A DEFENSE-LINKED CONTRACTOR TOOK OVER A SUCCESSFUL CDC ANTI-OVERDOSE INITIATIVE. IT IMPLODED IN A DAY (The Intercept)

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    A DEFENSE-LINKED CONTRACTOR TOOK OVER A SUCCESSFUL CDC ANTI-OVERDOSE INITIATIVE. IT IMPLODED IN A DAY – By Noah Hurowitz (The Intercept) / Dec 16, 2023

    Why did the CDC hand a groundbreaking harm-reduction program over to a new firm with “zero experience” in public health?

    A GROUNDBREAKING Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative to support harm-reduction groups across the country fell apart this month after the program came under the control of a federal contractor that has done no public health work for the government.

    The National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center, or TA Center, was founded in 2019 as a coalition of harm-reduction groups partnered with the CDC to offer training, funding, and guidance to those working to reduce overdose deaths. Its success rested on the deep experience and the trust community members had for the three main partner organizations, which included the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors, or NASTAD; the National Harm Reduction Coalition, or NHRC; the University of Washington’s Supporting Harm Reduction Programs; and a handful of other groups.

    This month, the TA Center ceased functioning as it had for more than three years: Instead of a partnership, the project would be administered as a federal contract. And the CDC gave the sole-source contract to the Florida-based firm H2 PCI, a relatively new federal contractor with close links to the defense industry and the murky world of military special operations.

    H2 PCI entered negotiations with the primary partners in the center to make them subcontractors but did not send proposed subcontracts to the groups until early November. Rushed by deadlines, those talks broke down in late November, according to Laura Guzman, executive director of NHRC.

    CONTINUE > https://theintercept.com/2023/12/16/cdc-harm-reduction-opioid-defense-contractor/

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