Debate watchers react to Joe Biden’s response about son’s drug use

During a contentious, argumentative debate, one moment stood out for many: During a conversation about his son Hunter Biden’s prior drug use, former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden took a moment to look at the camera and acknowledge his son’s struggles in a way that advocates say can reduce the stigma around drug use.

During an attack on Biden’s son, Donald J. Trump said that Hunter was “thrown out of the military” and “dishonorably discharged” for “cocaine use.” Hunter was discharged from the Navy Reserve in February 2014 after failing a drug test in 2013; however, it was an administrative discharge, not a dishonorable one.

“My son, like a lot of people at home, had a drug problem,” Biden said, speaking directly into the camera. “He’s overtaking it. He’s fixed it. He’s worked on it. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud of my son.”

Dr. Sarah Wakeman, an addiction medicine specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the medical director for the hospital’s substance use disorders initiative, called Biden’s commentary a “powerful message.”

“I think it was great to see Biden talk about his son with pride and really send the message to everyone who’s listening that substance use disorder is not something that families should be ashamed about or that people should be ashamed about, that this is something we can talk about, that this is a health condition,” she said. “To hear that declared nationally was a powerful message.”

“Reducing stigma, changing the way that we talk about it, changing the perception of people who have a substance use disorder, is the foundation of saving many, many lives,” said Gary Mendell, the chief executive officer of Shatterproof, a national nonprofit organization based in Connecticut focusing on reversing the addiction crisis in the U.S.

“Words matter,” Mendell said.

On social media, many who are in recovery or whose families have been touched by addiction said they appreciated Biden’s response.

“Biden looking directly into the camera to say how proud he is of his son in recovery is the kind of clip that might seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things — but for anyone who loves one of the 20 million Americans with substance use disorders, wow oh wow what a moment,” wrote author Amanda Litman.

According to survey data collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 20.3 million Americans dealt with addiction, also known as substance use disorder, in 2018.

Litman’s post garnered hundreds of comments, with many sharing their own personal experiences with substance use disorder.

A major study in India offers insights into on how the spread of the virus differs by age and gender.

An ambitious new study of nearly 85,000 coronavirus cases in India and nearly 600,000 of their contacts, published Wednesday in the journal Science, offers important insights not just for India, but for other low- and middle-income countries.

India now has more than six million cases, second only to the United States.

Among the findings of the study: The median hospital stay before death from Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, was five days in India, compared with two weeks in the United States, possibly because of limited access to quality care. And the trend in increasing deaths with age seemed to drop off after age 65 — perhaps because Indians who live past that age tend to be relatively wealthy and have access to good health care.

The contact tracing study also found that children of all ages can become infected with the coronavirus and spread it to others — offering compelling evidence on one of the most divisive questions about the virus.

“The claims that children have no role in the infection process are certainly not correct,” said Dr. Joseph Lewnard, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who led the study. “There’s, granted, not an enormous number of kids in the contact tracing data, but those who are in it are certainly transmitting.”

And the report confirmed, as other studies have, that a small number of people are responsible for seeding a vast majority of new infections.

Though its overall total of cases is huge, the per capita number of cases reported daily in India — and in many other low-income countries, including in Africa — is lower than in Spain, France or even the United States. And its number of deaths has not yet topped 100,000 — which has surprised some scientists.

The study focused on two southern Indian states, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, which together have a population of about 128 million, and represent two of the five Indian states with the most cases. They also have among the most sophisticated health care systems in the country.

Contact tracers reached more than three million contacts of the 435,539 cases in these two states, although this still did not represent the full set of contacts. The researchers analyzed data for the 575,071 contacts for whom test information was available.

The data revealed that the people infected first — known as index cases — were more likely to be male and older than their contacts. That may be because men are more likely to be out in situations where they might be infected, more likely to become symptomatic and get tested if they do become infected, or perhaps more likely to respond to contact tracers’ calls for information, said Dr. Lewnard. They also found that infected people tend to spread the virus to those of similar ages.

Source Article

How Racism Slowly Chips Away at Black People’s Health

Enduring is all I have. It’s what my ancestors passed on.

This is Race and Medicine, a series dedicated to unearthing the uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening truth about racism in healthcare. By highlighting the experiences of Black people and honoring their health journeys, we look to a future where medical racism is a thing of the past.


A close relative asked if I watched the full videos of the most recent series of “open season” on Black life: the violence against Jacob Blake, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, to name a few.

