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
February 26, 2019
Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Field Testing of a Vaccine for Use Against Bursal Disease, Marek's Disease, and Newcastle Disease. We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed Bursal Disease-Marek's Disease-Newcastle Disease Vaccine, Serotype 3, Live Marek's Disease Vector. Based on the environmental assessment, risk analysis, and other relevant data, we have reached a preliminary determination that field testing this veterinary vaccine will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment.  (Federal Register, 2/21/19)
CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2018-2027 Projections of National Health Expenditures. National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent annually from 2018-2027, reaching nearly $6.0 trillion by 2027, according to a report published today by the independent Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  (CMS, 2/20/19)
The FDA's Proposed Ban on Menthol Cigarettes. The battle over banning menthols is not new. But the announcement marks a new chapter in a decades-long debate over the science of menthol and addiction, the public health costs, the marketing practices of tobacco companies, the politics of tobacco control in vulnerable populations, and the FDA's authority.  (NEJM, 2/20/19)
Exhaustion in the ED and Beyond: Managing Supply Shortages and Staff Fatigue in Healthcare Facilities. The next time you face a supply shortage - from saline to syringes - brace yourself. Another shortage may be on the way:  staffing. As we discussed in the first blog in this series, hospitals and healthcare facilities face supply shortages every day, and these shortages require staff to dedicate more time and resources so they can continue providing patient care.  (ASPR Blog, 2/19/19)
Public Health Genomics: What's Next? The field of public health genomics was launched to identify opportunities for the new science to impact health, inform public health programs and health care providers what works and what does not, and integrate evidence-based genomic applications into programs that can improve health and prevent disease. We summarized our 20 year journey and how advances in genomics are beginning to impact cancer prevention, heart disease, birth defects and rare diseases, newborn screening, and the public health response to infectious disease threats.  (CDC Genomics & Health Impact Blog, 2/19/19)
USDA Provides $66 Million in Fiscal Year 2019 to Protect Agriculture and Natural Resources from Plant Pests and Diseases. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is allocating $66 million to support 407 projects that will strengthen the nation's infrastructure for pest detection and surveillance, identification, threat mitigation, and safeguard the nursery production system.  (USDA, 2/15/19)
Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Actions Needed to Determine the Required Size and Readiness of Operational Medical and Dental Forces. The Army, Navy, and Air Force do not have a common method to determine the number and kinds of medical personnel needed for wartime. We also found that DOD has not based its method for measuring medical personnel readiness on sound data or calculated the cost of attaining readiness goals. We made 6 recommendations, including ways to better estimate the forces needed and assess readiness.  (GAO, 2/21/19)
New HHS-Sponsored Research Provides New Tool and Updated Guidance on Mass Chemical Decontamination. More than a million first responders and emergency managers in the United States now have a science-based chemical decontamination decision tool and updated guidance on how best to decontaminate a massive number of people after chemical exposure.  (HHS, 2/21/19)
A New Layer of Medical Preparedness to Combat Emerging Infectious Disease. DARPA has selected five teams of researchers to support PREventing EMerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT), a 3.5-year program first announced in January 2018 to reinforce traditional medical preparedness by containing viral infectious diseases in animal reservoirs and insect vectors before they can threaten humans. Through studies in secure laboratories and simulated natural environments, the PREEMPT researchers will model how viruses might evolve within animal populations, and assess the safety and efficacy of potential interventions.  (DARPA, 2/19/19)
Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
A Failure of Governmental Candor: The Fire at the Contaminated Santa Susana Field Laboratory. The Woolsey Fire began on November 8 at the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), located adjacent to Simi Valley, California, and enveloped much of the lab's grounds, eventually burning all the way to Malibu and the Pacific Ocean, impacting nearly 100,000 acres. Because of widespread radioactive and toxic chemical contamination at the Santa Susana site from several nuclear reactor accidents, including a partial meltdown, and tens of thousands of rocket engine tests, the public had reason to be concerned that smoke from the fire carried contamination offsite.  (The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 2/21/19)
Sen. Markey Expresses Support for Continued Nuclear Agreement Oversight. Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-MA) is lending full support to the Committee on Oversight and Reform's effort to continue oversight of the US/Saudi Arabia civil nuclear cooperation agreement.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 2/21/19)
Science & Technology Policy
US Science Adviser Sees Smaller Federal Role. The new science adviser to President Donald Trump wants to usher in a new golden era of US science-but with less gold from the federal government. "Yes, the federal government still has an important role, but the context is very different than it was 30 or 40 years ago," he said in his 13 February interview with Science. "Trillion-dollar companies are investing huge amounts of research dollars in autonomous vehicles and other new technologies. Foundations are investing millions in areas of great importance. And then the major research universities are putting a lot of skin in the game as well."  (Science, 2/22/19)
AI May Be Better for Detecting Radar Signals, Facilitating Spectrum Sharing. In a new paper, NIST researchers demonstrate that deep learning algorithms-a form of artificial intelligence-are significantly better than a commonly used, less sophisticated method for detecting when offshore radars are operating. Improved radar detection would enable commercial users to know when they must yield the so-called 3.5 Gigahertz (3.5 GHz) Band. (NIST, 2/20/19)
Gene-Edited Animal Creators Look Beyond US Market. Tired of regulatory confusion and a lack of funding, some US researchers are taking their gene-edited livestock abroad. US researchers who develop genetically engineered livestock have long dealt with a dearth of research funding and an uncertain path to market.  (Nature, 2/20/19)
Text of Space Policy Directive-4: Establishment of the United States Space Force. Space is integral to our way of life, our national security, and modern warfare. Although United States space systems have historically maintained a technological advantage over those of our potential adversaries, those potential adversaries are now advancing their space capabilities and actively developing ways to deny our use of space in a crisis or conflict. Toward that end, the Department of Defense shall take actions under existing authority to marshal its space resources to deter and counter threats in space, and to develop a legislative proposal to establish a United States Space Force as a sixth branch of the United States Armed Forces within the Department of the Air Force.  (White House, 2/19/19)
This Week's Hearings
Department of Defense Information Technology, Cybersecurity, and Information Assurance. House Armed Services Committee, Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. 2/26/2019, 2:00 pm. Rayburn Building, 2212. More
INF Withdrawal and the Future of Arms Control: Implications for the Security of the United States and its Allies. House Armed Forces Committee, Strategic Forces Subcommittee. 2/26/2019, 2:00 pm. Rayburn Building, 2118. More
Securing US Surface Transportation from Cyber Attacks. Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Innovation. 2/26/2019, 10:00 am. Cannon House Building, 310. More
Food and Drug Administration - Status of Operations. House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. 2/27/2019, 2:00 pm. Rayburn Building, 2362-A. More
Perspectives on Protecting the Electric Grid from an Electromagnetic Pulse or Geomagnetic Disturbance. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. 2/27/2019, 2:30 pm. Dirksen Building, SD-106. More
Nuclear Policy and Posture. Senate Committee on Armed Forces. 2/28/2019, 9:30 am. Dirksen Building, SD-G50. More


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