May 8, 2017

EPA and Interior Dept. dismiss, suspend scientific advisers

Carlos Osorio / AP

Late last week the EPA dismissed half the scientific advisers from the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), and the Interior Department suspended more than 200 of its advisory boards late last week, according to the Washington Post. These boards review the science behind the policies at EPA and Interior.

Key point: The SAB does not usually report to or receive attention from the EPA administrator like this. According to a senior administration official, this shows Scott Pruitt "is planning a much broader overhaul of how the agency conducts its scientific analysis."

The agencies' explanations: The EPA spokesman said, "[w]e're not going to rubber-stamp the last administration's appointees. Instead, they should participate in the same open competitive process as the rest of the applicant pool." Unlike Pruitt, Interior Secretary Zinke will take time to consider whether the advisory boards were helpful before making a more permanent move.

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Coronavirus death toll tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Some economists warn the stock market has been too "complacent" without factoring in the novel coronavirus as a valid risk, although the major averages were broadly lower midday Monday. Apple and Nvidia have issued earnings warnings and multiple conferences and sports events are being canceled or limited in size.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,009 people and infected more than 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China. 328 American evacuees from the Diamond Princess are in quarantine at U.S. military bases after arriving from Japan, including 14 people who tested positive — making the total number of confirmed cases in the U.S. 29.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 min ago - Health

Sanders requests recount of Iowa recanvass after results show shrunken margin

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

Sen. Bernie Sanders said in a statement Tuesday night he will request a recount of the Iowa Democratic Party's recanvass results.

Where it stands: Both Buttigieg and Sanders requested partial recanvasses in Iowa last week after results were delayed and showed several errors following a software malfunction on caucus night.

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