tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN May 27, 2016 2:00am-4:01am EDT
solutions that enhance security and achieve operational efficiencies. thank you for the opportunity to discuss these important and timely issues with you today. we are eager to work with you and secure needed resources to address short-term and long-term airport security challenges. >> thank you, ms. baeirsto, much of what you described in your testimony is embodied in the bill we'll present to congress and it's borne out of our discussion with some of the folks in the audience today, last week and some of you and appreciate that. it's important. one side thing you said that caught me was the opening -- opening the gates on time. because i understand -- and perhaps you can comment on this later, sometimes they open the gate at 5:30 in the morning but don't start screening passengers because they have to calibrate the machines and stuff and once the backup starts you can't catch up. that's poor planning. i now recognize ms. carrie philipovich which i know
very well because i fly american every week. >> thank you very much. my name is carrie philipovich testifying on behalf of airlines for america. thanks for inviting me to discuss the impact tsa security lines is having on our customers. there's nothing more important to the the airline industry than the safety and security of our passengers, employees and cargo. we have never seen tsa wait times that affect airlines and passengers throughout the united states like we've seen in recent months. without immediate leadership, the 231 million earn a americans that will board airplane this is summer will be frustrated and angry. last year, programs that had been in place were eliminated without adding resources
required to support longer passenger processing times. the as a result that screening process caused unacceptably long security lines and a frustrated flying public. our discussions with tsa revealed three other contributing factors. first, it appears tsa did not adjust its staffing model after screening protocols were changed. second, tsa is experiencing abnormally high attrition and is unable to retain transportation security officers, or tsos, third, the pre-check program which allows passengers to go through expedited screening hasn't met enrollment goals. these caused a slowdown in passenger processing at security checkpoints resulting in delays and missed flights. year to date, more than 70,000 american airlines customers have missed flights due to excessive wait times. the same challenges at the passenger checkpoints bog down screening of checked baggage which is also a poor tsa function. this year alone over 40, 000
checked bags were delayed in tsa screening and didn't travel on their scheduled flight. to say customers are agitated is putting it mildly and the public outcry resonated. congress recently reallocated $34 million in funding to the tsa to hire more toss by june 15. we are glad to see tsa is working to shift canine teams to airports experiencing the worst delays, prebalancing staffing and hiring more tsos. however, tsa needs to do more and more collaboration is needed to minimize the impact on summer travelers, airports, airline employees and the overall economy. airlines are pitching in to do our part. we are committing millions of dollars to fund non-security functions like bin running and queue management to tsa cans focus soilly on screening customers. at american we are adding $4 million on top of the $17 million already planned to spend this year to facilitate
passengers through tsa checkpoints at our largest airports. airlines have advised customers to arrive at the airport two hours in advance of a domestic flight and three hours prior to an international departure to ensure specific time. this added time in the travel process is inconvenient and will likely affect less frequent travelers not familiar with the screening process. we are launching aggressive campaigns to promote pre-check to customers and employees. as pre-check enrollment increases, tsa must commit to keep lanes open and staffed throughout the day, especially during peak travel times. the industry is exploring ways to facilitate support for additional canine teams, including whether tsa can use certified canines from other governmental agencies to conduct passenger screening. when canine teams are deployed, tsa can increase passengers going through pre-check. we as an industry are doing our part to help tsa manage through this challenge.
airline actions alone cannot solve the problem. we need a partner in tsa that will consider innovative ideas to mitigate wait times immediately and in the long run. in the short term to augment resources tsa could declare all hands on deck for the summer much like we do at our airports during peak and irregular operations. all available staff should be assigned to help at passenger screening checkpoints. tsa resources should be prioritized base on airports with the most need and projected traffic volumes. tsa could look at ways to spur enrollment by scream streamlining the process. to ensure enrollment resources don't become a new bottleneck, tsa should expedite its selection of third party enrollment providers. we support the idea to give directors the ability to corporate with their airline partners to make decisions without having to consult tsa head courters. all parties need to work collaboratively to manage
through the summer. full transparency to staffing models and performance data is required to en ed tod to engage stakeholders. we can't be part of the solution if we don't have the facts. to that point, we applaud tsa for its decision to stand up a national command center and ins tuts daily stakeholder calls to better prepare for each day's challenges. in the long run, tsa could review current security prose calls to ensure there are no unnecessary procedures, as part of this review, tsa should consider additional methods some of which were discontinued. airlines and airports are eager to work with tsa to expedite next generation screening technology including innovation lanes. finally tsa must create a position that reports to the administrator to advocate for customers within the tsa, much as airlines in many airports have executives dedicated to improving customer experience. these are a few idea airlines believe can help reduce the congestion. and congress can help by
ensuring administrator neffenger and his team have the tools and resources needed to improve screening, including ensuring that the passengers security fee collected for tsa goes to tsa. ultimately, the tsa screening issue was not created overnight and won't be solved overnight. however, we must work together to offer ideas and resources to tsa while administrator neffenger and his team review current screening protocols, funding priorities and management practices. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and i would be happy to answer any questions you might have. >> thank you ms. philipovich, appreciate your testimony and we'll have several follow-up questions for all of you, of course. i recognize david cox, national president of the american federation of government employees for his testimony. mr. cox? >> thank you, mr. chairman, representative payne, members of the committee. i am proud to testify today on behalf of the 42,000 transportation security officers, tsos that afge represents that stand on the
side of the safety of the flying american public tsos point to four issues have conspired to produce the acute situation at airport wes see today. one, the size of the size of the tso work force didn't keep pace with passenger volume. two, tsa's budget was deprived of much-needed funding by the decision of congress to divert a portion of the security fee to deficit reduction. three, the focus on the patchwork of airline, airport and contract employees shifted focus away from the tso work force that is present and future of aviation security. and, four, tsos are subject to second-class treatment that hurts the morale of tsos who stay on the job and causes too many experienced screeners to leave tsa. as passenger volume has increased 15% between 2013 and 2016, tsa lost almost 5,000 screeners and failed to replace them.
tsa's hiring was focused on part time workers who have a much higher attrition rate than full time tsos. tsa staffing methodology and model depending on pre-check enrollments that never happened. congress cut the budget for tsa personnel and imposed arbitrary caps on the number of full time screeners. staffing shortages are obvious to the public because they experience long lines. lease obvious are the affect of shortages on the tso work force, missed trainings, meals and rest breaks, missed position rotations that are ness to keep your focused. canceled days off and months of mandatory overtime resulting in very tired and erratic scheduling scheduling. this is no way to run airport security.
afg advocates an increase of 6,000 additional full time tsos to the work force. the figure represents the decrease in the size of tsa work force since 2011 as passenger volume has grown 15%. afg also calls on congress to end the arbitrary and severe cap on full-time tsos. when congress voted to diverse 60 cents of the $5.60 security fee per enplanement to the treasury rather than tsa, it deprive it had agency of $1.25 billion, that's billion with a "b," dollars each year. it's time for congress to dedicate the proceeds of the security fee to tsa to be used for its intended purpose -- funding the agency's security mission and hiring staff. introducing airline and airport employees and private contract employees into the framework of
checkpoint security is, at best, a temporary bandage. years of on-the-job experience and commitment to the public are the services that are lost when the tso work force is replaced with airport and airline employees. airport authorities should be aware that they are not going to get more general year under the screening partnership program and that there are long checkpoint waits at airports with private screeners. despite the importance of their work, tsos receive second class treatment if their employer, the federal government. tsa is the only federal agency that is allowed to excuse itself from the fundamental workplace rights and protections found in title v of the u.s. code. tsa does not follow the fair labor standards act and the office of personnel management guidelines on leave. tsa does not have statutory title vii protections against
discrimination and they are not paid under the general schedule like that majority of federal work force. tsos lack the ability to appeal adverse personnel actions to a neutral third party like the merit system protection board even though tsa management has that right. to paraphrase the late dr. martin luther king, jr., justice delays has been justice denied to the tso work force. it's well within the authority of the congress and the tsa to provide tsos the same workplace rights and protections as other federal workers. we urge administrator neffenger to apply title v rights and protections to the tso work force. congress should pass hr 4488, the rights of transportation security officers act introduced by representative benny thompson and anita loy. the bill requires thesa follow
the same workplace rules as most agency in the federal government. congress should also ensure funding to tsa to provide 5% retention raises to tsos who have been on the job for two or more years. transportation security officers do all they can to screen passengers. that's why afg pledges to work thesa, congress and the public on solutions for the long lines and, mr. chairman, afge is asking and seeking a seat at the table to be part of the solution, not part of the problem in what we are currently experiencing in tsa. thank you very much for allowing me today and i'll be glad to take any questions. >> thank you for your testimony. we appreciate you being here today. and bring recognize myself for five minutes of questions, i want to note that it's very interesting that part time employee attrition rate is nearly triple of that full time employees at tsa. and that's something i want to talk about in a few moments time. i want to recognize myself for five minutes of questions.
