September 5, 2017

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
White House to Ask for $14.5 Billion Down Payment for Harvey Relief.
The White House is asking Congress for more than $14 billion as a down payment on Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts, sending Republican leaders a request late Friday for $7.8 billion in immediate aid that will be quickly followed by a request for another $6.7 billion, officials said.  (New York Times, 9/3/17)

Trump Must Prevent the Next Biological Attack Before it Strikes.
iological threats must remain at the top of the national security agenda, and leaders must recognize that stopping outbreaks at the source requires strong global and domestic capacity to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to naturally occurring outbreaks and biological attacks.  (The Hill, 9/2/17)
Sanofi Quietly Pulls the Plug on its Zika Vaccine Project.
 Sanofi said BARDA -- the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services -- informed the company in mid-August that it was reducing its financial assistance for Sanofi's Zika vaccine project
(STAT News, 9/2/17)

CDC Emergency Operations Center Activates to Support Response to Hurricane Harvey.
CDC's Emergency Operations Center is now activated to bring together CDC staff to work efficiently in responding to public health needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and to deploy resources and personnel as requested.  (CDC, 9/1/17)
HHS Increases Presence and Resources to Help People Affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Since Hurricane Harvey made landfall, HHS staff has treated more than 1,000 patients. HHS has deployed more than 1,000 personnel to support on-the-ground efforts in a variety of ways including helping to meet the medical and public health needs of the impacted communities.  (Department of Health & Human Services, 9/1/17)

See also:
Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers.
Children and youth can face emotional strains after a traumatic event such as a car crash or violence. Disasters also may leave them with long-lasting harmful effects. This tip sheet will help parents, caregivers, and teachers learn some common reactions, respond in a helpful way, and know when to seek support.  (SAMHSA, 9/1/17)
Texas, Louisiana May Reallocate Certain Federal Funds to Provide Addiction Medication.
Federal and state governments are working to ensure opioid treatment is available in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration announced Tuesday that states can reallocate previously awarded formula and discretionary grants to provide opioid use disorder treatment when no other funds are available.  (SAMHSA, 8/30/17)
Awareness, Beliefs, and Actions Concerning Zika Virus Among Pregnant Women and Community Members - US Virgin Islands, November-December 2016.
CDC researchers asked community members about their level of support for vector control methods to reduce mosquito populations in their community.  (MMWR, 9/1/17)
HHS Told Obamacare Workers Their Budget Was Safe -- Then Slashed it 40 Percent.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Trump administration announced it would slash Obamacare's enrollment budget. Advertising spending will fall by 90 percent and grants for in-person assistance will drop 41 percent.  (Vox, 9/1/17)
A Look Back: The AIDS Crisis and FDA...30 Years Later.
The first patient-focused office at FDA -- and very possibly the first patient engagement office in the federal government -- was the Office of AIDS and Special Health Issues, established in 1994 at the height of the AIDS epidemic.  (FDA, 9/1/17)
Immunization Information Systems Sentinel Site Project.
IIS Sentinel Sites have the primary responsibility to report data to CDC to monitor vaccine uptake, timely administration of doses, and vaccination coverage from the populations represented in the jurisdiction.  (, 8/31/17)
No Action on Opioid Emergency Three Weeks After Trump Declaration.
Former agency officials and public health experts said it appears the administration was caught off guard by the president's remarks announcing the emergency - which came during an appearance outside his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey while he was on a 17-day vacation, and after Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price made a detailed argument about why declaring a national emergency isn't necessary.  (The Hill, 8/31/17)
CDC Urges Early Recognition, Prompt Treatment of Sepsis.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched Get Ahead of Sepsis, an educational initiative to protect Americans from the devastating effects of sepsis. This initiative emphasizes the importance of early recognition and timely treatment of sepsis, as well as the importance of preventing infections that could lead to sepsis.  (CDC, 8/31/17)
BARDA Adds New Antibiotic to Treat Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections in Order to Protect the American Public.
Over the last 10 years, 32 BARDA-supported medical countermeasures have achieved licensure or approval from the US Food and Drug Administration. Now, FDA has approved VABOMERE, the first antibiotic drug in BARDA's antimicrobial portfolio.  (ASPR, 8/30/17)
Salmonella Vaccine Reduces Animal Disease and Foodborne Illness.
Microbiologists Shawn Bearson and Brad Bearson, at ARS's Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research Unit and ARS's Agroecosystems Management Research Unit, respectively, developed a new vaccine that protects food animals against both human and animal disease-causing Salmonella.  (USDA, 8/30/17)
Distinguishing Virulent from Harmless Bacteria to Improve Biosurveillance.
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working to eliminate false positives in detection of Francisella bacteria, a few species of which include highly virulent human and animal pathogens.  (Global Biodefense, 8/29/17)
Tracking Mosquito Breeding Sites to Combat Zika in Honduras.
Gustavo Avila coordinates USAID's efforts to combat Zika in this Central American country. Hondurans are no strangers to this mosquito, which also transmits chikungunya and dengue to humans.  (Department of State, 8/29/17)
In-Person Train-the-Trainer Course: POD Essentials.
The Centers for Disease and Control Prevention's Division of State and Local Readiness is hosting an in-person, three-day, train-the-trainer course on Point of Dispensing (POD) essentials scheduled for September 10-12, 2017 in Anniston, Alabama.  (NACCHO, 8/17)
Hot Topics at the Intersection of Public Health and Health Care, Part I: Outbreak, Disaster, or Other Emergency: Is Your Health Care Client Prepared?
The American Health Lawyers Association, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will host the first webinar in a three-part series about emergency preparedness inside and outside of healthcare settings on September 12 at 1:00-2:00 pm ET. Speakers will discuss ways to use legal assessment, employee training, and professional agreements to prepare healthcare organizations to respond to emergency situations.  (NACCHO, 8/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Trump's Hamstrung EPA Is AWOL As Toxic Chemicals Flood Houston.
he EPA doesn't just try to tackle carbon emissions that contribute to climate change that exacerbates extreme weather events like Hurricane Harvey, or try to prevent and deal with the inevitable spills and damage that come from continuing to rely on legacy fossil fuels. The EPA is also responsible for cleaning up environmental disaster and Superfund sites. (Washington Monthly, 9/2/17)
DHS Announces Grant Allocations For Fiscal Year 2017 Preparedness Grants.
As part of the US Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke today announced final allocations of $288 million for six Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 DHS competitive preparedness grant programs. (Department of Homeland Security, 9/1/17)
More Than 13K Troops, DoD Civilians Aiding Harvey Lifesaving, Recovery Efforts.
About 11,000 National Guardsmen have deployed to support the Federal Emergency Management Agency-led rescue and restoration operations in the region affected by Hurricane Harvey, Defense Department officials said here today.  (Department of Defense, 9/1/17)

