Still No President-Elect—But Key Races Called for Science and Health

While it could be days before we know the next US president, GHN has been watching science- and health care-related votes—and some have already been called:
Florida: Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala—“an elder statesperson on health care issues”—lost in Florida after 1 term to Republican Maria Elvira Salazar, an ex-TV journalist, STAT reports.
North Carolina: In a victory for Big Pharma, Sen. Thom Tillis declared re-election victory in this tight race, WRAL reports. As GHN noted yesterday, Tillis has authored legislation that makes it easier for drug makers to “preserve exclusivity on blockbuster drugs.”

Kansas: Democratic Senate candidate Barbara Bollier lost to fellow doctor Roger Marshal, a conservative OB-GYN who has called for repealing the Affordable Care Act, STAT reports.

Ballot Initiatives:

Marijuana: New Jersey and Arizona legalized recreational marijuana for people 21 and above.

South Dakota became the first state to approve medical and recreational marijuana at the same time, CNN reports

Abortion: Louisiana voted in new constitutional language stating that it does not protect abortion as a right and is not required to fund it, The New York Times reports.
Colorado voters nixed a measure that would have banned abortions after 22 gestational weeks, Vox reports.

Plus: Oregon became the first US state to decriminalize possession of small amounts of all drugs, Vox reports, opting instead for fines and addiction recovery measures.

Along with Colorado, Oregon also voted in new taxes on vaping products.

Also Notable: In a deeply divided nation, partisanship may be a key risk factor in this pandemic and future onesNature Human Behavior study found that Republican-leaning counties did less physical distancing—such as avoiding restaurants—than Democratic-leaning counties, and that may have impacted COVID-19’s toll in these areas.

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