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Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley enters US presidential race

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Washington: Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley on Saturday announced his bid for the 2016 US presidential race, in which he will first face tough challenge from former secretary of state Hillary Clinton to win the Democratic nomination.

“I declare that I am a candidate for president of the US,” O’Malley told a crowd of supporters at the Federal Hill Park in Baltimore, where he served as mayor before becoming Maryland’s governor for 2007-2015, Xinhua reported.

“My decision is made. Now you will all have a vital choice to make next year, for the good of your families, and for the good of the country you love and carry in your hearts,” he said.

O’Malley, 52, joined Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic field to compete for the party nomination next year.

Clinton is being regarded as the frontrunner, but O’Malley said Democrats deserve a choice in the 2016 primary.

In a veiled attack at Clinton, O’Malley said the US presidency “is not a crown to be passed back and forth … between two royal families”, referring to the Clinton and Bush families.

Hillary Clinton’s husband Bill Clinton occupied the White House for two terms during 1993-2001.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, brother of former president George W. Bush (2001-2009) and son of former president George H.W. Bush (1989-1993), is expected to soon announce his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination.

Jeb Bush is regarded as the top contender among an already crowded Republican field, which currently includes eight candidates after former New York governor George Pataki announced on Thursday his run for the 2016 race. (IANS)

 

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More Cases of Measles Reported in US, the Worst Outbreak in Over 25 Years

Nearly 30 states have reported cases, with outbreaks of over three cases ongoing in California

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Measles, US, Outbreak
A poster released by Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is seen as experts answer questions regarding the measles response and the quarantine orders in Los Angeles, April 26, 2019. VOA

Thirty-three new cases of measles were reported last week, with 1,077 active cases total within the United States, according to health officials — the worst outbreak in over 25 years, when 2,126 cases were recorded in 1992.

Nearly 30 states have reported cases, with outbreaks of over three cases ongoing in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington state. New York’s Rockland County declared a state of emergency in late May, over a outbreak in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.

Measles was declared eradicated within the U.S. in 2000, four decades after elimination was first announced as a goal. A disease is considered eliminated when a full year passes with no active transmissions. If the current outbreak isn’t under control by October 2019, the U.S. will lose its measles elimination status.

“That loss would be a huge blow for the nation and erase the hard work done by all levels of public health,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said in a press release last month. “Before widespread use of the measles vaccine, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States, along with an estimated 400 to 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations.”

Measles, US, Outbreak
Thirty-three new cases of measles were reported last week. Pixabay

According to the agency, most cases are being spread by unvaccinated school-age children. Communities with low rates of vaccination create pockets through which the disease can easily be spread.

“I want to reassure parents that vaccines are safe, they do not cause autism,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield, M.D., in the press release. “The greater danger is the disease the vaccination prevents.”

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Travel from countries where measles is common, especially Ukraine, Israel and the Philippines, is also contributing to the U.S. outbreaks, according to the Associated Press. (VOA)