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Sens. Cruz, Coons Push For Increased US-Israel Medical Partnership To Combat COVID

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Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are joining bipartisan forces to push for an increased medical partnership with Israel in mitigating the coronavirus pandemic. Both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are also asking for $12 million to “enhance partnerships between companies in the United States and Israel to develop innovative medical projects aimed at detecting, treating, and curing COVID-19.”

“I’ve long said that China poses the most significant, long-term geopolitical threat to the United States. Our dependence on China for life-saving medications and treatments is deeply problematic,” Cruz said in a statement. “Israel is not only our friend and ally, but also a global leader in medicine with which we already cooperate on exactly those issues. I’m proud to push forward to ensure both American and Israeli companies can work together to develop cures and treatments to defeat COVID-19.”

“The United States and Israel are world leaders in the medical technology industry, and it is in the interest of all Americans, Israelis, and the rest of the world that we work together to fight COVID-19. This virus knows no borders, and our bill underscores the importance of international collaboration in the face of a truly global pandemic,” Sen. Coons said in a statement.

Many Israeli companies are inching closer to a COVID-19 vaccine and have reported success in early trials of a number of therapeutics and treatments. For example, as reported, Israel’s Pluristem Therapeutics Inc.’s treatment had a 100 percent survival rate in patients treated. Researchers at MIGAL, an internationally recognized research institute located in Israel’s Northern Galilee, say they’re years ahead in developing a coronavirus vaccine that could be ready within weeks, as reported.

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Healthcare

College to begin offering abortion pill on campus

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Barnard College, a partner campus of Columbia University, will be rolling out a plan in May that involves supplying students with abortion pills, the Columbia Spectator reported. The plan to provide the abortion service in the form of mifepristone abortion pills to students was initially announced in the fall of 2022 after the overturning of Roe. V Wade, according to the Spectator. However, the rollout’s delay has been partially attributed to an August 2023 grant the college received, which allowed Barnard to join a large network of primary care providers that will help steer the college through the procedures.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reports Barnard’s Primary Care Health Service will host student focus groups in upcoming weeks to find out student perspectives about the service and to identify new ways to support students considering abortion. “We wanted to make sure that we’re addressing this from every angle that will be supportive of students,” Sarah Ann Anderson-Burnett, director of Medical Services and Quality Improvement of Barnard, told the Spectator. Anderson-Burnett also said it has expanded the availability of its abortion providers to after-hours and year-round.

Barnard has six medical professionals, including two physicians and four nurse practitioners, who are capable of performing the procedure, Mariana Catallozzi, vice president for Health and Wellness and chief health officer of Barnard, told the Spectator. The school also launched a partnership with AccessNurse, a medical call center that will assist with patient concerns related to abortions.

“The training doesn’t end with the clinicians,” Anderson-Burnett told the Spectator. “Clinicians are trained on the actual provision, but there’s also an overall training that will be provided to key partners and stakeholders across the campus because we want every step, every touchpoint, to be supportive and to be trauma-informed and to be patient-valued and centered but also respect confidentiality and privacy.”

The University of Massachusetts Amherst spent more than $650,000 to stock abortion pills in March 2023 at the request of Democratic Maryland Gov. Maura Healey. Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill in May 2023 forcing college in the state to stock abortion pills on campus.

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