What We’re Following Today
It’s Wednesday, March 6. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, defending President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border. Nielsen was also questioned about the administration’s controversial immigration policies, including parent-child separations, and said that at its current pace, the Department of Homeland Security is on track to “encounter close to one million” migrants at the southern border by the end of the fiscal year.
Here’s what else we’re watching:
Not All Heroes Use Vapes: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb unexpectedly announced Tuesday that he will leave the agency in April. He’s been one of the country’s most powerful opponents of e-cigarettes and vaping, reports Amanda Mull, and his departure means that tobacco companies could face less regulation—and that teenagers could be more exposed to addiction.
The Long-Term Effects of Disaster: The tornado that swept through Lee County, Alabama, over the weekend killed 23 people and destroyed dozens of homes. And its impacts could be much more far-reaching: A new study of mothers in New York City who gave birth soon after Hurricane Sandy found that such natural disasters can affect the stress levels of babies in utero, and amplify the mother’s prenatal depression. Recovering from natural disasters is often more difficult for low-income communities and communities of color. Weeks after Hurricane Florence, low-income renters in New Bern, North Carolina, still faced moldy, unlivable apartments, and an NPR investigation found that federal disaster aid goes disproportionately to wealthy, white Americans.