Boston University overcame two bids to prevent a downtown site from studying some of the world’s deadliest biological agents, the Boston Herald reports.
The Boston City Council on Wednesday voted down a proposal to prohibit locations in the city from carrying out “Biosafety Level 4” studies, which can involve diseases for which there are no known cures. The measure targeted the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories, a 6-year-old site where Boston University wants to conduct such research.
The chief proponent of the research ban described the council’s 8-5 decision as a letdown.
“Many other surrounding communities have banned [Biosafety] Level 4 research to protect their residents from a potential risk,” said Councilor Charles Yancey, who submitted an ordinance to prohibit the sensitive scientific efforts.
“I don’t believe that the city of Boston is prepared to deal with an emergency resulting from the release of a pathogen,” he said.
Meanwhile, a university administrator praised the council’s decision.
“At the end of the day it was the safety measures and the security of the building that carried the vote,” Michelle Consalvo, assistant vice president for government and community affairs, said in the school publication BU Today.
Also on Wednesday, a state court rejected a local challenge to a National Institutes of Health finding that the laboratory constitutes a relatively insignificant hazard to the surrounding area.
“When assessing the risk … the report assumed that in each scenario, everything that could go wrong would go wrong,” Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Janet Sanders wrote in her ruling. “It then calculated the risk that this could happen using a specific methodology.”
The laboratory must still obtain authorization from the Boston Public Health Commission to conduct Biosafety Level 4 research.
What We're Following See More »
"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."
Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.
- A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
- A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
- And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.