Posts Tagged ‘public health’

Doctors are taking on the NRA

August 7, 2019

American Trauma: How the NRA Sparked a Medical Rebellion, an Atlantic video.

“’I see more gunshot wounds as a trauma surgeon here in the United States per week than I did when I was serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan,’ says Dr. Mallory Williams, chief of the Division of Trauma and Critical Care at Howard University Hospital. ‘There’s no question about it.’”

Related:

“I’m a Trauma Surgeon and a Shooting Victim. I Have Every Right to Speak Out on Gun Violence.” Joseph Sakran, The Atlantic

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Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. How many more?

August 5, 2019

Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton. How many more

On Sunday morning, Dayton, Ohio suffered the 251st U.S. mass shooting this year. 9 people were killed and 27 injured. The day before, in a shooting at an El Paso shopping mall, 20 people were killed and 26 injured. The preceding Monday, in Gilroy California, a gunman killed 3 people and injured 15. 3 gunmen perpetrated 32 gunshot homicides and 68 gunshot casualties in one week.

Three people were able to commit that human carnage because they used variants of assault rifles designed for the battlefield and equipped with high-capacity magazines. The gun industry has cynically re-branded these military-style firearms as “modern sporting rifles,” though they are designed to tumble when they hit a target and would shred game animals and blast 6-inch exit holes. That’s what happened to this week’s victims. It’s true that most of America’s yearly 40,000 gunshot fatalities are committed with handguns, but you don’t have mass shootings without weapons capable of mass shootings. Reinstituting the assault weapons ban is a good place to start.

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Doctors Write Rx to Prevent Gun Deaths

June 13, 2018

Doctors Write Rx to Prevent Gun Deaths

On Tuesday the American Medical Association addressed a persistent and deadly U.S. public health menace, and officially endorsed firearms safety measures, including:

  • Minimum age requirement of 21 to own or buy guns and ammo
  • Licensing and safety course requirements for gun owners
  • Registration requirements for all firearms
  • Closing loopholes allowing people with history of domestic abuse and stalking to buy or own guns
  • Allow courts, upon a relative’s request, to remove guns from homes in which a person is imminently violent or suicidal
  • Better training of doctors on screening suicide risk

This is an attempt by physicians to stem a growing public health danger:

“AMA members cited U.S. government data showing almost 40,000 deaths by gun in 2016, including suicides, and nearly 111,000 gun injuries. Both have been rising in recent years.

By comparison, U.S. deaths from diabetes in 2016 totaled almost 80,000; Alzheimer’s, 111,000; and lung disease, 155,000. The leaders are heart disease, with 634,000 deaths in 2016, and cancer, about 600,000.”

— “Frustrated AMA adopts sweeping policies to cut gun violence,” Lindsey Tanner, AP via Chicago Tribune

More:

“The country’s largest doctor group just took its most aggressive stance on gun control yet,” German Lopez, Vox

Related:

“Congressional staffers are learning how to treat gunshot wounds,” Summer Meza, The Week

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CDC Preps America for Nuclear Holocaust

January 8, 2018

Now that our really smart President boasts of playing with his big button, U.S. Centers for Disease Control has scheduled a January 16th briefing on “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation.” Inspires confidence, no?

More:

“CDC briefing to focus on preparing for nuclear war,” Brianna Ehley, Politico

Update:

“CDC postpones session on ‘preparing for the unthinkable’: a nuclear blast,” Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

Related:

“False Missile Warning in Hawaii Adds to Scrutiny of Emergency Alert System,” Cecilia Kang, New York Times

“Trump tweet boosts sales of anti-radiation pills,” Sam Baker, Axios

Video: “Duck and Cover,” a 1951 Civil Defense Administration TV spot for kids by Archer Films (the 9-minute classroom version is here). Directed by Anthony Rizzo, written by Ray Mauer. Narrator: Robert Middleton. The kids are from NYC public schools (read more here).

