On my radio program, Outbreak News This Week, I generally try to keep it on track to be apolitical, making attempts to be a source of medical information and news and not the endless debate that is found on other programs- if that’s what you like, there is no shortage of choices on the marketplace.
On a recent show, I was interviewing infectious disease physician and author, Dr Judy Stone on her thoughts about postponing the Olympics.
After going through a series of inquiries on her position and why she disagreed with those who think the risk of Zika is low enough that the Olympics should go on in Rio, Dr Stone offered some thoughts and opinions I disagreed with strongly and wanted to address them here on this blog.
First let’s go over what she stated (starting at the 46:26 mark in the podcast):
“There’s one thing I’d like to add besides the Olympics and the Zika, Zika’s going to be coming to the United States, and one of the things that concerns me, there’s a couple.
“One, the public health is in shambles. Our own Congress is an embarrassment for not providing Zika funding and mosquito control programs and gutting the infrastructure of public health.”
“One of the things that came up yesterday is Nikki Haley just announced too that her state (South Carolina) is the 17th state to ban abortion after 20 weeks. You have states in the south that are going to be very hard hit by Zika.
“CDC said today that 2 million women of childbearing are likely to be affected in the US, at risk in the US this year . At the same time these states are eliminating Planned Parenthood, making it difficult to access contraceptives and now limiting abortion to before 20 weeks when in fact if you have the Zika and have a baby with microcephaly, it’s not likely to be detected to well after that.
“I think there are human rights issues in the US as well. Just as in Latin America where contraceptives are limited and abortion is unattainable. I think these are going to be huge issues that are going to haunt us here as well.”
Let me take this point by point with my disagreements.
Dr Stone notes that “our public health here is in shambles”. How do you figure? Infectious disease in the US is minuscule compared to most every country. Much of the infectious illness that we deal with is imported here (Of course there are exceptions like tick borne disease, influenza and the like). I live in Florida, one of the hotspots for mosquito borne illness in the country, and even with the massive influx of people from other countries and the appropriate mosquito vector, we rarely see local transmission of dengue, chikungunya and we have yet to see Zika.
“Our Congress is an embarrassment”–Having no skin in the game here being politically independent, to say the Congress should automatically approve $2 billion for Zika is foolish. If I was in Congress, who’s responsibility is to oversee the use of US tax dollars, I wouldn’t vote for it either, despite what Mr Obama, Dr Frieden or Dr Fauci say. I would demand that Frieden and Fauci give the Congress line by line expenditures of every lab, every researcher, mosquito control, etc would need, specifically. You would do that if you were having work on your house or on your car, why not for public health expenditures? I guess you don’t think about it much when it’s other people’s money.
Why all the money, such a huge amount, for Zika? West Nile virus has been embedded in the US for years now and has killed a good number of people. Is anybody screaming for more money for that? Or Lyme disease, which the CDC estimates affects 300,000 annually.
Besides, $500 million was transferred from Ebola funds, let’s see what is done with that. Although that was moved rather hastily without specific consideration on use of funds.
Eliminating Planned Parenthood–Sorry, but Planned Parenthood is not the only clinic to offer women’s health care. There are thousands of clinics that can and do provide this service, without providing abortion. This is such a fallacy that women’s health care would fall apart or be unavailable without Planned Parenthood.
The Zika-microcephaly link has been the calling card for the abortion movement, including the World Health Organization, which has pushed for more liberal use of abortion as much as anyone. Despite any argument, these children are human life and made in the image of God and to treat them any differently is a wrong and a tragedy. THIS IS the real human rights issue!
Abortion advocates have been using the Zika virus as an excuse to push for more abortions on babies with disabilities.
Lawyer and spokesperson for the Latin American women’s rights group CLADEM, Beatriz Galli said infected women should have the right to choose:
“We do not have a diagnostic tool which is 100 percent secure… As it is a very uncertain future, women cannot be forced to carry forward a pregnancy in this crisis, this epidemic, or even pandemic as the WHO describes”
WHO has promoted abortion to the point that they have expanded it to include “trained health workers other than physicians” can perform abortions! Would WHO also say that non-physicians should also treat malaria in Africa?
Just a few weeks ago, speaking of funding, a group of Democrats objected to a House bill funding a response to the Zika virus in part because it continues restrictions on federal funding for abortions.
We call for easier access and federal funding for abortions, when at the same time we ban the hugely effective pesticide DDT based on flawed evidence of harm, which cannot be denied–SAVED so many lives pre-ban.
Shame on us.