In an era of pandemics and climate change, we need to reconsider what “national security” means - Scientific American
Such a reassessment is long overdue. Despite the trillions of dollars Congress and successive administrations have lavished on the Pentagon since the turn of the century, the massive U.S. arsenal and fighting force deployed worldwide are powerless against grave, nonmilitary threats to national security—from a raging pandemic to the fact that tens of millions of Americans breathe foul air, drink tainted water, and struggle to pay for food, housing and health care.
Why the United States is having a #coronavirus data crisis
La différence avec les données informatiques gigantesques emmagasinées pour espionner tout le monde est extraordinaire.
Benjamin notes that many health departments still share data by fax, which is more time-consuming than digital methods. A lack of funds also means that overburdened staff don’t have enough time to analyse the data they have. The APHA and other scientific organizations have long called for resources to improve data surveillance in the US public-health system. In a report published last September, public-health epidemiologists described the current system as siloed, sluggish, manual and paper-based.
“We’ve begged for money over the years to build a solid information highway so that we can collect data rapidly and share it with the people that need it in a timely way,” says Benjamin. “But we’ve never gotten what we needed.”
Without up-to-date, reliable information on who is infected, why and where, US scientists, policymakers and the public must instead rely on media reports and independent efforts to consolidate data, such as the COVID Tracking Project from magazine The Atlantic and the COVID-19 Dashboard compiled by researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. But the former is not comprehensive or universally trusted, and the latter doesn’t detail where transmission is happening. There is an urgent need for such information, says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, because people are returning to work, to socializing and to schools. That means that precisely tailored interventions are more important than ever. “It’s not enough to just tell people to be cautious.”
Online School Is Harder Thanks to Unequal #Internet Access - The Atlantic
Not all distance learning in rural areas is functioning even this smoothly, thanks to America’s notoriously unequal internet access. In the #COVID-19 era, life has moved to the internet, but not everyone has it. As many districts start virtually this fall, some teachers say they’re fighting to ensure that all of their students can log into class each day. Their struggles are just one example of the consequences of America’s failure to get all of its citizens online before this uniquely internet-dependent time.
USDA inspector dies as #coronavirus spreads in meat packing plants.
The safety of inspectors, and the USDA’s efforts to protect them, has recently come into question. Concerns have particularly been raised about those embedded in meatpacking facilities, where they stand in close proximity with plant workers as they examine carcasses and products to ensure food safety.
Corbo said the agency was slow to allow inspectors to wear masks inside meatpacking facilities. He provided a copy of an undated FSIS memo that said it would permit inspectors to wear face masks only if the factory granted permission.
On April 4, a second USDA memo said staff “may consider wearing a cloth face covering” consistent with new recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the agency admitted it lacked supplies for all employees.
Robert Reich sur Twitter : “In the world’s richest nation:
Food lines stretching for miles.
Homeless sleeping in parking lots on socially-distanced grids.
Nurses without adequate protective gear.
Essential workers without paid sick leave.
This is unacceptable.” /
“Apocalyptic Surge” of COVID-19 Patients Challenge NYC Hospitals | Global Health NOW
Doctors and nurses nationwide are facing a lack of masks, gowns and gloves. The dangerous conditions are pushing some health workers to walk away, according to the Washington Post.
“The part that breaks my heart is that we are sending our doctors and nurses and health care workers into a war without the armor and protection that they need,” Vivek Murthy, former US Surgeon General, tells GHN in an exclusive Q&A. “And we would never think that that was okay to do with our military.”
Coffeyville, Kansas, medical debt: County in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt - CBS News
Tres Biggs was working two jobs but they fell behind on their medical bills, then the unthinkable happened.
Tres Biggs went to jail for failing to appear in court for unpaid medical bills. He described it as “scary.”
“I was scared to death,” Tres Biggs said. “I’m a country kid — I had to strip down, get hosed and put a jumpsuit on.”
Bail was $500. He said they had “maybe $50 to $100” at the time.