The United States government is buying enough of a new smallpox medicine to treat two million people in the event of a bioterrorism attack, and took delivery of the first shipment of it last week. But the purchase has set off a debate about the lucrative contract, with some experts saying the government is buying too much of the drug at too high a price.
A small company, Siga Technologies, developed the drug in recent years. Whether the $463 million order is a boondoggle or a bargain depends on which expert is talking. The deal will transform the finances of Siga, which is controlled by Ronald O. Perelman, a billionaire financier, philanthropist and takeover specialist.
Smallpox was eradicated by 1980, and the only known remaining virus is in government laboratories in the United States and Russia. But there have long been rumors of renegade stocks that could be sprayed in airports or sports stadiums. Experts say the virus could also be re-engineered into existence in a sophisticated genetics lab.
Several organizations including Occupy Sandy, an offshoot of Occupy Wall Street, and another volunteer group called the Yellow Team also used the location. Mounds of donated supplies quickly took up the entire sidewalk for half a block in front of LaRocca’s Family Restaurant.
According to Farid Kader, 29, a Staten Island resident and a volunteer, the official said that he worked for the mayor’s office.
“He told us, ‘we’re moving you out,’ ” Mr. Kader said. “He told us it was unsafe. That’s the word he used.”
After that, Mr. Kader said, the official ordered a Red Cross truck that was delivering supplies to the area to leave.
The City Hall press office did not immediately respond to a message from a reporter on Saturday.
More information is coming out now about the frequency of disasters worldwide. According to one insurance think tank over the past 3 decades natural weather disasters have quintupled. If you ever wondered why your insurance premiums have increased this factoid could be the key.
Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and derechos as a group are on the upswing and they are getting more expensive as property values in the more desirable waterfront areas becomes more expensive. As we throw good money after bad in rebuilding in places in coastal areas that are prone to flooding I am hoping someone will begin to reassess that waste.
We have to become a bit smarter about the places where we want to build our neighborhoods when it comes to wildfires, hurricanes and flooding. Does it make sense to rebuild in areas that can just disappear in the blink of an eye? At what cost both financially and in human lives does this equation become sensible?
Tornadoes can hit just about anywhere and there are things one can do to decrease loss of life so the positioning of towns etc is not as much of a concern as taking proper precautions in the event one strikes near you.
Whatever the cause of these disasters, for the common man, the reality is that they happen and you can’t ever tell where or when they will occur-only that they will happen. Thus, ultimately it is up to the individual to make these choices and then live with them even in the face of extreme hardship. The question becomes should a bad decision by one or many be borne by those who make better choices?
The world is becoming a different place and we must adjust our living habits and desires to increase our chances of survival, or at least existence with a minimum of suffering. Nature is not forgiving and second chances should be carefully evaluated and hopefully good decisions will be made!
The news is certainly continues to be bad here. Not only do we not get a true picture of the situation on the ground at the plant, but the subject is literally ignored by the media at large. We have nothing to go on from Mainstream media!
Fortunately there are a few ‘leaks’ from high placed officials in Japan. Most recently the ex ambassador from Japan to Switzerland and Senegal has said that the situation continues to worsen. The ground underneath reactor 4 is sinking and threatens the structural integrity of the reactor.
Not good news considering that there are 1500 spent rods in the building with enough radiation to make the world completely uninhabitable…WOW! That is serious folks. If that building goes there would be a meltdown of the reactor and ensuing fire in the atmosphere and it would go downhill from there!!!!
Yet, the nuclear industry continues to tell us that this form of energy production is safe. Unbelievable!!!
As oil prices decline the price of gas in California continues to set new highs, record highs! You would be wise to ask why.
The reason for this is the ‘outages’ in several refineries in the state. One outage was a power failure that caused the Exxon refinery in Torrence to shut down. With this and other outages at other refineries happening the supply of gas has all but dried up with many gas stations closing as they can’t pay more for their product than customers can pay. This phenomena is not limited to ‘mom and pop’ shops but extends all the way to Costco…
This is yet another example of just how fragile our entire supply chain is in this country and how there are many things that one can do to better prepare for these type events, something that not everyone is prepared to do. After all, preparing for these events is just plain crazy right?