The truth is, I don’t have the mental or emotional capacity to endure watching these videos.

I’m just trying to stay well so I don’t compromise my immune system and catch a life threatening virus that’s attacking people’s respiratory systems. Meanwhile, the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement is ironically echoed by the slogan “I can’t breathe.”

I want to watch these videos to shake off my numbness, even go out and protest. Unfortunately, maintaining my health won’t allow me to show up in this way.

I sometimes find myself in bed trying to sleep long enough to miss the endless terrorizing news cycle with no trigger warnings. I’m overwhelmed and angry, and there’s no justice in sight.

With each shooting, life gets put on hold while I try to reckon again. I conjure up coping mechanisms for now. Running, cooking, and listening to music tend to divert my attention just long enough before the next news story.

However, I still feel burdened by this cycle, like there’s truly no escaping this racist society. Enduring is all I have. It’s what my ancestors passed on.

We are all focusing on protecting both our physical and our mental health during this pandemic; however, navigating this crisis is especially difficult for African Americans.

COVID-19 is disproportionately impacting the Black community. Black people are more likely to be essential workers in frontline jobs and are at a higher risk for hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

On top of that, Black people are still fighting and marching to end systemic injustice. It all serves to reinforce how trivial Black life is considered in America. The weight of this reality is more than exhausting — it’s deteriorating.

Arline Geronimus, a Professor of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan, developed the term weathering in 1992 to best describe what’s taking place.

Geronimus’ study found racial inequalities in health across a range of biological systems among adults. The study also found that these inequalities can’t be explained by racial differences in poverty.

Geronimus spoke with Healthline about her work.

“Weathering is… what happens to your body in a racist society. I named it weathering because I saw it as a way of capturing what it does,” Geronimus says. “Weathering happens when Black people have to demonstrate…resiliency in a racist society.”

There are numerous ways weathering can take place, from passing on trauma from one generation to the next, to workplace

The Cost of Medical Bias When You’re Sick, Black, and Female

This is Race and Medicine, a series dedicated to unearthing the uncomfortable and sometimes life-threatening truth about racism in healthcare. By highlighting the experiences of Black people and honoring their health journeys, we look to a future where medical racism is a thing of the past.


Being a doctor is a unique role. It involves knowing some of the most intimate things about a person, but not really knowing them as a person at all.

The patient’s job is to be transparent about their health, and the doctor’s job is to listen objectively to symptoms and fears to choose the most logical diagnosis. 

Racial bias in the medical field disrupts the trust needed for this relationship to function. 

A biased doctor might disbelieve symptoms or their severity and misdiagnose a condition.

A patient may come to mistrust the doctor, not attend appointments, not follow instructions, or stop sharing key information because history tells them they aren’t taken seriously. 

Reducing bias is critical to eliminating health disparities, especially for Black women.

My run-in with bias

Several years ago, I experienced medical bias when I started having headaches multiple times per week. I had had migraine before, but this was different. 

I felt like I was dragging my body through heavy resistance, like encountering an undertow. I was losing weight. No matter how much water I drank, I was always thirsty and rushing to the bathroom around the clock. 

It seemed I could never eat enough to feel full. When I tried to avoid overeating, I became fatigued, my vision blurred, and I had so much trouble focusing it was hard to drive.

My primary care physician (PCP) cut me off when I tried to explain.

She congratulated me for losing weight and said I just needed to let my brain adjust to food deprivation. When I explained I wasn’t dieting, she sent me to a headache specialist. 

The headache specialist prescribed a medication that didn’t help. I knew they weren’t migraine headaches, but no one listened, even as my fatigue and disorientation increased. 

Once, I even had trouble finding my own house.

By my sixth visit, the symptoms were massively disrupting my life. I wondered if I had type 2 diabetes because of family history. My symptoms seemed to match. 

I knew of a test called HbA1c that provides a snapshot of blood sugar levels. I insisted on being tested. My doctor said she would order labs based on my demographics. 

I thought I was finally getting somewhere — but when the receptionist at the lab printed the list of tests, HbA1c wasn’t present. Instead, it was tests for common STDs. 

I was humiliated, overwhelmed, and no closer to having answers. In the parking lot, I broke down and cried. 

