The Indian Health Service says that it won’t release a report on the government officials who were responsible for a pediatrician who was charged with sexually abusing six boys on two reservations over his time at IHS. Legal experts are questioning the grounds from IHS’ decision, though. Other news on the administration focuses on EPA and “forever chemicals,” new visa rules for immigrants, and a lawsuit against the VA.
The Wall Street Journal: Indian Health Service Declines To Release Report On Sexual Abuse
The U.S. Indian Health Service says it can’t disclose a report that identifies the officials responsible for mishandling a government pediatrician who abused Native American boys for decades, citing a law meant to protect medical reviews. That stance has angered relatives of the pediatrician’s victims, tribal members and former agency employees who hoped the report would provide a public reckoning and greater accountability for those who didn’t do enough to protect Native American children. (Weaver and Rosch, 2/20)
The Associated Press: EPA Will Regulate Two Toxic Chemicals In Drinking Water
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that it plans to regulate two nonstick and stain-resistant compounds in the drinking water amid growing concerns the chemicals found in everything from pizza boxes to carpet pose a health hazard. The agency is targeting a class of chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. It will regulate the compounds, PFOA and PFOS, which are among the oldest chemicals in this class and have been phased out in the United States. It also plans to research whether other PFAS chemicals will be added to the list. (Casey, 2/20)
The Associated Press: New Visa Rules Set Off ‘Panic Wave’ In Immigrant Communities
After nearly a dozen years moving through the U.S. visa system, Sai Kyaw’s brother and sister and their families were at the finish line: a final interview before they could leave Myanmar to join him in Massachusetts and work at his restaurant. Then a dramatic turn in U.S. immigration policy halted their plans. The interview was postponed, and it’s not clear when, or whether, it will be rescheduled. (Marcello and Tareen, 2/20)
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Mother Files $8.2 Million Claim Against VA After Son’s Suicide
The mother of a U.S. Navy Reservist who killed himself outside the Carl Vinson VA Medical Center in Dublin last year has filed an $8.2 million wrongful death claim against the Veterans Affairs Department. Rhonda Wilson said a VA doctor abruptly stopped refilling an opioid painkiller prescription for her 28-year-old son, Gary Pressley, causing him to go into a painful withdrawal. (Redmon, 2/20)
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