Archive for the ‘public health’ Category

Herbicides

July 11, 2022

“More than 80% of urine samples drawn from children and adults in a US health study contained a weedkilling chemical linked to cancer, a finding scientists have called ‘disturbing’ and ‘concerning.’

The report by a unit of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that out of 2,310 urine samples, taken from a group of Americans intended to be representative of the US population, 1,885 were laced with detectable traces of glyphosate. This is the active ingredient in herbicides sold around the world, including the widely used Roundup brand. Almost a third of the participants were children ranging from six to 18.”

— “‘Disturbing’: weedkiller ingredient tied to cancer found in 80% of US urine samples,” Carey Gillam, The Guardian

A previous study found the herbicide 2,4-D in a third of US blood samples. If the science won’t convince Red State farmers to cool it with these chemicals, maybe Susan Werner‘s song (above) will give them pause.

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Facemasks

June 27, 2022

Facemasks

Still got facemasks? Good, because COVID isn’t going anywhere soon. When it comes to mask use, public policy now puts the burden of choice on you. Kimberly Mas reviews personal and community risks in this Vox video:

 

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Top photo (Subway poster, Farragut West Metro station, Washington DC ) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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White-Tailed Deer Have COVID

February 8, 2022

White-Tailed Deer Have COVID

White-tailed deer are carrying COVID-19. They may have gotten it from human contact during food sharing or from eating trash infected with coronavirus:

“Humans have infected wild deer with Covid-19 in a handful of states, and there’s evidence that the coronavirus has been spreading among deer, according to recent studies that outline findings that could complicate the path out of the pandemic.”

“About one-third of the deer sampled had active or recent infections, the study says. Similar research in Iowa of tissue from roadkill and hunted deer found widespread evidence of the virus.”

— “Covid is rampant among deer, research shows,” Evan Bush, NBC News

More:

“There’s a Covid-19 epidemic in deer. It could come back to haunt us.” Brian Resnick, Vox

“Is the Coronavirus in Your Backyard?”, Emily Anthes and Sabrina Imbler, New York Times

“Are Deer In COVID’s Crosshairs?” Paul Schattenberg, Texas A&M Today

“SARS-CoV-2 infection in free-ranging white-tailed deer,” Vanessa L. Hale, Patricia M. Dennis, Dillon S. McBride, et al., Nature [pdf]

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Image (“COVID-Infested Deer, after Atelier Disney”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

January 31, 2022

GOP State Politicos Push Quack COVID Cures

Republican state lawmakers in Colorado, Florida, Idaho, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia have proposed legislation that allows quack doctors to prescribe ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to prevent and treat Covid-19 which, despite pronouncements on Fox News and right-wing podcasts, they do not do. North Dakota and Tennessee have already passed such laws, even though:

” … those treatments have not proven effective at preventing or treating Covid and infectious disease experts see the bills as examples of right-wing lawmakers politicizing medicine – a trend that is increasing as the pandemic wears on in America in to its third year amid an increasingly fraught political atmosphere.

And so it goes with the latest suspect Covid-19 treatment that has become about more than just a drug, but rather about whether to trust established public health organizations or doctors who stray from their guidelines, and podcast and cable news hosts.”

— “Concern as Republicans push to make dubious Covid cure prescriptions easier,” Eric Berger, The Guardian

More:

“Republicans Are Changing State Medical Board Rules So It’s Easier For Doctors To Prescribe Hydroxychloroquine And Ivermectin,” Kadia Goba, BuzzFeed News

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Pro-Virus Protesters Infested DC Last Weekend

January 26, 2022

Pro-Virus Protesters Infested DC Last Weekend

Thousands of disgruntled and unvaccinated citizens descended on Washington DC last Sunday to defend their right to infect fellow Amercans with the COVID-19 virus. Anti-vaccine protesters and other members of the pro-death movement included the usual quacks and wingnuts, but also their strange bedfellow Robert Kennedy Jr., who compared vaccine mandates to Dr. Mengeles’ experiments at Auschwitz.

The District of Columbia has vaccine and mask mandates for indoor dining, so naturally the wrathful anti-vax throngs took their anger out on DC’s restaurant waitstaff.

Update:

“RFK Jr. apologizes after condemnation for Anne Frank comment,” Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press

More:

“Thousands march on Washington, D.C., in rally against vaccine mandates,” Daniel Uria, UPI

“Anti-vaccine activists march in D.C. — a city that mandates coronavirus vaccination — to protest mandates,” Katie Mettler, Lizzie Johnson, Justin Wm. Moyer, et al., Washington Post

“Anti-Vaccine Mandate Rally Draws Misinformation, RFK Jr., and Comparisons to Nazi Germany,” Eli Weiner, Washington City Paper

“‘Defeat The Mandates’ Rally Against Covid-19 Precautions Held During Omicron Surge,” Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes

Related:

“5 Republican Politicians Freaking Out About DC’s Vaccine Mandates,” Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian

“Omicron Cases Appear to Peak in U.S., but Deaths Continue to Rise,” Mitch Smith, Julie Bosman and Tracey Tully, New York Times

“The Anti-vaccine Right Brought Human Sacrifice to America,” Kurt Andersen, The Atlantic

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

January 20, 2022

Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

The Medical Director of Orange County, Florida, has been put on leave for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated. Dr. Raul Pino, an epidemiologist, emailed his staff on January 6th, noting that only 77 of 568 employees had been fully vaccinated and boosted, and another 219 had received two shots:

“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated. We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic. I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.”