Subtle racism

When Black people share instances of racism, it’s often disregarded as playing the ‘race card’ or as an isolated incident. It’s much more difficult to explain subtle racism than it is to explain blatant acts like burning crosses and

Investors Extracted $400 Million From a Hospital Chain That Sometimes Couldn’t Pay for Medical Supplies or Gas for Ambulances

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

In the decade since Leonard Green & Partners, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles, bought control of a hospital company named Prospect Medical Holdings for $205 million, the owners have done handsomely.

Leonard Green extracted $400 million in dividends and fees for itself and investors in its fund — not from profits, but by loading up the company with debt. Prospect CEO Sam Lee, who owns about 20% of the chain, made $128 million while expanding the company from five hospitals in California to 17 across the country. A second executive with an ownership stake took home $94 million.

The deal hasn’t worked out quite as well for Prospect’s patients, many of whom have low incomes. (The company says it receives 80% of its revenues from Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.) At the company’s flagship Los Angeles hospital, persistent elevator breakdowns sometimes require emergency room nurses to wheel patients on gurneys across a public street as a security guard attempts to halt traffic. Paramedics for Prospect’s hospital near Philadelphia told ProPublica that they’ve repeatedly gone to fuel up their ambulances only to come away empty at the pump: Their hospital-supplied gas cards were rejected because Prospect hadn’t paid its bill. A similar penury afflicts medical supplies. “Say we need 4×4 sponges, dressing for a patient, IV fluids,” said Leslie Heygood, a veteran registered nurse at one of Prospect’s Pennsylvania hospitals, “we might not have it on the shelf because it’s on ‘credit hold’ because they haven’t paid their creditors.”

ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published.

In March, Prospect’s New Jersey hospital made national headlines as the chief workplace of the first U.S. emergency room doctor to die of COVID-19. Before his death, the physician told a friend he’d become sick after being forced to reuse a single mask for four days. At a Prospect hospital in Rhode Island, a locked ward for elderly psychiatric patients had to be evacuated and sanitized after poor infection control spread COVID-19 to 19 of its 21 residents; six of them died. The virus sickened a half-dozen members of the hospital’s housekeeping staff, which had been given limited personal protective equipment. The head of the department died.

The litany goes on. Various Prospect facilities in California have had bedbugs in patient rooms, rampant water leaks from the ceilings and what one hospital manager acknowledged to a state inspector “looks like feces” on the wall. A company consultant in one of its Rhode Island hospitals discovered dirty, corroded and cracked surgical instruments in the operating room.

These aren’t mere anecdotes or anomalies. All but one of Prospect’s hospitals rank below average in the federal government’s annual quality-of-care assessments, with just one or two stars out of five, placing them in

Quip Refillable Floss Pick Make Flossing so Much Easier

The only time my teeth get a proper floss is at my annual cleanings. Not because I don’t try—the angles you have to hit make the job somewhat impossible, so I probably miss 30 percent of my teeth. Floss picks make hitting those hard-to-reach spots much easier than dealing with a piece of floss wrapped around your fingers, but they produce a ton of plastic waste. The Quip Refillable Floss Pick ($25) is here to fix that. Timothy Chase, DMD, a New York-based cosmetic dentist and practicing partner of SmilesNY, says flossing should be a regular part of your routine.

“Everyone should floss at least once a day,” says Dr. Chase. “If you don’t, you leave food particles between the teeth and under the gums that can cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.”

quip refillable floss pick

Shop now: Quip Refillable Floss Pick, $25

This handy little tool is everything my sustainable dreams are made of. To start—the carrying case is incredibly sleek. It’s available in silver, slate, gold, or copper metal ($25) and white plastic ($15), and houses the pick, the floss, and a mirror. It actually looks cute out on the bathroom counter. Each floss refill pack ($5) lasts for three months (based on someone who flosses twice daily) and is made of 100 percent recycled paper.

Most importantly, it’s incredibly easy to use. To fill the pick, you simply press a button towards the end of the stick to pop it open, place the opening around the floss, close the pick until you hear a click, and then rip. Instantly, you have the perfect tool for flossing. The brand recommends restringing the pick at least once per flossing session.

The EPA reports that in 2017, 5,920,000 pounds of plastic were sent to landfills. Unsure how much of that was related to floss picks, but, making this switch will help at least a little bit. Each refill pod saves the equivalent of 180 single-use floss picks. And since you’re only using enough floss to fit on the pick instead of enough to wrap around your fingers, you’re using way less floss. If you aren’t ready to part with traditional floss for good, Quip also has an equally chic floss dispenser that prevents you from using too much floss.

