Category Archives: Health

Covid-19 under Apartheid: How Israel manipulates suffering of Palestinians

Israel’s decision to exclude Palestinians from its COVID-19 vaccination campaign may have surprised many. Even by Israel’s poor humanitarian standards, denying Palestinians access to life-saving medication seems extremely callous. Continue reading

Diet drug pulled after red flags

By now, most people are aware of the US obesity statistics. In 2016, almost 70 percent of US adults were obese of overweight says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means normal sized people are in the minority. (Some are even considered “anorexics.”) Continue reading

Grocery workers call on employers to put public health above CEO profits

Congress let mandatory paid leave requirements expire at the end of 2020, sparking calls for universal leave benefits to protect workers and their customers from the pandemic.

Congress allowed federal mandatory emergency paid leave benefits to expire at the end of 2020, leaving millions of American workers more vulnerable to catching—and spreading—the COVID-19 virus. Continue reading

More brave new food: FDA approves an “innovative animal biotechnology product”

This month the FDA approved the first “intentional genomic alteration” (IGA) in pigs. The “animal biotechnology product” is called a “GalSafe” pig. It is designed to eliminate a substance called “alpha-gal sugar” found on the surface of pigs’ cells that could cause people with Alpha-gal (AGS), syndrome to have allergic reactions to red meat. The recently identified condition of AGS usually begins with a tick bite that sensitizes someone to later allergic reactions to beef, pork, and lamb. Continue reading

Hey, hey, FDA! how many Americans have you killed since May?

As I write this on December 17, the US Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee is meeting to review a COVID-19 vaccine developed by biotech company Moderna. Likely outcome: The panel will recommend approval of the vaccine to FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen M. Hahn. Continue reading

A public option won’t save us. The sick and disabled need Medicare-for-All

Medicare and Medicaid are rife with complicated formulas for exclusions, exceptions, and limitations. The cruelty that is imposed by the constraints of these programs cannot be overstated.

I have multiple sclerosis. It is a painful, often debilitating, ever-progressing disability and disease with no cure. I don’t have a viable plan for what will surely be a lifetime of extensive healthcare. No one in my situation could. It would be impossible for me to maintain long term care under the for-profit insurance system. Over the last ten years, insurance deductibles have risen 111%, premiums have risen 55%, and workers’ earnings only 27%. I currently work full time to maintain my very expensive employer-based healthcare. When working full time renders me too disabled to continue working full time, I will promptly lose this healthcare. Continue reading

I know why black people are dying at triple the pandemic rates but white people better pay attention, too

Since the pandemic began, people of color have been dying at higher rates than those with lighter skin tones. Black, Indigenous and Latino Americans all have a COVID-19 death rate of triple or more that of White Americans. Continue reading

The rain on our yes-we-now-have-a-vaccine! parade

What could be better than a drug that can stop COVID? A society that doesn’t let some make billions off a drug millions can’t access.

Who doesn’t like a race? A grand global race, like the competition to run the first mile under four minutes. Or the race to scale the world’s highest mountain. Or be the first to walk on the moon. Continue reading

Mink strains of COVID show the potential folly of a vaccine

The role of China’s wet markets in producing COVID is ignored for two reasons. Vaccines that Pharma is developing with $1 billion of our tax dollars would be shown to be a fool’s errand as new animal strains erupt from the markets. And wild-eyed conspiracists, when they aren’t exposing Satanic cultists who eat babies, call the virus a “bioweapon” not an outgrowth of animal practices. (Were the animal originated SARS, MERS, Ebola, Avian Flu and HIV also bioweapons conspiracists? How about malaria?) Continue reading

Biden health adviser has a plan to get pandemic under control and revive economy: Pay people to stay home for 4-6 weeks

The government "could pay for a package right now" to cover economic losses—making it possible to curb COVID-19 transmission without increasing the financial suffering associated with shutting down commerce, said epidemiologist Michael Osterholm.

A nationwide lockdown of four to six weeks would help contain the coronavirus pandemic and need not cause economic hardship, according to Dr. Michael Osterholm, a top health adviser to President-elect Joe Biden, who said that paying people to stay home would limit the spread of COVID-19 in the United States and put the country on track for a smoother recovery. Continue reading

Britain’s endless lockdowns are taking a terrible toll

The problem is that most Britishers are no longer in the mood to be compliant

John, a British friend of mine whom I met in Dubai some 30 years ago, retired to the UK where he rebuilt his life in South Wales. He has always lived alone and enjoys his own company while regularly socialising with friends and travelling around the world to catch-up with others Continue reading

Is Pharma our COVID savior?

The COVID pandemic has given Pharma a temporary halo. Who cares about its prohibitively expensive drugs, the way it hides drug risks, the way that it “sells” diseases through TV ads and “symptom checkers” and the opioid epidemic it created? We need a vaccine and we need it now! Already Pharma has received $1 billion of our hard earned tax dollars to develop COVID vaccines. Continue reading

Why Your CVS prescription is taking so long

The drug store giant’s CEO has been cutting corners while rewarding himself handsomely.

Sometimes I don’t know whether to weep uncontrollably, laugh hysterically, or just throw up. Continue reading

‘We Need Medicare for All’: Tens of millions more expected to lose employer-based insurance by 2021

The strain on employers ‘just shows how ridiculous it is to have a system where a person's health insurance is tied to their job.’

