An Early Test for Biden: Managing a Divided Democratic Party

first_img– Advertisement – After a fiery call among members of the House Democratic caucus, in which some argued that progressives who have entertained ideas like defunding the police or “Medicare for all” had cost the party congressional seats, some Democratic leaders pushed further away from the left wing.- Advertisement – Ever since President Trump won the White House in 2016, a shocked Democratic Party had been united behind the mission of defeating him. Four years later, with the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., the divides that have long simmered among Democrats are now beginning to burst into the open, as the president-elect confronts deep generational and ideological differences among congressional lawmakers, activists and the party’s grass-roots base.The fault lines began to emerge within hours of Mr. Biden’s victory. Moderates argued that his success, particularly in industrial Midwestern states that Mr. Trump seized from the Democrats in 2016, was proof that a candidate who resisted progressive litmus tests was best positioned to win back voters who had abandoned the Democratic Party. Those tests included single-payer health care, aggressive measures to combat climate change and expanding the Supreme Court.- Advertisement – “The progressives said we need a base candidate,” said Rahm Emanuel, the former mayor of Chicago and White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, referring to a nominee who appeals to the left wing of the party. “No we didn’t. We needed someone to get swing voters. If you campaign appropriately, you can make that a governing transformation.”Moderate Democrats said they were hopeful the urgency of the problems confronting the nation would delay the inevitable reckoning the party faces between its ideological wings. Beyond that, they said that a disappointing showing by Democrats in congressional races — the party lost seats in the House and faces a struggle for even narrow control of the Senate — would give liberal Democrats less of a platform to push Mr. Biden to the left. But for some on the left, the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis were reasons to push the administration further — not to back off. They cited mistakes made as Mr. Obama began his administration in 2009, when many believed the party’s progressive wing was too deferential to the new president in a moment of economic crisis.“I don’t think there will be a grace period for Biden, because the country doesn’t have time for a grace period,” said Heather McGhee, a former president of Demos, a progressive policy and research organization. “A million more people in poverty don’t have time for a grace period. A racial epidemic and the coronavirus pandemic isn’t taking a grace period. As he is declared the winner, he needs to be putting a team in place that can really change Washington.”Nina Turner, a co-chair of Mr. Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, said she expected progressives to pressure Mr. Biden’s transition team and administration from the outset. When asked how open she thought Mr. Biden would be to the left, she said, “If the rhetoric that’s being used on the campaign trail is any indication, not very open.”Still, she said, “things have an amazing way of changing once you’re in the office and you get that pressure.” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a leading voice of the party’s left wing, said in a phone interview that the next few weeks would set the tone for how the incoming administration will be received by liberal activists. “I think that’s what people are keeping an eye out for: Is this administration going to be actively hostile and try to put in appointments that are going to just squash progressives and organizing?” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “I don’t envy the Biden team. It’s a very delicate balance. But I think it’s really important to strike a good one. Because it sends a very, very powerful message on the intention to govern.”The fault lines crystallize the task ahead for Mr. Biden, who has long seen himself as a pragmatic consensus builder rather than a strict ideologue. In addition to the fractures within his party, Mr. Biden’s administration will also have to navigate a Republican Senate, unless Democrats wrest two seats in Georgia during closely watched runoff elections in January.If the party doesn’t win those seats, an already divided Washington looks likely to endure.Some moderate Democratic leaders urged the president-elect to head off any internal conflict by embracing policies both sides can agree on and reaching out to the left.“The first thing I would do if I were Joe Biden is I’d propose a $15-an-hour minimum wage,” said Edward G. Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “That’s something that both sides agree on. That would be the first action on behalf of President Biden to show there are significant parts of the progressive agenda that need to be acted on.”Given the two Senate runoffs taking place in Georgia — contests that will determine whether Mr. Biden will, like Mr. Obama, begin his first term with a unified Washington — Mr. Biden might be initially reluctant to embrace positions that could make it easier for Republicans in Georgia to paint Democrats as out-of-touch, radical socialists.center_img It is unclear what kind of audience progressives will find with Mr. Biden and his administration. Throughout the year, his campaign sought to project unity through measures like a joint task force with supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, which led a campaign to adopt some of the left wing’s policy proposals, including plans around college debt. But Mr. Biden stopped short of the biggest ideas, like eliminating the Electoral College or embracing statehood for Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.Some leading Democratic Party moderates said they supported many of the ideological goals on the left but, reflecting what has long been a divide between the two wings, urged caution, particularly because of Democratic losses in other races.“We all have to take a deep breath,” said Representative Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, a state that Mr. Trump snatched from Democrats in 2016 but that Mr. Biden won back this year. “I know there are going to be people who are pushing for change. I’m one of those people who want Medicare for all.”She argued that Democrats needed to be careful not to push away voters whom Mr. Trump won in 2016, or else risk another, similar candidate.“I also know we can’t afford to have Donald Trump as president,” she said.But Stanley Greenberg, a Democratic pollster who advised President Bill Clinton when he successfully pushed the party to the center in the 1990s, said Mr. Biden would be able to delay divisive party fights because of the enormity of the crises he faces.“The nature of the pandemic and the economic and health crisis is so deep, he will inherit a mandate of urgency,” he said. “Unity within the party and unity within the country.” “Someone like Rahm Emanuel would be a pretty divisive pick,” she said, citing his record as mayor on racial justice and his opposition to teachers’ unions. “And it would signal, I think, a hostile approach to the grass-roots and the progressive wing of the party.” Mr. Biden has made clear he intends for his administration’s cabinet to be diverse in race, gender and sexual orientation — but a left wing that has become disenchanted with the inherent idea of representation as progress will be looking for concessions of power.Grass-roots political groups on the left had a dual message for the president-elect: Congratulations — and here’s a list of demands. Several signaled that they expected Mr. Biden to defer to some demands of progressives, not only by selecting people from that wing of the party for key cabinet positions but also by excluding people with a Wall Street or lobbying background from the administration’s hiring process. However, Mr. Biden’s flexibility in making cabinet appointments sought by the left will be constrained if the Senate remains in Republican hands.Jamaal Bowman, a progressive New York Democrat who will be sworn into the next Congress, took the view that Mr. Biden’s victory was not an affirmation of moderate ideology, but a testament to a diverse Democratic Party that had embraced the shared goal of defeating an unpopular president. He cited the work during the general election of progressive groups and candidates who opposed Mr. Biden during the Democratic primary, including young climate organizers like the Sunrise Movement — and said they should be rewarded.“We have to move past the moderate-versus-liberal conversations and start speaking and moving together as a strong party,” Mr. Bowman said. “We have organizations like the Sunrise Movement and candidates like Jamaal Bowman who have gone out of our way to get Joe Biden elected.”Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said she expected a long-term fight, particularly given the setbacks for Democrats in the congressional contests. She also cited cabinet appointments as a way to measure Mr. Biden’s ideological core.She said some people, including Mr. Emanuel, should not play a role in the party’s future. The former mayor has been floated by some in Mr. Biden’s inner circle to lead a department like housing or transportation. After supporting Mr. Biden as a means of defeating Mr. Trump, younger and more progressive Democrats who have gained a foothold in Congress and among party activists are skeptical about his future administration. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, setting policy terms in a statement after Mr. Biden was declared victorious, said: “A Band-Aid approach won’t get the job done. We have a mandate for action on bold plans to meet these twin health and economic crises.” Representative Conor Lamb, a moderate from Pennsylvania who survived a difficult Republican challenge, said the results should be a wake-up call to the left.“What we heard from a lot of our constituents was that they do not like the Democratic message when it comes to police in Western Pennsylvania, and when it comes to jobs and energy,” he said. “And that we need to do a lot of work to fix that.”But after four years of pent-up frustration and energy, that may prove unlikely. By every early indication, Mr. Biden’s election has emboldened progressive energy, no matter the setbacks in the congressional races. There is an up-and-coming generation of elected Democratic officials who have been waiting in the wings, eager to take the lead in formulating a platform for the party.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Vivo X60, Vivo X60 Pro Live Images Allegedly Leaked; Processor, Starting Price Tipped