one of the overarching observations from speaking you to last week at the panel, two things, tsa expansion of tsa's critically important and also field service directors was a revelation to all of us that field service directors are really have the hands tied to some extent with respect to making staff and allocation decisions and oftentimes are are not interacting in an appropriate manner with the airplanes and airlines in the field. our bill addresses all of those things. i'll start with the precheck program. miss callahan, you stated that 40% now of the syracuse airport is on precheck? >> that's correct. >> what type of an impact has that had on the airport and through put of passengers? >> we're seeing wait times on average between 12 and 15 minutes. when i flew out this morning, i
had a first experience seeing that and it really has helped to balance the distribution of precheck and noncheck employees during the peak periods which for us is really 4:30 until about 7:00 a.m. >> right. and if any of can you answer this question, there's discussions at times that precheck isn't always open. and i've experienced that myself. it's frustrating to me being chairman of this subcommittee. but is it fair to say that if precheck were expanded dramatically like it's intended to be that it would allow the lanes to be open to more regular basis because the staffing would warrant it. is that correct? can anyone answer that? >> i think that -- [inaudible] >> -- customers enflol precheck. the enrollment rates tend to be higher the more frequently the customers travel. they build that expectation of having precheck available into their schedules in terms of what flights they book and when the
meetings end and the like. and it's a service that the tsa is selling. people are paying for. so people are incredibly frustrated customers when they come and find the lines closed. the screening procedures and precheck are much faster so the transaction time per customer is lower and, therefore, we can get many more customers through the check point both safely, securely, and efficiently with more people in precheck. so we're a big fan of expanding it. >> i take all of you are. is that right? yes. you're all nodding your head. it seems apparent. >> the one issue that we constantly find precheck is helping but as we have continued decrease in staffing, that continues to perpetuate the problem no matter whether we have precheck or number the real issue is we have to have adequate staffing in tsa. >> that's understood. fair to say, is it not, mr. cox, that if you had 20 million people enrolled in precheck nationwide or 30 million
enrolled and you had the through put for precheck individuals are double the time it is for others, it would have less stress on the system. you'd have to acknowledge. that. >> it would definitely have less stress on the system. but if we keep losing 5,000 every several years, that's going to have stress on the system. >> and that's something we need to address, for sure. now, with respect to the field service directors, it was really shocking to me that they weren't interacting with some of the airports, especially the major airport onz a regular basis with respect to the staffing allocation models. so you could comment on that for a moment? >> we encourage tsa to provide greater transparency so airport as and our airline partners can better plan and schedule around staffing shortages and the like. >> all right. i'm sorry. i referred to miss fields as service director and my able staffer said it's federal service director.
so excuse me. one of the things we propose in the bill you is take the fsds and mandate they meet with the airport directors and airlines on a regular basis and that they discuss staffing allocation models. and then certify us to that they're actually doing. that we're asking that to be done on the local level and on the national level. i think we're hoping that's going to have an impact. if i understand from speaking you to earlier last week that you do that now on a regular basis. is that right? >> yes, sir, we do. in fact, we had a meeting yesterday with our federal security director and his assistants from albany to buffalo. a meeting held in syracuse. 406 the airports in new york state were at that meeting. we had an in-depth detailed briefing on the plans for the
summer travel season, how we can work together and collaborate to address some of the issues. and my fsd oversees 14 airports. so to see him on a monthly basis is really incredible that he has time to do. that but he's very responsive and reactive to issues. >> that's good. one thing we want to do in this bill is to untie their hands to some extent from administrative standpoint. i believe that they need to have more flexibility with respect to their decision making authority on the front line. if you get a call from american airlines or chicago and say we're going to get crushed. we sold a bunch of tickets, whatever, let's work together and figure out how to do that. they have to have the flexibility to grant more overtime and have the flexibility to be able to bring more people in. that's what we are contemplating on this bill and based on our discussion with all of you. i appreciate that. mr. cox, one of the things i've been thinking about when you
were talking about some of the staffing issues and the attrition rate is if there's some money that is reallocated, if that's a right term, to -- from other parts of tsa to staffing, it would make sense to take a lot of individual that are part time now and make them full time and reducing the attrition rate considerably for some of them at least? >> yes, sir that, would definitely help with that situation. administrator neffinger spoke with me and said the attrition rate with full time tsos was around p 7% to will 8%. but again, it's over 20% in the part time people. people want full time employment. they will go to other federal jobs or other jobs in the airport seeking full time employment. so moving that money to getting them full time would definitely help fix a lot of the problems.
>> okay. and, of course, added benefit during this crisis, if you will, that we're having in airports is that moving someone from full time to -- from part time to full time doesn't take any additional training. >> it doesn't. they're ready to go. many of them in peak times are already working 40 hours a week or possibly more than 40 hours a week. so they're ready to go. so if congress could fix that, that would help with a lot of the situation. >> thank you very much, mr. cox. i have so many more questions. i can't go over my time too much here. i now recognize the ranking member mr. payne for five minutes of questions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and, you know, i ask unanimous consent that two letters from afg to president obama and secretary johnson be inserted in the record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> thank you.
in response to the issues that your airport and others aren't nation, secretary johnson and administrator neffinger announced plans to address the lines including additional resources. has the administration's response to the wait time within your airports been effective and have it has a positive infecteffect to this point. we have the additional resources coming in but have not heard how it has impacted your wait times in a positive manner.
>> sure. it has. tsa provided 58 additional officers. the shift of moving over 160 part time officers to full time help tsa address the peak periods both in the a.m. shifts and the p.m. sifts. tripling the amount of overtime allows them to open checkpoints early so they're not behind the curve. they have proven incredibly helpful. the canine teams alone are allowing us to move roughly 5,000 passengers a day through precheck. >> what are the wait times now. >> midway airport, canine -- with the wait times with canine teams can be 20 to 30 minutes
during peak periods. without them, they can reach 60 to 90 minutes. >> okay. we're seeing great impact on the canines. thank you for asking. >> you know, i have newark international in my district. so we are really have had the same experiences that you've been having in chicago based on the hub that we are and also with the port authority having three airports under its per view. it's been a major hang-up with the wait times. and we've had the resources moved in newark as they have in chicago. and it's dramatically impacted the ability to move passengers in a timely manner. within your testimony you note that bdos could be useful in other positions within the
screening model. can you expound for the committee on achieving efficiencies through using the behavioral detection officers? >> thank you, representative payne. yes, sir, the dehaforal detection officers are trained in perceiving people who are going to do something that is not correct or maybe legal, maybe trying to smuggle something. potentially terrorist ties. by having them as the ticket document checkers, they have a personal connection to every single passenger that goes through and they can screen each individual as opposed to standing to the side or the back of the line where they're observing behavior. they can better detect people
who may need additional screening or discussion. this is a mod that is used oversees that has been effective there. >> okay. my time is winding down. i just want to say to mr. cox all throughout this discussion over the past several weeks that i've kept the tsos in mind and have made sure that my colleagues have some idea of what they go through and this strain that they're under based on these long wait times as well. and that we -- they're the last line of defense. and we need to make sure that they have the resources that they need in order to do the job well.
we can't afford them not to. they have to be right 100% of the time. so just wanted to put that on the record. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. payne. the chair will now recognize other members of the subcommittee and then we'll have five minutes of questions that they may wish to ask the questions. i plan to recognize members present he is start of the hearing by seniority of the subcommittee and then others who are visiting the committee this morning. those coming in later will be recognized in order of their arrival. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia mr. carter, for five minutes of question. mr. carter? >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for being here. this is obviously very important subject to us. i'm glad to see y'all. i've got some important questions. i have the honor and privilege of representing the first congressional district of georgia. that includes the entire coast of georgia. georgia is unique in the sthaens we have a lot of small airports, a lot of rural areas. we also have hartsfield-jackson.
that presents a dilemma. i'm very interested to know your responses to this. what we've been hearing and what i've been hearing from a lot of the airport officials is that there exists somewhat of a disconnect between the ts -- the local tsa officials, the airlines airlines, the airport officials and then upper management. they're up here in washington, d.c., if you will. have any of you experienced that? can you comment on that? >> i think each airport is different. there is a saying in our industry, you've seen one airport, you've seen one airport. the relationship that's exist are really local and dependent
on the people within the organizations at those airports. i imagine in atlanta it's much more difficult than it in syracuse, new york, where we have access to our fsds and afsds and the airlines on a regular day to day basis. that's what i can offer. >> okay. anyone else? >> we have an excellent relationship with our screening managers and our local personnel. they now have many layers to go through and models and requirements are dictated, and kinlti can't say from where but their ability to be able to react quickly to issues on the ground. that's what we experience during our peak period in february and march. when they open the precheck
lane, the lines were cut in half. and they were not the full length of our trm nall front. and having the ability to do that would be helpful. >> great. is anyone had any experience with private security? any of you have that experience? >> i'm sorry. thank you. a few of the airports that americans serve have private security. >> can you give me your impression? i mean, what's been the results? >> i'll just use san francisco as an example. that's probably the one that i'm most familiar with. because the privatized airports, the way the model is today follows the same procedures and staffing allocation models as other airports -- >> okay. i hope that my colleagues heard that.
