‘It’s Terrifying. What If There’s An Outbreak?’: FDA Workers Worry Shutdown Could Have Deadly Consequences
Although the FDA is officially continuing to oversee food recalls, monitoring for outbreaks, and can call staff back to work to address any emergency situations, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said that there is no question that "it is not business as usual" at the agency. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump says his border wall will help with the opioid crisis, but experts say it won't really be a deterrent for the flow of drugs into the country.
FDA Employees Think Shutdown Could Be Deadly
With about 41% of the US Food and Drug Administration off the job due to the government shutdown, some agency employees worry about the safety and health of the American public. Agency operations "continue to the extent permitted by law," according to the FDA website, meaning "activities necessary to address imminent threats to the safety of human life and activities [are] funded by carryover user fee funds." (Yurkevich and Christensen, 1/8)
The Washington Post:
The White House Says The Border Wall Would Keep Opioids Out Of The U.S. It Wouldn’t.
When President Trump makes his case tonight that there really is a border crisis, he’ll probably mention the opioid epidemic ravaging the United States, which killed thousands of Americans last year. Trump and his surrogates often cite the drug crisis as a reason the border wall with Mexico is needed. There is a “massive influx of drugs that come across the southern border,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday during an interview on Fox News. “Ninety percent of the heroin that comes into this country comes across through the southern border and 300 Americans are killed from that every single month,” she told Fox’s Chris Wallace. (Itkowitz, 1/8)
Factbox: Impact On U.S. Government Widens On 18th Day Of Shutdown
A shutdown of about a quarter of the U.S. government reached its 18th day on Tuesday, with lawmakers and the White House divided over Republican President Donald Trump's demand for money for a border wall ahead of his prime-time address to push the project. The shutdown, which began on Dec. 22, is the 19th since the mid-1970s, although most have been brief. This one now ranks as the second-longest, with Trump saying it could continue for months or years, even as he said he hoped it was resolved within days. (1/8)
The New York Times:
As Government Shutdown Goes On, Workers’ Finances Fray: ‘Nobody Signed Up For This’
Tanisha Keller, a single mother who works for the federal Census Bureau, used to live paycheck to paycheck. Now, she is living nothing to nothing. Payday would have come this week for Ms. Keller, 42, and many of the 800,000 other federal workers across the country caught up in the partial government shutdown. But as the standoff drags on, no paychecks are arriving to replenish their savings or pay down their maxed-out credit cards. Ms. Keller’s bank balance has dipped to negative $169. She can no longer afford the $100 stipends she once sent to her son, Daniel, to help out with his college books and groceries. (Healy, Johnson and Taylor, 1/8)