Posts Tagged ‘public health’

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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Flint, Michigan

February 24, 2016

Flint, Michigan

Flint, Michigan residents, 40 percent of whom have incomes under the poverty level, have been paying the highest water bills in the nation for the lead-tainted water that has endangered their children’s health. Those rates were set by the state-appointed emergency managers who switched the system from Detroit water to chemical-laden Flint River water. Thank you, Governor Rick Snyder.

More:

“While Lead Flowed Through the Pipes, Flint Residents Paid America’s Most Expensive Water Bills,” Julia Lurie, Mother Jones

“Flint Is What Happens When a Small-Government, Anti-Spending Philosophy Rules the Day,” Jeff Turrentine , Pacific Standard

“Lessons from Flint and the Price of Water Privatization,”  Mary Grant and Jo Miles, Food & Water Watch

“By the numbers: Flint’s water emergency,” Associated Press

Related:

“How the Flint River got so toxic,” Tim Carmody, The Verge

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Reducing Gun Violence

January 5, 2016

Reducing Gun Violence

President Obama made public remarks Tuesday on the need to curb America’s epidemic of gun violence.

“Our right to peaceful assembly — that right was robbed from moviegoers in Aurora, high schoolers in Columbine and from first graders in Newtown. First graders. And from every family who’d never imagined that their loved one would be taken from our lives by a bullet from a gun.

Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad. And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day.”

“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. We maybe can’t save everybody, but we can save some.”

“How did we get here? Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common sense reforms might not have stopped the latest massacre or the one before that, so why bother trying.”

The President commented on his forthcoming executive actions:

“These are not only recommendations that are well within my legal authority and the executive branch, but they’re also ones that the overwhelming majority of the American people, including gun owners, support me doing.”

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Airplane Poop and Public Health

August 16, 2015

Airplane Poop and Public Health

“Pooping on that 12 hour flight may be a public health service. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark are siphoning off the sludge from international airline flights and using it to study the spread of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

In a study in Scientific Reports, they break down their analysis of 18 different airplanes that arrived in Copenhagen from nine different cities around the world, looking for the presence of things like Salmonella and Clostridium difficile.

The team found that Salmonella was more prevalent in poop arriving from Southeast Asia, while the sludge from planes arriving from North America was more likely to contain C. difficile (a bacteria that causes a nasty drug-resistant infection). Planes arriving from Asia had higher rates of DNA from drug-resistant bacteria strains overall.”

— “Pooping on Airplanes Could Contribute to Public Health Research,” Shaunacy Ferro, Mental Floss

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