UK’s Johnson walks tightrope between politics, COVID surge | Wellness and Health

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is walking a political tightrope as he faces escalating assaults from both equally buddies and enemies amid a surge in COVID-19 bacterial infections.

For the second wintertime in a row, Johnson is betting vaccines will be his savior, urging all people to get booster pictures to sluggish the unfold of the new omicron variant, hoping to avoid further more politically unpalatable restrictions on small business and social activity.

The threat to Johnson and his Conservative Occasion was on stark display screen last week as the primary minister reeled from 1 political disaster to yet another.

On Tuesday, Johnson confronted the major parliamentary rise up of his tenure as 97 Conservatives voted towards new COVID-19 limitations. Two times later he suffered a stinging by-election defeat in a commonly safe Conservative place amid anger around experiences that federal government personnel held Christmas events previous year although the region was in lockdown. Then Saturday, one of his staunchest allies resigned from his Cabinet, citing distress with the new coronavirus policies.

When Johnson’s policy on trying to restrict COVID-19 bacterial infections is audio, he will confront increasing strain from all wings of his get together to adjust class, mentioned Giles Wilkes, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Institute for Governing administration. The challenge is to dismiss the political noise and base his policies on science, reported Wilkes, a former adviser to the primary minister’s predecessor, Theresa May well.

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Walgreens shares surge on plans to boost focus on health services

Walgreens Boots Alliance’s new CEO Roz Brewer said Thursday that the drugstore chain will sharpen its focus on health care and turn it into the company’s “new growth engine.”

At a virtual investor day, she said the company’s nearly 9,000 stores across the U.S. will become places where customers can go to a doctor appointment, get medical tests and seek advice from a nurse or pharmacist. Those services will be under a new division of the company called Walgreens Health.

“This new Walgreens Health will make a difference and will began to transform us away from retail and just dispensing pharmaceuticals,” she said in an interview with CNBC’s Bertha Coombs. “It will be about the lives that we manage, and the lives that we touch and the lives that we can wrap physician and clinicians around in our buildings, both physically and digitally.”

Investors appeared receptive to Walgreens’ plan. Shares closed up 7.4% at $50.77 on Thursday. So far this year, shares are up more than 29%.

Brian Tanquilut, an equity research analyst for Jefferies, said Walgreens delivered on what many investors wanted Thursday by spelling out how it will become a proactive health-care player.

“Right now, people are saying, ‘It’s a sound strategy and we’ll give you a little bit of credit for that'” he said.

Walgreen’s plan calls for opening hundreds of primary care clinics, shaking up its selection of front-of-store merchandise and taking a stake in several health-care companies.

The company expects that strategy to pay off in the coming years. Next year, adjusted earnings per share are expected to show flat growth on a constant currency basis, it said. But growth will accelerate so that adjusted earnings per share will rise about 4% annually over the next three years. Beyond fiscal 2024, the company’s growth algorithm will lead to adjusted earnings per share growth of between 11% and 13%.

Brewer pointed to the company’s fourth-quarter earnings as evidence that Walgreens is building on a firm foundation.

Tanquilut said the new vision for Walgreens is a notable pivot.

“You are making the pharmacy a health center,” he said. “Instead of having a retail focus, the driver of value is no longer driving scripts [prescriptions] out of the pharmacy. It’s actually delivering care and making the patient loyal to the store.”

Ramping up health services

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Poll: Financial distress worsens for Americans during delta surge : Shots

Americans have fallen way behind.

The rent’s overdue and evictions are looming. Two-thirds of parents say their kids have fallen behind in school. And one in five households say someone in the home has been unable to get medical care for a serious condition.

These are some of the main takeaways from a new national poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Despite billions of dollars in relief money from federal and state governments, “what we have here is a lot of people who are still one step from drowning financially,” says Robert Blendon, emeritus professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School.

Thirty-eight percent of households across the nation report facing serious financial problems in the past few months. Among Latino, Black and Native American households, more than 50% had serious financial problems, while 29% of white households did. This disparity is echoed in many other poll findings, with the minority families bearing a disproportionate share of the pandemics’ socio-economic impact.

Brittany Mitchell’s family is among those that are struggling. She lives in Gaston, S.C. and she’s a full-time cake decorator at the local Food Lion grocery store — her husband is a butcher. They were weathering the pandemic well enough, until her husband lost his job.

“There was a good two months where we really couldn’t pay rent, we couldn’t pay electric, we couldn’t pay for our internet,” she says. “We were basically borrowing from friends and family members just to make ends meet.”

Mitchell was able to enroll in rental assistance, and she says her landlord was very understanding. Her husband got a new job, but now they’re behind on utility and car payments.

“We’re still struggling real hard just to get through,” she says.

A sharp income divide

The poll showed a sharp income divide, with 59% of those with annual incomes below $50,000 reporting serious financial problems in the past few months, compared with 18% of households with annual incomes of $50,000 or more.

All this, despite the fact that around two-thirds of households report that they have received financial assistance from the government in the past few months during the delta variant surge.

It appears that the funding from COVID-19 relief bills, Blendon says, “did not provide a floor to protect people who are of moderate and low incomes.”

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