See also:
Harvey Aid, Seen Topping Katrina and Sandy, May be in Batches.
The rebuilding of parts of Texas and potentially Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey may be the most expensive disaster relief effort ever, with early projections of federal aid soaring to $150 billion and raising the prospect of several congressional actions to pay for it.  (Roll Call, 9/1/17)
USDA Providing Nutrition Help to States Hit by Hurricane, Flooding.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service is actively working with officials in Texas and Louisiana to ensure that people impacted by Hurricane Harvey have access to food now and after emergency operations are completed.  (USDA, 8/31/17)
Congressional Considerations Related to Hurricane Harvey.
Special attention will be paid to the remaining balance of the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) that pays for most of the immediate response activities supported by the federal government, primarily through emergency work grant assistance and direct federal assistance.  (Congressional Research Service, 8/29/17)
HUD Announces DIsaster Assistance for Victims of Hurricane Harvey.
US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson today announced HUD will speed federal disaster assistance to the State of Texas and provide support to homeowners and low-income renters forced from their homes due to Hurricane Harvey.  (Department of Housing & Urban Development, 8/28/17)
Disaster Unemployment Assistance.
The DUA program provides income support to individuals who become unemployed as a direct result of a major disaster and who are not eligible for regular Unemployment Compensation benefits.  (Congressional Research Service, 8/24/17)
Department of Homeland Security Appropriations: FY2018.
This report provides an overview and analysis of FY2018 appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The primary focus of this report is on Congressional direction and funding provided to DHS through the appropriations process.  (Congressional Research Service, 8/22/17)

Science & Technology Policy
Rumor Control: Galveston's National Laboratory is Fine.
Galveston's National Laboratory is safe and secure, and was not damaged by Hurricane Harvey, its director, Dr. James LeDuc, said Wednesday morning.  (Galveston County Daily News, 8/30/17)
Justice Department's Role in Cyber Incident Response.
The Department of Justice, through the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Cyber Investigative Joint Task Force, is the designated lead on threat response, which involves investigating and attributing specific cyber activities to particular individuals or entities as well as facilitating intelligence and information sharing.  (Congressional Research Service, 8/23/17)
Office of Science and Technology Policy: History and Overview.
 OSTP was established to 
serve as a source of scientific and technological analysis and judgment for the President with respect to major policies, plans, and programs of the Federal Government.  (Congressional Research Service, 8/17/17)
EPA Chief Pruitt Borrows From an Old but Effective Denialist Playbook.
This month Scott Pruitt, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency, continued his push for a so-called "red team/blue team" exercise to evaluate mainstream climate science, telling a radio host he hopes to stage it "sometime this fall."  (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 8/17)
This Week's Hearings
The History and Current Reality of the US Health Care System. US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Government Affaris. 9/6/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 342.  More

Challenges of Recruiting and Retaining a Cybersecurity Workforce. US House Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Protection. 9/7/17, 2 PM. House Capitol Visitor Center, Room 210. More


Quick Links

About Preparedness Pulsepoints
Not a subscriber?  
Sign up now  

Questions or Comments?

Contact the Pulsepoints Editor 

Stay up-to-date
Subscribe to Health Security Headlines
Subscribe to
Clinicians' Biosecurity News
Connect with us
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our videos on YouTube
Visit Us on the Web
 Clincians' Biosecurity News