Mr. Paxton appointed a special prosecutor to investigate his friend’s allegations.Not long after the whistle-blower complaint, Mr. Paxton’s office closed the investigation — but by then, many people were asking why it had been opened to begin with.“Why is it, simply because somebody is complaining about the F.B.I., that the attorney general is opening an investigation?” said Kenneth Magidson, who served as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas from 2011 to 2017. “He has used the office of the attorney general to help his friend.”- Advertisement – Mr. Paul, 33, and the real-estate investment firm that he founded, World Class Holdings, were among the largest owners of real estate in Austin, with an empire that included the 3M Company’s former corporate campus. Law enforcement officials have declined to discuss why they raided Mr. Paul’s home and offices last year. Mr. Paul’s lawyer has alleged that investigators broke the law by tampering with government records, among other things, when they obtained a search warrant and conducted the raid.After the search, Mr. Paxton personally approached the Travis County District Attorney’s office to arrange a meeting between Mr. Paul and local prosecutors to discuss his complaints about the raids, according to Margaret Moore, the district attorney, who said Mr. Paxton also attended the meeting. Because one of the agencies Mr. Paul was complaining about was the state’s Department of Public Safety, the prosecutors said the only appropriate agency to review it was the attorney general’s office.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Mr. Paxton told The New York Times in a statement that the latest controversy was created by members of his staff who had opposed his decisions without having all the facts and who made “their disagreement noisy and public” in an attempt to undermine the integrity of the office. “To be clear: I have never been motivated by a desire to protect a political donor or to abuse this office, nor will I ever,” he said.Mr. Paxton has said that his involvement in the case began after Travis County prosecutors referred Mr. Paul’s accusations to him in June.“When the Travis County District Attorney referred the F.B.I.’s search and seizure of a private citizen’s residence and property to my office for further investigation, I was deeply concerned by many of the things that I saw,” he said. “Given the facts and the district attorney’s office’s belief that further investigation was warranted, I believed that an independent investigation, through the hiring of outside counsel, was the proper course of action.”- Advertisement –
– Advertisement – An homage to the past and a nod to the future, the Nike Air Jordan XI Adapt Jumpman shoes use power-lacing technology. Boasting a self-lacing design, these Air Jordans are still similar to the original shoe shape from 25 years ago. They may look like a retro athletic shoe, but the Nike Air Jordan XI Adapt kicks are pretty futuristic. In fact, this footwear pairs with the Nike Adapt app, so you can personalize them to the max and control your shoes with real-time customization. The app’s interface will instantly remind you of the Jordan brand, and it lets you customize the buttons on the shoe’s midsole. Moreover, you can even personalize their color scheme and the light flashing pattern. Of course, these super comfortable shoes have a great fit, too, so you’ll never want to take them off.
– Advertisement – Scherzinger and Evans signaled that they were ready to take the next step in their relationship in November 2020 when they were spotted house-hunting in Los Angeles just days before celebrating their one-year anniversary.“He’s my man, the man in my life, the man of my dreams,” she told Extra the following week.The Masked Singer judge previously dated race car driver Lewis Hamilton on and off from 2007 to 2015 and professional tennis player Grigor Dimitrov from 2016 to 2019. The Zimbabwe native, for his part, was in a relationship with model and actress Kelly Brook from 2010 to 2013.Scroll down for a timeline of Scherzinger and Evans’ romance! As the pair’s romance continued to heat up, they started sharing photos together via Instagram, keeping fans in the loop on their daily activities in quarantine amid the COVID-19 pandemic.“Nicole and Thom got very serious very quickly,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly in August 2020. “They are infatuated with each other and complement one another well. They’re super cute and have a blast together. Nicole feels very lucky to have found Thom.”- Advertisement – Scherzinger and Evans began to flirt as the season went on, and she memorably went wild after he stripped off his shirt and was drenched with rain during a performance of X Ambassadors’ “Boom.”After the finale of The X Factor: Celebrity aired in November 2019, the “Don’t Cha” singer and the model were spotted hanging out and kissing at a bar in London. They made their red carpet debut in January 2020 at the 21st annual InStyle and Warner Bros. Pictures Golden Globe Awards afterparty.“I’m very happy,” Scherzinger gushed to Extra days later. “I couldn’t be happier right now, and I’m really grateful.”- Advertisement – Sparks flew between Nicole Scherzinger and Thom Evans the moment they first laid eyes on each other in late 2019.The couple met on the set of The X Factor: Celebrity, which the Pussycat Dolls frontwoman judged alongside Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh. The former rugby player competed on the star-studded spinoff of the U.K. singing competition with fellow athletes Ben Foden and Levi Davis. Their boy band, Try Star, ultimately finished in fifth place.- Advertisement –
