With 200,000 Coronavirus Deaths, Federal Response Under Intensified Criticism

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U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar speaks after a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing at the Department of Health and Human Services on June 26, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

This week, the United States marked a grim milestone: more than 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. Against this backdrop, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar moved to bar the national health agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration, from signing off on any new rules without his consent. Azar's sweeping declaration, called by some as a "power grab," would affect regulation of the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products, including vaccines. That’s according to a September 15th memo, obtained by the New York Times. We'll talk about the federal response to the pandemic and how the nation is faring in its fight against COVID-19.

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Dr. James Hamblin, physician; staff writer, The Atlantic; co-host, “Social Distance” podcast; author, "Clean: The New Science of Skin"

Dr. Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, professor and chair, the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the UC-San Francisco School of Medicine