Author

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

Laura covers the nation's capital as a senior reporter for States Newsroom, a network of nonprofit outlets that includes Ohio Capital Journal. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

A medical worker holds vaccine vials

Who will get a booster shot? A Q&A about what the feds are saying

By: - September 23, 2021

This story was updated on Sept. 24 at 8:30 a.m. with new information about booster shot recommendations. WASHINGTON – Booster shots soon will begin rolling out to some Americans who received the two-shot vaccine made by Pfizer – after a contentious and confusing federal approval process that isn’t over yet. Determining who exactly should be […]

A closeup of a child's foot with a monitor attached and the gloved hands of a medical worker

Orphaned, infected, in crisis: How the pandemic is traumatizing kids

By: - September 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – The coronavirus pandemic has brought heartbreaking consequences for millions of U.S. children, even as most avoided serious illness themselves, pediatric experts told Congress on Wednesday. Take, for instance, a young girl from Tennessee named Sophia, whose story was relayed by Dr. Margaret Rush, president of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University. […]

The U.S. Capitol at night

U.S. House Dems propose $28.6B in disaster aid for recovery from hurricanes, wildfires, floods

By: - September 21, 2021

WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats unveiled a short-term spending measure on Tuesday that would keep the federal government operating through Dec. 3 and provide $28.6 billion for costs related to recent natural disasters.  That disaster relief money is slightly more than the $24 billion that the Biden administration asked Congress to approve for extreme weather events […]

Exterior of the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court schedules Dec. 1 oral arguments in major abortion case

By: - September 20, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Dec. 1 in a case that threatens to overturn decades of abortion protections established under the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade. The upcoming case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, stems from a Mississippi law that bans most abortions after 15 weeks. […]

Gray Pfizer sign on company headquarters in New York City.

FDA panel backs COVID-19 booster shots only for elderly and high-risk Americans

By: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON – A federal health advisory panel wrestled Friday with whether to widely authorize a booster dose of Pfizer’s two-shot COVID-19 vaccine for most Americans, ultimately recommending that a third dose be offered only to older or higher-risk individuals.   The Biden administration had hoped that states could begin rolling out a wide national booster shot […]

A doctor talks to an older patient

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid, and lower prescription drug costs

By: - September 16, 2021

WASHINGTON – New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices – if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The […]

Vials of the COVID vaccine

Arizona attorney general first to sue over Biden vaccine mandate on private businesses

By: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON – Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich on Tuesday filed the first lawsuit against the Biden administration’s upcoming COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private companies with at least 100 employees, arguing that the federal requirement violates the U.S. Constitution. In the legal complaint, Brnovich argues that the vaccine mandate President Joe Biden announced last week violates […]

Closeup of a vaccine vial in a person's hand

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

By: - September 9, 2021

This story was updated on Sept. 9 at 6:30 p.m. WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic. The upcoming vaccine rule for companies […]

Joe Biden signs papers at his desk in the Oval Office

Biden to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and contractors, reports say

By: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with no opt-out for testing under an executive order that President Joe Biden is expected to sign Thursday, according to several news outlets. The new requirement will be rolled out as Biden gives a major address Thursday afternoon on new national strategies for combating […]

Exterior detail shot of the U.S. Supreme Court building

Supreme Court rejection of eviction ban increases pressure to dole out rental aid money

By: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing – and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]

Gray Pfizer sign on company headquarters in New York City.

FDA grants full approval to Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot, now known as ‘Comirnaty’

By: - August 23, 2021

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has its first fully approved vaccine against COVID-19, with federal health officials announcing Monday the approval of Pfizer-BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine. The green light from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to move Pfizer’s vaccine from emergency use to full approval is a milestone in the national pandemic response, and one that […]

Exterior of the CDC building

COVID-19 booster shots to roll out starting next month

By: - August 18, 2021

WASHINGTON – Top U.S. health officials announced a plan Wednesday to begin offering COVID-19 booster shots to Americans starting Sept. 20, with the scheduling of the additional shot to be based on when a person was fully vaccinated.  The new round of jabs will be extended to those who received the two-dose vaccine from either […]