Trump White House wings it on virus response

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BOSTON GLOBE)

 

The White House wings it on virus response

Epidemics can be challenging even for level-headed, well-prepared governments. The coronavirus lays bare just how clumsy the Trump administration is when it comes to public health.

President Trump (center), with members of the president's coronavirus task force, spoke during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday.

Now that health officials are warning Americans to prepare for the spread of a coronavirus, we’re getting a powerful reminder of why the chaotic Trump White House is dangerous. The president’s dismissal of scientific facts and his gutting of critical agencies have put lives at risk.

Invisible pathogens like the coronavirus, which is easily transmitted and appears to kill 2 percent of those infected (compared with the 0.1 percent US death rate for influenza), are challenging even for well-prepared administrations. Because people and goods move around the globe rapidly, it’s tricky to devise quarantines and other containment strategies. That’s why competent governments treat pandemic preparedness as a matter of national security, invest sufficiently in prevention, and speak forthrightly to the public.

Trump has fallen down on those fronts and long ago corroded the trust that is vital in a crisis.

His administration weakened the foundation for pandemic response in 2018, when it disbanded the National Security Council team that coordinated global health security. Then it allowed budget cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which forced a retreat from pandemic-prevention efforts in China and elsewhere. That same year, the administration shifted control of the Strategic National Stockpile, a storehouse of medicines and medical supplies, away from the CDC. Public-health experts worry that was another unforced error, because the CDC works directly with local health departments that put the stockpile into use.

Even this winter, with coronavirus already ravaging China, Trump proposed a 2021 budget that would slash spending at the CDC and other agencies that underpin the nation’s scientific prowess.

But of course, Trump is allergic to scientific advice. That explains why he would appoint Vice President Mike Pence as the new head of the coronavirus response, replacing the health and human services secretary whom Trump had put in that role just a few weeks ago. Pence’s ability to use evidence to guide public health decisions is worrisome at best. He insisted in 2000 that smoking isn’t deadly because — voila! — most smokers don’t get lung cancer. As Indiana governor, he engineered health-funding cuts that caused an HIV outbreak.

On Tuesday, a CDC official, Nancy Messonnier, said Americans should expect the virus to spread here. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad,” she added. Scott Gottlieb, who was Trump’s first director of the Food and Drug Administration, tweeted more straight talk: “This could be a long fight that will require shared sacrifice.”

Contrast such comments with Trump’s bluster when he complained about cable news coverage and said that the risk to Americans “remains very low.” As Ronald Klain, who oversaw the Ebola response in the Obama administration, pointed out, Trump’s confidence was unwarranted because very few Americans have been tested for the coronavirus. We might have many more cases than we think.

Meanwhile, a whistle-blower now alleges that administration officials retaliated against her after she alerted them that federal health workers lacked proper safety equipment and training when they interacted with virus patients quarantined at military bases in California.

These are more sad reminders of the reasons we can’t believe what we hear from this White House. Americans should heed the CDC and be prepared.


Editorials represent the views of the Boston Globe Editorial Board. Follow us on Twitter at @GlobeOpinion.

Mike Pence, Trump’s coronavirus czar, has a terrible public health record

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE LOS ANGLES TIMES)

 

Mike Pence, Trump’s coronavirus czar, has a terrible public health record

Mike Pence and Donald Trump

President Trump speaks about his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak as Vice President Mike Pence looks on at the White House on Wednesday.
(AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Seriously? How can Vice President Mike Pence oversee the Trump administration’s response to a human health crisis when he has a record on health and safety that is so abysmal?

This is a man who, as governor of Indiana, signed into law an abortion bill that is among the most restrictive in the country. He also permitted discrimination against the LGBTQ community in his state.

But wait, there’s more. He tried to block the resettlement of Syrian refugees in Indiana and cut off federal aid to existing refugees — and he believes in stripping judges of their discretion in drug-crime sentencing. His record as being anti-science is even more chilling.

Perhaps the only good that will come from this appointment and other missteps by the present administration is that President Trump is voted out of office in November.

Randy Farhi, Los Angeles

..

