Monitoring USG action on readiness and response
Preparedness Pulsepoints | Monitoring USG action on readiness and response
Published by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security
Diane Meyer, RN, MPH, Editor
August 7, 2018
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
NEWS
Alliance for Biosecurity Joins US Chamber in Call for Congress to Pass Preparedness Funding. Two national organizations that represent biopharmaceutical and business interests have penned a letter to each member of the US House of Representatives urging lawmakers to approve the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Advancing Innovation Act of 2018, H.R. 6378, before critical public health security legislation expires.  (Homeland Prep News, 8/3/18)
REPORT
Engaging the Private-Sector Health Care System in Building Capacity to Respond to Threats to the Public's Health and National Security: Proceedings of a Workshop. To identify and understand approaches to aligning health care system incentives with the American public's need for a health care system that is prepared to manage acutely ill and injured patients during a disaster, public health emergency, or other mass casualty event, the Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Disasters and Emergencies hosted a 2-day public workshop in March.  (National Academies, 8/3/18)
BLOG
A Road Map for Evaluation and Appropriate Implementation of Genome Sequencing to Improve Population Health. A group of authors from CDC, NIH institutes, health systems and academia just published in PLOS Medicine a proposal for an evidence-based road map to accelerate the evaluation of clinical utility of genome sequencing and its appropriate implementation in health systems.  (CDC, 8/2/18)

NEWS
US Senators Outline Federal Efforts to Avert Financial Chaos from Potential Bio Attack. The global spread of a deadly disease outbreak during a biological attack would impact far more than US government financial resources, former federal lawmakers say, and could crash the coffers of local and state budgets just as severely.  (Homeland Prep News, 8/2/18)
NEWS
The Rescued Thai Soccer Team, Bats, and USAID. In this soggy saga with a successful ending, our work in emerging disease surveillance played a behind-the-scenes role. Upon their rescue, the boys were quarantined in a hospital to ensure that they did not develop any infections -- including viruses that could be lethal in humans -- as a result of a cut or scratch that would have allowed an infectious microbe to enter their bodies.  (Medium, 8/2/18)
PRESS RELEASE
Trump Administration Delivers on Promise of More Affordable Health Insurance Options. On Wednesday, the departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and the Treasury issued a final rule to help Americans struggling to afford health coverage find new, more affordable options. The rule allows for the sale and renewal of short-term, limited-duration plans that cover longer periods than the previous maximum period of less than three months.  (HHS, 8/1/18)
NEWS
Puerto Rico's Wounded Medicaid Program Faces Even Deeper Cuts. Despite residual effects from last year's devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rico is moving ahead with major cuts to its health care safety net that will affect more than a million of its poorest residents.  (NPR, 8/1/18)
FUNDING OPPORTUNITY
Antibacterial Resistance: Funding To Support a Leadership Group. NIAID's reissued funding opportunity announcement supports a clinical research network composed of a leadership group and affiliated sites that will develop, implement, and manage a research agenda that can adjust and react to the evolving clinical priorities in antibacterial resistance.  (NIAID, 8/1/18)
NEWS
Public-private Partnerships for Emergency Response Hampered by Funding Mechanisms, State-specific Laws. Developing drugs for rapid response to treat emerging infectious diseases requires overcoming numerous hurdles, and it can be a challenge for the government to convince pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs for the US national stockpile that are not also commercially viable.  (Homeland Prep News, 8/1/18)
WORKSHOP
Strategic National Stockpile Preparedness Course. The Strategic National Stockpile Preparedness Course (SNS) is a five-day course designed to give Federal, state, and local officials information on how to best plan and prepare for a public health emergency and how to use and manage the SNS in response to a terrorist attack, natural disaster, or technological accident.  (NACCHO, 8/18)
NEWS
New Cell Lines Produce NIST Monoclonal Antibody for Improved Manufacturing of Biologic Drugs. In a new paper in the journal mAbs, researchers at the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research (IBBR), a joint institute of NIST and the University of Maryland, describe how they have taken the first step to solve this dilemma: engineering three mouse cell lines to produce nonproprietary versions of NISTmAb that closely resemble the characteristics of the original reference material.  (NIST, 7/31/18)