they have to follow the same rules and regulations. the training is the same. everything is the same. so it's in tsa oversees it, correct? >> that's my understanding. >> all right. i'm sorry. continue. >> as long as the operation is properly resourced, we're able to have both effective and efficient screening in either model. it's really the key is making sure that the resource allocation meets the peak needs of the operation. >> okay. the screening partnership program. mr. cox, i'm going to ask you directly. can you give me an idea why it appears to me and from what i have heard that they do a better job and they save money on top of that. you have any experience with this? >> sir, we believe that the tso that's are employed by the federal government, number one, it's a professionalized workforce. they do a great job. they have been trained to do that.
and i think the record speaks very clearly from the cells. since 9/11, we have not had acts of taker nix this country. we had a privatized workforce on 9/11 and we saw what happened. this country was brought to its knees. the government has been taking care of that. they're doing that. part of our real problem right now is a lack of staffing, not enough staff to do the work properly. >> and i understand and i appreciate what you're saying. at the same time, i'm convinced that the private industry can do this just as well with oversight with tsa and save money and improve customer service and decrease the long lines that we're experiencing in our airports. i don't -- and they go through the same training. all of the tsa still has the oversight. the responsibility. i think it's unfair to compare
what happened on 9/11 between privatization and being run by the public. i mean, that took us all. we were all asleep at the wheel then. you have to admit. >> i agree. i was watching fox news last sunday and one of the commentators was at the san francisco airport and complaining about the long lines, rudeness of the officers and various incidents that was going on and said this is a classic example of why it needs to be privatized. and i busted out laughing because it is a privatized airport. all the problems she was referring to was in a privatized airport. she wasn't in atlanta or miami. she was in san francisco, complaining saying it was a classic example of why it should be privatized. >> what i'd like to see is some comparisons. you mention the disconnect. you commended on the disconnect
between washington and the local officials. the bureaucracy is under control. we need to get it under control. i know i've gone past my time. there is just a very important subject to me. so i appreciate your input on. that mr. cox, what you're telling me, i'm having different views expressed to me by other people. so i'm going to continue to search on this and continue to try to see what we can come up with. mr. chairman, i yield back and thank you. >> thank you, mr. carter. i ask unanimous consent that the gentlelady from texas be able to participate in this hearing and without objection so ordered. >> may i express my appreciation to the chairman and ranking member for your courtesies.
this is a committee that i have a great affection for because i indicated before that the tsos are the first line of defense if you will for the neighborhood, for the nation's aviation security. so let me thank all of you for your presence here. i have some direct questions and then i want to raise a series of questions for mr. cox. thank you for representing a fine professional staff which want to be more professional. less part time, more recruitment, increased salaries and the numbers you would like to have. so i would ask the representative from the chicago, illinois, the admiral was here just yesterday -- excuse me, just yesterday and understand that wait has gone to 15 minutes.
i'd like to see what you're obviously here today, thursday, i'd like to hear your assessment. have the times and waits improved? >> considerably, ma'am. we've seen wait times less than 15 minutes. >> so there's been a fix, if you will. we have to see that it's a consistent fix. >> a permanent fix. >> and that's even better to hear that it's a permanent fix. he added more, as i understand, there is a task force and he's added more employees s that correct? >> correct. it's a temporary right now. we need permanent fix. >> so you were staying we need a permanent fix. >> right. >> that will come and the temporary is that you added more personnel? >> yes, the extended overtime allowed for increased shifts. >> are you aware that we expect 700 nobody by july and so you would get some additional tsos? >> um aware, thank you. >> and that would probably help the circumstances. is there a problem with the baggage check down? there is a screening and then a
baggage check s there a problem on the baggage check area as well? >> it's not surfaced at our level. the problem has been relieved for a moment and we expect to continue to work with you for that. >> and midway airport is still waiting for additional resources. is there an airline representative here from american airlines? you have been able to work by way of getting your concerns to tsa? should we facilitate a better communication protocol when there are concerns? >> you know, we've been working very collaboratively and infectively at the headquarters level with admiral n neffinger and at the local level. the airlines are taking action
in collaboration with the tsa. and also promoting many of the actions that the tsa is suggesting and already taking and also the actions that are contained in the chairman's proposed legislation which we're in favor of as well. >> which means you'd be willing to pay for overtime for tsos? >> you know, right now we really have to get more transparency into the staffing model and understand how resources are being deployed. we need to make sure that we have an analytical model that puts resources where they need to be to meet the peak demands of our customers. >> and i agree with you. and more flexibility for the fsds? would that be helpful? >> in cooperation with their airline partners, yes. >> you would join with us? i heard the point being made that we need more data regarding the baggage fees? i think there should be an assessment and study come frgt airlines and tsa on the baggage flees as to whether or not they increase the number of bags
coming through by hand carry. you would work with us on that? >> may i comment on that checked baggage? >> yes. >> they've been charging checked baggage fees since 2008. i think it would be inaccurate to say that bag fees are leading to the current line waits that we -- that we're experiencing. you mentioned -- >> can i interject for a moment? we note that we will receive a sizeable increase in passenger travel between 2008 and 2011 and 2016. the only question is we have our different perspectives. you would participate and collaborate on getting the data that we need to understand the question better? >> we're interested in collaborating to solve the problem. i do want to note that baggage screening, as you noted, is also a core function of tsa.
even though we had heard from my colleague from chicago that we haven't had severe issues there, some of our other airports have experienced significant back logs and even worse than what we're experiencing. >> what we want to do is fix the problem. >> right. we want to fix the problem. i know you have hubs like miami. so we want to fix the problem. let me quickly move to mr. cox if i might. i travelled to many airports and i take the opportunity to speak to tsos everywhere i go. i ran into one individual, his name is vincent. who is a world war ii veteran came and was in a wheelchair. just dropped off by his family and traveling by himself. he said i don't want anybody else. i want a tso. tso. that means to come out to the curb. so a tso went out to the curb.
and took him at the wheelchair all the way to -- through security, et cetera, et cetera, getting the gate, getting down to the door of the plane and he noted that this proud world war ii veteran would have been dropped off by his family members, i'm sure they meant well, he could not walk. and you're tso agent lifted him up and took him and put him on the plane. i think these are the stories that need to be told. mr. chairman would yield me just a moment here. >> miss jackson lee, we're crunched for time. she needs to go. too. >> may i just get this last question in? >> please hurry. >> yes, thank you. i support a professional staff not privatization. would you respond to that quickly, please? >> we clearly believe that a professional staff that our government employees that, this is inherently governmental function to keep the american public safe.
these people are well trained. they do a great job. they love their jobs. they just need to have adequate staffing to be able to do their jobs and to do them properly. and i think if the committee really wants to get legislation that tries to get the input and collaboration that it would be important that afge and the employees that it represents be included in the legislation as one of the partners trying to resolve the problem. >> thank you. thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you very much. more funding is important. i yield back. >> thank you. the chair recognizes the patient and ms. arizona. one of the main issues is flexibility for the fsds. they can make decisions on the ground but not just for the fsds, for the supervisors in spoke airports like tucson. i was asked this question yesterday. and he said he has given that flexibility at fsds. i felt like i was listening to
parallel universes that were in complete contradiction with each other. he believes that they already have that flexibility. it is unbelievable to me that it would take an act of congress to actually direct them to provide flexibility. this just leadership 101. but he sincerely believes he's given that authority. i specifically asked him yesterday about this and the spoke airports like tucson. he said they have all the authority they need. maybe they're just not getting the message. he just recently removed kelly hogan who potentially is the barrier to this direction being communicated down to all of you. i want to say we need your immediate feedback. he gave his props yesterday he was going to follow up on this and they understood his guidance that they have that flexibility. can you share -- you've given
example. if we have the flexibility with our senior tsa rep on the ground in the last few months, what -- at what instance -- other instances were their hands tied and what you have been tibl do there in order to alleviate the problems that we're having? >> thank you, representative. when we were experiencing the extreme lines, the challenge that our local represent whiffative with tsa had was a fact that there are specific models, certain through put has to go -- passengers per hour have to go through the lane before the second lane can be opened up. and that with one standard lane, then a second standard lane had to be open before precheck. where precheck is the quick resolution because the line was cut in half when the precheck lane was opened. >> did that direction come from d.c. or feenism? >> phoenix came down when the passengers were calling the media from the lines and the media began showing up. it all exploded. >> right. >> is that still the case? they have to do the second line
before precheck? >> with staffing, yes, ma'am. they're limited on staffing and, therefore, can't open the precheck. it requires more people. i'm sorry, i can't tell you exactly how many more than a standard lane. >> okay. great. are there any other situations where you saw the hands were tied? they could have maybe moved, say, bdos to be checking ids or something else? >> yes, ma'am. we've been asking more bdos to be document checkers since the problems first started with the holidays prior to our season coming. and our fsd in phoenix refused saying that it was important for them to be observing the line, the people in line as opposed to being able to be document checkers. i think all that changed by the admiral and we appreciate that greatly. >> okay, great, thanks. you know, you said you
appreciated the assistance. you know, there was a big media attention to the problems that chicago and then additional agents and canine teams came to the rescue. however, they were pulled from somewhere else. what we heard from the roundtable is the feeling that this squeaky wheel, you know, let's move assets around and go to tv today. they said something along the lines that we get a turn to be the worst. is that kind of model. you're just going create a crisis somewhere else. so i'm concerned about that. this is more of a whack a mole, you know, scenario as opposed to a strategic model that is going to address all these issues. and we're not robbing from medium and small airports to draes the bigger airport that's end up on tv. >> if i can give an example, ma'am.