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Withdrawal Pains

October 18, 2017

Withdrawal Pains
On Tuesday, Rep. Tom Marino (R, PA-10) withdrew his name from consideration as America’s drug czar, tweeted President Trump, who nominated him. This followed a devastating 60 Minutes/Washington Post report on Mr. Marino’s role in sponsoring a bill that prevented the DEA from pursuing the crooked drug wholesalers, pharmacies and doctors responsible for illegal distribution of opioids, highly-addictive prescription drugs. Last year, opioid overdoses killed more Americans than died in the entire Vietnam Conflict.

Mr. Marino was one of the 23 sponsors and co-sponsors of the DEA-hampering bill who divvied up $1.5 million in Big Pharma campaign contributions. Of course, drug enforcement isn’t the only thing Republicans want to deregulate, but the others don’t send 40 Americans to the morgue every day. They’ll kill you more slowly.

Related:

“How big pharma’s money – and its politicians – feed the US opioid crisis,” Chris McGreal, The Guardian

Updates:

“Opioid Lobbyist Left a Digital Fingerprint on a Campaign by ‘Patient Advocates,'” Lee Fang, The Intercept

“Opioid Commission Member: We Worry Trump Won’t Act To Address Drug Crisis,” Esme Cribb, TPM Livewire

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

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Flint, Michigan: Residents Pay Full Price for Undrinkable Water

March 2, 2017

Flint Michigan Residents Pay Full Price for Undrinkable Water

“Residents in Flint, Mich., are about to start paying the full cost of their water again, even though what’s flowing from their taps has yet to be declared safe to drink without an approved filter.

On Wednesday, state officials will end a program that has helped pay residents’ bills since a series of ill-fated decisions by state-appointed emergency managers left the city’s water system contaminated with lead. Since that 2014 disaster, the state has spent roughly $41 million in credits to help offset local utility bills. Residents have gotten a 65 percent credit each month on their water use, while commercial accounts received a 20 percent credit.”

— “Flint residents must start paying for water they still can’t drink without a filter,” Brady Dennis, Washington Post

Flint residents pay one of the country’s highest water rates for the privilege of receiving lead-laced drinking water that poisons their children. About 40 percent of Flint residents live below the poverty line.

The Flint water system was privatized by Republican Governor Rick Snyder.

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Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

November 11, 2016

Judge Orders Bottled Water Delivery To Flint Residents

Federal Court Judge David M. Lawson has ordered Michigan state and local governments to provide home delivery of at least four cases of water a week to each resident of Flint, unless officials verify that the household has a properly installed and maintained water filter. Deliveries must continue until the city’s water lead hazard ends.

Bottled water had previously been available for pick-up at various locations throughout the city, but restrictive access hours and limits per family placed the burden on residents, 40 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Many do not own cars, and had to walk to and from the water supply centers.

As Judge Lawson observed:

“In modern society, when we turn on a faucet, we expect safe drinking water to flow out. As the evidence shows, this is no longer the case in Flint. The Flint water crisis has in effect turned back the clock to a time when people traveled to central water sources to fill their buckets and carry the water home.”

The water became tainted with lead in 2014 when the Republican state government privatized Flint’s water utility, which then instituted cost-cutting measure while charging residents some of the highest rates in the nation.

More:

“Federal judge orders delivery of bottled water in Flint,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press

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The Toddler Problem

November 3, 2016

“It’s time we did something. We need to lock them up.”

More:

“Toddlers have shot at least 50 people this year,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post
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Gunshot Death. It’s the American Way.

June 14, 2016

There were 43 shootings in the USA on Sunday. One of them was in Orlando. The toll: 67 dead (including 5 children) and 94 injured.

More:

“We’re 164 days into 2016. We’ve had 133 mass shootings.” Sarah Frostenson and Sarah Kliff, Vox

“1,000 mass shootings in 1,260 days: this is what America’s gun crisis looks like,” The Guardian

“Gun Industry Describes Mass Shootings Like Orlando as a ‘Big Opportunity,’” Lee Fang, The Intercept

“A Brief History of America’s Massive Gun-Buying Spree,” Bryan and Dave Gilson, Mother Jones

 Gun Violence Archive website

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Flint: Fear the Water

March 18, 2016

A New Yorker video, produced by Zackary Canepari and Jessica Dimmock.

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