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.