the passenger screening canines, for example, which we borrow and have been reallocated from other airports, those kinds of resources really need to be allocated from airport passenger through put and security risk, right? those are the kind of things that tsa should consider. >> great, thank you. mr. cox i asked about something that was really troubling that i discovered this week which is we have instances of at least 250 through april that have been reported where tsa agents have been pulled away from their primary mission which is the security of air travel and, you know, efficiency and safety of passengers and air travel to support things like presidential campaign rallies and we heard reports of other events, concerts and sporting events. this is nowhere in their core competency. and so could you please comment on the perspectives on when someone signed up to a tsa agent
whether they expect to be at a campaign rally or whether they expected to be doing their core mission and how you all feel about that. >> we expected them to do the core mission, to do the core work. as with any situation, you understand the workers don't get to drive the train. they just show up and do what the boss man tells them to do. i know our tsos, they want to be at the airport doing their mission and taking care of it. it upsets them when those lines are long and passengers are waiting. passengers get frustrated with them. i would say if you really want to resolve a lot of these problems, can you talk to fsds and the administrator but congress probably needs to mandate that there be some work groups made up of tsos themselves, the people who actually do the work can tell you how to improve the processes.
i know american airlines does that all the time. i know all these airports do that. we need to be talking to the front line employees. they can give a lot of solutions. they can't give more resource or people, but i'm sure they know how to improve the work processes. >> i agree w very to make sure that large scale events have safety and security. there are other ways to do that than to be pulling agents that is core responsibility is safety of air travel in order to do. that i appreciate the leverage, mr. chairman. >> thank you. i would like to thank the witnesses for thoughtful testimony and members of the committee may have additional questions for all of you. and we will be asking to respond to those in writing. the hearing record will be open for ten days. before we close, a couple of observations. first of all, if we will more
time, we could go on this all day long. but what is the beauty of this hearing is we had the input of the stake holders at the table and those sitting in the audience last week. you know, i think a lot of times people look at congress and say congress is broken. they're not listening us to. i think what transpired is we looked at a crisis. we got the stake holders in here. we listened you to. we crafted a bill and responded to what you have to say. and it's going to have an immediate impact if we can get it past. i'm excited about that. the frustration is that we're moving these thicks and getting the stuff done. so i ask you to be advocates with the senate to ask the snoot do their job as well. we don't want to hear my nor of the weight time issues. when we can act like this, that's when congress really works. we have to make sure that process comes with positive conclusion. thank you all for coming here. i know it was an early flight for you. if it's any consolation, we were
working until 12:30 last night and up at 5:00 this morning. we all have busy days. thank you all very much and -- >> mr. chairman. >> sure. >> adjustment an observation before we close. miss mcsally, you should have not left homeland. i see more now -- >> the chair came to another subcommittee. >> well, we miss you there. >> i am here, baby. >> all right. >> the committee stands adjourned. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015]
friedman on the efforts to put the zika virus. after that, we join the presidential candidates on the road. first, remarks by presidential candidate hillary clinton in san jose, california. that is followed by senator bernie sanders, speaking to supporters inventor of, california. -- in ventura, california. >> this memorial day weekend, book tv features three days of nonfiction books and authors. here are some programs to watch for. on saturday at 10:00 p.m. eastern, democracy now host amy goodman interviews the author about her new book "sleeping giant." on sunday at 10:15 a.m. eastern, an interview with chris jackson, publisher and editor-in-chief of "one world." he discusses his professional duties with jay-z, brian stephen, and the author of the award-winning book "between the world and me." sunday evening at 10:00, a book
release party for steve hilton in his book "more human: designing a world where people come first." a former senior adviser to david cameron and cofounder of growth pack argues that we need to redesign our economic and political system to meet needs of american day. on monday, memorial day, an extra in book tv. the intellectual life of thomas jefferson. dennis prager on the importance of the 10 commandments, and diane ream on the right to die movement. go to book tv.org for the complete we can schedule. defense secretary ashton carter speaks at the u.s. naval academy commencement friday in annapolis, maryland. we will have live coverage of his remarks to the graduating the chairman at 10:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> friday, the national oceanic
and atmospheric administration officials issued a 2016 hurricane season outlook. you can see it lies from the satellite operations facility in maryland at 11:30 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> ♪ >> c-span's "washington journal," live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up friday morning, todd cox, criminal justice policy director for the center of american progress will join us. his efforts to reform the system, such as the corrections act. schoolhor george mason of law professor frank buckley will be on to talk about his new book, detailing how americans can move up the economic ladder and how that has been hampered, and what can be done to reverse the trend. they sure to watch "washington journal," beginning live at 7 p.m. eastern. join the discussion. >> next, a look at efforts to
stop the spread to the zika virus. spoke at theman national press club on thursday. this is about an hour. >> today, we welcome to our podium expert in safeguarding the health of the american people, dr. tom freieden. he is especially concerned of these days about the growing at the zika virus poses to the health not only of americans but also for the world population. as many of you know, the zika virus can now cause of your birth defects. microcephaly. did i say that right? i'm getting there. it results in babies born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains, as well as other problems. the virus has also been linked thatneurological disorder can result in paralysis and death.
