Specialists are questioning the feasibility of three U.S. factories being built to rapidly turn out drugs needed after an attack or disaster, Nature reports.
Certain analysts argued that few useful antidotes are currently available for responding to the types of biological and chemical events envisioned by the production facilities under preparation in Texas, North Carolina and Maryland, the journal reported on Tuesday. Observers also cast doubt on the utility of next-generation smallpox vaccines, as well as other drugs that may be produced at the so-called Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing.
The United States is relatively unlikely to face a chemical or biological strike for which the factories would prove useful, argued Richard Ebright, a molecular biologist with Rutgers University. The Texas plant is slated to begin generating its first vaccine in the middle of this year, and federal officials plan in the next quarter-century to spend up to $2 billion on medical treatments from that single facility.
Philip Russell, a former biodefense adviser for the George W. Bush administration, suggested the United States should have built just one such production site for civilian and military needs, in line with a 2008 recommendation by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
“Rather than one good operation that meets the government’s needs, we got three operations that spread the money around,” Russell said of the $440 million initiative, launched in 2012 by the Health and Human Services Department.
The current plan’s backers, meanwhile, argued that operating several manufacturing plants would provide a fallback if one is compromised by a strike or release of hazardous material.
In addition to the three sites overseen by Health and Human Services, the Defense Department is constructing a $136 million factory in Florida to generate smaller quantities of biodefense products for armed-forces use. That site is expected to operate at an annual cost of $20 million following its scheduled launch in 2015.
What We're Following See More »
"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.
"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."
"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.
"Donald Trump on Wednesday parted ways with Rick Wiley, his national political director, just six weeks after the Republican operative joined the campaign." Wiley joined just six weeks ago, as Trump said he would be a "tremendous asset as we enter the final phase." But yesterday, Trump said in a statement that "hired on a short-term basis as a consultant."