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WASHINGTON — Unless Republicans coalesce this week around a short-term spending deal, the federal government will shut down — a scenario that will likely have widespread and long-lasting consequences for public health.

The Food and Drug Administration would likely have to forego updating mislabeled medications or conducting routine food safety inspections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would furlough key staff amid one of the most severe flu seasons in recent memory. And the National Institutes of Health might have to stop enrolling hundreds of patients in clinical trials. All of the federal government’s health agencies, moreover, would be hamstrung in their efforts to help address and coordinate a response to the ongoing opioid epidemic.


That’s according to federal staffers who’ve lived through this before, and documents outlining each agency’s contingency plan for previous fiscal years.

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  • Is this the same MARGARET HAMBURG who is currently facing RICO charges for hiding black box warnings on Levaquin so she and her husband could make hundred$ of million$ in Johnson & Johnson stock, at the cost of thousands of American lives?

    THAT Margaret Hamburg?
    Sorry female, you have ZERO CREDIBILITY.
    If all of us acted like you do there would be nothing CIVIL about civilization.
    Crooked example of a “person”.

  • I always wonder how you can get more biased but you never fail. There are 2 main political parties responsible for governing, in case your bias blinders keep you from noticing. I don’t expect you to say, “Unless the democrats coalesce..” because of your bias but at least you could say, “Unless the republicans and democrats find common ground”. And I know your idea of common ground is the republicans giving in. How about being legitimate reporters for a change?

  • Government has shut down many times in last twenty years. You guys always doom & gloom it. Truth is, in the real world, nobody notices or cares. A few days with empty offices might do wonders to limit the spread of the flu inside the CDC and NIH.

  • Since 60 votes are needed in the Senate to end debate and nearly all Republicans will vote to keep the government running, Democrats are entirely responsible for a government shutdown. Democrats do not want to pay America’s military.

  • In modern political history there have been 18 government shutdowns averaging 7 days each. So if my pharma buds want to start cranking out those tons of misbranded products, false and misleading advertising, and letting the mouse turds pile up in the grain silos, I beseech them to get moving quickly.

    The most salient comment came from the Heritage Foundation: government shut downs are an excellent way to get a handle on how many NON essential folks work for Uncle Sam.

  • Why is it the republicans fault there is a govt. shut down .I thought it was senate democrats who have refused to do anything unless the DACA illegals are allowed to stay.By the way an article in the recent LA Times shared with its readers what in fact
    the DACA cadre have accomplished here no where near all
    the doctors and other professionals including military service.Not exactly what the dems keep telling us, what a surprise.

    • Dear Fred: I know that it may be still be a reflex for many people, after 8 years of a Democratic president, but one can’t blame everything on Democrats anymore. We are more than a year into Trump as president and Republicans are also the majority in congress. It is time for Republicans to own things and make their representatives accountable.

      If you are truly interested, CHIP received bipartisan support in the past. Republicans now have control and they have literally ignored re-approval for months and months despite pleas from anxious parents. Why? Aren’t these parents and children their constituents? More important, why do they suddenly throw CHIP back on the table now, after months of silence? I would respectfully suggest that you research and answer these questions before throwing blame on anyone. And please, if you do the research, ask yourself what good governance looks like. (spoiler alert: it involves meeting the needs of sick children before your party uses it as a bargaining chip to avert a government shutdown).

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