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
Editors: Diane Meyer, RN, MPH; Divya Hosangadi, MSPH & Amanda Kobokovich, MPH
March 05, 2019
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
CDC Director Planning to Travel to DRC As Country Battles Ebola Outbreak.  Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is expected to travel next week to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a rare trip to the country by a US official as it battles what is now the second largest Ebola outbreak on record .   (STAT, 3/01/19)
FDA Grants Breakthrough Device Designation for the T2Resistance Panel. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Breakthrough Device Designation to the T2Resistance Panel, a diagnostic tool that detects resistance markers from a single patient blood sample.  (Contagion Live, 3/01/19)
NIH Seeking Input on Tickborne Disease Research Priorities. Tickborne diseases are a serious and growing public health problem in the United States, with ticks transmitting at least 20 different infectious diseases, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, and Powassan virus.  (NIH, 3/01/19)
2018-2019 Influenza Season Week 8 ending February 23, 2019. Influenza activity remains elevated in the United States. Influenza A(H1N1)pdm09, influenza A(H3N2), and influenza B viruses continue to co-circulate. Below is a summary of the key influenza indicators for the week ending February 23, 2019.  (CDC, 3/1/19)
See also: 
Hospital-Based Incident Command Systems: Small and Rural Hospitals. Hospital-based incident command systems (e.g., HICS) have been used formally in U.S. hospitals since the late 1970's as a way to manage incidents, coordinate resources and communications, and collaborate with community-based response agencies. (NACCHO, March 2019)
University-Based Outbreaks of Meningococcal Disease Caused by Serogroup B, United States, 2013-2018. We reviewed university-based outbreaks of meningococcal disease caused by serogroup B and vaccination responses in the United States in the years following serogroup B meningococcal (MenB) vaccine availability. Ten university-based outbreaks occurred in 7 states during 2013-2018.  (Emerging Infectious Diseases, March 2019)
Bill Enhances Universal Flu Vaccine Investment. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) recently reintroduced a measure designed to bolster the financial support for a universal influenza vaccine protecting against multiple strains and offering longer protection.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 2/28/19)
CDC-RFA-CK19-1904 2019 Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC). The goal of the Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) program is to reduce illness and related deaths caused by a wide range of infectious disease threats.  (, 2/28/19)
CDC Data Confirm: Progress in HIV Prevention has Stalled. The dramatic decline in annual HIV infections has stopped and new infections have stabilized in recent years, according to a CDC report published today. The report provides the most recent data on HIV trends in America from 2010 to 2016. It shows that after about five years of substantial declines, the number of HIV infections began to level off in 2013 at about 39,000 infections per year.  (CDC, 2/27/19)
CDC Food Safety Alert: Final Update on Outbreak of Salmonella Infections Linked to Tahini Produced by Achdut Ltd. This outbreak appears to be over, but recalled tahini products have a long shelf life and may still be in people's homes.  (CDC, 2/27/19)
Chairman Bishop Statement at Hearing on Status of Operations at FDA. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (D-GA), Chair of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following remarks at the Subcommittee's hearing on "Food and Drug Administration - Status of Operations". (House Committee on Appropriations, 2/27/19)
Medical Countermeasures Initiative Update. Two courses on data quality to support MCM development for high-consequence pathogens. (FDA, 2/27/19)
PALLONE REMARKS AT OVERSIGHT HEARING ON MEASLES OUTBREAK. "What is particularly disconcerting, is that this is a public health problem for which science has already provided a solution: a safe and effective vaccine."   (House Committee on Energy & Commerce, 2/27/19)
Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, and Janet Woodcock, MD, Director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research on FDA's Modern Approach to Advanced Pharmaceutical Manufacturing. One of today's most important tools for modernizing the pharmaceutical industry is a process known as continuous manufacturing (CM). This approach transforms the traditional, step-wise manufacturing processes into a single system that's based on modern process monitoring and controls.    (FDA, 2/26/19)
FDA, CDC, and CMS Launch Task Force to Help Facilitate Rapid Availability of Diagnostic Tests During Public Health Emergencies. Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the launch of the Tri-Agency Task Force for Emergency Diagnostics.  (FDA, 2/26/19)
Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Solicitation of Nominations for Appointment to the Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seeking nominations for membership on the BSC, NIOSH. The BSC, NIOSH consists of 15 experts in fields associated with occupational safety and health.   (Federal Register, 3/01/19)
TITLE XVII-SPACE FORCE. There is established a United States Space Force as an armed force within the Department of the Air Force.  (Department of Defense, 3/01/19)
Artificial Intelligence Colloquium. DARPA has long been a leader in the field of artificial intelligence, establishing the foundations of the field and leading creation of expert systems, and then supporting the expansion of machine learning. The agency's most recent investments - undertaken as part of DARPA's $2 billion AI Next campaign - are supporting a shift in AI systems from tools alone to trusted, collaborative partners in problem solving.  
