Effect Measure

Archives for August, 2008

Gag orders in public health

The headline was kind of strange: Doctor pays for ‘letting polio out of hospital’. It sounded like a hospital doctor had negligently let an infectious polio case out into the community. But in fact the doctor was the hero of the story:

Bush games, Bush Rules

The Bush administration wants to slow walk worker protection regulations, even when required by law, through the use of additional layers of review by the Office of Management and Budget. We wrote about this recently here (and see Celeste Monforton’s excellent work at The Pump Handle). But let’s be fair. The Bush administration doesn’t always…

We’ve argued before that the US biodefense laboratory effort — whose planning principle seems to be based on “more” — was making us less safe, not more safe. Whatever else you say about the anthrax attacks, they are a perfect illustration of this. The weapon and the culprit(s) came directly from the US weapons labs.…

More anthrax case questions

Questions about the FBI’s case against popping up like mushrooms after a rain. There are too many to address in just one post. Meryl Nass’s site has cataloged a number of them and Glenn Greenwald’s latest installment others. We’ve weighed in a couple of times (here and here) and now want to add some additional…

The shambles called CDC

There are 163 days left in the Bush administration and we can hope that there are that number — or less — left in the Gerberding era at CDC. Julie Gerberding is the CDC Director and her abrasive, brutal and incompetent management style have taken the agency that was the jewel in the crown of…

It’s really hard to know what to say about the following clip. As a doctor I am appalled by it. It is the kind of preaching that leads to tragedy. It might seem like an extreme case, but I don’t think it is. It shows a preacher telling his congregation doctors and medicine won’t do…

Smoking while using oxygen

Recently a relative was sent home from the hospital with her own oxygen supply. It wasn’t a cylinder of compressed oxygen but an oxygen concentrator, a device that takes room air and removes a lot of the nitrogen by passing the air through a zeolite canister. These devices can supply 50 – 95% oxygen. About…

I’ve been looking at the documents deposited online by the Department of Justice making their case against Dr.Bruce E. Ivins, the Army scientist they allege is the lone anthrax attack culprit. My perusal of their case leaves a mixed impression. If their portrayal of his mental condition is at all accurate – and it is…

The anthrax story just gets weirder and weirder. More than weird, some of it reeks. A circumstantial public case first via media leaks and now via a press conference by the Justice Department is being built against Bruce Ivins, the Army scientist who reportedly committed suicide as federal prosecutors were closing in on him. Reporter…

What killed people in the 1918 flu?

A curious paper on the 1918 flu pandemic appeared this month in CDC’s journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases. It seemed provocative, at least on the surface. It claimed that the conventional wisdom underlying pandemic flu preparations was wrong. It’s not the flu virus we should be defending ourselves against but the common bugs of the upper…