the worldhs ago, health organization declared to think outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. there is no vaccine or cure. as of mid-may, the cdc reported it is monitoring 279 pregnant women in u.s. territories were possible zika infection, and the agency has increased its testing capacity of the zika virus in the u.s. as the summer of mosquito season begins. frieden has been the director for the past.seven years . a physician with training in public health and epidemiology, he has worked to control health to and and responded battled the leading causes of suffering and death in our nation around the world. among the priorities he has tasked the agency to do our improving health security globally, preparing for, detecting, rapidly responding
to, and preventing health threats such as disease, antimicrobial resistance, foodborne diseases, and health care acquired infections. reducing the leading causes of death and illness among americans due to tobacco use, uncontrolled blood pressure,, diabetes obesity, physical and activity, prescription drug overdoses, and hiv and aids. strengthening a public health collaboration by integrating public health and health care. before being appointed to the head of the agency, it was a cdc disease detective. investigations including outbreaks of measles, typhoid, cryptosporidium and multidrug resistant tuberculosis while working as a cdc assignee. he assisted with tuberculosis control and efforts. the program in india has treated more than 10 million patients and has saved more than 3 million lives. before joining the cac he was a commissioner of the new york
city health department where he reduced the number of smokers by 350,000 and cut teen smoking in half. he is a graduate of oberlin college columbia university he completed infectious disease training at yale university. today is the fourth time he's spoken at the national press club speaker luncheon. please welcome to the national press club podium, dr. tom frieden. [applause] mr. frieden: thanks so much, tommy. thanks, doris, for arranging this. thanks to the national press club for this venue. it's great to be back. when an earthquake hits we understand the need to respond. now, imagine if you had the power to stop an earthquake. we together, using the tools of public health, have the power to
stop the health equivalent of many earthquakes that happen around the world. quakes that han around the world. challenge we are dealing with is zika. it is unprecedented and tragic. there have been more than 50 years since we have identified any pathogen that can cause a birth defect. we have never before identified a situation where a mosquito bite could result in and of -- in an infection that causes a devastating earth defect. it is unprecedented, tragic, and it is now proven. we know that it causes microcephaly and other birth defects. there is an in norma's that we still do not know. we are still learning more every day about what it causes and how to prevent it. the top priority is to protect pregnant women. and that focus has to be our guiding principle for our work
everywhere there is risk for zika. memorial day weekend heralds the start of mosquito season in the u.s. we have a narrow window of opportunity to scale up effective zika prevention measures and that window of opportunity is closing. i want to spend a moment to recognize a remarkably generous donation by bayer to the c.d.c. foundation to support a comprehensive program to confront the zika threat in puerto rico. bayer is making a very substantial donation that will enable us to do a number of things that control mosquitoes, to support women who choose not to become pregnant during this time with effective, modern contraception, they also are one of our sponsors for the zika
action plan summit at c.d.c. where ed was present along with 30 other state officials, accelerating the work to protect people in this country. it's an example of the public sector, the private sector, philanthropic sector coming together effectively and doing together what none of us could do as effectively alone system round ofuld like a applause for ray carrons and new foundation c.e.o. monroe for their important work. \[applause] it has been less than five months since we first saw conclusive evidence that zika may be the cause of microcephaly. in those five months we've learned an enormous amount and i'll take you through 10 things we have learned in those five months. first, it is an extraordinarily complex response. in fact, of all the responses i have overseen, it's probably the
most complex. we have involved almost every single part of c.d.c. we've had more than 1,000 of our staff involved. whether it's mosquito controlled or viral or sexual transmission or obstetrics or newborn care. many, many parts of our agency are fully activated to support the response. second, it's now clear that zika causes microcephaly and other birth defects. i vividly remember sitting with our chief infectious disease pathologist and having him show me the special stain he is had done to show the zika virus actually invading the neural tissue of newborn infants and destroying it. this is a horrible thing to see. it is just the kind of thing you would never want to see and yet to understand that when a child
is born with microcephaly, it's not because the skull was malformed, it's because the virus destroyed the brain cells and the skull collapsed around the demolished or devastated brain. it's a horrible situation. third, we have now seen clear evidence that even asymptomatic infection with zika during pregnancy can result in microcephaly and four out of five cases of zika are asymptomatic. they don't know. fourth, zika certainly causes guillain-barre. what's so unusual about that is the threat to pregnant women. five, diagnosing zika is hard but we've made enormous progress. c.d.c. laboratory scientists
have optimized tests so we now have a rapid, highly sensitive test that can be used in urine or blood that can detect the virus in someone who is acutely infected accurately. we've also made them and disseminated them to 100 labs around the u.s. and nearly 100 countries around the world. we've also improved the c.d.c. test to try to test for recent infection. it's not perfect but it's the best test out there. as well as a more complex test to try to determine which of several similar infections the person may have had. we've provided more than a million of those tests. so testing is hard but we're making progress. six. controlling this mosquito is really hard. it's the cockroach of mosquitoes. it lives indoors and outdoors.
it bites in the daytime and nighttime. it's eggs can last for more than a year. they can hatch in a drop of water. in parts of the u.s., and puerto rico, they're highly resistant to certain insecticides. they prefer people so they generate -- they generally spread disease among people and when they take a blood meal they will often bite four or five people at once. so they're capable of rapidly spreading the infection. there is no example of effective control of this mosquito in the modern era. and i vividly remember in a trip to puerto rico our lab team had set up laboratories, hatched the mosquitoes and were testing them for resistance. we put them in a bottle coated with insecticide and we see whether they're knocked down or not. and to see them in a bottle that had been coated with what should be a very effective insecticide happily flying around minute after minute, hour after hour,
shows us how important it is that we improve the methods we have of controlling mosquitoes. seventh. there are also other routes of transmission. we did not expect that sexual transmission would be as common as we've seen it. we have 10 documented cases in the u.s. we've never had sexual transmission of dengue or west nile but in zika it can spread sexually. that adds a new level of risk and a new message that if your partner is pregnant and you've been in an area with zika, use a condom. also blood safety. theoretically it's possible that there could be transfusion-associated zika. that's why we're grateful for roche and the f.d.a., they've come out with a terrific, highly sensitive test that is already being used in puerto rico to screen the blood supply to keep the blood supply safe. puerto rico has a particular challenge, they were debt a bad hand by nature when it comes to
mosquito borne diseases. the risk is still to pregnant women but it is an enormous challenge in puerto rico. we're continuing to see women infected with zika in puerto rico and very concerned about what the coming months will hold. ninth. the rule of globalization and urbanization is crucial. we have at least 40 million visits from the u.s. to places around the world where zika is spreading. we're not going to stop the world because we want to get off. globalization and global travel has a lot of benefits, economic productivity, in interchange among people, in the ability to do what we do in the world. but it does also have the inevitability of bringing risks closer to home. disease threat anywhere in the world may be just a plane ride away and the greater urbanization of the world is
also facilitating outbreaks of yellow fever in the ebola epidemic, it was the first time we had seen urban spread of ebola, which was enormously challenging to control. finally, i'd like to say a word about the remarkable innovations going on through c.d.c. scientists, doctors and other researchers. we often think of c.d.c. as the agency with boots on the ground, working 24-7 protect you, and we are that. but we also have developed new tools, new diagnostics, using cutting edge technologies of virus-like particles and chimeri viruses. we've developed new traps that are effective and actually can knock down the spread of diseases, spread like zika, by half, very simply, at a low cost. and now we're going to see if that can be implemented on a broad scale. and we've been working for many years on a new class of insecticide that appears to be
nontoxic, food trade, smells a bit like grapefruit and may be as effective as deet. we'd like to see how quickly we can get that to the market. rapid cycle approaches, innovations, are going to be crucially important to protecting ourselves because the mike robes are changing and -- the microbes are changing and we need to adapt also. we are learning more each kay. - each day. we still don't know what proportion of women who are infected with zika will give birth to an infected child. we don't know what proportion of the infants born without microcephaly will have some impact later in life. it may be months or decades before we know that we don't know why some women are more affected but we're working closely with colombia, brazil, and the u.s. to learn. the quicker we learn the better we can protect american women. public health emergency, speed is critical. a day, a week, a month can make all the difference.
when ebola -- when ebola was getting out of control in july of 2014, said that we needed 300 ebola beds in west africa. 100 in each country. and we needed them within 30 days. it didn't happen. and within a few months we needed 3,000 beds. the fact that we can, today, potentially prevent dozens or hundreds or even thousands of birth defects make this is an enormously urgent challenge. at c.d.c. we are the centers for disease control and prevention and we have the national center for birth defects and developmental disabilities. and the experts there tell me that in their 30 years of working on birth defects, they have not had a situation this urgent. i want to particularly thank dr. mccabe from the march of dimes and his colleagues for all they're doing to really make
clear how extraordinarily unusual and urgent this situation is. we now know that there are more than 300 women in the u.s. including territories who have evidence of infection with zika and that number will only increase. we need to ensure that we have the resources needed to treat this emergency as it should be treated and if you just look at the definition of what an emergency is for supplemental funding request, it has three categories. it has to be unexpected. this is not only unexpected, it was -- it's completely unprecedented. it has to be catastrophic. and if you talk to any family of a child born with a severe birth defect, there could be no better or more exact definition of a catastrophe. and it has to be permanent damage. sadly, damage to developing brain is as permanent as anything. when we began preparing the
emergency supplemental request, it was a high level meeting i was at and there was some discussion on how it would go, what we would do and i asked, well, how long is this going to take? and they said, oh, it's moving very quickly. probably three months. and my jaw dropped, literally. three months in an epidemic is an eternity. zika threatens that too many parents will have to have the experience of not seeing their child grow to their full potential. graduate. get married. go to school. and we need to make sure that all of us are doing everything in our power to minimize the number of families affected. we're not going to eliminate zika in the near future. it's going to be a challenge. but we can reduce risk. we can protect women. and to do that, government funding is essential. private funding is essential.