To the editor: On Wednesday, Trump put Pence in charge of the administration’s public health response to the coronavirus.

While governor of Indiana, Pence arranged to make Indiana rank 48th in per-capita public health spending in the United States. What qualifications justify his appointment?

Dr. Robert R. Young, Corona del Mar

..

To the editor: Maybe Trump will build a wall to keep the coronavirus out.

William Eaton, Banning

Trump Plans On Ending State Level Medical And Personal Marijuana Sales

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HILL NEWS)

 

President  Trump is once again threatening to derail medical cannabis access in the majority of U.S. states that regulate its access and use.

In his recently released 2021 federal budget proposal, the president has called for ending existing federal protections that limit the federal government from interfering in the state-sanctioned regulation of medical cannabis. Doing so would place thousands of medical cannabis providers and the millions of patients who rely on them at risk for criminal prosecution.

Some context: since 2014, Congress has repeatedly approved spending legislation forbidding the Justice Department from using federal funds for the explicit purpose of preventing states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia regulate the production and dispensing of medical cannabis products to over three million patients. All of these programs, and the patients served by them, would be at risk if the president gets his way.

To those following this issue closely, the president ’s latest move hardly comes as a surprise. Despite Trump mentioning during his campaign that he supported medical marijuana and a general states-rights approach to cannabis policy, his presidency has consistently proven these words to ring hollow.

Most recently, Marc Lotter, the director of strategic communications for Trump’s 2020 campaign, stated in an interview that the administration is intent on keeping marijuana illegal under federal law. “I think what the president is looking at is looking at this from a standpoint of a parent of a young person to make sure that we keep our kids away from drugs,” he said. “They need to be kept illegal, that is the federal policy. I think the president has been pretty clear on his views on marijuana at the federal level, I know many states have taken a different path.”

Let’s be clear — the policy that the administration wants to keep in place is the same failed policy that has existed since 1970, which opines that the cannabis plant should remain classified in the same category as heroin and possesses no accepted medical value. This position doesn’t comport with either public opinion or scientific reality

The data speaks for itself. It is not an alternative fact that state-regulated medical marijuana has been proven to possess important benefits to millions of patients while not undermining public safety or health.

To date, these regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies has not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. Additionally, they have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue. That is why more and more states are enacting medical cannabis laws while existing states are continually expanding them. No state that has passed a medical cannabis access law has ever repealed it.

Americans almost universally know that patients are not criminals and that marijuana indisputably has medical value in the treatment of a wide range of ailments. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University found an eye-popping 94 percent of Americans support the legal use of medical cannabis.

It makes no political sense for the president to try and put this genie back in the bottle and it up to Congress to see that he does not.

Justin Strekal is the Political Director for NORML, where he serves as an advocate to end the federal prohibition of marijuana and to reform our nation’s laws to no longer discriminate against its consumers. 

(A Savage Commentary) When The Poor Serve No Need We Will Be Exterminated

When The Poor Serve No Need We Will Be Exterminated

 

Earlier I posted an article that came from the Government of China, the article was in several of their news outlets, the article stated that by the year 2027 in China’s Financial district alone that AI will cause the loss of 2.3 million jobs. Remember that their current President for life Mr. Xi Jinping is a devout follower of Chairman Mao. When Chairman Mao was in charge in China their country’s population was about one billion people and his policies were to let about half of the Nation starve to death. One of the main reason he gave was the Central Government’s inability to not only be able to control them but also their inability to feed them. The population of the United States and of Russia combined today is about 470 million people, Mao was speaking of letting 500 million of his own people starve to death. There are many reasons that China went to their ‘one child’ policies for several decades, these were two of their top reasons.

 

There are those in China and elsewhere in the world who will argue that these things could not happen today because we are now much more civilized and to this I have to say, O really. The United States is without a doubt a ‘surveillance State’ today, if you think otherwise you are being quite naive. There are good things about living in constant surveillance though, I have no doubt that the FBI, CIA, and the NSA have stopped quite a few attacks upon the American people because of their secretive work. Yet how much freedom do the people give up for the sake of being safer? The more a government knows, the more easily they can then totally control the lives of the people. When it comes to governing a Nation the main building block of their power is their ability to control the people. Lose control on the streets, they lose their grip on their power.

