Over the past few days, there has been a run on potassium iodide tablets in Brooklyn. Co-op shelves have been stripped bare as concerns mount over the fate of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in Japan and the impact a meltdown might have on this brownstone borough. Part of the blame for the paucity of pills fell on the Obama administration, which some Park Slope residents believed was stockpiling the potassium iodide in case of a greater emergency.
The White House is not exactly denying it, either.
The Observer checked in with the White House this morning, and again this afternoon, at which point point we were directed to the Department of Health and Human Services. From there, our call was forwarded across the District line to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. There, spokesman Calvin Jackson admitted, “This is the first I’ve heard of this,” before promising to ask around. So far, no reply.
In the meantime, the Centers for Disease Control has sprung into action on Twitter. “Do NOT take Potassium Iodide (KI) in US b/c of nuclear pwr plants in Japan, #japan http://go.usa.gov/4hX,” the agency warned about an hour ago.
And so, Brobos, you may want to think twice before mashing up some pills in young Henry or Eleanor’s organic porridge tomorrow morning.