first_img– Advertisement – Vivo X60 and X60 Pro live photos have allegedly been leaked to show how the two phones will look from the front. Another leaked image purportedly shows the Vivo X60 Pro running OriginOS, Vivo’s new and improved skin on top of Android OS that will be made official on November 18. The leaked images were shared on Chinese microbogging website Weibo, where another tipster hinted at the starting prices of the Vivo X60 and X60 Pro, along with the expected SoC that will be powering the phones.As per the post by tipster Digital Chat Station on Weibo (translated), the Vivo X60 and Vivo X60 Pro will follow the hole-punch cutout design for the selfie camera. The Vivo X60 is said to have a flat screen while the Vivo X60 Pro may come with a curved screen, as seen in the image shared by the tipster. Another image shows the supposed Pro variant running OriginOS. The company will be unveiling its OriginOS on November 18 through an event in China.- Advertisement – As of now, Vivo has not confirmed the details about the Vivo X60 series or how many phones will be part of the series. However, marketing material spotted recently at some local retail stores in China suggested the phones could launch soon.Which is the best TV under Rs. 25,000? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. – Advertisement – Another tipster by the user name Arsenal (translated) shared that the Vivo X60 and the X60 Pro will be powered by the Samsung Exynos 1080 SoC. Samsung will be officially unveiling this processor today. The tipster also adds that the starting price for the Vivo phones will be CNY 3,500 (roughly Rs. 39,400). Presumably, this will be the price for the base model of the Vivo X60 and the Pro variant will be priced relatively higher. The post was first spotted by Gizmochina.It is possible that the Vivo X60 Pro will come with the Snapdragon 875 SoC instead of the Exynos 1080 SoC, according to another tipster on Weibo. Both phones will likely run OriginOS based expected to be based on Android 11.The Vivo X60 series may include a third phone called the Vivo X60s 5G. Back in July, a phone with the name Vivo X60s 5G was spotted in a Bluetooth SIG listing. This phone is said to come with 8GB of RAM and the Snapdragon 765G SoC. It may support 33W fast charging.- Advertisement –last_img read more

TikTok can continue to operate in the U.S., Commerce Department says

first_imgEarlier this week, TikTok filed a petition in the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit seeking clarity on its future. ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company, agreed to sell 20% of TikTok Global to Walmart and Oracle while making Oracle a “trusted technology partner” in the U.S.The Commerce Department order doesn’t address the CFIUS mandate demanding TikTok sell its U.S. assets. Rather, it reaffirms TikTok can continue to operate in the U.S.TikTok continues to wait for more government guidance about how to proceed with its minority stake sale. President Donald Trump agreed to the deal in August. But the transaction never got the approval of the Chinese government, and Trump administration officials have gone silent on their demands in the weeks leading up to the election. – Advertisement – The U.S. government has given TikTok a stay of execution.The Commerce Department said Thursday it will abide by an Oct. 30 temporary injunction that prevented the government from effectively shutting down TikTok.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Former US ambassador on transfer of power to Biden, Trump’s refusal to concede

