Showing 297 results
Robert Verchick | April 30, 2020
No one really expected FEMA’s leadership of the coronavirus response to be inspiring or even, to put it bluntly, moderately competent. Still, I’ve been puzzled by several reports from state leaders and others that federal authorities have been confiscating purchased medical supplies without explanation or, at least in one case, compensation. I don’t mean situations where a federal agency outbids someone or orders a vendor to sell to the federal government instead. That happens, too, and the practice is controversial. I’m talking about instances in which federal officials show up unannounced at a warehouse or a port and physically seize crates of medical gear that had been on their way to some needy hospital or test center that had paid or agreed to pay for them. The agent flashes a badge, the goods are trucked out, and no one knows where they go.
Michael C. Duff | April 30, 2020
The president's invocation of the Defense Production Act to order meat producers back to work apparently comes with broad liability immunity for producers compelled to comply with its terms. Michael Duff writes, "So 'anti-liability' is apparently coming by executive order and by Mitch McConnell edict. I think it remains to be seen how far into state law the immunization will purport to intrude. But if this goes much further the constitutional dimensions of tort law may be tested a lot more starkly than in prior periods of 'tort reform.'"
Brian Gumm | April 21, 2020
On April 17, CPR Board President Rob Verchick joined EPA enforcement chief Susan Bodine and other panelists for an American Bar Association webinar on environmental protections and enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the event, Bodine expressed "surprise" that the agency's pandemic enforcement policy was so roundly criticized, but she shouldn't have been caught off guard by those critiques. As Verchick noted during the discussion, "The problem with [weakening monitoring and pollution reporting requirements] is that fenceline communities have no idea where to look. They have no idea if the facilities in their backyards are…taking a holiday from pollution requirements or not."
Daniel Farber | April 17, 2020
During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health while even President Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental arena. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation that imperils public health and safety. We can't clone Dr. Fauci or duplicate the unique circumstances that have made his voice so powerful. However, we can do several things that would make it harder for administrations to ignore science.
Darya Minovi | April 16, 2020
On April 29, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) will host a webinar to discuss the public health and policy implications of COVID-19 and to highlight the many policy parallels between the pandemic and climate change. Speakers include Daniel Farber, JD, of UC Berkeley (and a CPR Member Scholar); Monica Schoch-Spana, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH, of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School. Join us!
Thomas McGarity, Wendy Wagner | April 13, 2020
Over the last month, the scripts of the daily White House COVID-19 briefings have followed a familiar pattern: President Trump leads off with assurances that the crisis remains “totally under control” and that miracle cures are just around the corner. Then agency experts come to the microphone and tell a very different story. For example, on March 19, the president reported that the Food and Drug Administration “very, very quickly” approved a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, for treating COVID-19 that it had previously approved for lupus, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis. Later in the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the long-time head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned listeners that controlled testing would have to be completed before we know whether the drug works on the novel coronavirus. And FDA later warned that it had definitely not approved hydroxychloroquine for fighting the virus.
Katie Tracy | April 9, 2020
On April 9, the Center for Progressive Reform joined the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health in calling on the U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) to retract its outrageous guidance that allows employers to send workers potentially exposed to coronavirus back to work without any guaranteed protections. This flawed guidance is weaker than previous guidance, fails to protect workers, and is not based on scientific evidence.
David Flores | April 7, 2020
With all the talk of the "new normal" brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, we cannot lose sight of how government policies and heavy industry continue to force certain populations and communities into a persistent existential nightmare. Polluted air, poisoned water, the threat of chemical explosions – these are all unjust realities that many marginalized and vulnerable Americans face all the time that are even more concerning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nothing could make these injustices more outrageously apparent and dangerous than EPA’s signaled retreat on environmental standards and enforcement, which cravenly takes advantage of the global pandemic and a rapidly expanding economic collapse.
David Flores | April 1, 2020
Hundreds of thousands of Americans, from the southern California surf town of Imperial Beach to the rowhouse-lined blocks of Baltimore, are banding together to bring lawsuits against several dozen of the most powerful and wealthy corporations in the world. In March, 2020, CPR hosted the third installment of its climate justice webinar series. The webinar focused on the growing climate tort litigation movement, explored why litigants are bringing these suits, and discussed where we may see additional litigation in the next several years.