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Trump’s shutdown is keeping the FDA from approving live-saving drugs: report

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As the government shutdown enters its 25th day with no end in sight, because President Donald Trump won’t agree to a budget deal that would fund his border wall, the Federal Drug Administration has stopped accepting applications for life-saving drugs.

According to a report at Axios, the FDA is woefully understaffed, with workers sent home as non-essential — leading to delays in no only reviewing drug applications, but also accepting new requests.

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The reports notes that drug-maker Aimmune Therapeutics, which is seeking approval for a new drug to help children with deadly peanut allergies, noted in a financial filing that the FDA won’t give them the go-ahead on the drug until after the government reopens.

According to Axios, the process for reviewing drugs only begins when the FDA accepts a fee to start the process — but during the shutdown, no new fees or applications are being accepted and the whole process has ground to a standstill.

Some existing reviews are moving forward, with FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb admitting on Monday that the agency has shifted some funding that would allow them to continue working for five more weeks.

STAT is reporting that other drugs, working their way through the approval process are at risk of being held up, including “highly anticipated new drugs from Janssen, Sanofi and Novartis for depression, diabetes and multiple sclerosis, as well as a host of other potential new therapies.”

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The hold-up has also put the financial health of some of the drug-makers at risk.

“Every bit of predictability in process —the heart of [the FDA user fee program] — melts away in the face of this,” explained Steven Grossman, deputy executive director of the Alliance for A Stronger FDA . “If you don’t have a lot of cash, this could put you out of business.”

You can read more here and here.

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Trump is ‘weakened on virtually every front’ as impeachment intensifies: Washington Post analysis

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President Donald Trump is in a "fragile state" and telegraphing weakness, according to a new analysis by Washington Post reporter Philip Rucker.

"President Trump, whose paramount concern long has been showing strength, has entered the most challenging stretch of his term, weakened on virtually every front and in danger of being forced from office as the impeachment inquiry intensifies," he wrote.

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2020 Election

Rep AOC helped Bernie Sanders turn out ‘the largest crowd drawn by any candidate’: report

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) helped Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) turn out a huge crowd at a campaign rally in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, officially endorsed the Vermont senator at the event.

"Bernie Sanders has a crowd of 25,872 this afternoon at his Queens rally, according to the security company handling the event, Contemporary Services Corp. That would make this event, his first since his heart attack 18 days ago, the largest crowd drawn by any candidate," Buzzfeed News correspondent Ruby Cramer reported.

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‘Rudy is a lousy lawyer’: Ex-prosecutor reveals why nobody will hire Giuliani for legal work

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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is getting rich selling his access to the White House, in spite of being a "lousy" attorney, according to a former federal prosecutor.

Paul Butler was interviewed on MSNBC by Kendis Gibson on Saturday.

"One issue is that representing Donald Trump has been great business for Rudy Giuliani," Butler noted.

"Since he’s started to be his defense attorney, there’s a huge demand for Rudy’s services. And let's face it, Rudy is a lousy lawyer. We’ve all seen him go on TV and by the time he goes off TV his client is in more trouble. So people probably aren’t hiring him for his legal skills, they want his access," he explained.

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