 

Now let’s get back to financials within a government. Unless you are oblivious to reality you should know that the tail that wags the dog, is money. Back in the mid 1970’s I worked in a Chrysler Assembly Plant in norther Illinois for just a couple of weeks (I couldn’t stand the thought of working on an assembly line putting cushions in-car seats for at least 37 years) so I quit. What I did notice was how many people worked on the different ‘lines’. As the cars went down the assembly line you had many people doing manual labor like spot welding and putting windshields into the car frames. Go there now, see how many jobs are still there and how many are being done by automation, the job loss is staggering. Even think of stores like Wal-Mart who are getting rid of their cashiers in favor of automation and self-checkouts. Now think about self driving cars, trucks and even trains. Even companies like Uber are killing the Taxi industry. What do all of these things have in common folks? Companies are trying to get rid of human employees and the reason is simple, more profits for the top end persons in these companies.

 

If you are old enough (I am 62) do you remember when we used to hear how technologies were going to allow the workers to only have to work 4 days a week because with technologies we could get 5 days work done in 4 days? Some people were foolish enough to think that their employer was going to pay you for 5 days work even though you only worked 4 days. Reality was that the employees still worked 5 days a week but the companies demanded 6 or 7 days of finished product in the 5 days, for no more pay. Then of course the companies could ‘let go’ some of their workforce because they didn’t need them anymore. The employment issue has just grown from there as more and more computers and machines have taken over jobs that humans used to do.

 

I have spoken of the world Stock Markets before, how I believe that they are nothing but a Ponzi scheme and a curse to the working class, the working poor who labor in these corporations who are on these ‘Markets.’ Some will argue that throughout the years that they have been buying and selling stocks and bonds that they have been able to amass a ‘nice little retirement fund’, yet in reality all of a persons profits that they have amassed over the past thirty years can easily be wiped out in one or two hours on this same ‘Market scheme.’ Little people like us working class folks at best get the crumbs that fall off of the ‘Boss Mans’ plate. We are no more than dogs licking their floor and their shoes. What takes you or I 30 years to amass the ‘connected’ make in one 5 minute transaction.

 

When there are lets say 4 billion working age poor people (ages 16-70) but there are only 2 billion actual jobs that need a humans hands to do, what will happen to the other 2 billion people, and all of their families, all of the children? The Republicans in the U.S Congress often refer to things like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, Aid For Dependent Children, unemployment checks, VA Disability checks and even the VA itself as “entitlements” as “Welfare”, things that must be “defunded”, “stopped.” Why is this? The answer is simple, it takes away from the money that flows to the top end of the financial class. The Republicans say that they are the “Christian right” yet their actions are as anti-Christian as you can get in American politics. Do not get me wrong, I am no fan of the Democratic Party either with their platform of murdering babies (pro-abortion). Both ‘Parties’ are pure evil, they will both do everything that they can to make sure that the American people never get to have a viable 3rd or 4th political party and the reason is simple, that would take away from their power and they aren’t about to let that happen.

 

When there is not enough jobs for the poor people to do, not even slave labor jobs, who is going to house and feed these people if they can’t get an income? Is the top 1% going to just ‘give’ these people money from their bank accounts? When there is 7 billion people on the planet but only enough food or clean drinking water for 6 billion, who is going to get that food and clean water, the poorest of the poor people? Really? If you really think so, how naive you are my friend! In this new world that is on our doorstep, indeed kicking down our doors right now, you are either the lead dog, or you are daily looking up the lead dogs ass, drinking their piss for water and licking up their shit for food. In this regard, for the poor, this new world that we are all hurtling into, thousands, then millions, then billions of people will be fighting for a position behind these lead dogs just so they can stay alive. Those who refuse will not be fed and housed, we will be exterminated!