PRESS RELEASE
CARB-X Funds SciBac to Develop a Microbe Drug that Kills C. difficile Superbugs. "The world urgently needs antibiotic alternatives, like those that SciBac is developing, as well as other life-saving products to treat and prevent deadly infections," said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X. "The microbiome is providing exciting new approaches to the prevention and treatment of life-threatening infections."  (CARB-X, 7/31/18)
STATEMENT
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., on FDA's New Efforts to Advance Antimicrobial Stewardship in Veterinary Settings. To help combat antimicrobial resistance, the FDA will soon implement a new, five-year blueprint for how the FDA plans to build on its current programs to advance antimicrobial stewardship in veterinary settings.  (FDA, 7/31/18)
NEWS
FDA Approves New Drug to Treat Recurrent Malaria. Krintafel (tafenoquine) is a single-dose medication for radical cure (prevention of relapse) of P. vivax malaria. The drug is the result of a partnership of Glaxo Smith-Kline and Medicines for Malaria Venture, a public-private company whose stated mission is to reduce the burden of malaria by developing and delivering new, effective and affordable antimalarial drugs.  (Everyday Health, 7/30/18)
NEWS
Changes to the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act are Essential to Saving Lives in Disasters. Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, notes that recommended changes to this legislation will improve our ability to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats, whether naturally occurring, such as an influenza pandemic or severe storm, or a deliberate chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack.  (The Hill, 7/28/18)
Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
RESEARCH
School District Crisis Preparedness, Response, and Recovery Plans - United States, 2006, 2012, and 2016. To examine improvements over time and gaps in school preparedness plans, data from the 2006, 2012, and 2016 School Health Policies and Practices Study were analyzed to assess changes in the percentage of districts meeting PREP-5 objectives.  (MMWR, 8/3/18)
NEWS
A Global Approach to Rooting Out Terrorism. A recent International Law Enforcement Academy training program addressed the underlying causes of terrorism and how to counter violent extremism.  (FBI, 8/2/18)
NEWS
Judge Extends FEMA Housing Program For Evacuees Of Hurricanes Maria And Irma. Federal Judge Timothy Hillman in Massachusetts issued a ruling on Wednesday adding several weeks to the Transitional Sheltering Assistance program now set to expire on Aug. 31. FEMA had planned to end it on June 30.   (NPR, 8/1/18)
NEWS
The Cost of Flood Insurance Is a Price Worth Paying. Hours before it was set to expire, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. That's a good thing: Despite its many problems, America needs it now more than ever. However, in reauthorizing the program, Congress did not fix its many problems. The need to make the NFIP more effective is urgent. And as America's flood risk grows, we will be even more reliant on it.  (CityLab, 8/1/18)

NEWS
Federal Judge Blocks Posting of Blueprints for 3D-Printed Guns Hours Before They Were to be Published. US District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday night barring a trove of downloadable information about creating the do-it-yourself weapons.Eight attorneys general and the District of Columbia argued that the instructions posed a national security threat.  (Washington Post, 7/31/18)

NEWS
DHS Will Shore Up Cybersecurity for America's Infrastructure. Changes announced Tuesday at the Department of Homeland Security, along with a new bipartisan bill aimed at shoring up DHS cybersecurity initiatives, could give newfound purpose to defenses against critical infrastructure hacking.  (Wired, 7/31/18)
NEWS
The CDC Finds Gun-Related Homicides Rose by 30 Percent Over Two Years. The analysis found that gun-related homicides, the most prevalent among the three most common methods of homicide in the country, rose from 11,008 deaths in 2014 to 14,415 deaths in 2016, after a relatively stable four-year period.  (Pacific Standard, 7/27/18)
REPORT
Agricultural Disaster Assistance. The federal crop insurance program offers subsidized policies designed to protect crop producers from risks associated with adverse weather, as well as weather-related plant diseases and insect infestations and declines in commodity prices.  (Congressional Research Service, 7/26/18)
REPORT
Resurgence of Chemical Weapons Use: Issues for Congress. Congress may consider how best to respond to the use of chemical weapons, including how future use could be deterred, and whether US forces are adequately protected. Congress may consider whether the OPCW has adequate resources for investigations, and it may also examine the success of efforts to curb proliferation of chemical-weapons-related material and technology, such as interdictions, international sanctions, and export-control assistance programs.  (Congressional Research Service, 7/24/18)
Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
WORKSHOP
FBI-CDC Radiological Awareness and Response Workshop. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are sponsoring a radiological awareness and response workshop throughout the nation at no cost. This workshop will include discussions on inter-agency cooperation, roles and responsibilities during an incident, radiological criminal/epidemiology, and more. (NACCHO, 8/18)
Science & Technology Policy
STATEMENT
Statement On the Nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier as Director of the White House OSTP. Statement from the National Science Foundation Director France C√≥rdova on the nomination of Kelvin Droegemeier for Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  (NSF, 8/1/18)

NEWS
Series of Ethical Stumbles Tests NIH's Reliance on Private Sector for Research Funding. Recent projects have put the NIH in the spotlight for the wrong reasons. The most controversial was a much-publicized partnership with alcohol manufacturers, which was canceled in June after the NIH concluded scientists had so thoroughly involved alcohol industry figures in planning as to render the science untrustworthy.  (NSF, 8/1/18)
REQUEST FOR DATA
PrecisionFDA CDRH Biothreat Challenge. Provide challenge data sets and reference standards for performance comparison of bioinformatics tools used in the biothreat and infectious disease NGS diagnostics community. The focus of this challenge is to enable tool developers to test their algorithms on blinded mock-clinical and in silico metagenomics samples using provided regulatory-grade reference genomes from the FDA-ARGOS database. This challenge will end on October 5, 2018.  (FDA, 8/18)
MEMORANDUM
FY2020 Administration Research and Development Budget Priorities. This memorandum highlights the Administration's R&D priorities and provides guidance to agencies as they formulate their Fiscal Year 2020 budget submissions. This memorandum also details priority practices to effectively leverage R&D resources, including R&D workforce and infrastructure.  (The White House, 7/31/18)
This Week's Hearings

There are no hearings scheduled for this week.
 

 

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