Usually, when we have something to say about California, it's bad. After all, this is the state that gave us Proposition 65, a smorgasbord of insane public health policies, as well as 38 seasons of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. But now, the state has done something good. In fact, very good.
While an investigation is underway into the exact nature of the problem, so far the likeliest explanation is that improper use of vaping devices has led to illness, or the death, of some users. But that sort of nuance isn't governing the thinking of the FDA or CDC officials, both of which are allowing myths and fearmongering to drive their policies and public statements.
The Office of National Statistics in Great Britain reports that the number of suicides last year surged nearly 12% over those in 2017. Contrary to popular myth, suicides are preventable. The reason? Suicide is often a spur-of-the-moment decision. Therefore, if that impulse can be interrupted there's a good chance a life can be saved.
What explains disparate public health threats such as senseless gun violence and anti-vaxxerism? The answer may come from Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who said that the West had become too focused on personal rights at the expense of duty to one's neighbor.
Disease X -- a yet unseen deadly infectious disease with an epidemic potential for which no countermeasures exist -- has recently been added to WHO's Blueprint list of priority diseases of concern to public health. While we don’t know what Disease X might be, it reflects the fact that a future pandemic threat may be unexpected.
A Virginia news report states that two people died and 18 are hospitalized following an outbreak of an unknown respiratory infection at a retirement community. It's probably not influenza, but answers as to the cause are elusive.
Since our founding in 1978, ACSH has stood for evidence-based science and health in combination with free markets and individual liberty. We feel that an educated public should be free to make its own decisions without a "nanny state" micromanaging our behavior. Occasionally, however, our guiding principles encounter intractable problems. Today, two of the biggest such problems involve public health.
It shouldn't really be a surprise when this California city, which doesn't have a clue about the importance of public health, implements a policy that will help kill people.
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.
To this question, James Mattis once famously answered, "Nothing. I keep other people awake at night." But not everybody is as courageously confident as this General. So what are the top health and safety concerns on the minds of security officials? Let's take a look.
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.
While there's no formula to determine the "correct answer" for public health policy, there are guidelines that can at least point policymakers in the right direction. Ultimately, what separates good public health policy from bad public health policy is a satisfactory response to three essential questions.