The NIH Clinical Center has stopped therapy dogs from visiting the sick children within its confines because of the government shutdown. In addition, the NIH Center will not enroll new patients in their current studies or clinical trials until the shutdown is over. Normally, 200 people are part of clinical trials every week.
Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said,
The clinical center is often called the ‘House of Hope,’ and the ‘House of Hope’ had to close its doors to new patients because that’s what a shutdown does. How would you feel, as a parent of a child with cancer, hoping that somehow NIH and its clinical center might provide some rescue from a very difficult situation, to hear that, frankly, you can’t come, because the government wasn’t able to stay open?
Collins stated that the entire grants program, most of which is given to researchers and clinicians across the nation, is shut down. He said, “No new applications can be received.”
It should be noted that on the list of the top 1000 salaries in the federal government in 2011, 23 of the top 28 were officials at the National Institutes of Health; all made over $290,000 per year.