Once you’ve got your pick, make sure you’re flossing correctly.

“The biggest mistake people make is that they don’t floss. And if they do, they don’t floss correctly,” says New York City-based cosmetic dentist Marc Lowenberg, DDS.“You should always run the floss along with the tooth structure in the shape of a C rather than just snapping quickly between each tooth.”

And while flossing once a day should be your minimum goal, Edmund R Hewlett, DDS, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, says the healthiest mouths belong to those who floss after every meal.

“Most of the bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease lives in ‘hard to get to’ areas between the

Ontario premier issues stern warning on second ‘wave or tsunami,’ Quebec enters red alert

COVID-19 In Canada
COVID-19 In Canada

Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches move into the red alert level

Quebec Premier François Legault announced Monday that the regions of Montreal, Quebec City and Chaudière-Appalaches are moving into the red alert level, the most critical alert level in the province.

From Oct. 2 to Oct. 28, only people living at the same address can be inside a home at the same time, with an exception for a single caregiver.

Dining rooms in restaurants will be closed, but take-out services will be allowed, and other public spaces like bars, theatres, casinos and cinemas must shut down operations.

Places of worship can operate with a maximum of 25 people. Everyone must stay two metres apart outside and they must where a mask when that is not possible.

“We also need to reduce our contacts everywhere in Quebec,” Legault said. “We cannot wait for the red alert.”

“The number of cases is rising, if we don’t want our hospitals to be submerged, if we want to limit the number of deaths we must act strongly right now.”

Ontario could see thousands of COVID-19 cases a day in second wave

Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, explained that there are two models for the future of the province’s second wave, one that would lead to thousands of new cases a day.

The “most concerning” model is the “penultimate or the tsunami-type wave” where there is rapid exponential growth in cases that impacts the whole province.

“We would be up and having anywhere from three to four to five thousand new cases a day,” Dr. Williams said at a press conference on Monday.

The second model is identified by “undulating waves” and would continue into 2021, but modellers have not identified how big each of these shorter waves would be.

“This is a wakeup call for us, we have to pay attention to this in a serious way,” the Ontario’s chief medical officer of health said.

Dr. Williams added that considerations are still being brought forward to the public health measures table related to moving all of Ontario, or certain areas of the province, back to Stage 2 of Ontario’s reopening plan. He added that the core difference between the COVID-19 situation now and when restrictions were initially put in is that virus was all over the province, instead of mainly being identified in more urban areas of Ontario. Dr. Williams confirmed that some of the recommendations being put forward are “pan-Ontario” measures and restrictions.

The province’s chief medical officer of health asked the public to be cautious about who they interact with, particularly individuals who are not taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously.

“We’re getting some people out there who are basically saying, we don’t really care about the rules and we’re going to be cavalier about it,” Dr. Williams explained. “I would avoid contact with those people…because you have no idea, and they have no idea, if they’ve been exposed or not at this stage.”

How a medicine ball can improve your game

Athlete. This isn’t the first word that comes to mind for most when describing a golfer.



a woman sitting on the floor in front of a window


© Provided by Golfweek


Over the upcoming weeks, Averee Dovsek will share golf related fitness tips to keep you in the best shape to start optimizing your game like an athlete. Core work, nutrition, spine mobility, glute strength, and more— she will cover it all.

Many golfers spend too much time worrying about what their game looks like on the course, but it all starts off the course.

Combine what you learn through these fitness videos with Steve Scott’s instruction series and you will be a different golfer on and off the course.

Watch the first episode of “Fitness with Averee” above and keep an eye out for future episodes.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Golfweek (@golfweekmag) on Sep 30, 2020 at 9:09am PDT

MORE:

Scottie Scheffler COVID-19-free, searching for first win at Sanderson Farms Championship

Forward Press podcast: New York Times bestseller Ryan Holiday on how stoicism improves professional athletes

Yale Golf Course reopens with new GM, free golf for students on weekdays

Red-carpet rollout: Experience golf in the Moroccan kingdom

Streamsong reopens Red, Blue courses with ridiculously smooth Mach 1 putting greens

Continue Reading

Source Article

outcry after video shows hospital staff taunting dying Indigenous woman



Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock

A shocking video showing hospital staff in Canada taunting a dying Indigenous woman has left a community in mourning and renewed calls for the country to confront the realities of systemic racism.

