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Many people including the president are cheering news of HIV cure in 2nd patient. You know what happened? SCIENCE. Science isn’t a goal, it’s a process of knowledge. And it applies to vaccines, climate change, and the wonder of understanding our universe and natural world.
This week for the second time since the global AIDS epidemic broke out in the 1980s, a patient appears to have been cured of infection with H.I.V. (the infection which leads to AIDS). As the New York Times reported, the news comes nearly 12 years to the day after the first patient known to be cured, a feat that researchers have long tried, and failed, to duplicate. The surprise success now confirms that a cure for H.I.V. infection is possible, if difficult, researchers said. Additionally, in the same week as the public health success of the H.I.V. cure, counties across the country are reporting an uptick in measles cases: at least 206 in 11 states, per the latest count by CNN. As a result, on Capitol Hill, lawmakers are discussing what they’re calling “a growing public health threat.”
But in state after state, legislators are introducing bills that make it easier for people to opt out of vaccinations.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, at least 20 states have introduced bills this year that would:
broaden the reasons why parents can exempt kids from getting vaccines even if there isn’t a medical need
require doctors to provide more information on the risks of vaccines”
Why This Matters: Dan Rather’s tweet states perfectly that we cannot pick and choose the aspects of science we deem acceptable–we have to respect and listen to scientists and what their data tells us. The problem is that science is complicated and science literacy is low in America which is a recipe for people being vulnerable to propaganda on the internet. This is a really good example of when people ask why they have to learn something in school that “they will never use” that the answer is scientific literacy is a life skill. The internet allows us to build our own echo chambers that validate our world view but this can also ensure that we’re sacrificing critical thinking and spreading the narrative that science is subjective. If you have kids, talk to them and read to them about science. If you have adults in your life that deny climate change or think that vaccines cause autism, push them on their beliefs and help them determine if their sources of information are reliable. We have to do better as a nation of talking about science and denouncing fake news and sensationalism otherwise we let internet trolls win out on topics that determine the fate of our planet and our public health.
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer A new study has found that microplastic accumulation may be worse than previously thought and could carry with it the threat of disease. Microplastics could present health risks to the entire food chain, the study said, including to humans. As the world is grappling with the accumulation of single-use plastics during the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer As the Delta variant of COVID-19 sweeps across the country, hospitals and public health officials are once again struggling to cope with the fallout. Simultaneously, extreme heat and wildfires have left the Western U.S. (and currently, Eastern ones too) experiencing dangerous levels of wildfire smoke. Now, a new study has now confirmed what […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Staff Writer An investigation by The New York Times has found that in 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.) approved the use of PFAS in fracking despite its concerns of their toxicity. The records, which NYT acquired through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), reveal that the E.P.A.’s scientists raised concern about the “forever chemicals,” saying that they could […]
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