Category Archives: About GAO

The growing use of economic sanctions

The U.S. government has increasingly used economic sanctions as a tool to combat threats to U.S. interests. For example, in recent weeks, the government has sanctioned companies for supporting a Venezuelan regime deemed by the United States to be illegitimate, … Continue reading

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Domestic Violence and Brain Injuries: An Unchecked Public Health Problem

One in 3 adults in the United States has been a victim of domestic violence. And this number may be increasing. As millions of Americans quarantine due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, news outlets have reported that such violence could … Continue reading

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COVID-19’s Disproportionate Impact on American Indians

American Indian communities are reporting high rates of COVID-19 infection and voicing concerns that they may be more at risk and less able to respond to the pandemic. In today’s WatchBlog, we look at some of the factors that may … Continue reading

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Disease modeling: How Math Can Help In A Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new attention to models of infectious disease. These models are critical tools that scientists—including those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—use to anticipate health care needs and explore options for responding to … Continue reading

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Quantum Technology Leaping Toward Reality

Quantum physics is a tough subject to study. Even revered physicist Richard Feynman once wrote that even “physics has given up” trying to fully understand it. But that does not mean human ingenuity cannot harness the mysteries of quantum physics … Continue reading

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Reverse Mortgages Present Benefits and Risks for Senior Homeowners

You’ve seen them advertised on T.V. and asked, “What is a reverse mortgage?” A reverse mortgage is a loan available to senior homeowners (62 years and older) that allows them to convert part of the equity in their homes into … Continue reading

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The Reward and Risk of Expediting COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Development

U.S. scientists are working quickly to develop new tests and vaccines to identify and combat COVID-19. They have already developed 3 kinds of tests and begun development on numerous potential vaccines. Developing a new test or vaccine, however, is a … Continue reading

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A Snapshot of Government-wide Contracting for FY 2019 (infographic)

From health care to helicopters, the government spends about 40% of its discretionary spending on contracts for goods and services. In FY 2019, the federal government spent more than $586 billion on these contracts, an increase of over $20 billion … Continue reading

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The Watchdog is Afoot!

Sherlock Holmes might be literature’s most famous detective, but he can still surprise you. For example, did you know that in the original books by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock never actually said “Elementary, my dear Watson”? May 22 is … Continue reading

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Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Infections like COVID-19.

Recent COVID-19 related deaths at nursing homes have raised concerns about the health and safety of the nation’s 1.4 million residents living in these facilities. In today’s WatchBlog, we look at the federal role in protecting nursing home residents and … Continue reading

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