December 5, 2017
Jennifer B. Nuzzo, Anita J. Cicero, and Thomas V. Inglesby

US leadership in global health security is not merely important for preserving international commitment. It is also, as US Secretary of State Tillerson recently said, vital to US national security interests. If vulnerable countries do not have the capacity to quickly cope with disease outbreaks, those outbreaks are more likely to spread internationally, including to the United States. The Global Health Security Agenda is a powerful tool for helping to ensure that global gaps in health security are addressed before disease outbreaks occur.

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
HHS/CDC/CMS Update on Public Health Emergencies.
On Monday, December 4, Health and Human Services Acting Secretary Eric Hargan will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, where he will meet with CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., and CMS Administrator Seema Verma to discuss departmental response to ongoing public health emergencies.  (CDC, 12/4/17)
US Department of Defense Continued Support to the Global Health Security Agenda: Updates from Korea.
DoD plays a unique role in support of GHSA, recognizing that global health threats impact economic growth, stability, and ultimately the development potential of nations - a complex interplay influencing the overall security of countries and regions, including key US partners and allies. Working closely with US interagency colleagues, DoD supports the implementation of GHSA Action Packages through Global Health Engagement activities in force health protection, threat reduction, and biodefense programs, including biosurveillance and medical research.  (Stripes Okinawa, 12/4/17)
LANL Biologist "Cautiously" Optimistic About HIV Vaccine.
 Dr. Bette Korber, 
now employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has designed a "mosaic" vaccine that is about to become one of only a handful of HIV fighters ever tested for its effectiveness in humans.  (Santa Fe New Mexican, 12/2/17)
Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties to Convene in Geneva from 4 to 8 December 2017.
 The 2017 Meeting of States Parties will consider progress on the universalization of the Convention, and will review the work of the Implementation Support Unit, created in 2006 to assist States Parties in meeting their obligations under the treaty. There will also be a full schedule of side events organized by States, and organizations and professional bodies
 (United Nations Office at Geneva, 12/1/17)
NIH Statement on World AIDS Day.
Today marks the 30th celebration of World AIDS Day. Three decades ago, the HIV/AIDS pandemic looked very different than it does today. While AIDS had been part of our lives since 1981, the tools to fight the disease during that period were still inadequate, despite robust research efforts.  (NIH, 12/1/17)

See also:
Filling the Gaps: Planning for the Disaster Health Needs of Patients Taking Opioids and People Using Illicit Drugs.
When a disaster strikes public health and medical responders need to be ready to treat recreational users of opioids who are suffering from withdrawal, opioid patients who are in recovery, and patients who rely on opioids for pain management.  (ASPR, 12/1/17)
Mobile Health: Technology and Outcomes in Low and Middle Income Countries.
The purpose of this Funding Opportunity Announcement is to encourage exploratory/developmental research applications that propose to conduct research to develop or adapt innovative mobile health technology specifically suited for low and middle income countries and determine the health-related outcomes associated with implementation of the technology.  (, 11/30/17)
Determining and Monitoring Health Conditions Among US-Bound Refugees and Other Globally Mobile Populations.
The purpose of this NOFO is to conduct public health research on endemic, neglected, emerging or re-emerging infectious diseases, and other conditions of public health importance, in US bound refugees and other globally mobile populations, in order to promote health and prevent disease in domestic and international populations.  (, 11/30/17)
Eight Ways USAID Drives Investments in Global Health.
The ways in which USAID and other donors finance global health programs in developing countries are changing. Here are examples of how we're using non-traditional funding tools that capitalize on investor interest.  (Department of State, 11/30/17)
Chasing Seasonal Influenza - The Need for a Universal Influenza Vaccine.
 Scientists at NIAID, NIH, and WHO report that a
lthough targeted research to improve current vaccine antigens, platforms, and manufacturing strategies may in the short term lead to enhanced effectiveness of seasonal influenza vaccines, to achieve the ultimate objective of a universal influenza vaccine, a broad range of expertise and substantial resources will be required to fill gaps in our knowledge and develop a transformative approach to influenza-vaccine design.  (New England Journal of Medicine, 11/29/17)
Zika Vaccine: Takeda Initiates Phase 1 Trial of TAK-426.
Takeda was selected by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority in September 2016 to develop a vaccine to support the Zika response effort in the US and affected regions around the world.  (Global Biodefense, 11/28/17)
Puerto Rico's Medical Manufacturers Worry Federal Tax Plan Could Kill Storm Recovery.
After Hurricane Maria, manufacturers in Puerto Rico are now facing what some are calling a potential man-made disaster. It's a provision in the tax bill that recently passed the House that would impose a 20 percent tax on goods made in Puerto Rico and shipped to the US mainland.  (NPR, 11/27/17)
Food Safety: FDA Continues to Evaluate and Respond to Business Concerns about the Produce Rule.
 GAO reported i
n 2016 on FDA's use of an information clearinghouse to respond to business concerns about the standards. In this report, we examined FDA's responses since then, which have included funding training for industry and announcing a review of water quality standards under the rule.  (GAO, 11/27/17)
The Changing Distribution of Ticks and Tick-borne Infections.
During this COCA call, clinicians will learn specific examples of changes in the distribution of ticks and tick-borne infections in North America and the recommended strategies to limit transmission and disease in the face of increasing risk. The call will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2017, 2-3 PM EST.  (CDC, 11/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness

FBI Arrest Woman, 70, for Having Ricin She Planned to Poison Herself With.
Betty Miller Manufactured the deadly ricin at the Wake Robin retirement home in Vermont where she lived and tested it on her fellow residents, federal officials said. Miller told an FBI agent she wanted to "injure herself" and was testing the poison's effectiveness on other residents. (Metro News, 12/2/17)


Dept. of Homeland Security Launching New Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction.
 Acting Secretary Elaine 
Duke says the agency is launching a new office which will be called the Office of Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction. According to Duke, the office will "consolidate and elevate DHS efforts to guard against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats."  (Fox17 News, 12/1/17)
A Hurricane Season to Remember.
As the lead US government office responding to international disasters, USAID's Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance began preparing for this year's hurricane season long before the first tropical storm formed in the Atlantic in April. But our disaster experts never imagined they would end up riding out and responding to the devastation caused by three back-to-back hurricanes, including two Category 5 storms.  (Medium, 11/30/17)

Federal Disaster Assistance: The National Flood Insurance Program and Other Federal Disaster Assistance Programs Available to Individuals and Households After a Flood.
This report provides an overview of the assistance available to individuals and households following a flood and provides links to more comprehensive guidance on both flood insurance and disaster assistance.  (Congressional Research Service, 11/28/17)
Bill to Allow Emergency Medical Responders to Administer Controlled Substances Signed into Law.
President Donald Trump recently signed into law the Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act, which allows emergency medical responders to administer controlled substances under the supervision of a physician.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 11/27/17)
DoD Seeks to Develop Advanced Anticholinergic with Increased Efficacy Against Nerve Agents.
The DoD is repurposing scopolamine hydrobromide trihydrate as a centrally-acting adjunct therapy that would be administered in conjunction with the Antidote Treatment - Nerve Agent, Auto-Injector (ATNAA) upon exposure of an individual to a nerve agent.  (Global Biodefense, 11/27/17)
Trump Seeks $12 Billion to Fight Flooding Tied to Climate Change.
While President Donald Trump has dismissed global warming as a hoax and his administration has moved to end efforts to curtail carbon emissions, the White House budget office is seeking $12 billion for a competition for flood-prone communities that scientists say are facing more numerous storms and greater flooding because of climate change.  (Bloomberg, 11/22/17)
Repair or Rebuild: Options for Electric Power in Puerto Rico.
This report explores several alternative electric power structures to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority for meeting the electricity services and needs of Puerto Rico.  (Congressional Research Service, 11/16/17)

Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
NNSA's Radiological Assistance Program Outreach Sharpens Pacific Region's Preparedness.
At the request of the state of Hawaii and 93rd Civil Support Team, RAP brought together more than 70 local, state, and federal responders for three days of in-depth training designed to counter a potential nuclear threat.  (NNSA, 11/29/17)

Science & Technology Policy
Is the FDA Withholding Data About a Controversial Drug to Protect its Manufacturer?
The Food and Drug Administration is seldom accused of being too transparent. But in late September, it looked like the agency had overshared. In an attempt to achieve the "greatest level of transparency," the agency caused the stock prices of four biotech companies to hemorrhage.  (Scientific American, 11/30/17)
PRISM: Advancing Nucleic Acid Vaccine Platform Technologies.
An innovative approach is being initiated by the Department of Defense, which will accelerate MCM delivery by leveraging platform technologies that can be applied to a broad range of threats, and that has the potential to significantly reduce risk in all stages of development.  (Global Biodefense, 11/27/17)
This Week's Hearings
Addressing the Opioid Crisis in America: Prevention, Treatment & Recovery. US Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. 12/5/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 124.  More

Challenges Facing Superfund and Waste Cleanup Efforts Following Natural Disasters. US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management, and Regulatory Oversight. 12/6/17, 2:30 PM. Dirksen 406.  More

Examining the Department of Homeland Security's Efforts to Counter Weapons of Mass Destruction. US House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications. 12/7/17, 10 AM. House Visitor Center 210. More


Implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act: Progress and the Path Forward for Medical Innovation. US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. 12/7/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 430.  More

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