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
Sanjana Ravi, MPH, Editor
February 20, 2018
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
Putting the Invisible Hand to Work for Health. In an environment of declining aid budgets dwarfed by pools of private capital, some decades-old donor organizations, such as USAID and UNICEF, are turning to market-based tools to address global health challenges. (Stanford Social Innovation Review, 5/4/18)
NIAID-Sponsored Trial of a Universal Influenza Vaccine Begins. A Phase 2 clinical trial of an investigational universal influenza vaccine intended to protect against multiple strains of the virus has begun in the United States. The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and is being conducted at four US sites that are part of the NIAID-funded Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units. (NIAID, 5/4/18)
Brashears Will Eventually be the Next Under Secretary for Food Safety. On his 470th day in the Oval Office, President Donald J. Trump Friday announced his intention to nominate Dr. Mindy Brashears as the US Department of Agriculture's next Under Secretary for Food Safety. Brashears, who was an expert witness in the BPI v. ABC trial last summer is a professor of food safety and public health who is also director of the International Center for Food Industry Excellence at Texas Tech University. (Food Safety News, 5/4/18)
Tick and Mosquito Infections Spreading Rapidly, CDC finds. The number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States in recent years, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Since 2004, at least nine such diseases have been discovered or newly introduced here. (New York Times, 5/1/18)

Tribal Legal Preparedness. Coupled with state and federal laws, tribal laws are essential for ensuring effective public health emergency preparedness and response on tribal lands. This CDC webinar (May 9, 1-2 PM) will explore the legal challenges of working on public health emergencies that impact tribes or cross tribal borders, as well as offer practical tips for addressing those challenges through cooperation with tribes. (NACCHO, 5/9/18)
Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Unwavering Preparation, Swift Response Key to Hurricane Food Relief. In the wake of catastrophic hurricanes like the ones faced last year, and other natural disasters, food is often one of the most immediate needs. USDA leverages America's agricultural abundance to get food to people in times of great need.  (USDA, 5/7/18)
The Head of the US Coast Guard Isn't Afraid to Talk About Climate Change. Adm. Paul Zukunft, who retires next month, almost never specifically uses those two words. Instead, he talks about rising sea levels, melting polar ice, and increasingly severe hurricanes. "As a first responder with a US population that is migrating towards the coasts, it presses us into service," he says. (Foreign Policy, 5/4/18)
President Donald J. Trump Proclaims May 6 through May 12, 2018, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, I encourage everyone in hurricane-prone areas to make all necessary preparations for the 2018 hurricane season, which starts this month in the Eastern Pacific and next month in the Atlantic and Central Pacific.  Hurricanes threaten the lives of those in their paths and can cause serious damage to homes, businesses, and communities. (The White House, 5/4/18)
Federal Disaster Assistance After Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Gustav, and Ike. This report provides information on federal financial assistance provided to the Gulf States after major disasters were declared in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in response to the widespread destruction that resulted from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005 and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.   (Congressional Research Service, 5/1/18)

Perdue Announces Additional Hurricane and Wildfire Recovery Details. In total, USDA's Farm Service Agency will deploy up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations in at least nine states with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildfire. (USDA, 5/1/18)
US Must Avoid Soviet-Era Disarmament Mistakes with North Korea's Bioweapons. As talks with North Korea move forward to address that country's nuclear weapons program, the Trump administration would be wise to develop a strategy of cooperation with the Kim regime to reduce potential threats posed by bioweapons. In this regard, the administration should learn not only from disarmament successes of the past, but also from our most notable failures. (The Hill, 5/1/18)
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress. Congress may continue its oversight of FirstNet to ensure the FirstNet network is meeting public safety needs (e.g., security, reliability, and resiliency), requirements in the law are met, and the network is deployed as intended.   (Congressional Research Service, 4/27/18)
Proniras Launches with BARDA Funding to Pit Migraine Drug Against Nerve Agents. The five-year contract, funded by HHS' Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, is worth as much as $89.5 million. Payments are linked to milestones tied to preclinical studies, clinical development under the FDA's Animal Rule-which allows Proniras to submit efficacy data from animal models instead of human studies-and the future manufacturing of tezampanel. (Fierce Biotech, 4/27/18)
Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
Communicating Radiation Risk Using the Radiation Hazard Scale. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the Radiation Hazard Scale to help state and local jurisdictions describe the health risks associated with radiation exposure following a radiological emergency.  (NACCHO, 5/18)
Science & Technology Policy
From Clipping Scissors to Word Processor. In work that will help make the gene-editing process more precise, researchers at the Joint Institute of Metrology and Biology (JIMB, a collaboration between Stanford University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST), have developed a new kind of CRISPR platform called MAGESTIC. Taking its name from the phrase "multiplexed accurate genome editing with short, trackable, integrated cellular barcodes," the new platform makes CRISPR less like a blunt cutting tool and more like a word processor by enabling an efficient "search and replace" function for genetic material. (NIST, 5/7/18)

The NIH Launches its Ambitious Million-Person Genetic Survey. After more than three years of planning and piloting, the federal research organization is finally rolling out the massive precision health initiative President Obama first announced in 2015. Now renamed All of Us, the ambitious project aims to compile detailed health data from a representative sample of one million Americans so scientists can better understand the mechanisms of disease and move more quickly toward personalized treatments. (Wired, 5/6/18)
Renewing Defense Innovation: Five Incentives for Forming Pentagon-Startup Partnerships. An innovative pivot inside the Pentagon would be best served by engaging startups early to shape the development of cutting-edge, and often dual-use, technologies. A wide body of academic literature indicates that direct relationships between the Defense Department and the commercial industrial are critical to defense innovation. (War On The Rocks, 5/3/18)
USDA Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule for National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The standard will provide a uniform way to offer meaningful disclosure for consumers who want more information about their food and avoid a patchwork system of state or private labels that could be confusing for consumers and would likely drive up food costs. (USDA, 5/3/18)
DRIVe: Accelerating National Health Security Innovation. BARDA's DRIVe Accelerator Network will leverage key regional hubs where health security products and technologies in biotechnology, life science research, and medical innovations are most heavily occurring, and will increase the growth potential in other regions across the US. Applications are due May 17, 2018. (Global Biodefense, 5/29/18)
This Week's Hearings
Combating the Opioid Epidemic: Examining Concerns About Distribution and Diversion. US House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. 5/8/18, 10 AM. Rayburn 2123. More
Hearing to Review the FY2019 Budget Request for US Dept. of Health & Human Services. US Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. 5/10/18, 10 AM. Dirksen 124. More


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