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“We’re doing anything we can to mitigate any impacts,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday.
Although the government shutdown, which is now the longest in U.S. history, has reduced the number of FDA routine safety inspections, Azar said that food inspectors at the agency, which is responsible for 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, and medical inspectors have been called back to work to ensure that the highest-risk products are safe for consumers.
“We have the ability to continue to function to protect the health, safety and national security of the United States,” he said. “And we’re just very grateful to the employees of the FDA and the Indian Health Service for continuing to work in the very important public health mission that we’ve got here.”
Azar added that the rest of the department was funded before the end of the fiscal year and that the health department has not yet felt the impact of the partial government shutdown.