Category Archives: Health

Spreading vaccine misinformation is dangerous and wrong

People can disagree about vaccine mandates, but the science on vaccines is clear: They’re safe and effective.

In the late 19th century, people protested against mandatory smallpox vaccines. Despite them, today we live in a world without smallpox. Continue reading

Prescription drug prices: Politicians are all talk, no action

On July 26, 2020, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order under which the US government’s Medicare Part D program would have negotiated lower prescription drug prices based on an “International Price Index.” Continue reading

Have drug makers created a generation of hypochondriacs?

A month before the COVID-19 shutdowns, the Wall Street Journal reported that many young people are seeking “accommodations” such as greater time allotments at work for their anxiety, PTSD, depression and other mental conditions. Of course there is much less anxiety zooming from your couch but the issues will no doubt return when workers do. Continue reading

Time to end the Medicare Advantage scam

Over 100 Democratic lawmakers last week introduced legislation to lower the Medicare eligibility age to 60. There is one small problem that needs fixing, though: so-called “Medicare Advantage.” Continue reading

The subliminal death wishes of the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers

Those who think wearing a face mask somehow negates their freedom and by getting a COVID-19 vaccine they will die have it all backwards. Continue reading

COVID’s lab leak theory obscures zoonosis and progression

Even as COVID-19 is found in apes, big cats, minks, domestic cats, other small mammals, and now in U.S. deer, some don’t want to let go of the insultingly simplistic “lab leak” theory. Do they really think the 1918 influenza and AIDS pandemics (or Ebola, MERS, and SARS ) needed lab mendacity to exist? We won’t even talk about the prehistorical plagues! Continue reading

Selfishness over selfless citizenship will sustain the pandemic and create further mutations

The COVID-19 coronavirus will continue to spread around the nation and mutate so long as there are selfish citizens who continue to disregard public health officials, the medical research community, and the president of the United States. As long as there are individuals who refuse to understand the seriousness of COVID-19 and its various mutations: Continue reading

Lab accidents from animal disease research raise fears

A French laboratory worker has been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) leading to an immediate moratorium on the prion research the worker and others conduct at five public research institutions in France. Lab accidents are as common as they are dangerous. Continue reading

How media consolidation endangers our health amid pandemic

The FCC has allowed local stations nationwide to become overrun by corporate giants that have little interest in vetting the syndicated disinformation they pump out over our airwaves. Continue reading

Healthcare parasites are sucking Americans dry

Parasites attach themselves to your body and suck your blood to feed themselves. Most, like ticks and mosquitos, while they may provide food for birds, bats and other animals, seem to provide no direct benefit at all to humans. Continue reading

UN experts warn US sanctions endangering lives of Venezuelan cancer patients

The United States' attempt "to control the political agenda of Venezuela has had devastating consequences for hundreds of people undergoing treatment."

Six independent experts appointed by the United Nations’ Human Rights Council on Wednesday warned that “hundreds of Venezuelan cancer patients could die” as a result of illegal U.S. sanctions imposed on Venezuela and its state-owned oil company. Continue reading

These journal ads could not run today

Many drug ads in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s would offend today. Continue reading

Schumer backs Sanders’ proposal to include dental, hearing, and vision care in Medicare

"With the current Medicare platform, those three things are just left out, like it's no big deal," said the Democratic leader. "But it is a big deal and we should fix it."

Following calls from progressives to include an expansion of Medicare in the infrastructure bill being negotiated in Congress, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced late Sunday his support for covering dental, vision, and hearing care under the popular 56-year-old program, backing a proposal long pushed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. Continue reading

International leaders join call for end to all legal barriers to abortion

"Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies—that is a human right."

Several international lawmakers and leaders joined rights activists Wednesday in a call for all legal barriers to abortion care to be removed worldwide, demanding clinics that were shut down during the pandemic be reopened and for a “global campaign of factual and unbiased information” to counter well-funded anti-choice groups. Continue reading

Drug advertising has helped create victim politics

“How dare you suggest I/my son is not sick?” “Stop invalidating the lived experiences of millions of people!” “Able-bodied people like you have no right to report this.” “How dare you suggest my medication has risks?” “You’re not taking my drugs!” Continue reading

A People’s Vaccine against a mutating virus and neoliberal rule

A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that worries about the COVID pandemic in the United States are at their lowest level since it began. Only half of Americans are either “very worried” (15%) or “somewhat worried” (35%) about the virus, while the other half are “not very worried” (30%) or “not worried at all” (20%). Continue reading

How getting a vaccine in India is a ‘privilege’ especially for those in rural areas

Indian states have been left to compete with each other in the global market for vaccine procurement.

If the month of April was marked by images of endless rows of burning funeral pyres from major Indian cities, the images of floating bodies in the Ganges River near the north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in May were a grim reminder of the unchecked spread of the virus in rural India where a majority of Indians, without access to basic health care, vaccines or infrastructure, have been fighting the virus. Continue reading

A caring world needs a sharing world to end the COVID-19 pandemic

A virus that mutates forever is a perpetual money-making machine for Big Pharma. Everybody else wants the world’s population to be vaccinated to control the spread of the pandemic.

After three months of dithering, the Biden administration eventually agreed to a temporary waiver of patent rights for the COVID-19 vaccines. The proposal by South Africa and India for a waiver on intellectual property rights in the World Trade Organization has found support from a large number of countries and more than 400 public health organizations. The proposal now faces opposition from the European Union countries, which had earlier portrayed themselves to be more progressive than the United States. This portrayal was not difficult to achieve under the Trump administration. The latest move by Biden has, however, wrong-footed the EU, leaving the bloc as the only public supporter of Big Pharma in the WTO. Continue reading

How India has creatively turned social media into a COVID-19 helpline to battle the pandemic

How India has creatively turned social media into a COVID-19 helpline to battle the pandemic

Death, sickness, and helplessness have become the “new normal” that Indians are being forced to live with as they witness the collapse of an already inadequate health care system and the failure of its political system that was caught napping on the uptick of cases, which showed an upward trend as far back as February. Continue reading

Modi is singularly responsible for India’s pandemic disaster

As infections and deaths mount at a terrifying pace in India, the prime minister’s culpability for the crisis has become startlingly clear.