philanthropic funding is essential. congress did the right thing with ebola. and i hope in the end they will do the right thing with zika. and they'll do that without making us stop a battle in one part of the world to fight a battle in another part of the world. you don't stop fighting terrorism in the middle east to fight terrorism in africa. one of the things we had to do because -- when we found out it would be at least three month for a supplemental was to borrow money from other parts of c.d.c. that includes emergency preparedness dollars that go out to all the states to deal with things like leading the response, doing lab test, tracking for outbreaks, responding to the health effects of natural disasters. we had to take $50 million of that money. but we had no choice. we have to take money and use
it, trusting we'd get it back from congress, and ebola is not over. the most recent cluster emerged when a man who had survived ebola 15 months earlier had sexual relations with a woman. she developed ebola as a result and she died. her family members died. it ended up spreading to two countries. we had to start five command and control centers. we had to upgrade 50 facilities to be able to diagnose ebola. we identified over 1,500 contacts all emerging from one case. and the outbreak wouldn't spread. and we were able to stop the outbreak. but if we let down our guard it
could come roaring back. and that same dynamic of letting it spread for a few days or weeks and then it takes months or years to control could have occurred. we're also, with the funding that congress provided for ebola, making excellent progress on a critically important initiative called the global in health security agenda. this is about stopping outbreaks there so we don't have to fight a them here. i was on the phone with my team in uganda a few days ago and really encouraged to hear the is kind of thing that's going on. they have had an outbreak of yellow fever in uganda. a few years ago, they had an outbreak of yellow fever, it spread widely, killed a lot of is people and was a huge problem. now they identified it quickly, controlled it quickly and were and able to do whole genome sequencing and rapidly realized it's not related to the angola outbreak. we're in a new world of being able to find and stop threats where they first emerge and the
better we do that, the safer we'll be at home. and that's another part of the ebola supplemental dollars that need to be protected. we can't be letting down our guard in one place to fight another battle. we also need to make sure that there is enough money in the supplemental so we can do the projects that are going to be hard but have to start now. understanding all of the effects of zika on women and the infants who are born. developing better diagnostic tests so we can figure out if someone has been infected in the past. we don't currently have the ability to do that. using our current mosquito control tools in a mix and match way to figure out how we can knock down the mosquito enough to protect women and infants. and developing new vector controls as well as a new vaccine. none of these are easy, none of them will be quick. but the sooner we start the sooner we can have an answer. i also do think that we have to be very clear about what we can
and can't do in zika. at c.d.c. we always try to tell it like it is. we don't sugar over the truth. we will tell you what we know, when we know it. we'll tell you what we don't know what we're trying to do to find it out. within literally days of reviewing that slide that showed the zika virus invading the fetal and also infant tissue, we issued a travel advisory on january 15 saying that pregnant women should not travel to places where zika is spreading. i can't tell you exactly how many pregnant women didn't travel for that reason, i can tell you that of the 300 women who we know of with zika infection the great majority traveled before that time. so we believe that that public health action has prevented cases of zika. that means that babies whose names none of us will ever know will grow up healthy because we
took the duty to warn seriously and we did it promptly, as soon as we had sufficient information to take public health action. now, it's been pointed out that just in recent years, we've had h1n1, ebola, zika, we've had mers, h5n1. we don't know where the next health threat will come from. we don't know when it will come. we don't know what pathogen it will be. but we are 100% certain there will be a next one. and it's our responsibility to be as ready as we possibly can be. and the two key areas for that are the global health security agenda, building up the capacity of countries to find, stop, and prevent health threats and putting in place an accountability framework so that
the whole world can know which countries are ready, what they're not ready for, and help for those countries that dent don't have the resources. it's in all of our interests to help build up those resources. for those providing the assistance to know if our assistance has been effective with an objective accountability framework. and we also need to ensure that we can surge in when country capacity is overwhelmed. at c.d.c. we've scraped together existing resources to create what we call the grit, the global rapid response team. we currently have more than 300 staff rostered for this. we have 50 people on call at any one time. we've already deployed them at least five times to deal with ebola, zika, polio, yellow fever, and they've spent more than 600 days in the field helping out with local response system of we've begun doing things. but we lost time fighting ebola because we couldn't immediately move rapidly. and i fear that we're losing
time with zika because we can't move as rapidly as we'd like to. congress did the right thing with ebola. i hope they will do the right thing with zika and they will d it soon. there's been talk that some of this should happen in the 17 process. this isn't an either-or issue. the senate bill doesn't fully fund the administration request. if some of that were rolled into the 2017 process that would be a good thing too. we have to be sure we pay back the money we borrow and have money to respond effectively. interestingly, i've been hearing from both sides of the aisle, both houses of congress, interest in thinking about new ways to do things, including having some form of public health disaster rapid response resource. this has sometimes been called a fema for public health. it would need to cover both domestic and global. it would need to have not only some resources available but authorities. authorities make a big difference.
there's good reasons for the administrative procedure that we follow in the government but they don't always match with emergencies. in the zika response, for example, we've been authorized to use what's called direct hiring authority. as a result, we have more than 70 people who joined c.d.c. to work full time on this. that makes a big different. one of our lessons, internally from ebola is that we wore our staff out. we had 4,000 staff work on ebola. 20 staff work on ebola in regular time. 1,400 people went to west africa. they spent 75,000 work day there is. we didn't have any serious injuries, we didn't have any ebola infections, but it was exhausting for the staff. we need to bring new staff onboard. zika won't be a one month or one-year problem. we need to get people working on it now who will be able to work on it long-term. there are administrative authorities as well as funding. kevin mccarthy in the house, dr. cassidy in the senate have both spoken about this issue. i don't know whether it will
happen, how it will happen, but i do know if we have money and mechanisms in advance, it minimizes the need for us to run to congress for supplemental and do something outside of the usual process. it allows us to put our focus where it should be, on adapting rapidly to the response. one of the key characteristics of responding to infectious disease threats is you have to adapt the response. with ebola, for example, we rapidly realized we needed a phased response when it was out of control. we need to deal with safe and dignified burial first. better care next. then rigorous contact investigation and tracing. and that phased response allowed us to first break the back of the epidemic and then mop it up, clean it up, protect communities and keep it in check. there is the ability to change the shape of the epidemic curve in public health. but the sooner you get there, the more dramatic impact you can make saving lives and ultimately
reducing costs. now, it is as some have noticed near the end of a second term of the administration. i've had the incredible privilege to lead the c.d.c. for the past seven years. that marks about 20 years i've been working at c.d.c. and i'm still learning the great things that our dedicated staff do. they continue to inspire me and humble me with their sense of mission, their expertise, their creativity, their hard work, their intelligence, c.d.c. is a great buy for the federal dollar. the taxpayers get their money's worth. people work hard. and are committed to what they do. and we've made a lot of progress. not just stopping ebola but in other areas as well. i thought since i'd given an earlier list of 10, i'll give a list of 10 things that we've done that have helped americans be safer and healthier. one, we've made progress and in all of these i would say not successes but progress, because there's still more to do.
one, we've made progress reducing the number of health care associated infections. one of the most serious of these, mrsa in intensive care units is down by half. more to go but americans alive today because we along with c.m.s., hospitals throughout the u.s., doctors, have improved practice. second, we've begun using whole genome sequencing to find and stop outbreaks faster. this allows you to trace the path of pathogen in a way we never could before. we did a proof of principle with listeria, sequencing every isolate in the country. as a result we found contaminated food before we would have found it otherwise. we got it off the shelves and today there are meshes alive who would have died if that hadn't happened.
we went to congress three years ago saying this was our top priority, they funded it and americans are alive today as a result of their foresight in doing that. three, tobacco use. just announced this week, smoking is at an all-time low in the u.s., 15.1%. still a leading preventable cause of death but millions of americans don't smoke who smoked just seven years ago. the tips from former smokers campaign that c.d.c. ran, the first ever national paid campaign against tobacco, has been incredibly effective. it has helped about 400,000 americans smoke and helped change the conversation about smoking. it has saved hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs. and the cost per life saved is a tiny fraction of what's usually used as a benchmark. four, motor vehicle accidents or injuries, i should say. motor vehicle deaths, dropped sharply until 2013. we have to look at more recent trends which are concerning, but motor vehicle crashes are an example of what we can do when we come
together as a society and we think about how we attack a problem from all angles, law enforcement, community action, design, road design, industry, coming together to make driving much, must have safer. five, teen pregnancy. the lowest rate ever. down 42% since 2007. all too often, teen pregnancy perpetuates poverty in a community. so the decline in teen pregnancy has many positive ramifications throughout society. six, h.i.v. we've been promoting testing and now a greater proportion of people with h.i.v. know they have it. it used to be that only about one in five people living with h.i.v. didn't know they have it. now it's about one in eight. progress. polio. number seven. we're closer to eradication than ever. when i began, when we began the effort in 19 8, there were 1988 there were 350,000
children disabled each year by polio. last year, there were 74. this year, so far, 17. when i began at c.d.c. director, didn't look like we could get over the finish line in india. we surged into india and got to zero. india got to zero. incredible effort. they put in $1 billion to polio eradication. then we said, if india can do it, nigeria should be able to do it. we surged into nigeria and that polio eradication infrastructure in nigeria stopped ebola in nigeria as well. it has great, great benefits for all. now the challenge is getting over the finish line in afghanistan and pakistan and we're close. whether or not it will happen this year hangs in the balance, but it can. eight. haiti. you don't often hear haiti and progress in the same sentence. but little known, since the earthquake, we have indeed helped them build back better. they have introduced new vaccines that will save more than 40,000 children's lives. and though you wouldn't think of
the word elimination of a disease and haiti in the same sentence, they are on the path to eliminate three terrible diseases, malaria, which we think can be eliminated from haiti and hispanola. infant h.i.v., and filarisis, a terribly disabling disease. nine, pepfar. started in the previous administration, continued in this one has made great strides in the global initiative, we have many countries involved making the world a safer place. imagine if the c.d.c. were fully funded, how many earthquakes and hurricanes we could stop. there are still major, unfinished pieces of business. i'll mention fourth, opiate overdose continues to be on the rise and is devastating families and communities. cardiovascular disease is still our leading killer, yet we could control it for very little
money. we should be able to do much better than we do preventing and preventing and treating high blood pressure and other leading causes of heart disease. three, antibiotic resistance. we risk being in a post-antibiotic world and that wouldn't just be for infections that you think of as bad infections, pneumonia and urinary tract infections. that's bad enough. that could be for the 600,000 americans a year who need cancer treatment. for whom we just assume we'll be able to treat infections. we may lose that ability. just a few hours ago, the department of defense released information about a woman with no travel outside of the u.s.
