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 . . .
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.
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).
Social media is a source of news and information for an increasing portion of the general public and physicians. The recent political election was a vivid example of how social media can be used for the rapid spread of “fake news” and that posts on social media are not subject to fact-checking or editorial review. The medical field is susceptible to propagation of misinformation, with poor differentiation between authenticated and erroneous information. Due to the presence of social “bubbles,” surgeons may not be aware of the misinformation that patients are reading, and thus, it may be difficult to counteract the false information that is seen by the general public. Medical professionals may also be prone to unrecognized spread of misinformation and must be diligent to ensure the information they share is accurate.
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.
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.
Donald Trump’s rhetoric and leadership are destroying the “culture of community” necessary for progress on health equity. His one-line promises to provide “quality health care at a fraction of the cost” smack of neoliberal nostrums that shifted ever more costs onto patients, thereby preventing many people from getting care. The dangers of Trump go far beyond health policy, however; Trump’s presidency threatens the political and cultural institutions that make any good policy possible.
This special issue of the Journal is devoted to understanding the many roads that lead toward achieving health equity. The eleven articles in the issue portray an America that is struggling with the clash between its historical ideal of pursuing equality for all and its ambivalence toward achieving equity in all social domains, especially health. Organized in five sections, the issue contains articles that examine and analyze: the role of civil rights law and the courts in shaping health equity; the political discourse that has framed our understanding of health equity; health policies that affect health equity, such as the Medicaid program, as well as related strategies that might help to improve equity, such as the use of mobile technologies to empower individuals; immigration policies and practices that impact health equity in marginalized populations; and commentaries in the final section that explore how the Affordable Care Act has addressed health equity, how repeal of the law would jeopardize equity gains, and how the political discourse and culture of the Trump administration could adversely affect health equity.
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for infants during the first 6 months of life. The aim of this analysis was to examine time trends in breastfeeding between 1990 and 2013 in Germany using data from the DONALD (Dortmund Nutritional and Anthropometric Longitudinally Designed) Study. Although partial breastfeeding was observed to constantly increase over time in both 3-month and 6-month-old infants, fully breastfeeding rates did not further increase in 3-month-old infants since 2002, and even showed a tendency to decrease in 6-month-old infants. In conclusion, this finding emphasises the need for improvements in breastfeeding promotion in Germany, which currently seems to be ineffective in case of continuation of full breastfeeding until the age of 6 months.European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication, 28 June 2017; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2017.106.
President Donald Trump has selected Norman “Ned” Sharpless, MD, director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, to lead the NCI. The news was met with widespread approval among cancer researchers, who view Sharpless as a strong communicator who can ably represent the needs of the cancer community in the face of proposed funding cuts.