first_imgAdelman, who is an adjunct professor at New York University, said this is a “very delicate time” in the U.S. and that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have done what other modern winning campaigns have done in the past, which is to form agency review teams. They are people tasked with evaluating the operations of federal agencies, who will help the new administration achieve their promised policy goals outlined during the campaign. – Advertisement – The sort of stubborn unwillingness to engage in the transition is unprecedented, it’s harmful to the United States and … raises risks for the whole world.David Adelman- Advertisement – – Advertisement – U.S. President-elect Joe Biden leaves the Queen Theater where earlier in the day he addressed the media about the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act on November 10, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.Joe Raedle | Getty Images News | Getty Images However, while the transition has not yet been negatively affected, the new administration will soon need access to the President’s Daily Briefing, he said.“The PDB is historically, by now, being given to the president elect. That has not yet happened,” he said.- Advertisement – “In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to get to the point where they’re going to really be in need of the highly confidential briefings in order to really do their job and prepare for the transfer of power,” Adelman said. There’s “great risk” to the world, and it is “potentially catastrophic if the President-elect doesn’t begin to receive that highly confidential information in the weeks leading up” to the inauguration, he added.Asked if Trump will concede, Adelman said the president will have to.“The votes will be certified here in the next couple of weeks and there’s an inauguration scheduled for January 20th,” he said.“The sort of stubborn unwillingness to engage in the transition is unprecedented, it’s harmful to the United States and … raises risks for the whole world,” he added. “I expect in the next week or so, we’ll see some softening of the president’s position, and an openness to at least the very basics of a transition and preparation for the peaceful transfer of power on January 20th.” Former U.S. ambassador to Singaporelast_img read more

‘More People May Die’ Because of Trump’s Transition Delay, Biden Says

first_img“If there is a new administration, they deserve some time to come in and implement their policies,” Mr. O’Brien said during a talk recorded last week and streamed on Monday as part of a conference hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.“And if we are in a situation where we are not going into a Trump second term, which I think people where I’m sitting in the White House would like to see, if it’s another outcome, it will be a professional transition — there’s no question about it,” he added.Jim Tankersley and Alan Rappeport contributed reporting.- Advertisement – Hours before Mr. Biden’s remarks, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, went further than any other senior Trump official in a public forum when he said that Mr. Biden appeared to have won the election and pledged a smooth transition from his staff.“Look, if the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner — and obviously things look that way now — we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council,” Mr. O’Brien said.Perhaps wary of the ire of a president who refuses to concede the obvious, however, even Mr. O’Brien spoke conditionally, falsely suggesting that the elections’s outcome remains uncertain.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –center_img Mr. Biden’s comments came as governors across the country have begun issuing tough new restrictions on businesses, schools, bars and sports venues in an effort to slow the spread of the virus, prompting an increasingly aggressive backlash from Republicans, including some of Mr. Trump’s advisers.In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down casinos, movie theaters and indoor dining — and to halt in-person learning at high schools and colleges — for three weeks prompted Republican lawmakers to call for her impeachment. She said the remarks by Dr. Atlas were “irresponsible” and left her breathless.- Advertisement –last_img read more

FDA approves generic forms of ciprofloxacin

first_img The Barr statement said overall sales of ciprofloxacin totaled about $1.1 billion in the 12 months that ended in July 2003. Brodsky said the manufacturers of the generics are Barr Laboratories, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, Ranbaxy Laboratories, Genpharm Inc., Sandoz, IVAX Pharmaceuticals, Carlsbad, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Martec Pharmaceutical, Eon Labs, and Cobalt Pharmaceuticals. Jun 14, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week approved the first generic versions of ciprofloxacin (Cipro), the antibiotic that drew national attention when it was used after the mail-borne anthrax attacks in 2001. See also: Thirteen generic versions of ciprofloxacin, also called cipro, won approval Jun 9, according to Jason Brodsky, a spokesman in the FDA commissioner’s office. The approvals followed the recent expiration of Bayer AG’s exclusive right to distribute the drug, he said.center_img Thousands of postal workers took ciprofloxacin at the recommendation of federal health officials after someone mailed envelopes containing anthrax spores to several government and media offices in the fall of 2001. The attacks caused 22 illnesses, five of them fatal. September 2003 Barr news release about agreement to distribute ciprofloxacinhttp://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=60908&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=452651&highlight= Barr Laboratories began marketing a version of ciprofloxacin under its own label in 2003, but the product was made by and sold under an agreement with Bayer, according to a Barr statement published last September.last_img read more

