Army sending 2 field hospitals to New York City

U.S. Army leaders said Thursday that two field hospitals are on their way to New York City and will be able to begin treating patients at the Javits Center on Monday. (March 26)

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On This Day: 24 March 1958

In 1958, Elvis Presley was inducted into the U.S. Army, before being transferred to Fort Hood, Texas. (March 24)

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Meet Trump’s CDC Director Who Has a History of Controversial Health Decisions

You might have seen him lurking behind Vice President press while he’s delivering an update on the administration’s efforts to contain the coronavirus. Or looking on as President Trump touts his own medical know-how during what’s meant to be an update on the administration’s efforts to contain the coronavirus.

He’s Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And while Trump’s approach to the epidemic to date seems to involve minimizing the issue, Redfield oversees the federal agency tasked with actually responding to it. So who is he?

Redfield is no stranger to epidemics, seeing as he’s a virologist. When he was announced as the CDC director in 2018, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar cited his pioneering contributions to advancing our understanding of HIV/AIDS.

But some of those contributions have been controversial.

As the U.S. Army’s chief AIDS researcher in the 1980s, Redfield supported mandatory HIV screening for the military, which kept recruits from serving if they tested positive, and led to several active duty troops being segregated — a practice Redfield defended at the time as necessary to control the AIDS epidemic.

In 1992, the Defense Department investigated Redfield after he was accused of overselling the effects of an experimental HIV vaccine he oversaw. Though no evidence of misconduct was found, the vaccine ended up failing.

That same investigation criticized Redford for having an inappropriately close relationship with a non-profit founded by evangelical Christians, which worked to contain the HIV/AIDS outbreak by advocating for abstinence before marriage, rather than passing out condoms — a view he says he’s since changed.

When it comes to the U.S. response to the coronavirus, the CDC is playing catch up. And Redfield is one of the key people who’s going to be answering for it. The agency shipped its first test kits to state labs in February, a month after the world learned of the outbreak in China. But some of those kits were flawed, thanks to a contaminated reagent, leaving labs with inconclusive results.

As of March 9, the CDC and state health labs had conducted more than 8-and-a-half thousand tests, resulting in 423 confirmed cases. Compare that to the UK, which has a similar number of confirmed cases — 319 — but has managed to test nearly 25,000 people.

Those numbers are already out of date, but whatever they are by the time you read this, it’s likely that Trump will be seeking to downplay them.

That shouldn’t matter to the director of the CDC, whose first concern should be the health of Americans, not the health of his boss’s ego. So it’s not exactly inspiring when, on Trump’s visit to the CDC, Redfield said the most important thing he wanted to say … was a thank you to Trump, for visiting the CDC.

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Julianna Margulies’ balancing act

In the new “The Hot Zone” mini-series, Julianna Margulies plays Nancy Jaax, a veterinary pathologist in the U.S. Army who juggled containing the Ebola virus with caring for her cancer-stricken father. Margulies says she relates to Jaax’s balancing act, which also included raising two young children. (May 23)

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Holocaust survivor, soldier have emotional meeting

A Holocaust survivor welcomes to her suburban Detroit home a former soldier whose U.S. Army unit liberated the concentration camp where she was being held. (May 13)

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Police: no terrorism ties seen in pedestrian crash

Authorities say a former U.S. Army sharpshooter who crashed into pedestrians in California had picked up food and was driving to Bible study when he sped into a crosswalk and injured eight people. (April 25)

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WWII veteran surprised with Boston tank ride

One of the last surviving WWII tank gunners was surprised Wednesday with a ride on top of a Sherman tank through the streets of Boston. 95-year-old Clarence Smoyer fought with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division in Germany. (Feb. 21)

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US Army uses new test to prep troops for combat

The U.S. Army is developing a new, more grueling and complex fitness exam that adds dead lifts, power throws and other exercises designed to make soldiers more fit and ready for combat. (Feb. 6)

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US soldier’s body returned from Afghanistan to US

(27 Nov 2018) The body of U.S. Army Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, 25, arrived at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware late Monday. Jasso died Saturday during combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Defense Department officials said Sunday. (Nov. 27)

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Russian Hacking Group Targeted US Army Spouses

Russian spies masqueraded as Islamic State supporters to threaten vocal spouses of U.S. Army personnel, The Associated Press has found. CyberCaliphate was actually a front for the Russian hacking group that intervened in the American election. (May 8)

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Will new simulator game actually help reduce the number of shootings in US schools?

The U.S. Army and the Department of Homeland Security have developed a virtual reality training game – to simulate active shooter situations in schools. Intended for teachers and first-responders, it leads you through classrooms and hallways as children run and scream for help.

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Bomb-Sniffing Elephants in South Africa: VICE News Capsule, February 27

The VICE News Capsule is a news roundup that looks beyond the headlines. Today: Avalanches pummel villages in northern Afghanistan, Islamic State video appears to show destruction of ancient artifacts in Iraq, Arizona police discover more than two tons of pot and a drug tunnel to Mexico, and elephants are being trained to sniff out weapons and poachers in South Africa.

AFGHANISTAN
Worst Avalanches in 30 Years Cripple Villages Northeast of Kabul
Nearly 200 people are dead and 100 others injured in Panjshir province.

IRAQ
Islamic State Video Appears to Show Destruction of Ancient Artifacts
Some experts say most of the statues and sculptures were modern replicas rather than originals.

U.S.A.
Drug Tunnel Connects Arizona to Mexico
After seizing nearly 5,000 pounds of marijuana from a truck during a traffic stop, police discovered a sophisticated tunnel in a town that sits on the border.

SOUTH AFRICA
Putting the Elephant’s Keen Sense of Smell to the Test
The animals are being trained to detect bombs, mines, and poachers. The U.S. Army is interested to see if the biological structures in the elephant’s trunk can be converted to technology for use in combat.

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America’s Deported Veterans: La Frontera

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There are soldiers and marines that have served the United States even though they were not born in the country. Some of them entered the US by crossing the border illegally, but after being promised citizenship in exchange for their service, they enlisted. Some of them have risked their lives on the front lines in wars like Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. Today they find themselves deported to Mexico after having committed a crime, like cashing checks without funds, shooting a firearm or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder after having served the United States on the ground and have, since their deportation, lost the right to receive medical attention.

We went to Tijuana to meet a group of veterans who have been expelled by the U.S. Government. Héctor Barajas, a former paratrooper for the U.S. Army, has seen with his own eyes just how difficult life is for the veterans who have been expelled from their country. After living in Tijuana’s El Bordo river canal, he decided to leave his addictions behind and start a shelter for deported veterans. The Bunker, as the site is known, has the capacity to host up to 5 veterans who have been deported to Tijuana.

Hector and another 20 veterans are in Mexico fighting for the U.S. to acknowledge their service, grant them the citizenship that was promised to them when they decided to serve in the Armed Forces and allow them to return to what they consider to be their country. Every month they station themselves at the San Ysidro international border, to expose both Mexicans and Americans to their story.

They are just some of the 2 million Mexicans who have been deported under the Obama Administration.

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