who is the first documented human case in the united states of having a urinary tract infection or any infection with an organism resistant to every antibiotic, including the last one we have, coliston. it was an old antibiotic, but was last one we had left for the bad bacteria. what the defense department did, they took organisms that were resistant to c.r.e., and they tested them for resistant to that. in the first six they did, one was resistant. and this patient hadn't traveled. they'd done just three weeks of testing. and we know now that the more we look, the more we're going to find. and the more we look at drug resistance, the more concerned we are. we need to do a very comprehensive job protecting antibiotics so we can have them and our children can have them. we need to make new antibiotics but we need better stewardship and identification of outbreaks
we'll lose these miracle drugs. the medicine cabinet is empty for some patients. it is the end of the road for antibiotics unless we act urgently. fourth, we need to do better at building and openly assessing rapid response capacity around the world. again that global health security agenda. where countries aren't prepared, we're at greater risk. the work is far from finished. one thing that will bring us further along are connections. connections between the health care system and public health. between global and u.s. health. between the immediate needs and long-term needs. between the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. and in all of those kecks, what's going to drive progress is the fundamental concept of accountability. never being afraid to ask, how much difference are we making? are we succeeding? are we getting the results we need? in the private sector if you
don't make a profit, you change your business model. in the public sector, unless you have an accountability frimework, you may not be able to correct what you're doing fast enough to protect people well. now, i'm often asked how i feel as c.d.c. director, dealing with things like ebola and zika. and of course in the heat of the moment, you're mostly concerned about getting the job done. concerned about something or fear about something getting out of control. worry about being able to get the support, the inspiration of dealing with staff who are so focused on what they do. but for me, when faced with emergencies like this, the greatest emotion has been frustration. imagine that you're standing by and you see someone drowning and you have the ability to stop them from drowning but you
can't. now multiply that by a thousand. or 100,000. that's what it feels like to know how to change the course of an epidemic and not be able to do it. for any reason. because of challenges in implementation or funding or administrative details, to challenges to work with partnership with other organizations. right now, the current crisis is zika. we need a robust response to protect american women and reduce to the greatest extent humanly possible the number of families affected. we don't know who those children will be. we don't know where they will grow up. but anything we don't do now we will regret not having done later. and if we don't take this
opportunity to learn the lessons and establish some sort of facility whereby we can respond immediately and surge in when there's a problem, we won't be fully prepared for the next emergency. and we know there will be a next emergency. most of the time in public health we do our work silently. or in the background. all of us are here, healthier today, many of us here alive today, because of things that public health did that we may not think about. whether it's a vaccination or safe water or safer environment. public health keeps us safe, healthy, and productive. now, imagine that you could stop an earthquake. in public health, we have the ability to stop many of the health equivalents of earthquakes. you have that ability.
you in the media. you in the philanthropic sector. you in public health. you in the corporate sector. in fact, public health is everyone who protects the public health. thank you very much. [applause] mr. burr: thank you, doctor. you said that the microbes are changing. is there concern that the zika virus is mutating in ways that would make it even more concerning than it already is? mr. frieden: we don't understand why we're seing this with zika for the first time. there are four different possibilities, maybe the virus changed. we looked at the genome, it hasn't changed much, but we don't understand the genome fully. maybe it was happening in africa
for years and we weren't looking so we didn't realize it. it may be that it was so rare it didn't occur often. or it may be that it was so common that women were infected before childbearing and therefore you didn't see it. we just don't know. these are some things we need to find out going forward. mr. burr: given the forecast for a fairly hot summer and as you might have seen a lot of recent rain, what are your current expectations of how many pregnant women in the united states might get zika this year and how many zika-related cases of fetal defects might we see in the u.s.? mr. frieden: for zika, we will look at how two other viruses, dengue and chikungunya spread. it may not behave the same as those but if it does we expect to see some things. first, zika associated with travel. we have more than 500 cases in the u.s.
those are generally symptomatic cases. 40 million visitors, so you do expect a lot of travel associated cases. in puerto rico and the u.s. territories, where those two diseases spread rapidly, unfortunately, the likelihood is that within a year we will see hundreds of thousands of infections. so that is a real concern. in other parts of the u.s., including hawaii, we've seen yet a different pattern of zika spread -- of dengue spreading, and if zika spreads that way it could spread for months and be difficult to control but at a low level. in parts of the southern u.s. like florida and texas, we've seen clusters of dengue. in the past they have not been widespread, they've been focal, and the local governments, local areas have been effective at doing mosquito control to prevent widespread transmission. that's the most likely scenario
in terms of zika. we do expect there will be some spread through mosquitoes in some part of the continental u.s. we do work closely with the state and local entity there is to try to keep that to the absolute minimum. that's one reason we need robust resources to ensure we are doing everything in our power to minimize the risk to american women. mr. burr: there doesn't seem to be much news, if any, about zika infection, zika infected people in europe or asia or africa. could you help me understand what's going on there. mr. frieden: we have seen, for example, sexually transmitted zika in parts of europe. we're really not sure what's happening in asia. it may be that zika has been around for so long people are immune to it, or it may be they will have a large outbreak. only time will tell. that's one reason we need really good monitoring systems in place to track what's happening. when we improve monitoring systems, it's like civil aviation.
if the whole world does it together, the whole world is safer. that's one thing we have to continue to strengthen in global health. mr. burr: there's a large event happening in brazil this summer. if you were in charge of this year's summer olympics, what would you do? cancel it? move to a safer place? postpone it? mr. frieden: there's no public health reason to cancel or delay the olympics. our recommendation about travel is a recommendation regardless of why you travel. we say if you're pregnant, don't go somewhere where zika is spreading. if you have to go somewhere where zika is spreading, be careful about mosquito bites. if you're a male in a place where zika is spreading and your partner is pregnant, use a condom. i think there's risk to delegations going and athletes is not zero but the risk of any travel isn't zero. but the risk is not particularly high other than for pregnant women. some have said, well, so much
travel to the olympics, it might spread the disease. we've looked at this. travel to the olympics would represent less than one quarter of one percent of all travel to zika affected areas. even if you were to say the olympics won't happen you'd still be left with 99.75% of the risk of zika continuing to spread. the fact is, we are all connected. by the air with breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. and the planes we ride on. it is a world where interconnection is the new normal and rather than try to stop the world because we want to get off, let's take steps to make as much of the world as safe as possible for all of our safety. mr. burr: from what i understand, it seems there are only six states in the united states that are still zika free, having not reported any cases. alaska, idaho, north dakota, south dakota, washington, and wyoming. what do those states have that the others lack? mr. frieden: fewer travelers from zika-affected areas. and just a matter of time before they also have some cases, i
think. mr. burr: let's get to funding for a second. have you been prevented from doing anything as a result of congress not yet acting on emergency funds for zika? mr. frieden: we have been able to get a start on things that are needed immediately for the zika response. what we haven't been able to get started on are some of the longer term projects we have to start now that are going to take time. you know, there's the old saying, the best time to plan to tree is 20 years ago. the second best time is today. we haven't been able to plant those tree, the went -- we haven't been able to do the work to come up with better diagnostics, better mosquito control strategies, to do that in the robust way we'll need. mr. burr: so keeping on funding for a second. how do you respond to claims, especially by many congressional republicans, that the administration's $1.9 billion request is vague, incomplete, or could result in blank check or as some call it a slush fund. mr. frieden: for the c.d.c. component of the administration it was $828 million.
