Morning Briefing Oct. 11, 2021: Beaumont Health offers signing bonus amid critical nurse shortage, drugmaker Merck asks FDA to authorize anti-COVID pill

Here are this morning’s top stories

Nurses needed: Beaumont offering signing bonus amid staff shortage

Visit any floor in any hospital, and most of them are going to look like controlled chaos, a constant hustle and bustle of staff and patients.

And those keeping that chaos under control are the nurses -- but they’re in low supply these days, much like workers across any industry in the U.S. To help recruitment efforts, Beaumont Health is offering a $10,000 sign-on bonus for new nurse hires, and an additional $11,000 retention bonus for nurses who stay on.

Learn more here.

Merck asks US FDA to authorize promising anti-COVID pill

Drugmaker Merck asked U.S. regulators Monday to authorize its pill against COVID-19 in what would add an entirely new and easy-to-use weapon to the world’s arsenal against the pandemic.

If cleared by the Food and Drug Administration — a decision that could come in a matter of weeks — it would be the first pill shown to treat COVID-19. All other FDA-backed treatments against the disease require an IV or injection.

An antiviral pill that people could take at home to reduce their symptoms and speed recovery could prove groundbreaking, easing the crushing caseload on U.S. hospitals and helping to curb outbreaks in poorer countries with weak health care systems. It would also bolster the two-pronged approach to the pandemic: treatment, by way of medication, and prevention, primarily through vaccinations.

Read more here.

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‘When will the madness end?’ -- Michigan Auditor General requests some counties review 2020 election results again

Several Michigan county clerks are concerned a state agency is being used as a political tool to perpetuate the “Big Lie” in order to discredit the 2020 General Election.

Clerks are confused, frustrated and want to know why they’re being asked to do another review of the 2020 General Election.

Ingham County clerk Barb Byrum wrote on Twitter Friday that she was being required to re-audit the 2020 election for Michigan Auditor General’s office.

“When will the madness end?” she tweeted.

See the story here.

Michigan AG joins multi-state complaint asking for USPS transparency on Postmaster General’s transformation plan

Attorney General Dana Nessel has signed on with 19 Attorneys General in a multi-state complaint, asking for more transparency in terms of the plans to change how the United States Postal Service operates.

Nessel believes planning under the Postmaster General is what has led to slow delivery times in the first place.

“Ever since Postmaster General Louis DeJoy took over as postmaster General of the United States Postal Service, it has really been nothing but trouble,” Nessel said. “He’s got a 10 year reorganization plan that would essentially result in closing many postal service branches, decreasing their hours, slowing down delivery for first class mail and increasing our rates.”

See more here.

💳 Money Monday: How do credit bureaus determine credit score?

Gun violence claiming more lives of American teens, children

Gun violence is killing an increasing number of American children, from toddlers caught in crossfires to teenagers gunned down in turf wars, drug squabbles or for posting the wrong thing on social media.

Shootings involving children and teenagers have been on the rise in recent years, and 2021 is no exception. Experts say idleness caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shares the blame with easy access to guns and disputes that too often end with gunfire.

Read more here.

Weather: Summery October Monday

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 8,409 new cases of COVID-19 and 82 virus-related deaths Friday -- an average of 4,204.5 cases over a two-day period.

Of the 82 deaths announced Friday, 40 were identified during a Vital Records review.

Friday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,055,420, including 21,313 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,047,011 cases and 21,231 deaths, as of Wednesday.

Testing has increased to around 30,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 11.18% as of Friday, slightly lower than the previous week due to the increasing test volume. Hospitalizations have been steadily increasing for several weeks.

The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 3,541 on Friday -- the highest it has been since early May. The 7-day death average was 35 on Friday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.0%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 104,300 on Friday.

Michigan has reported more than 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday, with 68.4% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 59.8% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.