Joyce Echaquan, a 37-year-old Atikamekw woman, arrived at a hospital in the Quebec city of Joliette on Monday, complaining of stomach pain.

The mother of seven had previously suffered similar issues and told staff she had a heart condition. Echaquan started livestreaming her experience on Facebook as her pain escalated, and staff at the hospital appeared indifferent to her pleas for help.



a group of people sitting on a bed: People attend a vigil in front of the hospital where Joyce Echaquan died in Joliette, Quebec, on 29 September.


© Photograph: Canadian Press/REX/Shutterstock
People attend a vigil in front of the hospital where Joyce Echaquan died in Joliette, Quebec, on 29 September.

In the footage, Echaquan is seen grimacing as nurses call her “stupid as hell”. “Are you done acting stupid? Are you done?” asked one nurse in French as Echaquan moaned in pain.

“You made some bad choices, my dear,” another nurse said. “What are your children going to think, seeing you like this?”

“She’s good at having sex, more than anything else,” the first nurse said.

Indigenous leaders say the video exposes the grim realities of systemic racism that have long gone ignored throughout the country.

“Discrimination against First Nations people remains prevalent in the health care system and this needs to stop,” the Assembly of First Nations national chief, Perry Bellegarde, said in a statement.

The Quebec premier, François Legault, condemned the actions of the staff, telling reporters at least one of the nurses had been fired.

But the premier rejected the notion that Echaquan’s death was representative of a broader problem of racism within Quebec, despite a public inquiry concluding the opposite.

“I really don’t think we have this kind of way of dealing with First Nations people in our hospitals in Quebec,” he said.

The province’s coroner office has announced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Echaquan’s death. The local health board is also investigating.

‘‘We will not tolerate any remarks of that type from our personnel,” the board said in a statement.

Related: Violence against indigenous women is woven into Canada’s history | Jaskiran Dhillon and Siku Allooloo

Marc Miller, federal Indigenous services minister, extended his condolences to the community who were traumatized by the “gut-wrenching” video.

“This is the worst face of racism,” Miller told reporters. “This is someone who is at their most vulnerable. And they are dying, having heard racist words expressed towards them.”

Contrary to remarks by Legault, however, Miller said Echaquan’s death was reflective of broader barriers Indigenous peoples still face in Canada.

“This is not an isolated event,” said Miller, pointing to the case of a hospital in British Columbia, where staff allegedly bet on the blood alcohol content of incoming Indigenous patients.

For those who have experienced similar treatment to Echaquan’s, the video marked a jarring reminder of the inequities present within the country’s healthcare system.

“I’m not sure I can adequately explain how

Canada, biggest provinces promise new steps to fight second COVID wave

By Allison Martell

TORONTO (Reuters) – Canada’s federal authorities and its two biggest provinces on Tuesday promised new measures to combat a second COVID-19 wave that is notching up as many cases as during the pandemic’s peak in April.

Canada reported new 2,176 infections on Monday, taking the total to 155,301. The death toll rose by 10 to 9,278.

Government minister Dominic LeBlanc, who chairs the cabinet’s coronavirus committee, called the surge “very worrying”.

Ontario, the most populous of the 10 provinces, said it would limit visitors to long-term care homes for the elderly in areas with high community spread. Most deaths in Canada have taken place in homes for seniors.

In Quebec, the second most populous, premier Francois Legault said financial support for businesses hurt by new COVID-19 restrictions would be announced soon. The province is closing bars and dine-in services at restaurants in hot spots for 28 days.

“The situation is still critical,” Legault told reporters in Quebec City.

In Ottawa, health officials said they expected to authorize new antigen tests for COVID-19, which can provide rapid results outside of a lab. This should provide additional testing as the second wave overwhelms laboratories, they said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who last week said the government would provide C$440 million ($329 million) to a global program designed to ensure fair access to COVID-19 vaccines, on Tuesday said Canada was giving an additional C$400 million in humanitarian and development funding.

Separately on Tuesday, the federal government said it had signed an agreement up to buy 7.9 million Abbott ID NOW rapid point of care tests, pending Health Canada approval.

The ID NOW is not an antigen test, but the instruments used to analyze it can be run outside of a major lab, giving rapid results at a clinic or hospital.

(With additional reporting by David Ljunggren and Steve Scherer in Ottawa, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Moira Warburton in Vancouver, writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum, David Gregorio and John Stonestreet)

Source Article