 

Israel: US Christians build field hospital in Gaza

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

US Christians build field hospital in Gaza, deepening rift between PA and Hamas

PLO official claims project, funded by pro-Israel evangelical donors, serving ‘military, intelligence and security’ purposes, but terror group brushes off concerns

Construction of field hospital in the Gaza Strip near the Erez crossing. (Screenshot from the Friend Ships-Project-Camp Gaza Facebook page)

Construction of field hospital in the Gaza Strip near the Erez crossing. (Screenshot from the Friend Ships-Project-Camp Gaza Facebook page)

A field hospital being built by a US Evangelical Christian aid group in the northern Gaza Strip has become a source of controversy for the already feuding Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership and the Hamas terrorist group that controls the coastal enclave.

An official in the West Bank has claimed the project, spearheaded by pro-Israel donors, is a front for American and Israeli intelligence operations, an allegation Gaza’s rulers have dismissed as “unfounded.”

Over the past several months, trucks carrying materials and equipment for the hospital have entered Gaza, which suffers from inadequate health infrastructure. Now American volunteers affiliated with Friend Ships, the aid group, have begun building the medical facility adjacent to the Erez crossing, the sole pedestrian passageway between Israel and the enclave.

Pictures posted on Facebook last week showed the volunteers erecting tents a short distance from the barrier separating Israel and Gaza.

The construction of the hospital is one part of the unofficial ceasefire understandings between Israel and terror groups in Gaza, which the Ramallah-based Palestinian leadership has fiercely protested.

From Syria to Gaza

Friend Ships, whose evangelical founders Don and Sondra Tipton have expressed strong support for Israel, has described the project as “a multi-faceted mobile (tent-based) medical facility.”

النجاح الإخباري – Al Najah News@NewsNajah

نشطاء ينشرون صور للعاملين في المستشفى الامريكي المنوي إقامته شمال غزة، يظهرون فيها بلباس عسكري أمريكي، مما اثار جدلا على منصات التواصل الاجتماعي حول اهداف المستشفى.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter
See النجاح الإخباري – Al Najah News’s other Tweets

“We will have [telemedicine] for worldwide consultation with specialists, a large children’s play area, hydroponics training program and distribution center,” the organization’s website said.

Friend Ships, which is headquartered in Louisiana, plans to eventually provide a wide range of health services at the hospital, including cancer treatment, physical therapy, post-traumatic stress disorder therapy, dental care, among others, according to the group’s website.

The hospital will include equipment that Friend Ships used for a similar project close to Syria, Al-Monitor, a news site based in Washington, reported in June.

The group also operated a field hospital in the Golan Heights in 2017-2018 with Israel’s permission, where medical staff treated some 7,000 Syrians.

The medical facility in Gaza will include 16 wards with a “focus on diagnosing patients with hereditary or life-threatening diseases” and receive funding from the Qatari government, the Al-Monitor report said.

Mohammed al-Emadi, a Qatari envoy who maintains contacts with Hamas, the PA and Israel, told a press conference in May that the hospital will occupy an area equivalent to 40 dunams.

Exploring Israel on the weekend

Friend Ships has also been advertising opportunities to volunteer at the hospital, highlighting the chance to travel through Israel on days off.

“Friend Ships Camp Gaza will offer a wonderful opportunity to work in an important and productive project and at the same time, to see and enjoy the Biblical sites of Israel,” its website said.

A post on the Friend Ships Facebook page said volunteers will learn about the region and “become part of what God is doing there today.”

Sondra Tipton, one of the founders of the organization, told a Louisiana news outlet in 2015 about her passion for Israel: “We feel like it’s very important for people to realize that Israel is a true democracy and a true friend to the United States and then from a Christian point of view, the Bible is emphatic about the land of Israel being the apple of God’s eye and how, as believers in Jesus, we need to stand with the Israelis.”

Illustrative: An injured Palestinian man arrives at a hospital to receive treatment following an Israeli air strike in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on December 8, 2017 .(AFP/Mohammed Abed)

Friend Ships, the IDF, and the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories, the branch of the Defense Ministry responsible for liaising with the Palestinians, declined to comment.

Brewing controversy between Palestinian factions

In the past week, however, the hospital has transformed into a major source of controversy between the rivals Fatah and Hamas.

