Would there never even be a statue of Donald J. Trump?

Donald Trump, from His Tower, Rages at “the Other Side” in Charlottesville

At a press briefing that was supposed to be about infrastructure, Trump tossed aside his previous condemnation of white nationalists like an ill-fitting suit.

Photograph by Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

“Wait a minute, I’m not finished. I’m not finished, Fake News,” President Donald Trump said at a press conference, on Tuesday. He was using fake news as an epithet, directed at a reporter who had asked about Senator John McCain’s admonition about the wider influence of “alt-right” forces, which McCain had connected to the “Unite the Right” rally that, with its white-nationalist and neo-Nazi displays, had set off a weekend of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump began by asking if the reporter was talking about the same Senator McCain who had voted against his side on Obamacare, and then continued by asking, “What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Let me ask you this: What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem? I think they do.” This was a repeat of the first comment he had made, on Saturday, in reaction toCharlottesville, placing undifferentiated blame on “many sides,” never mind the swastikas. He had revised that, on Monday, with a grudgingly delivered statement of what ought to have been obvious: that white supremacy and Nazism are bad ideologies. Now, in a couple of lines, he had tossed that aside, like an ill-fitting suit. But, as he said, he wasn’t finished. Trump kept talking, in louder, uglier terms.

“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent. And nobody wants to say that. But I’ll say that right now.” The bad group was the white nationalists; the “very violent” group was those who had come to object. In case anyone missed his point, he continued, “You had a group on the other side that came charging in—without a permit—and they were very, very violent.” Trump wasn’t putting the two sides on the same level; he was saying that the counter-protesters were worse.

His outrage at the counter-protesters’ lack of a permit stood out all the more, given that he had spent the beginning of the briefing, which was meant to be about infrastructure and was held in the lobby of Trump Tower, complaining about how permits slowed down him and other builders. He promised to do away with as many as he could. Not that he had ever been held back; he knew how to get the permits he needed. That was one of the instances in the press conference when his native narcissism caused him to ramble; another was when he began talking about how he’d heard that “the young woman”—Heather Heyer, age thirty-two—who was among the counter-protesters and was killed when someone drove a car into their ranks, was a fine person, and that the person charged with killing her had done something “horrible,” but he ended up just going on about how her mother had said “the nicest things” about him, Trump. The media, he said, didn’t appreciate his niceness. (Later, Trump acknowledged that he had not yet reached out to Heyer’s family.)

As this story has played out, what has been striking is how put upon the President has seemed to feel when asked to condemn neo-Nazis. At the press conference, he kept insisting that this was a matter of being responsible—all the facts weren’t in yet. All the facts still aren’t in, but the swastikas and the Confederate flags were out from the first moment. The only way Trump wouldn’t have seen them is if he didn’t want to or didn’t care, or perhaps he viewed them with political opportunism, emblems of a base to be catered to. All those explanations—that he is indifferent; that he is calculating—remain on the table. The press conference added another possibility: that his judgment is, and perhaps always will be, consumed by his own sense of resentment. When he realized that his statement on Monday had been found wanting, he tweeted, “Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the News Media will never be satisfied . . . truly bad people!” ‬

On Tuesday, that media wanted to know if Trump was, as one reporter put it, saying that the alt-left was “the same” as neo-Nazis. Trump erupted again. “I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups,” he said. “But not all of those people were neo-Nazis. Believe me. Not all of those people were white supremacists. By any stretch.” He continued, “Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.” He said that if the press were honest—“which in many cases you’re not”—they would see it his way. And, he added, with a note of dismay, “This week it’s Robert E. Lee, and I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? Ask yourself, where does it stop?”

One might note that Robert E. Lee took up arms against the United States government, the one that George Washington put his life on the line to build. It is true that our history is full of figures who are flawed, but endure. Lee, though, is not a symbol of our values whose life does not match the ideals he is purported to embody; he is a symbol of the betrayal of those ideals. He is our worse self. And if there is not a constant conversation challenging our idols—an effort to look for our better angels, to borrow Lincoln’s phrase—if statues never come down, or new ones stop going up, then we have, in some way, stopped trying to be a more perfect Union. The organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville had not gathered out of some architectural-preservationist urge: they were there for ideological reasons.

