The Big Read: The new $1 billion Biden plan to track autism

In the offing: Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to spend $1 billion for the federal government to approve more pediatric diagnostic tests as they win wide adoption within the United States. “We need…

The Big Read: The new $1 billion Biden plan to track autism

In the offing: Former Vice President Joe Biden plans to spend $1 billion for the federal government to approve more pediatric diagnostic tests as they win wide adoption within the United States.

“We need new, rapid noninvasive diagnostic tests that make simple, easy diagnoses,” Mr. Biden said in a statement. “The inroads we have made will be hard to reverse.”

The diagnostic tests Biden is proposing are for liquid biopsies — or biopsies of fluid taken from the upper part of the bloodstream or abdomen.

“They are used in pediatric cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, but also can be used in nonspecific situations, such as spinal pain or pinpoint vision,” said MaryAnn Dalpiaz, a spokeswoman for Mr. Biden.

Among the 15 tests Biden is seeking is one that can diagnose patients at risk of preterm birth who are at the lowest risk, as well as one that can do an in-depth assessment of how mothers are faring during pregnancy.

Biden’s proposal comes just as Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long announced Thursday that FEMA plans to use blood-thinning drugs as an antidote to opioid overdoses, partly in an effort to save the lives of severely endangered pregnant women and to control the spread of infectious diseases.

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