Federal officials warned Tuesday that an especially dangerous group of superbugs has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States.
These germs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, have become much more common in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the risk they pose to health is becoming evident.
It was never supposed to happen, but now it has. With President Obama's signing of the order to commence the sequester spending cuts of $85 billion from this fiscal year's federal budget, what was once unthinkable is now hard reality.
The indiscriminate, across-the-board spending cuts to the Defense Department and domestic programs were supposed to be so odious and harebrained that, of course, the president and Congress would agree on a more reasonable path to deficit reduction.
President Obama minced no words when he talked about how the looming budget cuts known as sequestration could hurt the Justice Department.
"FBI agents will be furloughed. Federal prosecutors will have to close cases and let criminals go," Obama said.
Starting late Friday, if Congress and the White House can't come to an agreement, the Justice Department will face $1.6 billion in cuts — about 9 percent of its budget. Attorney General Eric Holder told a group of state law enforcement officials who met in Washington this week that the situation looks ugly.