Trump acknowledged, again, that some of those people were bad, but he also said, again, “You also had people that were very fine people—on both sides . . . you had people in that group who were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.” Trump didn’t pause to ask why the statue of Robert E. Lee would be so very, very important, nor did he mention the other name: Emancipation Park. Instead, he had reduced a moral crossroads for the country to a question of naming rights. Standing in front of reporters, Trump came across as an angry man sheltered by a building bearing his own name in big, gold letters. But for how long? Tenants in some buildings have already asked to have the “Trump” taken off. Where would it stop? Would there, perhaps, never even be a statue of Donald J. Trump?

  • Amy Davidson Sorkin is a New Yorker staff writer.

Trump cannot pick the next FBI director until he resigns for obstruction of justice

Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick the next FBI director
Petition to the U.S. Senate:
“Commit to blocking and resisting any Donald Trump nominee to lead the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Congress must not allow a man under a cloud of investigation to choose the next director of the FBI.”Add your name:

Sign the petition ►
Dear Connie,

Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick the next FBI director

Donald Trump’s reward for firing James Comey – the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – in order to ease “pressure” from Russia investigations is … getting to pick the next FBI director?1

While testifying under oath in the Senate yesterday, Comey said that Trump pressured him to drop the investigation into Michael Flynn, that Trump lied and that he believes he was fired because Trump did not like how he was conducting the Russia investigation.2,3 But the biggest bombshell out of Comey’s testimony is that he is sure special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into Trump’s obstruction of justice.4

On Wednesday, Trump tweeted that his pick to lead the FBI is Christopher Wray, Chris Christie’s personal lawyer during the Bridgegate scandal and a partner at a law firm that represents major Russian corporations, including state-owned gas monopoly Gazprom and oil giant Rosneft. 5 But even if Wray had an impeccable record with no connections to Trump or Russia, there is no way that Trump should be able to name the head of the FBI in the midst of its investigation into his Russia ties.

Comey’s blockbuster testimony has made this point all the clearer. But we need to step up to drive the point home that Trump has no right to choose the next FBI director.

Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick next FBI director. Click here to sign the petition.

Comey’s prepared testimony detailed how Trump demanded “loyalty” and made repeated requests that Comey publicly state that Trump was not under investigation. His meticulous records documented in detail each of his interactions with Trump. 6 Comey also testified about a meeting with Trump the day after Michael Flynn resigned for lying about his communication with the Russians in which Trump asked Comey (emphasis ours):

“I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.7.

Comey went on to say:

I had understood the president to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”8

Furthermore, Comey revealed that Trump had asked him what he could do to could do to “lift the cloud” – a phrase Trump used to describe the Russia investigation “that was impairing his ability to act on behalf of the country.”9

Legal experts had already suggested that Trump’s firing of Comey constitutes obstruction of justice.10 Comey’s explosive testimony strengthens that argument. In fact, Trump previously admitted himself in an interview that he fired Comey because he was pursuing the “made up story” of Trump and Russia. Yet in the weeks following, even as the Department of Justice tasked a special prosecutor to investigate him, Trump started interviewing potential FBI directors as if it was yet another hiring decision.11

Say Trump did, in fact, attempt to obstruct justice by firing Comey. If that turns out to be true, then picking the next FBI director would make that attempt successful. We cannot take that chance – the Senate must block Trump from choosing a new FBI director.

Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick next FBI director. Click here to sign the petition.

Acting Director Andrew McCabe is a 20-year veteran of the FBI who is leading the agency in the absence of a long-term director.12Leaving the position vacant would keep McCabe in charge and do no damage to American security or law enforcement. But allowing Donald Trump to replace Comey could do irreparable damage to the rule of law and our republic itself. The Senate must confirm any Trump nominee, which means the Senate has the power to declare that no Trump nominee will be confirmed.13

Too many in Washington are pretending that this is business-as-usual – so it will take a loud outcry now to give Democrats and Republicans alike the courage to stand up for the rule of law.