HHS backs respirator use in caring for pandemic flu patients

first_imgOct 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued new guidance calling for stronger respiratory protection for healthcare workers in the event of an influenza pandemic.A new interim guidance document says the use of N-95 respirators—designed to stop 95% of small airborne particles—is “prudent” for medical workers providing any direct care for patients ill with confirmed or suspected pandemic flu and is recommended in caring for those with pneumonia. It also says respirator use is prudent for support workers in direct contact with patients.In contrast, HHS’s pandemic influenza plan issued last November recommends that healthcare workers wear simple surgical masks, designed to block large respiratory droplets, for routine care of pandemic flu patients. Both the pandemic plan and the new guidance recommend using an N-95 respirator or similar protection during procedures likely to generate airborne infectious particles, such as endotracheal intubation.The new document also advises healthcare facilities to expect and plan for shortages of  N-95 respirators and similar protective equipment in the event of a pandemic.The new recommendation reflects increased concern about the possibility of airborne transmission of flu viruses, though the document says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found no new scientific evidence on the question. HHS says the new guidance “augments and supersedes” the advice in the pandemic flu plan.HHS has received many questions and comments about mask and respirator use since it issued its pandemic plan, the document says. Scientific debate on the issue has led to conflicting recommendations by public health agencies, while wrong, incomplete, and confusing information has flourished online and in the news media, the agency says.The new advice comes less than a month after a Canadian expert asserted in a CDC journal that the US, Canadian, and British plans for pandemic flu didn’t give strong enough advice on respiratory protection for healthcare workers.The CDC “is aware of no new scientific information related to the transmission of influenza viruses since the drafting of the HHS Pandemic Influenza Plan,” the new guidance states. “As stated in the plan, the proportional contribution and clinical importance of the possible modes of transmission of influenza (i.e., droplet, airborne, and contact) remains unclear and may depend on the strain of virus ultimately responsible for a pandemic.”But because of the need for “practical clarification,” the CDC decided to review the evidence again and issue recommendations “to provide a science-based framework to facilitate planning for surgical mask and respirator use” during a pandemic.The new document is titled “Interim Guidance on Planning for the Use of Surgical Masks and Respirators in Health Care Settings during an Influenza Pandemic.” It says that “convincing evidence of airborne transmission of influenza viruses from person to person over long distances (e.g., through air-handling systems, or beyond a single room) has not been demonstrated.”But it adds, “Although data are limited, the possibility remains that short-range aerosol transmission is a route of influenza transmission in humans and requires further study.”The report recommends that healthcare workers caring for pandemic flu patients use respirators rated at N-95 or higher during activities likely to generate infectious aerosols, such as intubation, nebulizer treatment, bronchoscopy, and resuscitation. In addition, a respirator should be used when providing any kind of direct care for a confirmed or suspected pandemic flu patient who has pneumonia, because such patients may produce unusual amounts of infectious particles when they cough.Further, the guidance says, “Use of N-95 respirators for other direct care activities involving patients with confirmed or suspected pandemic influenza is also prudent. Hospital planners should take this into consideration during planning and preparation in their facilities when ordering supplies.”By comparison, the 2005 HHS pandemic plan advises medical workers, “Wear a [surgical] mask when entering a patient’s room.” Aerosol-generating procedures are the only activities in which N-95 respiratory protection is clearly recommended, according to the HHS plan. However, it says the precaution “may be considered” when dealing with highly transmissible flu strains, during the early stages of an outbreak of a new strain, and in other special circumstances.The new guidance also warns hospital officials to anticipate shortages of respirators. Because such shortages are likely in a sustained pandemic, planners should take care to save enough respirators for use during high-risk procedures, without depriving workers who need them for other activities, it says. It also says managers should take steps to minimize the number of personnel exposed to pandemic flu patients, such as establishing specific wards for such patients.”If supplies of N-95 (or higher) respirators are not available, surgical masks can provide benefits against large droplet exposure, and should be worn for all health care activities for patients with confirmed or suspected pandemic influenza,” the guidance states.The new recommendations represent “an important step forward,” according to infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes the CIDRAP Web site. “The CDC is acknowledging that we have a lot of questions that aren’t answered and that aerosol transmission may play a role” in the spread of flu.”This is another example of where the dogma that has existed for years about transmission is being challenged,” he added.Osterholm said the new advice implies that respiratory protection may be important for more than just healthcare workers. “If it is prudent for healthcare workers to be wearing N-95s, then you have to also consider that [step] as the baseline for protection for anyone who might come into contact with influenza,” he said.”But having said that, we all know that there’ll be an inadequate number of respirators for use even by healthcare workers,” he said. Still, the prospect of shortages shouldn’t be a reason for avoiding frank discussion of the evidence about how flu viruses spread, he added.See also:HHS’s “Interim Guidance on Planning for the Use of Surgical Masks and Respirators in Health Care Settings during an Influenza Pandemic”Sep 29 CIDRAP News article “Airborne flu viruses threaten health workers, expert says”last_img read more

