The U.S. Government’s Centres For Disease Control had to furlough 68% of its staff due to the government shutdown.
These staff include those who monitor global and national outbreaks of disease and conduct research.
CDC director Thomas R Frieden talked to Wired Science Superbug blogger Maryn McKenna about the impact the shutdown has had. Here are just a few of the unbelievable things he said:
- “We’re used to juggling things at CDC, but this is like juggling chain saws.”
- “…our monitoring systems throughout the agency are working at really skeletal levels and that means we have more blind spots, we may be slower to respond, and we may be less effective at prevention.”
- “If I had to use one phrase to describe what’s happening: This is a self-inflicted wound.”
- “I did a back-of-the-envelope calculation. For every day of government shutdown, about one million e-mails at CDC go unread — millions of pieces of information. ”
- “All of us have a mass of emotions about the shutdown: frustration; anxiety, about what are we missing; guilt, about why are we not doing the things we have committed to. And there’s anger, that we aren’t being allowed to serve the people we want to serve.”
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