we have a line item. it is our best, most honest estimate, of what we need to fight the epidemic. it may be under for some areas where the drug resistance results came back, insecticide resistance results, some of the alternative insecticides cost two or three times as much. if other things do things in different ways, it may be less than that. but that's our best estimate of what we need for c.d.c. the senate compromise, bipartisan proposal, funds nearly all of what c.d.c. requested. and would allow us to have a great start. really, the two things that are key are please reimburse the money we borrowed because it's still needed to fight emergencies including in the u.s. and overseas and second, make sure we have enough resources and authorities to protect women as effectively as we possibly can. mr. burr: other than the public health emergency preparedness
fund, what specific program has the c.d.c. had to cut in order to pay for zika? mr. frieden: there are a couple of things going on. one, as you mentioned, we took about $50 million from the public health emergency preparedness program, not because we don't like that program or it's not important. it was one of the only places we could go where we were allowed by congress to redirect 10% of it. so we took 10% of it, put it to zika, that meant that states like ed's got less money, are getting less money, and they have to deal with, can they pay their staff who are doing emergency preparedness? can they respond to outbreaks? that's one piece we very much hope we'll get restored. the second that we use, c.d.c. had some doctors that were programmed to fight ebola in liberia, sierra leone, and guinea. in 2017 and 2018. because it's five-year money. we said, we have nowhere else to go so we'll take the money from
there but we need it become to prevent ebola from coming roaring back. mr. burr: let's talk about prevention here. what's your view on the use of mosquito repellants with deet especially by pregnant women. what repellants would you recommend? mr. frieden: deet when used as directed is effective and safe. one thing we've done in puerto rico with support from the companies that are here is to distribute zika prevention kits, z.p.k.'s. we've distributed about 10,000 of them. there are about 32,000 pregnancies in puerto rico per year. we're getting close to reaching a large portion of the at-risk women. and we're finding great interest. the challenge is not so much are they safe but are they effective. because you've got to apply multiple times in a day. you've got to apply indoor and outdoor. what we're looking at is a comprehensive program that deals with screens and killing larvae and getting rid of breeding sites, killing adult mosquitoes, it's what i call the four
corners approach, inside, adult mosquitoes and larval mosquitoes. we have new tools that are exciting. i mentioned earlier that the trap which killed female mosquitoes, there are other products which e.p.a. rapidly approved which we'd like to get into field trials in puerto rico in the next few weeks. the challenge is there's no magic bullet to get rid of this mosquito. it's really tough. and we need to try a comprehensive approach, drawing together the different tools that we have and figuring out what works. mr. burr: what's the timeline -- is there a timeline, for a vaccine for genetically modified mosquitoes, for an effective anti-zika viral drug? mr. frieden: i think for all these research priorities, you have to, one, go full steam ahead in developing them, seeing if they work, but two, not assume they're going to be here
and be here soon. so the most promising is a vaccine. immunity to zika appears to be long lasting and potentially lifelong. so in theory, making a vaccine against it should work. and the vaccines being tried are killed vaccines, so they won't result in infection. initially we weren't quite sure if the microcephaly caused by zika would be an immune response so a vaccine would have the potential to make it not protected. but it's clear it's a virus attack. a vaccine could work, should work. but it's at least a year or two before we know if it's safe and effective. that's often optimistic in terms of vaccines. n.i.h. is doing terrific work. they've got five different vaccine candidates. they expect to be in phase one trials in september. phase two trials next year. depending on how those guy, we could have a vaccine in a couple of years.
we can't count on it. even if we do, there will still be other mosquito-borne diseases. we need new classes of insecticide. we need new ways to control this mosquito. mr. burr: you're talking about repellent and insecticides, aren't there other health effects of using those? mr. frieden: it's important to use any product safely. whether it's insecticides or repellants, larvacides, or pesticides that kill adult mosquitoes, there has been important technological advancement in recent years. we know more about ultra low volume spraying, about the particle size that's effective for mosquitoes and will minimize toxicity. how to apply and where to apply. there are parts of the u.s. that that are doing excellent work on this and we're learning from them. so there are technological advances. there is nothing that is risk-free in life. so it's always going to be a
balancing act. but applying things effectively is going to be a way of minimizing risk, especially in a place that has a high risk in puerto rico. i think you'll find that any community that there are some people who want more spraying and some who want less spraying. so part of that is a community discussion. and part of that is trying to get facts out there of what are the potential risks and what are the potential benefits. mr. burr: you talked about puerto rico. what is the impact of the debt crisis there had on fighting this? mr. frieden: it hasn't made it easier. puerto rico is faced with a very challenging situation, not just economic and political, but also in the health care context. their medicaid program has deep problems and it's unable to pay physicians. one of the things the c.d.c. foundation is working on is a way to reimburse physicians for the care they provide for women who choose not to become pregnant during this time. it's making an incredibly difficult situation even harder.
mr. burr: what level of confidence do you have that the virus persistent blood and semen for weeks or months or years? mr. frieden: there are a few things we know. virus persists in blood for only about a week. in urine for about two weeks. in saliva for about a week. that's been studied. semen is an unknown. there have been reports of virus persisting, not necessarily live virus but at least parts of the virus for up two months. we've seen long persistence in ebola. those studies need to be done they take six to 12 months to do at best and we still may not know of the outlier situations where maybe someone who has a different course of infection as occurred with the recent ebola cluster in the west africa. we have to recognize we have many, many things we don't yet know in see chasm we give the best available advice based on
the most recent and best available information. mr. burr: could you have zika and not development symptoms? should anyone who has been in a risk zone get tested? mr. frieden: about four of five people infected with zika don't recognize any symptoms. the challenge with testing is we don't have widespread, widely available testing for past infection. past two or three months we don't have any testing to see if you've been infected. so we need industry to come to the table and develop a new test. we need basic science to advance to try to develop those tests. they're not easy. this is not an administrative or operational problem. this is a scientific problem that's very, very difficult to do. there have been efforts to do this for many years that haven't been successful. so we have scientific challenges and that's also one of the areas we want to begin that long-term work, the sooner we begin it, the sooner we'll have answers. mr. burr: before i ask the last question, i have a few
announcements. the national press club is the world's leading organization for journalists. we fight for free press worldwide. for more information visit our website at press.org. i'd also like to remind you about upcoming programs. june 13, girl scouts of the usa ceo will speak at the press corps luncheon. the next day, michael middleton, university of missouri's interim president will speak here. the next day, june 22, labor secretary tom perez will cap off for me what will be a 40-hour three-day work week. now i'd like to present our guest with the national press club mug. this is your fourth visit so you now have a full set. [laughter] [applause] for my last question, sir, your job is to protect the health of americans but we all have our
vices. my question is, what is your guilty pleasure? netflix, chocolate? mr. frieden: desserts, i have to say. i love sweets. and you know, it's ok to like things that aren't healthy. everything in moderation, including moderation. sometimes people think that public health is about telling people not to do things that are fun. but actually, i'd rather think of public health as helping people identify the sweet spot, identify things you love doing, whether it's walking or dancing or walking the dog or playing basketball, that are healthy and help you to live a longer, healthier life. we're about empowering. empowering means if you go about your business, you don't have to worry about getting killed by a resistant bacteria or having a child with a terrible birth defect. public health is about helping all of us live healthier when we just go about our business and do what we want to do. thank you all very much.
tells us more about this amendment, and why the bill was defeated. why was it? after three days of work, that this bill went down? >> i think it comes down to what happened late last night on the house floor, there were three at issue.ments are presented patch has committed to continuing to push for -- patrick maloney has , that would push provide protections to federal lgbtact workers for individuals. that amendment fell on military construction bill, he committed to bring it up on energy water, and he did. republicans included a second amendments to his, but that would basically stipulate that certain parts of the constitution would provide some type of exemption to his
amendment. the was a bit of a debate on it, but ultimately the house agreed to adopt his amendment, but subsequently following the agreement, there were two other amendment democrats had were related to lgbt discrimination, and that ultimately led to almost all democrats to oppose the energy water bill on the floor. those two amendment, the first from our present of robert pittenger from north carolina death representative robert pittenger of north carolina. your viewers probably understand, north carolina is involved in a state federal fossil over -- tussle over the bathroom law. democrats use that as a slight against lgbt protections. another amendment which appeared to provide a
religious freedom exemption to amendment, so that was also adopted. with those amendment adopted, despite the fact that mr. amendment was adopted, many republicans came out against the bill, and democrats. 6 republicans only in favor. 305, thatnal tally 112- bill went down in the house. what are you hearing now from house appropriations chair hal rogers about how the defeat might impact the appropriations process overall? >> the leadership is committed to keeping the appropriations process moving forward. they said this will not stop the process. speaker ryan immediately after the vote told the press that he has got to hav ea family discussion with republicans of it how to with amendment on
appropriations bills. he laid the blame on democrats for the bill falling apart, but you have to note that there were republicans also against the bill. this was a clear example of how this agreement over lgbt provisions republican leadership as i said remain committed to keep trying to keep appropriations bills to the floor. they may just try to change the way the amendment process works so that this kind of sudden disagreement over changes to the bill doesn't keep the legislation from going across the finish line. >> the house today also voted to go to conference with the senate on zika funding through another spending bill. tell us how that came together in the house and what are the in