officials about the conditions inside Indiana prisons. Many inmates report they’ve had no way to protect themselves from close contact with other inmates and staff members. They believe contracting the coronavirus is inevitable.
An affluent suburb looked to Iceland’s and South Korea’s widespread testing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The method is pricey, but leaders are convinced it is worthwhile.
After a police shooting in Indianapolis, activists held a protest — but, recognizing the dangers of the coronavirus in a crowd, many worked to make sure demonstrators took proper precautions.
Indiana prisoners said they can’t protect themselves from the virus, as the governor resists calls to reduce overcrowding. “Scared for our lives,” said an inmate.
KHN Midwest editor and correspondent Laura Ungar shares her expertise on Vice President Mike Pence’s public health track record as he leads the nation’s novel coronavirus response. Ungar covered a 2015 Indiana HIV outbreak and its fallout amid Pence’s tenure as governor.
In February 2015, an unprecedented HIV outbreak fueled by intravenous drug use hit the small city of Austin, Indiana. Under pressure, then-Gov. Mike Pence reluctantly allowed a syringe exchange. Five years later, HIV is undetectable in most of the outbreak patients. Still, the lessons haven’t been learned nationwide. Fewer than a third of the 220 counties deemed by the federal government as vulnerable to similar outbreaks have active syringe-exchange programs.
Indiana was ground zero for shifting ideas about needle exchanges after a small town had an HIV outbreak in 2015 brought on by needle-sharing. But even as other parts of the country start to embrace needle exchanges amid the ongoing opioid epidemic, the sites remain controversial in Indiana. Only nine of the state’s 92 counties have them, after a series of closures and reopenings.
Years ago, doctors sometimes lied about whose sperm they used for artificial inseminations. Could it happen now? Some argue regulation is weak in the multibillion-dollar fertility treatment industry.
President Donald Trump has ordered that legal immigrants obtain health insurance within 30 days of arriving or prove they can pay for any possible medical need ― another policy certain to be challenged in court. Meanwhile, health issues continue to play a major role in campaign 2020. This week, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Julie Appleby of Kaiser Health News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.