Praying for him. Chance the Rapper, 50 Cent and more stars showed support for Jeremih amid a report that he is hospitalized with coronavirus.“Pray for my boy @jeremih he’s not doing good this covid s–t is real,” 50 Cent, 45, wrote via Instagram on Saturday, November 14. “He’s in ICU in Chicago.”Jeremih John Salangsang/Invision/AP/Shutterstock- Advertisement – Toni Braxton tweeted that she was “keeping Jeremih in my prayers,” while Big Sean remarked via the social media platform, “Prayers up, praying for your strength @Jeremih.” Trey Songz chimed in, “@Jeremih We love you and we praying for you!”Big Brother alum Amber Borzotra was also among those who sent words of hope. “All my love, light, and prayers are with my sweet brother @Jeremih right now,” she tweeted. “Everyone keep the prayers coming and please respect the families [sic] privacy at this time. My heart hurts…I LOVE YOU so much, J and just know I’m by your side every step of the way! #Pray #Family.”Jeremih (real name Jeremy Felton) had a string of hits — including “Birthday Sex,” “Down on Me” and “Don’t Tell ‘Em” — after signing a record deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2009. He has released four albums under the label. His 2018 collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, MihTy, marks his most recent release.- Advertisement – Given the constantly evolving nature of COVID-19, Us Weekly wants our readers to have access to the most accurate resources. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information, guidance and support, consult the CDC, WHO and information from local public health officials. If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms, call your primary care provider for medical advice.Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! – Advertisement – Chance the Rapper, 27, made a similar request on Twitter. “Please if you can take a second to pray for my friend Jeremih, he is like a brother to me and he’s ill right now,” he explained. “I believe in the healing power of Jesus so if you can for me please please say a prayer over him.”TMZ reported on Saturday that Jeremih, 33, was in the ICU in his hometown of Chicago fighting COVID-19. The outlet claimed the singer was also on a ventilator.Well-wishes continued to pour in amid the news. “I need everyone to pray for my brother @jeremih,” producer Hitmaka wrote. “This message is posted with his mothers [sic] blessings.”- Advertisement –
May 10, 2005 (CIDRAP News) Angola has had 2 days in the past week with no new cases of Marburg hemorrhagic fever, suggesting that the country is getting closer to controlling the epidemic, Agence-France Presse (AFP) reported today. Angolan Health Minister Sebastiao Veloso put the Marburg death toll at 284, the report said. That compares with 280 deaths out of a total of 313 cases reported by AFP a week ago. Today’s story didn’t list the case total. Veloso said the epidemic would be declared under control after the passage of 21 daysconsidered the disease’s incubation periodwith no new cases. But the World Health Organization (WHO) does not deem an epidemic contained until double the incubation period has passed, the story said. “Everything indicates we are on the road towards controlling the epidemic. We are no longer in the same situation which we were in just three weeks ago,” Veloso was quoted as saying. He made the comments on Lisbon-based Radio Renascenca. In a May 6 statement, the WHO suggested that the surging case count reported at the beginning of this month was misleading. The agency said, “The large increase in the number of reported cases for Uige is the result of retrospective investigation and entry into the database of cases that occurred previously. However, new confirmed cases and deaths continue to be reported in Uige.” The statement said Angolan health officials, WHO, and Medicins Sans Frontieres had agreed on procedures and responsibilities for infection control at Uige’s provincial hospital. Teams were focusing particularly on screening and admission procedures to keep possible Marburg patients from being treated on open wards. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chart of Marburg outbreakshttp://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/spb/mnpages/dispages/marburg/marburgtable.htm Angola’s Marburg outbreak is the largest on record, exceeding one that plagued the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1998 to 2000. The deadly virus spreads through contact with bodily fluids. An AFP report on May 3 had cited more than 30 new cases in the preceding few days. That report came just 4 days after the WHO had warned that infection control lapses in the main hospital in Uige province, the epicenter of the outbreak, could prolong the epidemic. May 6 WHO statementhttp://www.who.int/csr/don/2005_05_06/en/index.html See also:
Nov 28, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – More than a third of the human cases of H5N1 avian influenza that occurred over a 19-month period were clustered within families, suggesting the possibility that some family members caught the virus from others, according to a recent report.Forty-one of 109 cases (38%) identified between January 2004 and July 2005 occurred in 15 families, with between two and five cases per family, according to the report by Sonja J. Olsen and colleagues, published as a letter in the November issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Olsen works in Thailand for the International Emerging Infections Program of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Most human cases of avian flu are believed to have stemmed from exposure to sick poultry. The virus has not yet shown an ability to spread easily between people, which is seen as the key missing prerequisite for an H5N1 pandemic.Researchers previously identified one cluster, involving a young Thai girl and her mother and aunt in September 2004, as a probable result of person-to-person transmission. Too little information is available to conclude whether the virus spread from person to person in any of the other families, the new report says.Family clusters don’t necessarily mean the virus is spreading from person to person, the report notes. They may simply mean that relatives were exposed to H5N1-infected poultry at the same time.However, in three family clusters, all in Vietnam, the first and second patients fell ill more than a week apart, which suggests that they probably didn’t acquire the virus from the same source at the same time, the report says.The authors also found that family clusters were slightly more common in the period from December 2004 through July 2005 than they were in the preceding year: 9 clusters in 243 days, or 3.7 per 100 days, versus 6 clusters in 365 days, or 1.6 per 100 days (relative risk, 2.3; 95% confidence interval, 0.8 to 6.3). The difference was similar when the researchers compared the period from December 2004 through July 2005 with the same 8-month period a year earlier.Although this increase was not significant, the authors write, “We believe any cluster of cases is of great concern and should be promptly and thoroughly investigated because it might be the first indication of viral mutations resulting in more efficient person-to-person transmission.”The researchers defined a family cluster as two or more family members with laboratory-confirmed H5N1 avian flu or two or more family members with severe pneumonia or respiratory death, when at least one member had confirmed H5N1.Of the 41 patients in the 15 family clusters, 25 (61%) died, the report says. Another four patients recovered, while three were never sick even though they tested positive for the virus. The outcomes for the other nine patients were unknown.The article says that family clusters are still occurring, but they “do not appear to be increasing as a proportion of total cases.”In line with previous reports, the authors also note a decline in the overall death rate for human cases: 32 of 44 cases (73%) from December 2003 through November 2004, versus 23 of 65 cases (35%) from December 2004 through July 2005.Olsen SJ, Ungchusak K, Sovann L, et al. Family clustering of avian influenza A (H5N1). Emerg Infect Dis 2005;11(11):1799-1801 [Full text]See also:Jan 24, 2005, CIDRAP News article, “Human transmission likely in 2004 Thai avian flu cases”
Apr 3, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – Indonesia’s national avian influenza commission has recommended that the health ministry conduct an autopsy on each person who dies of H5N1 avian flu to learn more about how the disease affects the body, the Jakarta Post reported today.Though experts say multiple organ failure plays a role in avian flu deaths, there are no data on humans, Bayu Krisnamurthi, chairman of the National Commission for Avian Influenza and Pandemic Preparedness, told the Post.Postmortem examination has confirmed the role of multiple organ failure in chickens, and autopsies are needed to determine if the disease also spreads beyond the lungs in humans, Krisnamurthi said. However, he added that autopsies require careful consideration because the practice carries religious, social, and legal ramifications. Religious strictures are the main reason families refuse to allow autopsies, Krisnamurthi said.The commission has authority only to make recommendations to the health ministry, the newspaper reported. “We hope the ministry takes this call seriously,” he said.In another development, Indonesia’s trade minister said today the country was considering teaming up with Egypt to produce a human H5N1 flu vaccine, according to a Reuters report.”Indonesia and Egypt have bird flu cases. But Egypt has more advanced pharmaceutical experience and has produced a variety of vaccines,” Mari Pangestu told Reuters after a meeting with Egypt’s trade delegation. “Thus, the possibility for cooperation is wide open.”In February Indonesia, amid a standoff with the World Health Organization (WHO) over sharing its H5N1 virus samples, signed a memorandum of understanding with US vaccine producer Baxter International about possible future collaboration or supply agreements.However, on Mar 27 Indonesia agreed to resume sharing its H5N1 virus samples with the WHO, under conditions designed to give the country control over which vaccine manufacturers get access to seed viruses made from the samples.Also today, officials in Egypt told the WHO they had ruled out the possibility of human-to-human transmission in the case of a brother and sister who were recently found to have avian flu, Reuters reported. The boy, age 4, and his sister, 6, are from Qena governorate, about 416 miles south of Cairo, according to WHO reports.Both children had been exposed to poultry that was infected with the H5N1 virus, the Reuters report said.”We have heard from the Ministry of Health that human-to-human transmission has been ruled out,” WHO spokesman Greg Hartl told Reuters.The brother and sister are among five Egyptian children in whom H5N1 infections were recently confirmed. All are hospitalized in stable condition, Reuters reported.
