Viewpoints: RFK Jr. Belongs To Our Family But His Ideas About Vaccines Are Seriously Wrong; Lawmakers Need To Become The Next Heroes And Reform Gun Laws
Opinion writers weigh in on these health topics and others.
RFK Jr. Is Our Brother And Uncle. He’s Tragically Wrong About Vaccines.
[Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s] and others’ work against vaccines is having heartbreaking consequences. The challenge for public health officials right now is that many people are more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases, because they've been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact. But that’s not luck; it’s the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years. We don’t need measles outbreaks to remind us of the value of vaccination. (Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Maeve Kennedy McKean, 5/8)
The Washington Post:
Heroes Risk Their Lives To Stop Mass Shootings. Lawmakers Don’t Have The Guts To Pass Gun Reform.
Rather than take proactive measures aimed at preventing shootings (such as New Zealand’s swift move to ban assault weapons), the United States operates on the seeming assumption that mass killing is inescapable, so citizens should learn how to best react. “Run, hide and fight” was the message blasted out to the UNC Charlotte campus when a gunman went on a rampage last month. (5/8)
The Wall Street Journal:
The Brave Young Men Of Highlands Ranch And Charlotte
The gifts that Riley Howell and Kendrick Castillo gave to the students they saved can hardly be measured. In photographs Howell and Castillo appear to be just kids. They were men of great courage. (5/8)
Looking At The Mueller Report From A Mental Health Perspective
Concerns about Donald Trump’s fitness for the office of president arose during the campaign and continue to this day. But now, in the Mueller report, we have an abundance of new evidence that sheds light on these concerns. What makes this a unique opportunity is the quality and relevance of the data: They are derived from multiple sources both friendly and opposed to the president, were obtained under oath, and show us how the president conducted himself in the eyes of those who worked directly with him while in office. While we were concerned enough to put our initial cautions in a public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” each additional piece of evidence has substantiated the correctness of that assessment over time. Now, the Mueller report elevates this assessment to new levels. (Bandy X. Lee, Leonard L. Glass and Edwin B. Fisher, 5/9)
Is Tribalism Undermining Objectivity About Low-Carb, High-Fat Diets?
Anyone who is active on social media has come to expect a certain degree of tribalism around the issues of the day: guns, climate change, abortion, politics, and the like. We’ve been surprised to see it creep into the online conversation about nutrition science, especially the discussion about low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets. Even more surprising to us is that such advocacy sometimes comes from health professionals, scientists, and journalists, from whom we would normally expect a certain degree of objectivity. These diets aren’t new. (Nicola Guess and Ethan J. Weiss, 5/9)
Admit It, All Lives Don’t Matter, Do They?
There are people who do not matter much. That’s a painful truth, starkly at odds with our Jeffersonian creed and national mythology. But it is a truth, nevertheless, one frequently proven in actions if denied in words. In this country, by dint of race, gender, class or status, some people just don’t seem to matter. Apparently, Tammy Jackson is one of them. No other conclusion is possible after reading the May 3 letter her public defender, Howard Finkelstein, sent to Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony. In it, he decries the “outrageous and inhumane” treatment accorded his client in a Broward lockup. And if anything, the lawyer is guilty of understatement (Leonard Pitts Jr., 5/7)
Los Angeles Times:
Don't Panic, But California Has Yet Another Water Problem
First, don’t panic. It’s true that a report published late last month in the journal Environmental Health found a link between California tap water and cancer. The study noted high levels of arsenic, plus numerous other contaminants that may be more toxic in combination than they are separately. According to the report, the tainted water could cause more than 200 cases of cancer a year. (5/9)
Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Public-Private Efforts To Tackle The Lead Poisoning Of Cleveland Children Must Include Funding
Reducing the lead poisoning of Cleveland children is urgent. But it cannot, and must not, come down to a new burden heaped on the shoulders of Cleveland. The Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, a broad public-private partnership, has just presented 33 important policy recommendations to Cleveland. Their proposals are smart and packed with good ideas. (5/8)