Six countries to get grants for flu vaccine production

first_imgApr 24, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an effort to improve developing countries’ access to potential pandemic influenza vaccines, the WHO (World Health Organization) said today it is awarding grants to six countries to help them develop the capacity to make flu vaccine.The grants of up to $2.5 million each will go to three countries hit hard by H5N1 avian flu—Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand—plus Brazil, Mexico, and India, the WHO said. The money will come from $10 million supplied by the United States and $8 million from Japan.The announcement comes on the eve of a WHO-sponsored conference on ways to provide developing countries with access to pandemic vaccines. The issue came to the fore in February, when Indonesia revealed it had stopped sending H5N1 virus samples to the WHO, in order to protest use of the samples by drug companies to make vaccines priced beyond the country’s reach.In late March, following a meeting with the WHO, Indonesia promised to resume sending the samples in return for a WHO pledge to develop new guidelines for sample sharing and an interim promise not to share samples with drug companies without the source country’s approval. However, the WHO has not yet reported receiving any samples.In announcing the grants today, Dr. David Heymann, the WHO’s assistant director-general for communicable diseases, said, “It is imperative that the global community works collectively to ensure more equitable access to a vaccine and other health measures in the event of an influenza pandemic. We all have a responsibility to protect global health security.”With flu vaccine production facilities, countries will be equipped to protect their people from seasonal flu, said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, director of the WHO Initiative for Vaccine Research. And if a pandemic emerges, the facilities can be converted to make a vaccine based on the pandemic strain, she said.It will take at least 3 to 5 years for the six countries to start producing vaccine, the WHO said. Until then, they will need help to ensure they can obtain vaccines.The meeting scheduled tomorrow will include officials from countries with human H5N1 cases, donor countries, and vaccine manufacturers in developed and developing countries.The WHO had announced Mar 22 that six projects to establish flu vaccine production facilities in developing countries were in the final approval stage, but the countries were not named at that point.See also:Mar 27 CIDRAP News story “WHO, Indonesia reach accord on virus sharing”last_img read more

