Source: Sydney Lupkin / ABC News
For every week that the government shutdown continues, 10 children with cancer will not be able to begin their clinical trials, officials told ABCNews.com.
John Burklow, a spokesman for the National Institutes of Health, estimated that 200 patients would experience these delays each week of the shutdown. Since 15 percent of these patients are typically children, and 33 percent of these children have cancer, that means the patients facing delays would include about 30 children per week, 10 of whom have cancer, he said.
Federal health programs are down thousands of employees, which hampers clinical trials and disease outbreak surveillance.
The NIH, for example, has had to furlough 14,700 employees – or 75 percent of its staff – as a result of the shutdown, Burklow told ABCNews.com. He expressed surprise that calls were even getting through, because he said his phone system had gone down this morning.
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