Orange County includes Orlando and Disney World, home to a famous cartoon mouse. Florida’s Department of Health includes cartoonishly anti-vax Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, appointed by infamous pro-virus Governor Ron DeSantis, a cartoonishly libertarian Republican.

Orange County has reported a large increase in COVID-19 cases, with 40% of residents testing positive. That doesn’t include tourists and travelers at busy Orlando International Airport.

More:

“Florida Department of Health confirms Dr. Raul Pino put on leave for encouraging Orange County Department of Health employees to get vaccinated,” Danielle Prieur, WMFE

“Florida health official placed on leave after encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” Timothy Bella, Washington Post

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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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USPS is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

January 19, 2022

Postal Service is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

The U.S. Postal Service urges you to stick it up your nose, for free:

“The U.S. Postal Service has begun taking orders for at-home coronavirus test kits.

The website [is] COVIDtests.gov….  (Click here to see how many users are on the test kit site.)

Each household order will contain four rapid tests, which the Postal Service says will be shipped for free ‘in late January.’

Some on Twitter reported problems with orders from residents of apartment buildings with multiple units being told that someone from that household had already ordered the tests.”

“The White House says it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day’s orders going to those areas.”

“There will also be a phone number so those without access to computers or high-speed internet can place orders.”

— “The Postal Service is now taking orders for COVID-19 test kits,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

January 11, 2022

USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

After White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pooh-poohed the idea of mailing COVID rapid test kits to all American households and a torrent of angry criticism followed, the Biden administration is doing just that. Thank you, Jen Psaki.

There are logistical hurdles to sending out test kits besides the expense of purchasing and delivering them, however. Instead of simply mailing kits to every U.S. houshold identified by the 2020 Census or making them availible at local pharmacies or public locations, the administration is setting up a website where people must request the kits. That didn’t work so well at the beginning of Obamacare, and there’s no reason to think the rollout will be any less rocky this time.

More:

“Anger at Jen Psaki Helped Americans Get Free Covid Rapid Tests,” Robert Mackey, The Intercept

“White House making final touches for plan to mail 500 million COVID test kits: report,” Mike Murphy, MarketWatch

“White House, USPS finalizing plans to begin shipping coronavirus test kits to U.S. households,” Jacob Bogage and Dan Diamond, Washington Post

Update:

“At-home COVID tests will be covered by insurance starting Saturday: Coronavirus Updates,” Jonathan Franklin, NPR

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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CDC: Cruise Ships Are On Course for COVID

January 4, 2022

After finding 91 cruise ships with COVID outbreaks, some 5,000 cases, the CDC recommended that Americans avoid cruise ships, even if thay’re vaccinated, and no matter what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says.

More:

“CDC warns against cruises, regardless of vaccination status,” Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press

Related:

“Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas prevented from entering 2 island nations due to Covid-19 outbreak onboard cruise ship,” Melissa Alonso and Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Updates:

“Cases Rise, Criticism Mounts, but Ships Keep Cruising,” Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times

“Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise cancel voyages amid Omicron scare,” Praveen Paramasivam, Reuters

“‘Not the cruise I signed up for’: 30-fold increase in Covid cases upends industry,” Erin McCormick, The Guardian

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Video: “Sea Cruise,” written by Huey “Piano” Smith, recorded by Jimmy Buffett, 1995.

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Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

January 3, 2022

Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, GOP QAnon Drama Queen and Miss Misinformation 2021, has finally been booted from Twitter for her anti-vax, pro-virus tweets. Sadly, her official congressional Twitter account is still active, and she has lots of time to tweet, having been bounced off all her House committees.

More:

“Twitter permanently suspends Greene’s account over COVID-19 misinformation,” Caroline Vakil, The Hill

“Twitter permanently suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account,” Doha Madani, NBC News

“Twitter bans Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account over COVID misinformation,” Joe Hernandez, NPR News

“Twitter Permanently Mutes Marjorie Taylor Greene Account for Spreading COVID Misinformation,” Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair

Updates:

“McCarthy Campaigns For Speaker By Denouncing Twitter After It Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Summer Concepcion, TalkingPointsMemo

GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene decision without naming her,” Rebecca Klar, The Hill

“Rand Paul Vows to Fill Misinformation Void Caused by Twitter’s Ban of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Facebook temporarily suspends U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account,” Daniel Uria, UPI

“Conservatives clash: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dan Crenshaw trade social media insults,” Chelsey Cox, USA Today

“Trump’s Favorite Pastor Is ‘Tired’ of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Zachary Petrizzo, Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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