HHS updates pandemic stockpile totals and planning efforts

first_img The HHS is also building stockpiles of personal protective equipment, the HHS report said. The department has purchased 104 million N-95 respirators and 52 million surgical masks and has allocated $100 million to buy ventilators, syringes, and intravenous antibiotics for the national stockpile. Jul 19, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – In an update on the nation’s pandemic preparedness efforts, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) yesterday said it had stockpiled enough H5N1 avian influenza vaccine to protect about 6 million people and that federal and state supplies contain enough antiviral medication to treat more than 48 million. On other fronts, the HHS has: Distributed 19 checklists and guidances for governments, businesses, educational institutions, and individuals and families on the federal pandemic flu Web site, www.flu.gov. See also: Additional accomplishmentsBy December 2006, 59 states, territories, and tribes had held pandemic planning conferences, supported by $325 million from the HHS. The department said it has provided another $250 million for groups to hold pandemic preparedness exercises. Leavitt said in January the HHS awarded $103 to develop peramivir, an injectable or intravenously administered neuraminidase inhibitor that has shown promising results against a range of influenza strains. “Further studies will test whether this drug can treat seasonal and other life-threatening influenza viruses such as H5N1,” he said. Vaccine developmentsHHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in the report that the department has stockpiled 12 million doses of the H5N1 vaccine that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April as the first human avian flu vaccine. The two-dose schedule for the vaccine, which is based on a clade 1 virus isolated from a Vietnamese patient in 2004, would allow vaccination of 6 million people. The report reviewed other federal efforts to boost supply and develop other H5N1 vaccines. In December the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) launched human trials of a DNA vaccine that contains no infectious material but only portions of the influenza virus’s genetic material. In January the HHS awarded $132.5 million contract to three vaccine companies to develop adjuvants to stretch the supply of existing vaccine supplies and possibly protect against a wider range of influenza viruses. Antivirals and other suppliesFor antivirals, the HHS has said its goal is to stockpile enough to treat 81 million people: 50 million from the HHS and 31 from state supplies. Leavitt said the HHS has 36 million treatment courses on hand. He said nearly all states have enrolled in a federally subsidized program to purchase their own antiviral supplies, and purchases so far total 12 million treatment courses. “As a follow-up, the HHS asked the National Governors Association to hold 10 regional pandemic influenza workshops this year to test intergovernmental and interstate cooperation,” Leavitt said in the report. Launched a series of public service announcements in English and Spanish to raise awareness about pandemic influenza and preparedness Released an advisory report on community mitigation strategies, which includes a pandemic severity index to guide the implementation of specific measures HHS “Pandemic Planning Update IV”http://www.flu.gov/professional/panflureport4.html Hosted a leadership summit and blog series for community leaders to discuss how to promote personal pandemic preparedness Jul 17 CIDRAP News story “White House issues 1-year status report on pandemic planning” Last May the HHS awarded five contracts totaling $1 billion to develop cell-based technologies for making flu vaccines, which would speed production compared with traditional egg-based methods. Issued interim guidance on facemask and respirator use The 14-page HHS status report, its fourth official update, was released a day after the White House issued a report on US pandemic preparedness. While the HHS report focuses mainly on progress made on US soil, the White House addressed a broad range of pandemic planning activities, including detailed reports of US support of several overseas efforts. Over the next 5 years the HHS investments in vaccine capacity will produce enough to cover every US resident within 6 months of the appearance of a pandemic virus, Leavitt said. “More funding will follow in the near future to help build US factories that will produce cell-based influenza vaccine,” he said in the update. “If H5N1 or a similar pandemic virus reached the United States, this vaccine could help protect those who would be at the highest risk of exposure to the virus in the early critical months of a pandemic,” Leavitt said in the report.last_img read more

Indonesia reports H5N1 case in 3-year-old

first_imgOct 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A 3-year-old Indonesian boy hospitalized in Jakarta has H5N1 avian influenza, the country’s health ministry announced yesterday.Nyoman Kandun, director of disease control for Indonesia’s health ministry, said two laboratory tests confirmed that the boy has the H5N1 virus, according to a report from Xinhua, China’s state news agency. A Reuters report yesterday said the boy’s symptoms were minor.If the boy’s illness is confirmed by the World Health Organization (WHO), it will be recorded as Indonesia’s 111th case.The boy is from Tangerang, just west of Jakarta, and lives in the same neighborhood as a 5-year-old girl who died of an H5N1 infection on Oct 22, Reuters reported. Kandun told Xinhua there were no family links between the two children. Another recent case-patient in Indonesia, a 12-year-old boy who died Oct 13, also was from Tangerang.Chicken deaths were reported near the homes of the 3-year-old and the 5-year-old, the Reuters report said. Kandun said the boy had a history of contact with dead birds at his home, according to Xinhua.Suharda Ningrum, a spokesperson from the health ministry’s avian flu center, told Xinhua that the boy got sick on Oct 22 and was hospitalized 5 days later.Indonesia has the most H5N1 cases and deaths of any country—111 and 89, respectively. The WHO’s global H5N1 count for now (excluding the 3-year-old) stands at 332 cases and 204 deaths.See also:Oct 25 WHO statement about case in 5-year-old Indonesian girlhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_10_25/en/index.htmllast_img read more