WRONG, it is just good common sense to put up a few extra groceries, water and other items one might need to exist without unnecessary hardship should something come to pass. Here in the mountains of Colorado the occasional snow storm can all but prevent the food trucks from resupplying the stores and believe me those stores empty out in just a couple of days. Almost everyone I know stocks up on basic food items just in case!
A supply chain disruption can be caused by so many things as evidenced by this recent event in CA. Add to that natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and the like that can destroy roads, refineries, dams and nuclear plants that generate power and can also generate huge swaths of destruction should something happen to them.
Once the chain is disrupted expect shortages in just about anything you can imagine as most everything we consume comes from somewhere else! Higher prices will just be a natural consequence of these shortages.
In short, be rational and be prepared.
We have seen a rash of earthquake activity, first California then El Salvador and now Costa Rica with a very large quake. Thank goodness that there are minimal human casualties so far. Now there is a higher alert status on the Turrialba Volcano there as scientists have noticed increased activity and believe that an eruption might be imminent.
I love Costa Rica and am happy to know that there is so little damage. It does remind us thought that very large earthquakes can and do occur in this hemisphere and we should all be ready to respond should one occur near us.
Thank God that this didn’t occur near one of the nuclear facilities in our country. We wouldn’t worry so much about the radiation from Fukushima and would instead focus on the destruction here at home! Believe me, it would be an event that no one, not even a politician would ever, ever forget!
Be prepared, be healthy.
Isaac hit hurricane strength today and is unfortunately headed for Louisiana, or so it seems. I think that if I lived in New Orleans I would be headed for higher ground. After Katrina everyone should know that flooding is a high possibility.
The Army Corp of Engineers continues to be in control of the levy system and if those levies are not up to full strength we could very well see another disaster, even though the storm is weaker than Katrina. The question is how much can that levy system take?
For the rest of us outside of the hurricane’s path this should be yet another wake up call to be prepared for all types of events. Do you have a grab and go bag? Do you know what that is? How about water, do you have enough just in case the water system fails? Do you have enough food and fuel to cook it with? Those are just some basic questions and the more you think about it the more you will realize just how fragile our system really is.
How long do you think it takes for a grocery store to completely empty out of all consumables? I can tell you at most just a matter of days. Will you have what you need to last until they restock the shelves? That could be days if not weeks depending on the crisis. Up here in the mountains this happens all to frequently when we get a big snowstorm.
I urge everyone to think about these things. Adapt your preparedness list for your geographic region and the natural events that could change your living circumstances dramatically.
Over 300 earthquakes, two of which were over 5 on the Richter scale, hit Southern California near the San Andreas Fault over the weekend. I don’t know about you but 300 sounds like a lot of earthquakes!
These were followed up with a pretty big earthquake off the coast of El Salvador. It was big enough that it generated a tsunami waring for surrounding countries.
I feel that these events are somewhat related and we could be seeing a larger earthquake somewhere relatively soon. I just hope it doesn’t happen in California near the nuclear facilities there. What we don’t need is another Fukushima!
The biggest fires in the news today continue to be those in California as 1000′s flee and 1000′s of firefighters are on the scene. Over 50,000 acres have burned in California in just the past several weeks.
Don’t be fooled by the headlines, there are many fires burning in the West, California being the heaviest in population gets the most attention. There are fires in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Arizona and Colorado, although some of these fires are not big or endangering habitations. However, there are several in these states that are big and dangerous.
Stay tuned to your internet for more updates.
17 months after the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, scientists are finding mutant butterflies now in the Fukushima area. They started noticing this some months ago with Butterflies with smaller wings. Now with the second generation, with small wings, it is a fact that we are seeing fallout (quite literally) in living organisms.
This added to the ‘tiny’ amounts of cesium found off San Diego would seem to me to be significant, although the scientists say that 10 time the amounts found in Tuna previously is till safe! I would not bet on this.
Needless to say it remains our responsibility to monitor our immediate environment and take the necessary precautions. There are several herbs out there that can help you to reduce the effects of some types of radiation, like bladderwrack.