Coronavirus Roundup: Watchdog Ding’s SBA’s Oversight of Restaurant Assistance Program – GovExec.com | Region & Cash

The White House on Tuesday released its strategy for managing the BA.5 subvariants of the Omicron variant, which now account for the majority of COVID-19 cases in the United States.

“To counter BA.5, the administration will continue to mobilize the full strength and capabilities of the federal government and work with state and local leaders, health care workers, the private sector, and community and faith-based organizations to ensure that American people have simple and convenient access to and use of vaccines, tests and treatments,” said a White House pamphlet.

During a Tuesday briefing, the White House and federal health officials underscored the importance of staying current on vaccines. When asked if the administration was considering expanding eligibility for second booster shots, Dr. Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator: “I am very, very clear that these are decisions by our regulators: the [Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]. So I know the FDA is considering this and looking at this. And I know CDC scientists are thinking about it and looking at the data too.” Here are some of the other recent headlines you may have missed.

The FDA granted emergency use authorization to the Novavax vaccine — the pending fourth vaccine option in the United States — on Wednesday, and now the decision goes to the CDC. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will meet on July 19.

The Biden administration has secured 3.2 million doses of the Novavax vaccinewhich is made differently than those based on mRNA. “Securing these vaccines leverages existing U.S. government agreements with Novavax, including a July 2020 agreement for the development and demonstration of large-scale manufacturing of a SARS-CoV2 vaccine,” said a Department of Health and Human Services news release Monday . “The Government will accept shipments of COVID-19 vaccine doses manufactured with the remaining funds from the existing agreement pending all quality testing is complete.”

The Department of Labor, the CDC and the Surgeon General are inviting the public to participate an online dialogue about how long COVID challenges can be addressed in the workplace. “Participants in the Dialogue are invited to submit ideas, share comments, and show their support for the ideas of others that they believe can help federal agencies recognize and respond to the long-lasting challenges of COVID in the workplace and the to reduce the employment and financial impact of the condition,” said a Department of Labor press release.

The small business administration could exercise better oversight of the Restaurant Revitalization Fundwhich was founded in March 2021 for pandemic aid, the Government Accountability Office said in a report released Thursday. “SBA implemented quickly [the fund] and used lessons learned from previous emergency programs (such as [the Paycheck Protection Program]) to improve program design and increase security safeguards,” the report said. “However, our work suggests that a more balanced approach to monitoring, both pre- and post-award, is warranted.” fraudulent or illegal.” Of the seven recommendations made by the Watchdog, the SBA disagreed with five, agreed with one in part and agreed with one.

A new GAO report, leveraging the work of inspectors general, addresses transparency of federal spending, including pandemic spendingas required by the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act 2014. Twenty of the 31 IG offices whose agencies had reported COVID spending “Their agencies’ COVID-19 spending information was complete, accurate, and timely, and therefore received full marks on this test,” the report said. Seven of the 31 IG offices “reported that their agencies were having issues with … COVID-19 spending information and allocating partial credit. Also four [office of inspectors general] reported that their agencies’ COVID-19 spending data was incomplete, inaccurate and delayed, resulting in a zero scoring.”

Help us understand the situation better. Are you a federal employee, contractor, or member of the military with information, concerns, etc. about how your agency is handling the coronavirus? Email us at newstips@govexec.com.

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