Jan 22, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – An animal health official in India said today that outbreaks of H5N1 avian influenza in the country’s West Bengal state have spread to seven districts, as authorities in Turkey announced that the virus struck a village in a Black Sea coastal province.Shantanu Bandopadhyay, India’s animal husbandry commissioner, said the affected sites among West Bengal’s 19 districts include Birbhum, South Dinajpur, Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan, Malda, and Bankura, the Times of India reported today.More than 100,000 bird deaths have been reported in WestBengal, and government officials plan on culling 2 million chickens and ducks, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report today. Anisur Rahaman, the state’s animal resources minister, told AFP that he hoped the culling would be completed in 3 or 4 days. “Otherwise the state will face a disaster,”he said.However, some residents have resisted culling efforts, and others are smuggling birds out of the district to avoid handing over their birds, according to previous media reports.Bandopadhyay told the Times that compensation to poultry owners has improved. He said West Bengalofficials are providing on-the-spot compensation.The current outbreak, which was first reported on Jan 15 in Margram in West Bengal’s Birbhum district, is India’s largest H5N1 outbreak. No human H5N1 infections have been reported in the country.Dr Shiv Lal, director of India’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), said samples and throat swabs from five Murshidabad residents who had suspected H5N1 symptoms were negative, accordingto another Times report. “Earlier on Sunday three other human samples sent to NICS from South Dinajpur tested negative,” Lal said.India’s health ministry has asked West Bengal to randomly sample people for the H5N1 virus and today shipped fresh stocks of oseltamivir (Tamiflu) tablets and syrup along with 2,500 masks and other protective gear, according to the Times report.Elsewhere, animal health officials in Turkey today reported an H5N1 outbreak in backyard poultry at a village on the Black Sea coast in the country’s northwestern Zonguldakprovince, according to a report from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).The H5N1 outbreak began on Jan 12 and has hit 13 of the village’s 300 birds, the OIE report said. Culling of the remaining birds started today.Contact with wild birds is listed on the OIE report as the source of the outbreak. Turkey is the second country bordering the Black Sea to report an H5N1 outbreak over the past week. On Jan 18 emergency officials in the Ukraine reported an outbreak at a large poultry farm on the Crimean peninsula.Officials from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in October that the virus could be lurking in Europe and that it was especially worried about countries surrounding the Black Sea. The FAO said the Black Sea countries are a winter home to migratory birds from Siberia and that many of the countries have poor separation between wild and domestic birds.The latest outbreak is Turkey’s first since April 2007, according to the OIE report.In other developments, the H5N1 virus struck another district in Bangladesh, United News of Bangladesh, a private news agency, reported yesterday, according to a Xinhua news report. The affected poultry farm is in Natore district, about 102 miles northwest of the capital, Dhaka.About 4,965 chickens were culled and 3,750 eggs were destroyed to curb the spread of the disease, Xinhua reported. Bangladesh reported its first H5N1 in March 2007, and since then several outbreaks have occurred, mainly around Dhaka and in the north, according to previous reports.See also:OIE reports on Turkish outbreak
Nov 19, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Earlier this year the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) broadened its flu vaccine recommendation to include all school-age children, prompting some health officials to eye school-based immunization programs as an efficient way to improve vaccination rates in young people.Federal health officials have said children bear a significant burden of seasonal flu and that reducing flu transmission among children may limit virus spread among household contacts and in the community. Also, they point out that vaccinating school-age children could reduce the need for medical care and curb school absenteeism.The new recommendation, which includes children from ages 5 through 18 years, adds 30 million children to the CDC’s target group, poses a big challenge for the healthcare system because the vaccine season is limited and many young people don’t regularly visit doctor’s offices, where many people typically get their yearly flu shots. Some experts question whether school-based flu vaccination programs lower healthcare costs. Though research findings on the costs and benefits have been mixed, a multistate trial earlier this year that factored in household protection benefits suggested that such programs were cost-effective.A snapshot of school-based effortsOver the past few years, a variety of schools and districts have hosted immunization programs—some as pilot projects and some working toward more permanent programs.Last year Hawaii became the first state in the nation to offer free flu vaccines to its children in elementary and middle schools, vaccinating 60,000 students and 9,000 faculty and staff at 340 public and private schools, according to an Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press release. That state’s “Stop Flu at School” program includes a long list of partners, including state