Tell the Senate: Trump cannot pick next FBI director. Click the link below to sign the petition.

https://act.credoaction.com/sign/no_trump_fbi_director?t=8&akid=23521.11103932.HoT5It

Thank you for speaking out.

Murshed Zaheed, Political Director
CREDO Action from Working Assets

Add your name:

Sign the petition ►

References:

  1. Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg, “Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation,” The New York Times, May 19, 2017.
  2. Daniella Diaz and Christina Kline, “James Comey testifies: Live updates,” CNN, June 8, 2017
  3. BBC, “Comey: Trump White House ‘lied’ about the FBI,” June 8, 2017
  4. Marina Fang, “James Comey ‘Sure’ Russia Probe Will Look Into Potential Trump Obstruction Of Justice, HuffPost, June 8, 2017
  5. Julia Edwards Ainsley and Steve Holland, “Trump picks white-collar crime lawyer to replace Comey at FBI,” Reuters, June 7, 2017.
  6. Alexia Fernández Campbell, “Read: James Comey’s prepared testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee Thursday,” Vox, June 7, 2017
  7. Ibid.
  8. Ibid.
  9. Ibid.
  10. Richard W. Painter and Norman L. Eisen, “The Criminal President,” The New York Times, May 17, 2017.
  11. David Halperin, “How Is Trump Picking A New FBI Director Even A Thing?” HuffPost, May 30, 2017.
  12. Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo, “Andrew McCabe Is Known at F.B.I. for His Precision and Intellect,” The New York Times, May 11, 2017.
  13. Halperin, “How Is Trump Picking A New FBI Director Even A Thing?

Americans who are ashamed that we have elected as our president a man bursting with prejudices and lies are right

By Leon Wieseltier

This is a country of wildly different destinies, and the belief in equality does not make people equal: The unprecedented pace of change, the daze of historical acceleration in which we live, produces a sensation of insecurity, a terrible volatility, that often results in fear. Trump battened off working-class panic and white panic. He practices the politics of panic. He is not the first: There is a tradition of such politics in America. In the wake of its victory, we must attend to its causes. Why all this American panic?

It is unforgivable not to know one’s own country. Yet the expansion of our understanding does not absolve us of the responsibility for judgment. To understand is not to forgive. Let us study the roots of populism and ponder the nature of ethnonationalism, but let us also maintain our disgust at the low and malign politics that have just prevailed. There is no economic analysis that can extenuate bigotry.

The scapegoating of otherness by miserable people cannot be justified by their misery. Resentment, even when it has a basis in experience, is one of the ugliest political emotions, and it has been the source of horrors. Trump’s road to power was manifestly a foul road, even if it was supported by millions of people. Wisdom is never to be found in numbers. Trump’s success vouches only for his strategy. It says nothing about his probity or his decency. Those Americans who are ashamed that we have elected as our president a man bursting with prejudices and lies are right. Their shame makes America great again.

But Trump’s victory, we are told, was owed mainly to the hatred of Washington, which is plainly dysfunctional. It is indeed hard to say a kind word about Congress, which could not even find a way to act against Zika when it mattered most. But this, too, is rich. Republicans contribute significantly to the breaking of the system, and then they thunder to the country that the system is broken. They refuse to govern, and then they denounce government. They seem to confuse governing with having their way. And more to the point, how does this vast alienation from Washington excuse this vast contempt for whole groups and races and genders?

The same question must be asked of the anti-elitism upon which Trump based his campaign. Never mind the bad joke of the billionaire from Fifth Avenue and Palm Beach pretending to be an outsider, a man of the margins. The real issue is the relationship of social status to decency. There is no such relationship. It is not elitist to respect Muslims and Mexicans and African Americans and women and immigrants and Jews, and a blue collar is not a moral pass. A college education is not a requirement for, nor a guarantee of, a moral compass: There are educated members of the American elite who spectacularly lack one, such as the man who was elected president Tuesday. And there are “poorly educated” Americans who abundantly express kindness and solidarity for Americans unlike themselves.