After Palestinian news sites reported on the photos of the volunteers last Tuesday, which were posted on the Friend Ships Facebook page, a number of Fatah, PA and PLO officials lashed out at the project.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad claimed on Palestine TV, the official PA television channel, on Monday, that the hospital was for “military, intelligence and security” purposes. He later confirmed to The Times of Israel that he was referring to the US and Israeli intelligence.

PA Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh accused the hospital on Monday of serving the Trump administration’s peace plan.

PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef told The Times of Israel on Tuesday that he believed the hospital was deepening the division between the West Bank and Gaza because its planning and construction was not coordinated with the PA.

Friend Ships has since removed almost all of its posts related to the hospital from its Facebook page and wiped other information about it from its website.

Hamas, meanwhile, has pushed back against the Ramallah-based Palestinian officials’ allegations, calling them baseless.

“The statements of Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and PLO Executive Committee and Fatah Central Committee member Azzam al-Ahmad are based on false and unfounded data,” Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim told Dunya al-Watan, a Gaza-based news site on Tuesday. “They wove them together with imaginary information.”

Hamas deputy chief in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya, also questioned the intentions of the hospital’s critics. But he said the terror group would not hesitate to shut it down if it determined the humanitarian project was against its interests.

Hamas senior political leader Khalil al-Hayya during a press conference at the end of two days of closed-door talks attended by representatives of 13 leading political parties held in the Egyptian capital Cairo on November 22, 2017 (AFP/Mohamen El-Shahed)

“If we found anything in it that undermines our national or security interests, we will tell them to leave,” he told the Islamic Jihad-linked Palestine Today on Tuesday.

A source familiar with the details of the project, who asked to remain nameless, called the claims leveled against the hospital “complete nonsense.”

An official in the Hamas-run health ministry declined to specifically comment on the hospital, but said that it welcomes any effort to improve the health sector in Gaza.

“The Israeli restrictions on movement of goods and people have totally undermined the health sector. We are dealing with a major shortage in our hospitals in terms of medicines and medical supplies,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said in a phone call. “So we believe any efforts to mitigate these dire circumstances are positive.”

Israeli officials have said they maintain limitations on movement to prevent terror groups in Gaza from importing weapons or the means to build them into the territory.

Talal Okal, a Gaza-based analyst, said he thought the hospital shows that the ceasefire understandings between Hamas and Israel were moving forward.

“It s a clear indication that Hamas and Israel are advancing the understandings,” he said in a phone call. “But what we really need in Gaza is to improve the existing hospitals and health centers. We don’t need a field hospital.”

AFP contributed to this article.

JOIN US!
A MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR OF TIMES OF ISRAEL
DAVID HOROVITZ

For as little as $6 a month, you can help support our independent journalism — and enjoy special benefits and status as a Times of Israel Community member!

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We’ve achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

JOIN OUR COMMUNITY
READ MORE:

Kentucky election brings new hope for medical cannabis

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT)

 

Kentucky election brings new hope for medical cannabis

Andy Beshear voiced strong support for reform throughout his campaign — contact your legislators today and urge them to work with the new governor to pass a medical cannabis law!

Dear Ted:

After years of frustration, advocates for medical cannabis may finally have their best chance to succeed in the 2020 legislative session. Newly elected Governor Andy Beshear has indicated that he strongly supports medical cannabis, so the challenge will be getting a bill through the legislature and to the governor’s desk.

Rep. Jason Nemes has already pre-filed a medical cannabis bill in advance of the legislative session, which begins January 7. Last year, the House Judiciary Committee overwhelmingly approved a medical cannabis bill, but time ran out, and it never received a floor vote. Please write your legislators today and urge them to legalize medical cannabis in 2020!

After you write your legislators, please share this message with your friends and family.

Sincerely,


Matt Simon
Legislative Analyst
Marijuana Policy Project

 

 


 

Marijuana Policy Project
P.O. Box 21824​ | Washington, D.C. 20009
202-462-5747 | [email protected]

Scientists discover body’s protection shield

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF PHYSICS.ORG)

 

Scientists discover body’s protection shield

Scientists discover body’s protection shield
Image of a fly wound and inflammation. Credit: Helen Weavers

Scientists have discovered a way to manipulate the body’s own immune response to boost tissue repair. The findings, published in Current Biology today, reveal a new network of protective factors to shield cells against damage. This discovery, made by University of Bristol researchers, could significantly benefit patients undergoing surgery by speeding recovery times and lowering the risk of complication.

