Viewpoints: Air Pollution Is Causing Heart Attacks; Legalizing Marijuana Will Hurt Drug Companies’ Profits
Editorial writers examine these various public health topics.
The New York Times:
Enough About Climate Change. Air Pollution Is Killing Us Now.
In the early weeks of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, doctors noticed a surprising silver lining: Americans were having fewer heart attacks. One likely reason, according to an analysis published last month by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, is that people were inhaling less air pollution. (Binyamin Appelbaum, 4/20)
Los Angeles Times:
Big Pharma Won't Be Happy About Marijuana Cutting Into Its Profits
Before I start talking about pot and why the federal prohibition should end, here are some numbers for you to consider. Seventy-two U.S. senators accepted donations from the pharmaceutical industry ahead of the 2020 election. That number was 302 for the House. Combined, that’s more than two-thirds of Congress. If that makes you sick to your stomach, you might want to sit down for this: More than 2,400 state legislators around the country cashed checks from drug lobbyists, including 82% of state lawmakers in California, which has a deep blue legislature. That’s on par with 84% of lawmakers in Louisiana, a state redder than Mississippi, in case you are tempted to see this as a partisan problem. (LZ Granderson, 4/20)
Kansas City Star:
KS Seniors With Chronic Illness Need Biden’s Medicare Plan
On a fixed budget, it’s impossible for me to pay the $3,000 monthly out-of-pocket cost for my multiple sclerosis medicine. Some months, I’m lucky enough to have financial assistance from health care nonprofits. But when I don’t, I’m forced to go without it. It’s a choice that almost cost me my eyesight — and it’s a choice I shouldn’t have to make. (Sharon Hendrix, 4/20)
Heroes In Our Schools Are Saving Texas’ Mentally Ill Kids. They Need Help.
Today, somewhere in Texas, a deeply depressed young adult may wait on hold for hours to speak with a crisis hot line volunteer. A sixth-grader in suburban Houston could find herself overcome with anxiety due to family turmoil. Without a doubt, there’s a caring parent or family member, responding to a mental breakdown, who will be forced to navigate a bureaucratic maze and understaffed facilities to find some semblance of care for a loved one. Some of us know all too well the sorry state of mental health care in Texas but for those who needed some education, the Chronicle’s ongoing “In Crisis” series has certainly provided. (4/20)
Rural, Underserved Communities Will Be Helped By Expanding Bone Marrow Program
For nearly four decades, Congress has partnered with National Marrow Donor Program/Be The Match as it serves as the single point of access for blood cancer and blood disease patients who need a bone marrow transplant to find adult volunteer donors. As the home of the Nation’s Registry, our efforts have been remarkably successful, and now Congress can take another positive step forward to ensure we continue to extend our reach to historically underserved populations. (Dr. Jeffery Auletta, 4/19)
The Future Of Cancer Research
Cancer care has advanced at an impressive pace in recent years. New insights into tumor immunology and biology, combined with advances in artificial intelligence, nano tools, genetic engineering and sequencing — to name but a few — promise ever-more-powerful capabilities in the prevention, diagnosis and personalized treatment of cancer. How do we harness and build on these advances? How do we make them work in different global settings? In this issue, we present a Focus dedicated to the future of cancer research, in which we take stock of progress and explore ways to deliver research and care that is innovative, sustainable and patient focused. (4/19)