Difficult times are giving way to dark times, and dark times require a special lucidity and a special vigilance and a special ferocity about principle. We must not lose our faith in moral progress and in social progress, but we must remember that moral progress and social progress are not linear and unimpeded and inevitable. There will always be reversals and setbacks, because change rattles the world that preceded it. If you demand justice, prepare for instability, and for the exploitation of instability by political reactionaries who weaken the wounded with nostalgia and fantasies of exclusiveness. The struggle for reform is often succeeded by the struggle to repeal reform.

Trumpism, insofar as it is coherently anything, is a great promise of repeal.

If Trump succeeds in his repeal, then the fight for the repeal of the repeal must begin. There is nothing Sisyphean or cynical about this. It is the abiding condition of a democracy comprising conflicting ideals. The fight is never over.

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Connie’s comments:

Thanks to young people on the street shouting about their emotions and wishes for America.  Although some of you did not vote, your voices will always be heard by young and old in America.

It is not late. Call/write to your state local officials and let your voices be heard for progress, decency and democracy with no fear, no hate, only equality, justice, truth, responsibility, work ethics, and love.


Other Commenters:

Obama gave many poor people health care they could afford. He tried to enact a stimulus package to get the country working again. He tried to prevent future corporate inversions and to do something about tax cheating. Under Obama, no new wars were declared that put our troops in harm’s way.

This: If our allegiance to the ideals of justice and equality and tolerance leaves us shocked at the persistent vitality of their opposites, then our idealism is parochial and naive.
Question: Of the 47% of the eligible electorate that didn’t turn out to vote on 11/8 I ask you, are you satisfied with the result? Do you distain justice, equality, and American exceptionalism?
And now, how will you fight back against a man who in his first post election interview explained that he is going to create a special force to forcibly remove 3 million undocumented people, denied everything he said on the campaign trail, called for the elimination of the free press, and said he had no choice but to fill his transition team and cabinet with establishment politicians, lobbyists, and his family? He’s not going to keep a single promise to those who supported him, because it’s still only about him. He’s installed a person who has called for a race war as his policy specialist who will ensure that only divisive, racist, and hateful pieces of legislation and ideas reach the oval office.
Feel duped yet?

20% reduction in Medicaid use with data sharing

A data-sharing program in Missouri, which includes the departments of Health and Senior Services, Mental Health, and Social Services, stands as one example of how effective data sharing allows for improved delivery of care and saving of taxpayer dollars.

Hospital use by clients of the state’s Medicaid program fell by 20 percent as of last year, and emergency room visits fell by 12 percent.

The decline in emergency room visits alone saves the state $8 million annually.

Data sharing accounts for much of the credit for these efficiencies.

The sharing of health data, in particular, often needs a legal framework that both allows access that meets individual departments’ needs and ensures compliance with privacy laws and regulations. Minneapolis utilizes a streamlined process that makes legal resources available specifically for these kinds of discussions. The city clerk’s office and representatives from individual departments work with the city’s legal counsel to vet data as necessary and set any legally mandated boundaries. This city’s open-data policy encourages all other types of data to be open automatically, limiting complex legal discussions to an as-needed basis.

http://www.governing.com/blogs/bfc/gov-departmental-data-sharing-government-default.html

 

Narcotic pain meds shrinks the brain, CDC updates their guide

pain killersnarcotics pain meds shrinks the brain

CDC Guide when prescribing meds

Insurance companies reimburse narcotic pain meds but not alternative safe wellness solutions such as herbs, supplements, yoga and others.

One third of pharma drugs are paid for by the US government.

Narcotic pain meds shrink the brain causing other neuro-degenerative disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Most US doctors when coaxed by patients about prescribing narcotic pain med will do so to appease the patient who might only have a bruise or pain score of less than 5.

Most pain in the elderly are caused by nerve pain with root causes in Diabetes, lack of Vitamin B12, anxiety, stress and lack of care.

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The US has a serious opioid problem.

An estimated 2.1 million Americans suffers from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.

To combat that, the CDC has put together a draft of guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain.

The guidelines are designed to help family doctors and general practitioners who prescribe opioid painkillers, a category of medications that includes drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin.

The number of deaths related to overdosing on opioid pain relievers has been on the rise over the past decade, eclipsing deaths related to heroin overdoses.