India has become the new global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with daily infections surpassing 300,000 per day and the official death toll—likely a massive underestimate—nearing a quarter of a million people. Hospitals are being overrun with patients, and the crisis is exacerbated by a devastating shortage of oxygen. The Indian judiciary has gone as far as threatening capital punishment for anyone caught trying to divert shipments of oxygen from around the country to affected areas. There have been dozens of deaths documented directly tied to a lack of oxygen. Continue reading

The COVID-19 catastrophe in India keeps growing

It is difficult to overstate the grip of COVID-19 on India. WhatsApp bristles with messages about this or that friend and family member with the virus, while there are angry posts about how the central government has utterly failed its citizenry. This hospital is running out of beds and that hospital has no more oxygen, while there is evasion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet. Continue reading

Biden’s jobs plan will help seniors get care at home

By supporting quality home care, the plan will help seniors avoid dangerous, for-profit nursing facilities.

As the nation’s population ages, the need for more care workers and safer, more affordable care options is urgent. Continue reading

Universal health care is a popular idea in America—will Biden keep enriching private insurance or ‘go big’?

If Biden really wants to go big and bold, he could start by pushing for a truly universal health care system, instead of pouring tax dollars into private insurance companies.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on people’s lives, President Joe Biden has been on a victory tour to promote the American Rescue Plan, a hefty $1.9 trillion spending package that not only sends direct stimulus payments to struggling Americans, but also greatly expands health care options through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “We’re becoming a nation where health care is a right and not for the privileged few,” said Biden in his remarks at a hospital on the campus of Ohio State University. Eleven years after the ACA was first passed into law as President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform, it has survived relentless Republican attacks in the form of legal challenges and defunding attempts. Preserving and expanding it under Democratic leadership certainly constitutes a win against Republican obstructionism and a refusal to offer better alternatives. But this latest strengthening of the ACA is first and foremost a victory for the health insurance industry. Continue reading

Perfidy meets putty—congressional Democrats betray voters

Where is the outcry among Democratic politicians to reverse completely the corporate takeover of Medicare?

Do you remember the promises made by the Democratic Party’s presidential and Congressional candidates on universal health insurance? You can forget their pledges and somber convictions now that your votes put the Democrats in charge of the House and the Senate. The Democrats’ leaders are abandoning their promises and retreating into a cowardly corporatist future. Continue reading

Here’s something you can do to protect your family from coronavirus

And how we may be doomed to an eternal pandemic if we don’t follow science

Our hearts go out to all the families who’ve lost a loved one to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are well over 500,000 dead and more than a thousand continue to die daily in the USA. Continue reading

Look at pharma’s recent record before bestowing a crown

The vaccine “halo” that drug makers are currently wearing obscures their track record of selling addictive drugs, overpriced drugs and drugs with dangerous side effects hidden from the public. Continue reading

Bibi, Pfizer and the election

Israel’s biggest news outlet Ynet reported Friday that in the country voluntarily making itself Pfizer’s testing ground, “75.4% of those diagnosed yesterday were under 39. Only 5.5% were over 60. “The number of critical patients dropped to 858—the lowest since January 4. However, this number is more than double that in mid-December, just before Israel started its ‘pioneering’ experiment in mass vaccination. Ynet also reported that “In Israel 59.9% of critical patients are over 60 years old. 18.2% are aged 50 to 59. In addition, 10.8% are aged 40 to 49 and 7.5% are in their 30s. As of today, more than a third of critical patients are between 30 to 59 years old.” Continue reading

The ‘pre-existing condition’ that doomed the U.S. COVID response?

The answer from a blue-ribbon medical commission on the Trump years: decades of rising inequality.

Back in April 2017, only a few months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, one of world’s most prestigious medical journals, the London-based Lancet, established a special commission to keep tabs on “Public Policy and Health in the Trump Era.” Continue reading

Medicare for All the ‘only way forward,’ concludes Lancet panel in study detailing death and misery inflicted by Trump

"Trump's disastrous actions compounded longstanding failures in health policy in the USA. We know what it will take to create a healthy society. We just need the political will to do it."

A panel of policy experts and medical professionals convened to examine the healthcare legacy of Donald Trump concluded in a detailed report released Thursday morning that the former president’s sweeping regulatory rollbacks and full-scale assault on America’s already decimated public health infrastructure severely undermined the nation’s fight against Covid-19 and caused tens of thousands of preventable deaths. Continue reading

Congressional report reveals manufacturers ‘knowingly’ sold toxin-tainted baby food

"This is what happens when you let the food and chemical companies, not the FDA, decide whether our food is safe to eat."

Leading baby food manufacturers are selling—knowingly and without warning—unsafe products contaminated with dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals that can cause serious and often irreversible damage to infant brain development, according to a new congressional investigation that is generating renewed calls for greater regulation of the industry. Continue reading

Trump was on controversial baldness drug

In 2018, President Trump’s doctor disclosed that the president takes finasteride, a drug marketed as Propecia to treat male pattern baldness. While it is tempting to make jokes about Trump’s hair and even the sexual side effects that accompany the drug, it also has many disturbing adverse effects and probably no other men should risk taking the hair drug. Continue reading

Freedom Rider: The never ending COVID crisis

Profits determine the US response to a health care crisis, so Americans are in trouble regardless of who occupies the White House. Continue reading