While for-profit health insurers have reported record-high earnings this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, small companies across the U.S. are reporting difficulty paying premiums for their employees—and tens of millions of workers are expected to lose their employer-based health insurance by the end of the year, even if they keep their jobs. Continue reading

How concentrated animal feeding operations fuel pandemics

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic may be the worst in recent memory but another pandemic occurred just a decade ago. During 2009 and 2010, the world was stricken with H1NI, a novel virus hosted by pigs. Continue reading

Trump takes another shot at seniors: Medicare and Medigap costs increasing in 2021

Not content with referring to the 200,000 Americans who have perished from Covid-19 as “virtual nobodies,” Donald Trump has a particularly damaging surprise in store for senior citizens. Trump’s category of “nobodies,” who he classed as “elderly people with heart problems and other problems,” are going to see costly rises in Medicare and Medigap costs in 2021. Once considered an essential component of Trump’s base, senior citizens are fleeing away in droves from Trump, particularly in key states with large numbers of retirees, including Florida, Arizona, and Texas. Continue reading

Trump’s USDA is serving up diseased chicken

Federal regulators recently okayed selling chickens suffering from Avian Leukosis, which produces cancerous tumors.

Top regulatory officials in Trump’s government keep chanting the same one-word mantra: “Deregulate. Deregulate. Deregulate.” Continue reading

Connecting the dots: big meat, big pharma, big vaccines and big pandemics

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is surely the worst in recent memory, but prehistory is full of records of plagues and pandemics. Continue reading

COVID ‘has laid bare’ the crisis of healthcare in America

Wendell Potter’s new group, the Center for Health and Democracy, investigates money in politics and how it stubbornly resists health insurance reform.

Time flies. Hard to believe that it was twelve years ago that healthcare reform activist Wendell Potter left his job as head of corporate communications at Cigna and shortly after, loudly blew the whistle on the gross malpractices of the health insurance industry that had employed him. Continue reading

Trump’s pathological racism and COVID-19

Donald Trump’s pathological racism, which he displays every day, has hampered international efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19. Trump’s insistence on using terms like the “Chinese flu” or “China flu” to describe COVID-19 is merely designed to stoke tensions with China and, by default, between Trump’s racist white nationalist base and Asian-Americans. Worse is Trump’s use of the blatantly racist “kung flu” to denote COVID-19. Continue reading

Pharma tries to cash in on COVID shutdowns with its best-selling drug

Stuck at home? Watching a lot of TV? Pharma’s way ahead of you. Continue reading

Wake up, America! We must force Trump to resign or at least step aside

Your messages tell presidents which way the political winds are blowing. Make this ‘rumble of the people’ speak loud and clear NOW!

Public Citizen’s open letter, co-signed by over twenty nonprofit civic organizations working for the public health, demanded that Trump and Pence immediately give up their disastrous daily mismanagement of the Covid-19 response. Trump’s bungling and ignorance have allowed the Covid-19 virus to spread faster at an alarming rate around the country. Continue reading

Trump’s rush to reopen America is causing a COVID resurgence

Donald Trump said that June’s jobs report, which showed an uptick, proves the economy is “roaring back.” Continue reading

Coronavirus surge worsens as Trump ignores the danger

WASHINGTON—The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, already criminally absent, appears to be getting worse and the data confirm it. Continue reading

Donald Trump’s genocidal acts against humanity

In 1979, United Nations Committee on Human Rights rapporteur Abdelwahab Bouhdiba cited the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia as an example of “autogenocide,” the carrying out or enabling of mass deaths among one’s own nation. Previously cited examples of genocide at the time Bouhdiba coined the word autogenocide, were Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. The former’s genocide of Eastern European Jews, Romani, Slavs, and other non-Germans also included German Jewish and other citizens, making it a practitioner of both genocide and autogenocide. The genocide of Chinese by Japanese military occupiers fit the broader definition of genocide. Continue reading

The GOP’s ‘moral insanity’ on health care

Republicans are trying to throw 23 million Americans off their health care—in a pandemic.

Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the disease is raging anew because corporate-serving public officials rushed to “open the economy,” causing more infections and deaths. Continue reading

Three extinction-level viruses may be traced to glacier and permafrost melting

As the world contends with the deadly pandemic of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, the Chinese embassy in the Kazakhstan capital of Almaty has issued its citizens a warning about an unknown pneumonia that has seen a spike in infection cases since last month. The novel pneumonia spikes are in Atyrau and Aktobe provinces and the city of Shymken. Continue reading

Federal court strikes down Trump’s ACA rule amounting to ‘intentional, targeted attack on abortion access’

‘It would have created a logistical nightmare for health insurers and individual enrollees and pushed abortion even further out of reach in the midst of a global pandemic that has upended our economy.’

A federal court late Friday struck down the Trump administration’s attempt to erect new barriers to abortion care, this time using the for-profit insurance industry. Continue reading

Trump rushed to reopen America, now COVID is closing in on him

Donald Trump said last Thursday’s jobs report, which showed an uptick in June, proves the economy is “roaring back”. Continue reading

The far right’s absurd war on masks

Low-cost, low-tech masks save lives, but the nutball right has turned them into symbols of tyranny.

The chief cultural signifier of our times is this: Wearing a mask. Or not. Continue reading

COVID-19 and the Masque of the Red States

Now that the pandemic is raging in the South and West, Trump’s governors finally are face-to-face with reality. Wear your damn mask.

I’ve bored family and friends with this story for years. Now it’s your turn. Continue reading

Why COVID-19 racial disparities make the case for Medicare for All

Though it won't solve all our problems, expanding Medicare to all people is an essential demand if we want to advance health equity in the United States.

The racial disparities of COVID-19 have received much attention. Blacks are dying at a higher rate that is typically more than double the rate of whites. But we need to move beyond naming the problem to fighting for solutions. Medicare for All would go a long way to beginning to address racial disparities in health care in general and for COVID-19 in particular. Continue reading