The CDC’s guidelines, which will be open for public comment through January 13, give suggestions for how opioid painkillers should be prescribed. Importantly, the guidelines aren’t binding; they’re also not intended for doctors who treat people with chronic pain linked with diseases like advanced-stage cancer.

Here are some of the main takeaways for doctors:

  • Physicians should only prescribe opioid painkillers if and when the benefits, such as relief from painful surgical operations or injuries, outweigh the costs, such as potential physical dependence and addiction. Doctors and patients should re-evaluate pain-management plans every 3 months.
  • Physicians should set up goals for pain management with their patients to prevent extended treatment. 
  • For patients just going on treatment, short-acting opioid painkillers should be used instead of long lasting or extended-release versions, and doctors should aim to start patients on the lowest-possible dosage.
  • Physicians should review the patient’s history of controlled substance prescriptions and use urine drug tests to look for the prescribed medications as well as other not-so-prescribed drugs.

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Call 408-854-1883 motherhealth@gmail.com , caring Motherhealth caregivers for homebound bay area seniors for holistic caregiving.

Comments:

My senior client with Parkinson who is addicted to Tramadol is in her doctor’s office asking for pain meds due to a small bruise on her knee. And her doctor prescribed Vicodin. As her caregiver, I discussed this prescription to her family and we ended up not giving the pain med for a small bruise.

Most patients will lie for the severity of pain just to get a pain med prescription. Most doctors have only pain meds to relieve the client’s minor health issue that is metabolic and anxiety related disorder.

 

 

 

 

A Few Ways the Government Shutdown Could Harm Your Health (And the World’s) by Maryn Mckeena

There’s going to be a lot — a lot — of coverage today on the federal shutdown, what it means and how long it might go on. I thought it might be worth quickly highlighting how it affects the parts of the government that readers here care most about: public health, global health, food safety and the spread of scary diseases.

Most of those government functions are contained within the Cabinet-level Department of Health and Human Services, where 52 percent of the employees have been sent home. So the news is not good.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention furloughed 68 percent of its people — not just here in Atlanta, but globally. Yesterday I asked a longtime acquaintance there what was likely to happen and she said:

I know that we will not be conducting multi-state outbreak investigations. States may continue to find outbreaks, but we won’t be doing the cross-state consultation and laboratory work to link outbreaks that might cross state borders, such as a recent Hep A outbreak. We will not be doing rapid response for vaccine preventable disease cases or outbreaks, such as measles. We won’t be monitoring seasonal influenza activity in the U.S. as flu season begins.

Surveillance for other emerging infectious disease outbreaks, such as H7N9 and MERS, will be weakened. We won’t be doing routine inspections of BSL3 and BSL 4 labs as part of the select agent program. Our work to prevent HIV/STDs and TB in the states using molecular epidemiology will be discontinued.

Let’s unpack that a little bit. In the US, the flu season is beginning. This year’s flu vaccine has been manufactured, and is either already in the hands of state and local health departments, or with doctors or on its way to them via the commercial middlemen who handle distribution for the manufacturers. (On Twitter today, Jim Garrow of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health confirmed that they already have an inventory of flu vaccine.)

So flu prevention won’t necessarily be harmed — except for those people who don’t get a flu shot unless the CDC’s public health campaigns remind them, because there won’t be any such campaigns. But flu surveillance, which the CDC conducts and also assembles out of data sent to it by health departments and by networks of physicians, is on the shelf. Here’s what the CDC’s flu-surveillance homepage looks like right now:

original page here.

And here is what that means: We are now at the start of flu season. If this season becomes a bad one — a rogue virus, an uneven epidemic, a concentration of cases in the elderly or the very young or in a particular city or state — we’ll have no way of knowing. And, for what it’s worth, no way of directing additional public-health or research help, because they’ve all been sent home. In tracking flu, one of the most unpredictable and mutable human-disease viruses around, we have been blinded. And if the shutdown continues more than a few weeks, then that blindness will also blanket development of next year’s flu vaccine — because within a few weeks, CDC researchers would start analyzing this year’s northern and southern hemisphere viruses to determine what ought to be included in next year’s vaccine mix.

