U.S. laboratories that conduct sensitive research involving some of the most deadly diseases will not be regularly inspected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control because of the federal government shutdown that started Tuesday, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said in an article published Tuesday.
CDC spokeswoman Barbara Reynolds said Biosafety Level 3 and 4 facilities, which carry out research into highly dangerous diseases for which there are no or insufficient remedies, will not be routinely examined while most government functions are closed because of a congressional budget battle.
Because the dangers posed by diseases studied at these laboratories, CDC officials are supposed to regularly inspect them to make sure that all proper security and safety procedures are carried out to minimize the chances of an accidental release into the environment or theft by a bad actor of a pathogen.
Absent CDC inspections of BSL-3 and 4 laboratories, there is a higher chance of safety and security problems going undiscovered.
In 2012, it was learned that a CDC-operated BSL-3 laboratory in Atlanta had experienced numerous problems with technology intended to prevent disease particles from escaping into the air outside the research space. Though no pathogens were being handled during the period when the air-filtration technology was not working correctly, and thus were not at risk of escaping into the environment, the incident raised concerns about biosafety and about the appropriateness of the CDC inspecting itself.
Spending for the Strategic National Stockpile of weapons-of-mass-destruction medical countermeasures will not be impacted by the federal shutdown, according to the Health and Human Services Agency.
Much of the federal government ceased operations after midnight Monday, when fiscal 2014 started on Oct. 1, as Democrats in charge of the Senate and Republicans running the House remained at odds over a temporary budget to keep the government running. Democrats are refusing to heed the GOP’s attempts, in a House spending bill, to end or limit President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
House Republicans have introduced several different budget measures that call for continue funding at fiscal 2013 levels through Dec. 15 for politically sensitive and popular federal programs such as the National Institutes of Health, the Wall Street Journal reported. That strategy — intended to pressure Senate Democrats into accepting a broader spending bill that does not include funds for implementing the health-care law — will likely not go far, as the White House threatened to veto those piecemeal spending proposals if they reach Obama’s desk.
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Nikki Haley. Jeb Bush. Scott Walker. Lindsey Graham. John Kasich. The list is growing ever longer of Republicans who say they wouldn't even consider becoming Donald Trump's running mate. "The recoiling amounts to a rare rebuke for a front-runner: Politicians usually signal that they are not interested politely through back channels, or submit to the selection process, if only to burnish their national profiles."
"Donald Trump holds a 15-point lead over Ted Cruz in the potentially decisive May 3 presidential primary race in Indiana, according to results from a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll. Trump gets support from 49 percent of likely Republican primary voters — followed by Cruz at 34 percent and John Kasich at 13 percent. If that margin in Indiana holds on Tuesday, Trump would be on a glide path towards obtaining the 1,237 delegates he needs to win the Republican nomination on a first ballot at the GOP convention in July."
In a statement released on Sunday, President and Mrs. Obama revealed that their oldest daughter, Malia, will attend Harvard University in the fall of 2017 as a member of the Class of 2021. She will take a year off before beginning school.
Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.
Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”