Daily Archives: Sept. 18, 2009

Construction manager picked for Manhattan bio-defense lab

The big National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility slated for Manhattan took a step forward today with the selection of a construction manager.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security picked McCarthy/Mortenson Joint Venture for the job of overseeing the building of the state-of-the-art research lab designed to protect the food supply and agriculture economy.

“DHS is focused on keeping construction right on track because the need for new animal disease vaccines and countermeasures is too critical to delay,” Sen. Pat Roberts said.

Added Sen. Sam Brownback: Read More »

Sebelius seizes teachable moment

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was attending White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ briefing Thursday when a very loud sneeze caught her attention.

She was there to talk about medical malpractice, but it suddenly became a teachable moment on sanitary practice.

If only her new pal, Elmo, the deputy HHS secretary for swine flu education, was around.

At a time when hand sanitizers are more ubiquitous than cups of Starbucks, America’s top health official – don’t call her a czar – was aghast when she looked in the direction of the sneezer.

It was NBC correspondent Chuck Todd, who – yuck – sneezed into his hand.

SEBELIUS: Bless you.

(Laughter)

GIBBS: I mean…

SEBELIUS: I mean, what is that about?

(Laughter)

Jeez.

GIBBS: I want to point out — I want to point out, Margaret (McClatchy White House Correspondent Margaret Talev) sneezed a few minutes ago very correctly, into the sleeve. I mean, it would be one thing if it was…

SEBELIUS: I don’t know. Who’s got some Purell? Give that to Mr. Todd right away, a little – a little hand sanitizer…Good. Good. We’ll have Elmo give Chuck a special briefing. We’ll get Elmo over.

(Laughter)

SEBELIUS: Elmo knows how to sneeze.

(Laughter)

GIBBS: We will seek to – to try to bring Chuck up to the level of a 4-, or 5-, or a 6-year-old.