A long campaign season might make American politicians uniquely incentivized not to solve problems. It's easier to raise money and scare up enough votes to get elected by promising change, rather than actually delivering it. This harms public health.
Good public health is our passion at ACSH. We want to promote it while simultaneously preserving individual liberty. That's been the goal since our founding in 1978. On rare occasions, however, a heavy-handed approach may be necessary. We believe that's the case for vaccines -- which should be mandatory -- because the right of anti-vaxxers to be sick ends where the public's right to health begins.
There are 14 new HIV infections in an outbreak that's hit homeless drug users in the Seattle area. These are the predictable consequences of a feckless public health policy, and one that lacks compassion.
We no longer provide treatment to drug-addicted or mentally ill people who cannot, or will not, care for themselves. Society has decided that it's more compassionate to allow these unfortunate souls to make their own choices, even if those choices are irrational, self-destructive and dangerous to the community.
As frigid temperatures are sweeping a large portion of the country, government officials from severely impacted regions are issuing "Code Blue" alerts. Use of them is spreading some confusion, so let's clarify what the term actually means.
The CDC reports that last year four states experienced outbreaks of hepatitis A, mostly among homeless people and/or intravenous drug users. Overall, 1,521 people got sick and 41 died. This is the predictable outcome of societal negligence and our collective unwillingness to adequately address the homelessness crisis.
What's it going to take for America to wake up? How many more people have to die before we realize that there's a humanitarian crisis happening on the sidewalks of our major cities? You can thank your local politicians for doing nothing to solve the problem, and in some cases, actively enabling it.
For every 1o C increase in temperature, the risk of suicide also increases by 1 percent to 37 percent. In general, heat tends to exacerbate previously existing mental illness and drug misuse.
Unless they're eradicated smallpox-style, infectious diseases never disappear. Like an unlucky penny, they can show up at any time. Three stories from around the U.S. serve to underscore a crucial lesson.
McKinsey, a global business consultancy, believes that homelessness in Seattle is the result of wealth. They even have a correlation to "prove" it. We created a graph to show that the real cause of Seattle homelessness is the number of victories by the Husky football team.
The ratio of tuberculosis cases comparing immigrants to native-born Americans is more than 2:1. Standardizing these numbers paints an even starker picture. The incidence of tuberculosis is almost 15 per 100,000 immigrants, while it is only 1 per 100,000 native-born Americans. The good news is that tuberculosis is curable, and the disease is in decline all over the world.
Most Americans are rightly squeamish about forcing anyone to do anything against their will. But allowing homeless people to do whatever they want is no longer a viable solution. When a community fails to practice proper hygiene and sanitation, it becomes a ticking time bomb for infectious disease.