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 Wisconsin Examiner. Her areas of coverage include politics and policy, lobbying, elections, and campaign finance.

Teen boy getting a vaccine | Photo CDC

CDC advisory panel signs off on Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for kids 12 to 15

By: - May 13, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel is recommending that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine be administered to adolescents between 12 and 15 years old, making it the first shot available to those under 16. The green light granted Wednesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine advisory panel is expected to be affirmed swiftly by […]

Biden stands at a podium delivering remarks in front of a backdrop that reads: American Rescue Plan

More than $350B in federal recovery cash starts rolling out to states, cities, counties

By: - May 11, 2021

WASHINGTON — States, cities and counties can begin to tap their share of the $350 billion in federal funds intended to spur a national recovery from the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic, White House officials announced Monday. The Biden administration said the much-anticipated money, which was included in the massive relief law enacted earlier this […]

Youth boy getting a vaccine looking at the shot.

FDA green lights Pfizer vaccine for kids 12-15, with CDC still to act

By: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday signed off on expanding the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children ages 12 to 15, clearing one key hurdle before that age group can begin receiving the two-shot vaccine. But another step is needed before tweens and teens can line up for shots. The […]

Andrea Palm | Biden administration

Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm poised for confirmation for No. 2 federal health post

By: - May 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate is poised to confirm Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm, who previously served as the top health official in that state, to become deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Palm, who most recently served as Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services secretary-designee, cleared a procedural vote Monday, 62-35, with […]

Black mother and child

Heartbreaking stories of Black maternal deaths, pregnancy complications, racism related at hearing

By: - May 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — When U.S. Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri was pregnant with her first child, Zion, she saw a sign in her doctor’s office encouraging her to speak up about anything unusual she was feeling. She did so, telling her physician that she was having severe pains, but her concerns were swiftly dismissed. The doctor […]

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 28: U.S. President Joe Biden addresses a joint session of congress as Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) (R) look on in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. On the eve of his 100th day in office, Biden spoke about his plan to revive America’s economy and health as it continues to recover from a devastating pandemic. He delivered his speech before 200 invited lawmakers and other government officials instead of the normal 1600 guests because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Biden calls for sweeping ‘once-in-a-generation investment’ to reshape the nation

By: - April 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Standing in the same House chamber where a violent mob temporarily disrupted the certification of his victory, President Joe Biden on Wednesday heralded the country as “on the move again” as he sketched out his expansive vision for a post-pandemic America. Biden in his first address to a joint session of Congress touted quick […]

COVID-19 mask spray painted in black on white wall

No mask needed outdoors if you’re vaccinated, except among crowds, CDC says

By: - April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Fully vaccinated Americans do not need to wear a mask outdoors except in crowded settings, federal health officials said Tuesday as they updated recommendations for how vaccinated individuals can safely resume normal activities.   Those who are at least two weeks past receiving their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine can safely be […]

United States Census 2020 art form

House seats shift south, while Wisconsin stays at eight

By: - April 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — After months of delays, the U.S. Census Bureau on Monday gave states part of the critical data needed to redraw their U.S. House boundaries: an updated tally of how many people live within their borders, and the number of House districts that each state will have for the next decade.  For six states, the […]

COVID-19 vaccine day, shot in syringe sitting on top of a calendar

Federal health regulators urge states to restart use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine

By: - April 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — A federal advisory panel on Friday recommended that states return to using the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, but also hand out updated fact sheets that will warn about the rare blood clots in women that paused the vaccine’s use. Top U.S. health officials swiftly acted on the recommendation by the panel, […]

Andrea Palm | Biden administration

Senate panel advances former Wisconsin health leader for top HHS post

By: and - April 23, 2021

WASHINGTON — Wisconsin’s Andrea Palm moved a step closer Thursday to becoming deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, after the Senate Finance Committee advanced her nomination to the full chamber. The panel approved Palm’s nomination on a 20-8 vote, with all Democrats and six Republicans in support. Palm’s nomination now […]

Restaurant chains slammed over resistance to minimum wage hike for tipped workers

By: - April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — As the nation’s largest trade group for restaurant owners on Tuesday held a virtual version of its annual gathering to lobby Congress, advocates for a $15-per-hour minimum wage took aim at the powerful restaurant chains that they say are blocking legislation on a higher wage for tipped workers. During their own virtual event, lawmakers […]

Andrea Palm | Biden administration

Former Wisconsin health leader pledges ‘common-ground’ agenda if confirmed for HHS post

By: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — When Andrea Palm worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services during the Obama administration, she says there was a theme to the policy issues that ended up on her plate: ones that required bipartisan cooperation. The agency’s secretary at the time, Sylvia Burwell, had a nickname for Palm’s portfolio: the […]