Coronavirus Stories We’re Following

Apr 14, 2020   
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The world is adjusting to mass quarantines with some industries adapting faster than others. Yet, some trends are already coming into focus. For instance, companies historically having no experience with infectious diseases or medical supplies are pivoting their entire focus to fight the Coronavirus, with Ford being a leading example. The American car manufacturer has made its way in the world for decades based on inertia alone, but now finds itself modifying its assembly lines to manufacture ventilators. The WSJ op-ed below asks where this ingenuity has been for so long. In a less optimistic trend, marijuana-related business are feeling the full weight of their federal classification as drug traffickers, with business conditions directly impacted by quarantines and no provisions available under the Federal CARES Act, or any related economic stimulus bills. Finally, FDA finds itself at the center of the universe, grappling with patient safety versus the need for expedited product approvals for the drugs and diagnostics that will help the country get back to normal. These stories, and more, can be read by following the links below.

We loved this one in the Wall Street Journal: “If this moment in history has even a hint of a silver lining, it’s that the urgency and innovation of business in a crisis will become a template for business as usual.”

This article from examines the complexities of business amid widespread shutdowns, as well as what the future may hold for a recovery. In short, for better or worse, we are all in this together.

Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb drafted this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal discussing the important role employers can play in getting the country back to work by implementing robust Covid-19 testing programs in the workplace.

Miami-Dade Circuit Chief Judge Bertila Soto issued new emergency procedures on the use of electronic devices in remote courtrooms. Lawyers and others who do not comply could face punishment. Judge Soto’s order is available here.

Pennsylvania lawmakers have joined Louisiana, New York, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Jersey in introducing a bill that would force insurers to retroactively cover business interruption claims due to COVID-19. More information available here.

FDA has published guidance regarding several of its policies related to drug compounding. RAPS has additional coverage here.

FDA has published a series of FAQs on the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Chloroquine Phosphate and Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate for Certain Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients. The FAQs are available here.

There appears to be friction between FDA and start-up businesses marketing at-home diagnostic tests for Covid-19, and an open question about whether, and if so how, FDA has the authority to regulate them. More on that here.

Shut out of the CARES Act, marijuana and marijuana-related businesses are asking their state governments for help, and four special interest groups are working together to lobby lawmakers. You can read their letter here.

The Brookings Institute has published an article explaining how routine AML/KYC requirements are standing in the way of businesses working with banks to obtain assistance under the CARES Act. The article is available here.

FinCEN and OCC are providing needed flexibility for financial institutions who may be delayed in filing compliance reports due to the coronavirus. Additional information is available here.

The U.S. Surgeon General and Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services published an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel about the role of Telehealth in the coronavirus cure, which was shared on social media by the president. That article is available here.