Concept: Donald Trump
The aerial view of the concept of data sharing is beautiful. What could be better than having high-quality information carefully reexamined for the possibility that new nuggets of useful data are lying there, previously unseen? The potential for leveraging existing results for even more benefit pays appropriate increased tribute to the patients who put themselves at risk to generate the data. The moral imperative to honor their collective sacrifice is the trump card that takes this trick. However, many of us who have actually conducted clinical research, managed clinical studies and data collection and analysis, and curated data sets have . . .
Donald Trump’s presidency heralds public health retreat in the short term. Yet the surging opposition to his regime-redolent of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War mobilizations of the 1950s and 1960s-could portend better things ahead. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print March 21, 2017: e1-e3. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.303729).
Tuberculosis (TB) killed more people in 2015 than any other single infectious agent, but funding for research to develop better prevention, diagnosis, and treatment methods for TB declined to its lowest level in seven years. TB research and development (R&D) is woefully underfunded, a situation best viewed as a crisis of political will and a failure on the part of governments to see unmet innovation needs in the TB response as a human rights issue requiring immediate action. Over 60 percent of available money for TB R&D comes from public sources, and 65% of public money comes from a single country: the United States. The election of Donald Trump to the U.S. presidency in November 2016 has introduced great uncertainty into the support that science generally, and TB research in particular, will receive in the coming years. Advocacy on the part of all actors-from civil society to TB-affected communities to scientists themselves-is urgently needed to increase U.S. government support for TB research moving forward.
One week after President Donald Trump signed a controversial executive order to reduce the influx of refugees to the United States, we conducted a survey experiment to understand American citizens' attitudes toward refugee resettlement. Specifically, we evaluated whether citizens consider the geographic context of the resettlement program (that is, local versus national) and the degree to which they are swayed by media frames that increasingly associate refugees with terrorist threats. Our findings highlight a collective action problem: Participants are consistently less supportive of resettlement within their own communities than resettlement elsewhere in the country. This pattern holds across all measured demographic, political, and geographic subsamples within our data. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that threatening media frames significantly reduce support for both national and local resettlement. Conversely, media frames rebutting the threat posed by refugees have no significant effect. Finally, the results indicate that participants in refugee-dense counties are less responsive to threatening frames, suggesting that proximity to previously settled refugees may reduce the impact of perceived security threats.
This paper argues that the election of Donald Trump is the product of a confluence of historical factors rather than the distinctive appeal of the victor himself. By paying particular attention to the geography of unusual voting behaviour the analytical question comes into view: why did so much uncharacteristic voting occur in the Rust Belt states of the upper Midwest? It is impossible to answer this question adequately using conventional categorical attributes. The usual hypotheses of ‘economic anxiety’ and white revanchism are unable to account for sudden shifts in the voting behaviour of both white and black voters in post-industrial territories. Instead, it is necessary to turn to the history of the region and the institutional apparatus that connected voters there to the federal government and the Democratic Party. From this perspective we can see that the active dismantling of the Fordist social order set the region on a divergent path from the rest of the country. But this path had no political outlet due to the reorientation of the Democratic Party around a new class and geographic base. Due to this, the party pursued policies that would magnify the region’s difficulties rather than alleviate its circumstances. Moreover, the elaborate institutional ties that connected the region’s voters to the Democratic Party and the federal government meant that the political implications of regional decline would be muted. However, as these institutions frayed, Rust Belt voters were made available to candidates that challenged the policy consensus that had done so much damage to the region. The election was decided by a Rust Belt revolt that unified black and white working-class voters against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.
As one of his first acts as President of the United States, Donald Trump signed an executive order reinstating a version of the global gag rule. Under this rule, US grantees are barred from receiving global health funding if they engage in abortion-related work: not only abortion services, but also abortion referrals and counseling or advocacy for the liberalization of abortion laws. Critics of the Trump global gag rule generally raise three classes of objections: (1) that the rule fails to accomplish its presumed objective of reducing the number of abortions; (2) that it negatively affects the health and well-being of individuals and populations in affected countries; and (3) that it interferes with governments' ability to meet their international obligations. In this commentary, we examine the scientific and policy bases for these criticisms.
On 8 November 2016 the American electorate voted Donald Trump into the Presidency and a majority of Republicans into both houses of Congress. Since many Republicans ran for elected office on the promise to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare, this election result came with an expectation that campaign rhetoric would result in legislative action on healthcare. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) represented the Republican effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Key elements of the AHCA included modifications of Medicaid expansion, repeal of the individual mandate, replacement of ACA subsidies with tax credits, and a broadening of the opportunity to use healthcare savings accounts. Details of the bill and the political issues which ultimately impeded its passage are discussed here.
This paper contributes to the study of social change by considering boundary work as a dimension of cultural change. Drawing on the computer-assisted qualitative analysis of 73 formal speeches made by Donald Trump during the 2016 electoral campaign, we argue that his political rhetoric, which led to his presidential victory, addressed the white working class’s concern with their declining position in the national pecking order. He addressed this group’s concern by raising their moral status, that is, by (1) emphatically describing them as hard-working Americans who are victims of globalization; (2) voicing their concerns about ‘people above’ (professionals, the rich, and politicians); (3) drawing strong moral boundaries toward undocumented immigrants, refugees, and Muslims; (4) presenting African Americans and (legal) Hispanic Americans as workers who also deserve jobs; (5) stressing the role of working-class men as protectors of women and LGBTQ people. This particular case study of the role of boundary work in political rhetoric provides a novel, distinctively sociological approach for capturing dynamics of social change.
Any effort to situate Trump’s ascendance in the broader currents of cross-national developments, or in the longer course of American political development, must begin by recognizing it as a curious hybrid of populism and plutocracy. Although American right-wing populism has real social roots, it has long been nurtured by powerful elites seeking to undercut support for modern structures of economic regulation and the welfare state. American political institutions offered a distinctive opportunity for a populist figure to draw on this fury to first capture the nomination of the GOP, and from that position to ascend to the White House. Yet the administration’s substantive agenda constitutes a full-throated endorsement of the GOP economic elite’s long-standing demands for cuts in social spending, tax reductions for the wealthy, and the gutting of consumer, worker and environmental protections. The chasm between Trump’s rhetoric and his actions justifies a more skeptical assessment of the breadth and depth of American populism, one that acknowledges how its contours are shaped by the nation’s unusual political institutions, its intensifying political polarization and the out-sized influence of the wealthy.
The election of President Donald Trump raised grave concerns for the future of vaccination in the United States. Trump had frequently embraced-both before and during his election campaign-baseless and discredited allegations linking childhood vaccines to autism.(1) Shortly before his inauguration, he met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr, one of the most prominent and vocal critics of vaccine safety and current US vaccine policy, who announced after that meeting that he would lead a presidential “vaccine safety commission” charged with investigating these topics. (Am J Public Health. Published online ahead of print October 19, 2017: e1-e2. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304111).