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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.
This year has been indelibly shaped by the COVID pandemic — it literally changed everything. What has become clear as a result is that environmental injustice was exacerbated by the pandemic, and if we don’t repair our relationship with the natural world we are going to face more deadly pandemics in the future. For the […]
by Amy Lupica, ODP Contributing Writer A new Danish study has found that elevated levels of Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a group of man-made chemicals linked to cancer, in the bloodstream are linked to severe COVID-19. The study observed 323 patients infected with the virus and found that those with elevated levels of the […]
Why This Matters: Rising seas and rising temperatures are public health issues. More extreme heat worldwide means that people with pre-existing conditions, people who work outdoors, and the elderly all face a higher risk of heat-related death.
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