Beyond Baltimore: Feb. 2, 2016


Over the next two years, the White House will ask Congress for close to $1 billion to fight cancer, the No. 2 killer in the United States. The “moonshot” plan was announced during last month’s State of the Union address. Obama will request $755 million for fiscal year 2017 and will attempt to spend $195 million during fiscal year 2016.Vice President Joe Biden, who is in charge of the program, said in a blog post, “Ultimately, as the federal government, our job is to break down silos and bring people together who are doing the most cutting-edge work.” The funding will focus mainly on the National Institute of Health’s efforts toward early detection and cancer treatment. Other areas of focus will include cancer vaccine development and pediatric cancer. The budget will also cover more funding for the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.


On Monday, the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention announced that the E. coli outbreak at Chipotle Mexican Grill has ended. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Safety Inspection Service investigated two outbreaks of the bacteria. The first outbreak infected at least 55 different people residing in 11 different states, and twenty-one of those infected were hospitalized. The second outbreak was smaller, infecting five people residing in three states, and only one person infected was hospitalized. There were no deaths in either outbreak. In a statement, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said, “Over the past few months we have taken significant steps to improve the safety of all the food we serve, and we are confident that the changes we have made mean that every item on our menu is delicious and safe.”


On Monday, the World Health Organization official declared that the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika Virus in the Americas is an “international emergency.” The virus’s 2015 arrival in Brazil caused a spike in birth defects such as microcephaly, causing babies to be born with abnormally small heads. The virus has spread northward throughout the year, and experts predict as many as 4 million cases within the Americas in 2016. WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan acknowledged Thursday that “the level of alarm is extremely high.” The last public health emergency was declared for the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which killed 11,000 people.

Stories compiled by Sarah Rowan. Stories from The Daily Beast.    

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