That blindness also is not limited to the US. The CDC loans scientists and sends money to the World Health Organization and to dozens of countries in the industrialized and developing worlds. One of its specialties is helping to track the emergence of new flu viruses that have pandemic potential. That global spyglass has just been shuttered. And: we are less than two weeks from the official beginning of the hajj, the worldwide pilgrimage of observant Muslims to the holy sites of Saudi Arabia — where, if you’ve been following along, MERS has been slowly growing for more than a year. Health planners have been quietly fretting for months that the hajj might allow the spread of MERS outside of the Middle East — a reasonable fear, as that has happened in past hajj seasons with other diseases. But with the shutdown, we lose some of the most accurate tools for finding that out.

And this enforced ignorance of disease spread isn’t hypothetical. Just this morning, the WHO tweeted that there is a three-country outbreak of more than 200 cases of polio in the Horn of Africa. The top polio-hunters in the worldwide eradication effort, the ones who developed the “molecular clock” that allows the eradication campaign to trace new cases back to their source, work at… yup, the CDC.

The shutdown’s risks to health aren’t limited to what the CDC does. The Food and Drug Administration has sent home 45 percent of its staff. The ones who remain can do so because they work in programs that receive user fees, such as reviews of proposed new pharmaceuticals; those can continue provided the application for review was already submitted. (New reviews, according to the FDA’s statement today, are out of luck.) But food safety — always an under-funded mandate — is in real danger. HHS’s memo on shutdown staffing acknowledged this:

FDA will be unable to support the majority of its food safety, nutrition, and cosmetics activities. FDA will also have to cease safety activities such as routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring of imports, notification programs (e.g., food contact substances, infant formula), and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision-making.

Translated, that means: No foodborne outbreak tracking; no inspection of food imports; no lab research; no publishing of guidance documents. (Food Safety News and Regulatory Focus have more.)

At the US Department of Agriculture — which attends to about 15 percent of the US food supply, including meat, compared to the FDA’s 85 percent — things are a bit better. Eighty-seven percent of its staff have been retained, including most of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. In its shutdown memo, the USDA says the FSIS falls under an Office of Management and Budget shutdown category described as “necessary to perform activities necessarily implied by law” (for wonks, that’s No. 3 of the five categories). Thus, they can continue to conduct meat, poultry and egg inspections on-site, that is, at plants and packing houses. However, the agency loses personnel as follows:

The following headquarters staffs performing the central program guidance, coordination, direction and planning functions described will be furloughed except as minimally required in direct support of Agency field operations:
•Inspection Operations (Office of Field Operations): Responsible for planning, coordinating and directing the Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection programs. Due to the large numbers of in plant inspection personnel who support excepted activities, most individuals in this area would be excepted and on duty.
•Public Health Science (Office of Public Health Science): The Public Health Science Program is responsible for planning, coordinating and directing all scientific guidance and support in chemistry, epidemiology, pathology, toxicology, nutrition, and parasitological. The Public Health Science Program also performs Agency risk assessments, directs the residue testing program, and also performs activities that address zoonotic diseases. With the exception of the laboratory function within Public Health Science, designations for these functions would be non-excepted, with limited individuals being identified as excepted and on duty. The majority of all Laboratory functions will be excepted.
•International Programs (Office of Field Operations, Office of Policy and Program Development, and Office of Investigation, Enforcement and Audit): The International Programs are responsible for ensuring that meat, poultry, and egg products from foreign countries are safe and wholesome. Program personnel also confer with foreign governments on issues involving imports and exports of meat, poultry and egg products and international food safety standards. A substantial number of these programs other than inspection of imports and certifying products for export would not be excepted.

I know other Wired colleagues are going to tackle the shutdown’s effect on the rest of the government science apparatus. There is no question, though, that public and global health and food safety are experiencing great impact. Better hope there are no major outbreaks brewing, and that no food producer or manufacturer — or food importer in a country with lower standards — decides that now is the time to try to slip something by government-funded detection and response. As of this morning, the protections we rely on are no longer there.

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