Executive Order’s Scientific Fallout

President Trump’s Jan. 27 Executive Order suspending travel to the US by citizens of 7 countries in the Middle East could limit scientists’ ability to research neglected diseases, says Peter Hotez, an infectious disease expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“Scientific communities across the world need collaborators in these countries who can combat epidemics before they arrive in the US,” Hotez told Nature reporter Amy Maxmen.

The order has already disrupted leishmaniasis vaccine cooperation between the US NIH and the Pasteur Institute of Iran.

Another example: Ahmed Fahal, who directs the Mycetoma Research Centre in Sudan, had been invited to speak at a June conference of the American Society of Microbiology in New Orleans. Following last May’s addition of mycetoma to WHO’s list of neglected tropical diseases, Fahal was eager to discuss collaboration possibilities with the CDC. (Maxmen reported a series of articles on the disease caused by flesh-eating fungi and bacteria from Sudan for GHN.)

“It’s a big blow,” says Fahal, who says he may have to cancel his trip to the US.

Source: Nature

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