FROM Sammy Mack
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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?