agencies, professional groups, university departments, healthcare organizations, and vaccine companies.In early November, the East Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Parish school district launched its first influenza vaccine program, a state pilot program that hopes to vaccinate close to 40% of the student population, according to a Nov 6 statement from the district. Vaccines will be administered by a contractor that provides medical care at the schools as well as volunteers from Southeastern Louisiana University’s school of nursing. The cost of immunizations for qualifying students is covered through the CDC’s Vaccines for Children (VFC) program, with the remainder covered by a donation from a local hospital foundation.In Aurora, Colo., hospitals in the Anschutz Medical Campus’ Adopt-a-School program recently offered free flu shots to students and staff at two local elementary schools, according to a Nov 13 report from the Aurora Sentinel.One district’s experienceIn 2005, MedImmune, maker of FluMist, approached more than a dozen US sites to test the feasibility of school-based immunizations, said John Lott, director of nursing at the Knox County (Tennessee) Department of Health, who supervises the area’s school immunization programs. Local schools are keenly aware of how severely flu can impact schools, he said. In 2004, the area experienced school closures due to the illness.In 2005 Knox County’s pilot program included 81 public schools with a goal of immunizing 54,000 children over a 4-week period. “We were their (MedImmune’s) largest project, and our vaccination rate was 46%,” he said, adding that the company challenged the county to exceed that number in 2006.Last year, the county continued the school-based immunizations on its own by cobbling together some vaccine from the VFC program, funding for staffing and vaccine purchase from the county, and assistance from school nurses. However, the vaccination rates were difficult to sustain because of the extra burden on schools and their nurses. “It’s a challenge trying to find a sustainable model,” he said.Despite the difficulties, Lott says he has seen other benefits for schools beyond just improved vaccination rates. Over the past 4 years, Knox County hasn’t had to close any of its schools, even though surrounding areas have. Financial support for schools is often based on daily attendance, he said, so healthy students can have bottom-line benefits for their schools, he said.Lott said he and his colleagues have learned useful lessons from their experiences with school-based immunization. For example, he said it’s easier to exceed 60% vaccination rates in K-5 elementary schools because the paperwork channels for items such as vaccine consent forms are more reliable with this age-group. Rates drop to about 45% in middle schools, then fall off to about 25% to 30% in high schools. With limited resources for school-based vaccination drives, healthcare officials have to make tough decisions about what age-groups to target.Realistic expectations for schoolsDiane Peterson, an editor for the National Influenza Vaccine Summit’s Web site and associate director for immunization projects at the Immunization Action Coalition, based in St Paul, said it’s a tall order to expect schools to help host immunization clinics during school hours. “From my experience, schools are just stretched beyond compare with staffing and tight budgets,” she said.Schools are also feeling pressured to pass No Child Left Behind testing requirements, so many of them aren’t too eager to take time away from learning activities, Peterson said.Strategizing how to meet the CDC’s flu vaccine recommendation for school-age kids is difficult, she said. “The best way would be to make it part of a mandate, but schools are up to their ears with mandates.”One option might be to have schools serve more simply as convenient sites for flu shot clinics, Peterson said, adding that school nurses have suggested that public health officials hold after-school immunization clinics at schools. “Then it would be a family program that could vaccinate parents, too. Schools like that,” she said. “We have to think of different models for getting this done.”Peterson said she was part of a National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) group that recently met to discuss options relating to school-based immunization programs. She said NACCHO hopes to develop some model programs to help local groups navigate the issues and implement immunization programs for school-age children.See also:Mar 5 CIDRAP News story “Flu immunizations for children will pose big challenge”Jan 31 CIDRAP News story “Study: school-based immunizations save money”Aug 6 Hawaii Department of Health press release
Obama also announced the creation of a new Food Safety Working Group to advise him on ways to improve food safety laws and to promote cooperation among the multiple government agencies that oversee food safety. The group will be led by the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the secretary of the Department of Agriculture (USDA). In his weekly radio address Mar 14, the president said the nation is battling nearly 350 foodborne disease outbreaks a year, compared with 100 a year in the early 1990s. He blamed outdated laws, the diffusion of regulatory responsibilities across many government agencies, and underfunding that leaves the FDA unable to inspect more than 5% of food processing plants and warehouses each year. Weicker said Obama’s choice sends “a strong signal that the public’s health and safety will be the top priorities of the nation’s largest regulatory agency.” He called Hamburg “a proven manager, having turned