When a  is damaged, (either accidentally or through surgery), the body quickly recruits  to the injury site where they fight infection by engulfing and killing invading pathogens, through the release of toxic factors (such as unstable molecules containing oxygen known as “reactive oxygen species” e.g. peroxides). However, these bactericidal products are also highly toxic to the host tissue and can disrupt the repair process. To counteract these  the repairing tissue activates powerful protective machinery to “shield” itself from the damage.

Now, researchers from Bristol’s School of Biochemistry studying , have mapped the exact identities of these protective pathways and identified how to stimulate this process in naïve tissues.

Dr. Helen Weavers from Bristol’s Faculty of Life Sciences, and the study’s lead author, explains: “In healthy individuals, injured tissues normally quickly repair themselves following damage. Within a healing skin wound, a stress-response is activated that recruits , which in turn release a multitude of bacteriocidal factors, including  (ROS), to eliminate invading pathogens.

“In this study we used translucent fruit flies to watch wound repair live as it happens and follow the behavior of the recruited immune cells. In doing so, we uncovered a network of protective pathways which shield tissues from inflammatory damage and make repairing tissues more ‘resilient’ to stress. We also demonstrated that ectopic activation of these pathways further enhanced tissue protection, whilst their inhibition led to significant delays in wound closure.

“Now we know their identities and how they are activated, we hope to develop ways to stimulate this protective machinery in patients prior to elective surgery.”

The findings have clear clinical relevance to patients because therapeutic activation of these cyto-protective pathways in the clinic could also offer an exciting approach to ‘precondition’ patient tissues prior to elective surgery.

Dr. Weavers added: “We are now uncovering even more ‘resilience’ pathways that help to protect our body tissues from stress, both at sites of wounding and in other vulnerable organs that are often exposed to similar stressors. Since we find that the protection machinery is activated by the same pathways that also initiate the inflammatory response, we think the resilience machinery has evolved as a fail-safe mechanism for tissue protection each time inflammation is triggered.


Explore further

 

Adult fly intestine could help understand intestinal regeneration


More information: Helen Weavers et al. Injury Activates a Dynamic Cytoprotective Network to Confer Stress Resilience and Drive Repair, Current Biology (2019). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.09.035

Journal information: Current Biology

Jimmy Carter Surgery: ‘No Complications’ In Bid To Relieve Pressure On His Brain

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Jimmy Carter Surgery: ‘No Complications’ In Bid To Relieve Pressure On His Brain

LISTEN·3:04PLAYLIST

Former President Jimmy Carter had surgery to relieve pressure on his brain Tuesday. He’s seen here earlier this month, teaching Sunday school at his church in Plains, Ga.

John Amis/AP

Updated at 10:15 a.m. ET

Former President Jimmy Carter underwent surgery Tuesday morning to relieve pressure on his brain that was caused by bleeding from two recent falls, the Carter Center says. The former leader is now recovering from the operation.

“There are no complications from the surgery,” the center says. It adds that Carter will stay in the hospital for observation “for as long as advisable” by his doctors.

Carter, 95, was admitted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Monday evening for the procedure. He was accompanied by his wife, Rosalynn.

Carter has had three bad falls this year. On Oct. 21, he suffered a “minor pelvic fracture” after a fall in his Plains, Ga., home. In early October, he was left with a pronounced black eye after another fall. And in May, he broke his hip as he prepared to go turkey hunting, resulting in hip replacement surgery.

The fact that doctors waited overnight before doing surgery on President Carter suggests that the bleeding in his brain was slow, and that it probably began after one of several falls he’s taken in the past few weeks.

The Carter Center says the former president sustained a subdural hematoma — the most common sort of brain bleeding after a fall.

In older patients, even a relatively minor blow to the head can rupture veins along the dura mater, a tough membrane that lies between the skull and brain. As the blood builds up and clots, it can put pressure on the brain and can cause symptoms ranging from headaches to memory problems to seizures and paralysis.

