Preparedness Pulsepoints | Monitoring USG action on readiness and response
Published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
Sanjana Ravi, MPH, Editor
March 6, 2018
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
NEWS
In Tussle Over "Right to Try," Court Presses FDA to Shed Light on Ebola Drug Decisions. The Food and Drug Administration will have to explain to a court this week why it won't shed more light on an internal decision to allow at least two Americans who contracted Ebola to take a drug that wasn't yet approved.  (STAT News, 3/5/18)
NEWS
"It's All About Preparedness," US Congresswoman Brooks Says. Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN) this week maintained her laser focus on improving the preparedness of the United States to respond to a pandemic or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats via formation of the new bipartisan Congressional Biodefense Caucus. Rep. Brooks and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) will serve as co-chairs of the caucus, which launched during a Feb. 26 reception held in Washington, DC.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 3/2/18)
REPORT
Progress Toward Poliomyelitis Eradication - Nigeria, January-December 2017. This report describes progress in polio eradication activities in Nigeria during January-December 2017 and updates previous reports. No wild poliovirus cases have been reported in Nigeria since September 2016; the latest case had onset of paralysis on August 21, 2016. (CDC, 3/2/18)
NEWS
How We Will Win the War on Opioids. When confronting a crisis of this magnitude, the most important factor-and one where government too often falls short-is making sure that every dollar is used effectively. To this end, the Trump Administration's aggressive and multifaceted response to opioid addiction can best be understood in terms of three categories: demand, supply, and treatment.  (The White House, 3/1/18)

WEBINAR
Global Introduction of New Vaccines. Vaccinations save the lives of 2 to 3 million people every year, including children. Yet 1 child dies every 20 seconds from a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccine. Why? Because 1 in 5 children in the world do not have access to the life-saving immunizations that keep children healthy. This session of Public Health Grand Rounds will take place on March 20, 2018, at 1 PM EST. (CDC, 3/18)
COMMENTARY
A Universal Influenza Vaccine: the Strategic Plan for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. To invigorate research efforts, NIAID developed a strategic plan focused on knowledge gaps in three major research areas, as well as additional resources required to ensure progress towards a universal influenza vaccine. NIAID will use this plan as a foundation for future investments in influenza research and will support and coordinate a consortium of multidisciplinary scientists focused on accelerating progress towards this goal. (Journal of Infectious Diseases, 2/28/18)
NEWS
MIT, USAMRIID Develop Algorithm for Early Warning of Exposure to Pathogens. Doctors and public health officials would welcome warnings that enable them to begin early mitigation and containment of disease outbreaks. Researchers at MIT Lincoln Laboratory, the National Institutes of Health Integrated Research Facility, and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are developing a technology that may provide those early warnings. (Global Biodefense, 2/27/18)
STATMENT
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, on FDA's Ongoing Efforts to Help Improve Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccines. The current influenza season has been especially difficult, causing widespread illness that has affected all fifty states and resulted in a record number of hospitalizations. While healthcare professionals continue to combat this year's flu - which may continue to affect Americans into April - we're already partnering with other public health agencies to conduct essential work to produce next season's influenza vaccines. (FDA, 2/26/18)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
NEWS
State Department Determines North Korea Used Chemical Weapons. The determination, made by the department's international security and nonproliferation bureau, carries restrictions on U.S. foreign aid and financial and military assistance that North Korea's heavily sanctioned government is already subject to. (PBS, 3/2/18)
NEWS
Pentagon Official Says US Hypersonic Weapons Research Underfunded. The Donald Trump administration's recently proposed fiscal 2019 budget request increased funding for hypersonics research, though it is spread across several services and agencies to include DARPA, NASA, and the Missile Defense Agency. (Foreign Policy, 3/1/18)
COMMENTARY
Combating the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction: a Success Story for the US-EU Partnership. As the American and European Union officials responsible for managing our respective nonproliferation assistance programs, we spent five years conducting strategic dialogues in Brussels and Washington to better organize the work our respective governments do across the globe. We developed complementary approaches to working with countries in the Western Balkans, Eurasia, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and Southeast Asia to detect and defeat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. (War On The Rocks, 3/1/18)
NEWS
US and Cuban Forces Unite to Fight a Common Foe: Wildfire at Guantanamo. For more than 50 years they've been adversaries separated by a fence line. But for a few days last week, soldiers from the U.S. and Cuba fought on the same side, battling a massive wildfire that threatened Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. (USA TODAY, 3/1/18)
NEWS
SOCOM Grappling With New Counter-WMD Mission. US Special Operations Command may now lead the effort to stop terrorists from obtaining mass-casualty weapons such as dirty bombs, but experts in the SOF community warn that operators can't do it alone.  (Military.com, 3/1/18)
REPORT
2017 Disaster Contracting: Observations on Federal Contracting for Response and Recovery Efforts. In this report-the first in a body of work about 2017's hurricanes-we look at contracting obligations supporting FEMA and other agencies' missions. We found, as of December 31, 2017, agencies had obligated over $5.6 billion. (GAO, 2/28/18)
NEWS
Legislation Aims to Boost Accountability, Collaboration of DHS Fusion Centers. Legislation introduced in the House of Representatives on Friday aims to improve information sharing and engagement among the Department of Homeland Security's fusion centers, which collect and share information on threats with federal, state, local and private partners. (Homeland Preparedness News, 2/27/18)
REPORT
National Flood Insurance Program: Selected Issues and Legislation in the 115th Congress. The general purpose of the NFIP is both to offer primary flood insurance to properties with significant flood risk, and to reduce flood risk through the adoption of floodplain management standards.  (Congressional Research Service, 2/13/18)
Science & Technology Policy
NEWS
Donald Trump's Know-Nothing Science Budget. Under Trump, the United States has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement, and the phrases "climate change" and "evidence-based" have been scrubbed from federal Web sites -- in the very same year that three once-in-a-century hurricanes and two major drought-fuelled wildfires ravaged parts of the nation.  (The New Yorker, 3/4/18)
NEWS
Slowing Biological Time to Extend the Golden Hour for Lifesaving Treatment. DARPA created the Biostasis program to develop new possibilities for extending the golden hour, not by improving logistics or battlefield care, but by going after time itself, at least how the body manages it. Biostasis will attempt to directly address the need for additional time in continuously operating biological systems faced with catastrophic, life-threatening events. (DARPA, 3/1/18)
NEWS
DARPA Chief Describes Promising Future Technologies. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will employ enhanced funding to discover technologies used to defend the homeland, bolster deterrence and aid service members engaged in counterterror and counterinsurgency fights, the agency's director said here today.  (Department of Defense, 3/1/18)
BLOG
Work in Progress: Classifying Evidence-based Genomic Applications for Practice and Prevention. Because of the amassed evidence on the validity and utility of genomic tests and related technologies, we suggest that researchers, policy makers, clinical and public health programs, and patients might benefit from knowing more about classifying evidence-based genomic applications for healthcare and public health. This classification process is a "work in progress."  (CDC, 3/28/18)
NEWS
National Science Foundation to Close its Overseas Offices. Last week, NSF announced it would shutter its outposts in Beijing, Brussels, and Tokyo by summer; two US staff will return to the agency's headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia, and local staff will be reassigned to US embassies.  (Science, 2/26/18)
This Week's Hearing
The Opioid Crisis: Leadership and Innovation in the States. US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. 3/8/18, 10 AM. Dirksen 430. More
 

 

facebook icon   twitter icon
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security logo