(DARPA, March 2019)
DHS Extends Deadline for Submitting First-Responder Technologies. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has extended the deadline for submitting first-responder technologies for assessment in the Next Generation First Responder - Birmingham Shaken Fury Operational Experimentation (OpEx) .   (Homeland Preparedness News, 2/28/19)
Department of Energy Moves Forward With Controversial Test Reactor. The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it will go forward with plans to build a controversial new nuclear reactor that some critics have called a boondoggle. If all goes as planned, the Versatile Test Reactor (VTR) will be built at DOE's Idaho National Laboratory (INL) near Idaho Falls and will generate copious high-energy neutrons to test new material and technologies for nuclear reactors. (Science, 2/28/19)
Emergent BioSolutions Awarded US Department of State Contract to Supply Medical Countermeasures For Chemical Warfare Agents. Emergent BioSolutions Inc. (NYSE: EBS) today announced that it has signed an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract with the U.S. Department of State to establish a long-term, reliable, and stable supply chain for medical countermeasures that address chemical warfare agents.    (Globe Newswire, 2/28/19)
CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION: Progress and Challenges in DHS's Management of Its Chemical Facility Security Program. Thousands of U.S. facilities handle hazardous chemicals and could be targets for terrorists-e.g., the chemicals could be stolen and used to build explosive devices. The Department of Homeland Security identifies and assesses the security risk of these facilities. We've made a number of recommendations in the past to help DHS address challenges it faces in doing so.    (GAO, 2/27/19)
FEMA Releases PrepTalk: 'Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation'. FEMA and its emergency management partner organizations today posted online Brooke Buddemeier's PrepTalk "Saving Lives After a Nuclear Detonation," the fifth PrepTalk release from the Sept. 6, 2018 symposium. (FEMA, 2/26/19)
Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
Engel Statement on North Korea Summit. Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement.   (House Committee on Foreign Affairs, 2/28/19)
Science & Technology Policy
NIH Letters Asking About Undisclosed Foreign Ties Rattle US Universities. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently sent letters to dozens of major U.S. research universities asking them to provide information about specific faculty members with NIH funding who are believed to have links to foreign governments that the Bethesda, Maryland-based institute did not know about. (Science, 3/01/19)
PALLONE REMARKS AT HEARING ON THE PARIS AGREEMENT & FILLING THE LEADERSHIP VOID CAUSED BY FEDERAL INACTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE. Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) had the following prepared remarks for an Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing on "We'll Always Have Paris: Filling the Leadership Void Caused by Federal Inaction on Climate Change:"  (House Committee on Energy and Commerce, 3/01/19)
Committee Chairs Question Rationale for Proposed NSC Climate Change Panel. Today, four House Committee Chairs sent a letter to President Trump expressing concerns and raising questions about recent reports that the National Security Council (NSC) plans to assemble a secret panel to counter the scientific consensus on climate change and question its impacts on the national security of the United States. (House Armed Services Committee, 2/28/19)
This Week's Hearings
Electronic Health Record Modernization and Information Technology Oversight. House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies. 03/06/2019, 10AM. Rayburn House Office Building, Rm 2362-B. More
National Security Challenges and US Military Activities in the Greater Middle East and Africa. House Armed Services Committee. 03/07/2019, 10AM. Rayburn, Rm 2118. More
Outside Perspectives on Nuclear Deterrence Policy and Posture. House Armed Services Committee. 03/06/2019, 10AM. Rayburn, Rm 2118. More
STRENGTHENING OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM: LEGISLATION TO LOWER CONSUMER COSTS AND EXPAND ACCESS. House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Health Subcomittee. 03/06/2019, 10AM Rayburn House Office Building, Rm 2123.  More
Maintaining US Leadership in Science and Technology. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. 03/06/2019 2PM. Rayburn House Office Building, Rm 2318. More
Vaccines Save Lives: What Is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks? Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 03/05/2019, 10AM. Dirksen Senate Office Building, Rm 430. More
Examining Private Sector Data Breaches. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. 03/07/2019, 10AM. Senate Office Building, Rm SD-106. More


facebook icon   twitter icon
Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security logo