around an ailing and under-resourced health department in New York City, where she restored both morale among workers and the agency’s credibility among its citizens.” “Her appointment signals a commitment to protecting consumer health, and we are confident that under her leadership there will be a concerted effort to support scientific independence and ensure that politics will not influence agency decisions,” he added. “That is a hazard to public health,” Obama said. “It is unacceptable. And it will change under the leadership of Margaret Hamburg, whom I am appointing today as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.” The president also noted the USDA’s implementation on Mar 14 of a complete ban on the use of disabled cattle for food. The new rule, which closes a loophole that allowed some downer cattle to be slaughtered for food, was proposed last August. In announcing the Food Safety Working Group, Obama gave few details. He said it would “bring together cabinet secretaries and senior officials to advise me on how we can upgrade our food safety laws for the 21st century; foster coordination throughout government; and ensure that we are not just designing laws that will keep the American people safe, but enforcing them. And I expect this group to report back to me as soon as possible.” Confirming reports that leaked out several days ago, Obama on Mar 14 announced the appointment of Hamburg, a biodefense expert and former New York City health commissioner, as FDA commissioner. The announcement has drawn praise from an array of consumer and public health advocacy groups. Mar 14 White House press release and transcript Hamburg’s appointment was also praised by Lowell Weicker Jr., former Connecticut senator and a board member at the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public health advocacy group. Hamburg also has served on the group’s board for the past 5-1/2 years. Mar 14 statement by Weicker of TFAHhttp://healthyamericans.org/newsroom/releases/?releaseid=162 The nutrition watchdog group Center for Science in the Public (CSPI) Interest praised both Hamburg and Sharfstein. “While most past commissioners have focused primarily on the drug side of FDA, Drs. Hamburg and Sharfstein are both well aware the FDA also regulates foods. They will have additional resources and, I hope, new statutory authorities to improve on,” CSPI Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson said in a statement. Mar 14 APHA statement “Dr. Hamburg is well-respected, smart, tough and effective and knows the full spectrum of issues related to public health,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, executive director of the American Public Health Association, in a statement. Obama also announced the appointment of Dr. Joshua Sharfstein as principal deputy commissioner at the FDA. “As Baltimore’s health commissioner, Dr. Sharfstein has been recognized as a national leader for his efforts to protect children from unsafe over-the-counter cough and cold medications,” Obama said. “And he’s designed an award-winning program to ensure that Americans with disabilities had access to prescription drugs.” During her service in New York, Hamburg sent health workers to tuberculosis patients’ homes to help manage their drug regimens, which reduced TB rates there by 45% from 1992 to 1997, according to a biography on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Web site. The approach became a model for health departments around the world. “We are also strengthening our food safety system and modernizing our labs with a billion dollar investment, a portion of which will go toward significantly increasing the number of food inspectors, helping ensure that the FDA has the staff and support they need to protect the food we eat,” Obama said. Mar 16, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – President Barack Obama has promised that his new commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Dr. Margaret Hamburg, and a new cabinet-level panel will revitalize the federal government’s food safety efforts in the wake of a troubling string of foodborne disease outbreaks. See also: Several public health and consumer groups welcomed the choice of Hamburg to lead the FDA, whose reputation has been tarnished by the nationwide Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut products, among other recent problems. Hamburg and Sharfstein also were hailed by Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, and the Consumer Federation of America, an association of 300 consumer groups. “Their resumes are extremely impressive and both are familiar with the FDA’s failure to protect the public from foodborne illness,” the federation said. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the FDA Appropriations Subcommittee in the House, called Hamburg “the right choice at this critical time in food safety.” Hamburg also instituted needle-exchange programs to combat HIV infection and set up the nation’s first public-health bioterrorism defense program during her work in New York, according to the NIH. Hamburg comes to the FDA from the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an institute focusing on defenses against nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, where she has been vice president of biological programs since 2001. She previously served as assistant secretary for policy and evaluation in President Bill Clinton’s HHS, which followed her stint as New York City health commissioner from 1991 to 1997. Mar 14 CSPI statementhttp://www.cspinet.org/new/200903141.html Mar 11 Consumer Union statementhttp://www.consumersunion.org/news/obama-picks-hamburg-sharfstein-for-fda/