To relieve pressure on the brain, doctors often make a small hole in the skull, then insert a tube to remove the blood. While the hospital has not released details about Carter’s operation, that is likely the procedure he had this morning.

For large clots, surgeons are more likely to remove an entire section of the skull, giving them direct access to the injured area.

Despite his recent injuries, Carter has maintained a busy schedule, making public appearances and building houses with Habitat for Humanity as part of the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. He also regularly teaches Sunday school at the Maranatha Baptist Church in his hometown in southwest Georgia.

Carter is the longest-lived U.S. president, and he is also a cancer survivor, having been successfully treated for melanoma that had spread to his liver and his brain, which was diagnosed in 2015.

Former President Jimmy Carter hospitalized to relieve pressure in brain

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CBS)

 

Former President Jimmy Carter hospitalized to relieve pressure in brain

Former President Jimmy Carter was hospitalized Monday night for a procedure to relieve pressure on his brain caused by bleeding, The Carter Center said in a statement. The bleeding was caused by Mr. Carter’s recent falls, the statement explained.

“President Carter is resting comfortably and his wife, Rosalynn, is with him,” according to the statement. The procedure will take place Tuesday morning at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta.

The Carter Center

@CarterCenter

Statement about Jimmy Carter’s health

View image on Twitter
786 people are talking about this

CBS News medical contributor Dr. David Agus said that the procedure is normally quick. “Basically, they’re just drilling a small hole in the brain and draining the fluid that is causing the pressure,” Agus told CBSN. “So the procedure itself — you could be in the operating room, say, an hour.”

Mr. Carter, who is 95, has had a number of health scares in recent years. In 2015, he announced he had been diagnosed with cancer that had spread to his liver and brain. He stepped back from responsibility at The Carter Center, but he continued teaching Sunday school classes in his hometown of Plains, Georgia. It’s a tradition he started in his teens that has gained a wide following.

But just six months later, he was treated with a new immunotherapy drug and made a remarkable recovery, announcing an MRI showed no signs of cancer and he needed no more treatment.

In May 2019, he suffered another health setback when he fell and broke his hip. Mr. Carter suffered two more falls in October 2019, and was hospitalized for a fractured pelvis.

Carter’s first October fall left him with a black eye and 14 stitches — but he nevertheless attended the opening ceremony for a Habitat for Humanity build in Nashville along with Rosalynn, who is 92. Less than two weeks after his second fall, he said he planned to return to teaching Sunday school.

In the Sunday school service that followed, Mr. Carter told attendees he’s “at ease with death.”

After learning about his cancer in 2015, he said he “assumed, naturally, that I was going to die very quickly.”

“I, obviously, prayed about it. I didn’t ask God to let me live, but I just asked God to give me a proper attitude toward death. And I found that I was absolutely and completely at ease with death. It didn’t really matter to me whether I died or lived,” Mr. Carter said. “I have, since that time, been absolutely confident that my Christian faith includes complete confidence in life after death. So, I’m going to live again after I die — Don’t know what form I’ll take, or anything.”

This spring, Mr. Carter surpassed George H.W. Bush as the longest-lived U.S. president in history. The Carters recently became the longest married presidential couple, surpassing George and Barbara Bush, with more than 73 years of marriage.

China approves sale of home-grown new Alzheimer’s drug

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SHANGHAI CHINA NEWS AGENCY ‘SHINE’)

 

China approves sale of home-grown new Alzheimer’s drug

Xinhua

A home-grown drug for treating Alzheimer’s disease has been approved by the National Medical Products Administration to hit the market, according to its developers Saturday.

The drug, GV-971, was developed by Ocean University of China, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under Chinese Academy of Sciences and Green Valley Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd, after research efforts of 22 years.

A total of 1,199 persons participated in the three-phase clinical trials. The 36-week-long Phase 3 clinical study showed that the drug can improved cognition in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, the developers said.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking ability, and the capability to carry out simple tasks. The disease affects about 48 million people worldwide, and the number is expected to increase with the aging population.