Amazon jumps into health care with telemedicine initiative



Amazon is making its first foray into providing health care services, announcing Wednesday that it will be offering its Amazon Care telemedicine program to employers nationwide.

Currently available to the company’s employees in Washington state, Amazon Care is an app that connects users virtually with doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses who can provide services and treatment over the phone 24 hours a day. In the Seattle area, it’s supplemented with in-person services such as pharmacy delivery and house-call services from nurses who can take blood work and provide similar services.

On Wednesday, the tech giant announced it will immediately expand the service to interested employers in Washington who want to purchase the service for their employees. By the summer, Amazon Care will expand nationally to all Amazon workers, and to private employers across the country who want to join.

Author(s): MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press

Publication Date: 17 March 2021

Publication Site: ABC News

Dolly Parton gets first dose of COVID-19 vaccine she helped fund



Dolly Parton has received her first shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine she helped fund with a $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University last year.

Parton chronicled the vaccination process in a video posted Tuesday to social media. In it, she sang a parody of her hit song “Jolene” with new lyrics imploring people to get vaccinated.

“Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine,” she sang in the famous tune. “I’m begging of you please don’t hesitate.”

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: ABC 11 Eyewitness News

US life expectancy drops 1 year in first half of 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic, CDC says




The decline in life expectancy was seen across racial and ethnic groups but was most severe in minorities, with Black Americans losing 2.7 years (from 74.7 to 72.0) and Hispanic Americans losing 1.9 years (from 81.8 to 79.9) during the same period. Meanwhile, white Americans lost less than a year (from 78.8 to 78.0), according to the report.

Hispanic Americans traditionally have the most longevity compared to other racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., and provisional estimates show they still do. Hispanics saw their “advantage” in this regard compared to Black Americans increase from 7.1 years in 2019 to 7.9. years in the first six months of 2020, the report said.

Author(s): Morgan Winsor

Publication Date: 18 February 2021

Publication Site: ABC News

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo under investigation for nursing home deaths



The full scope of the investigation is not immediately clear, but the sources said there was a particular interest in nursing homes, which have been a source of increasing frustration for Cuomo.

Last week, an aide conceded the administration withheld the nursing home death toll from state lawmakers out of fear it would be used against the state by the Trump administration.


The controversy over nursing home deaths has dogged Cuomo for months. At the onset of the pandemic, state health officials directed nursing homes to accept residents recovering from the virus as they were discharged from hospitals.

The directive was rescinded several weeks later, but Cuomo faced criticism that it contributed to a high level of deaths in nursing homes. The governor said he based the decision on federal guidance at the time and insisted staff members, not residents discharged from hospitals, brought coronavirus into nursing homes.

Author(s): Aaron Katersky

Publication Date: 17 February 2021

Publication Site: ABC News