FROM Anthony Fauci
A public health scare and congressional inaction For the first time ever, the CDC has issued a travel warning inside the United States, as the Zika virus has broken out in Miami, and some public health experts are warning of an epidemic. Anxiety is growing among pregnant women at risk of giving birth to babies with deformed skulls and brains. Mosquitos that carry the virus don't travel far, but insecticide spraying will have limited value because Zika is also sexually transmitted. A possible vaccine is being developed, but money is running out, and Congress has failed to resolve political differences and appropriate $33 million in funds.
The Zika Virus: The Knowns…and the Unknowns The World Health Organization says, "alarm is high." But so is "uncertainty." In the next year, the Zika virus might infect three to four million people. But nobody knows for sure if the mosquito-borne illness really is responsible for birth defects in South American babies. Women there are being warned about pregnancy, and the WHO today called an emergency . US health officials say an outbreak here is unlikely. We hear from Brazil, where fear is on the rise, and get the latest on controlling mosquitos.
As Ebola Crises Deepens, Will US Aid Be Enough? In West Africa, Ebola is spreading with unprecedented speed. For weeks, global health organizations have called for international aid—especially from the United States. This week, the President finally announced that 3,000 troops will be sent to Liberia, along with mobile labs, protective gear and facilities for training health workers. Meanwhile, Sierra Leone has just begun a three-day quarantine of all its six million people.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
Truth and Lies in Trumpland Donald Trump is using mis-information like no President has before him. It's an unprecedented challenge to the news media, and a potential threat to democracy. We hear how the "leader of all the people" is dividing Americans and confusing the rest of the world.