Shutdown plays chicken with public health as antibiotic-resistant Salmonella outbreak spreads


#1

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#2

One of the things that I wondered is how many people will die because of the government shut down. The media will cover those deaths and the GOP leaders will deny it then act shocked and surprised it happened. But they HAD to know this could happen.

So, what is the number of dead that will get them to start up the government again? Is there a number? Will some dead (like food poisioning dead) not count since that happens at other times when it is open?

Xeni did a story about this the other day regarding a woman with cancer not getting treatment in a NIH trial.

WHEN people die, the press should not just accept the "Nobody could have anticipated" this answer, but actually ask, "You must have known this would happen. How many dead were acceptable? How many did you calculate? Who wrote the memo telling you that this could lead to death? What was their suggestions of acceptable limits? Did you agree with that number or did you say that Zero deaths were acceptable?"


#3

But at least Congress' private gym memberships are considered essential.


#4

I fully expect that some people will die due to the shutdown but I wouldn't count on the media covering it. Most of the preventable deaths will be part of a bigger statistic that will be hard to pinpoint on one cause. We won't necessarily know which people would have contracted Salmonella poisoning regardless of the government's ability to act, but we'll see a jump in the overall number.

It's the same way that we can be pretty confident that Reagan indirectly contributed to airline passenger's deaths when he fired all those striking air traffic controllers in the 80s and replaced them with less experienced people. But we can't point to any one crash and say "that's Reagan's fault!" All we can do is see the statistical jump in overall crashes after that decision was made.


#5

Hmm. I wonder what delivery places will send the speaker of the house a good Buffalo chicken pizza....


#6

Expecting politicians in general, and Tea Party ideologues most especially in particular, to give a flying fuck about public harm when they're concentrating on thumping their favorite tub is kind of wishful thinking.


#7

I don't they they care, but we the people need to make the link clear. Here is the question I asked Jake Tapper today on this exact question.
One of the things that I wondered is how many people will die because of the government shut down. The media will cover those deaths and the GOP leaders will deny it then act shocked and surprised it happened. But they HAD to know this could happen.
So, what is the number of dead that will get them to start up the government again? Is there a number? Will some dead (like food poisoning dead) not count since that happens at other times when it is open?
Xeni Jardin did a story about this the other day regarding a woman with cancer not getting treatment in a NIH trial.
WHEN people die, will you accept the "Nobody could have anticipated these deaths." answer?
I'm very serious, they have to know this would happen. Did Boehner's staff calculate how many dead were acceptable? How many did you calculate?
I'm thinking of the Presidential Daily Brief Memo that Condi Rice had and Bush ignored. Who in Boehner's staff wrote the memo telling him and leadership that this could lead to death? What was their suggestions of acceptable limits? Could you ask some staff this question?
Did they agree with that number or did they say that Zero deaths were acceptable? Running Governments lead to deaths. Stopping Governments will lead to deaths, although different kinds. Are you going to treat the GOP like incompetent children and assume they didn't know this could lead to deaths? Or are you going to hold their feet to the fire and demand they acknowledge that they knew people would die and they were fine with a certain number of dead in order to get their way?


#8

Agreed, So one thing that we can do is grab these deaths when they happen and make the linkage clear. And since the press won't ask since they will lump it into Big numbers is find the first. Just like in wars, the first dead are the ones they notice. Oh and kids or pregnant women. Or white men in the DC/NY power elite. THOSE dead count. I asked Jake Tapper this question. today


#9

Republicans believe that Obamacare will result in Death Panels killing people by deciding that some people aren't worth saving, and so in their fucked-up bizzaro-reality, no amount of deaths is too high in the war against affordable healthcare.


#10

Wait a minute, this only effects people who eat raw chicken, right?


#11

No, it can also affect those who handle it. You don't have to ingest raw chicken to get salmonella.


#12

"personnel sent home and prohibited from returning to work--even if they wanted to without pay!"

hmmm, I don't think it is surprising for personnel to be prohibited from returning to work even if they were willing to do so for free. it seems to me that the bureaucratic chaos of having some people in the hierarchy working while others do not, or people working without the day-to-day funds to support their activities (building water, electricity, and hvac, safety and medical support, human resources management, etc etc etc) could be highly problematic and result in all sorts of laws being violated.


#13

My concern would be that if you tell people they won't be paid but can volunteer to work anyway, there's gonna be managers telling folks that they'd better "volunteer" if they still want to have a job after the furlough. The rule isn't totally misguided.


#14

I think the biggest issue is tracking and updating on spread of disease via the health dept, but frankly, the FDA (*and USDA) does an abysmal job of protecting the country when the government isn't shut down. They are nearly always reactive. The supposed source of the latest salmonella outbreak had issues in the past. There is no proactive monitoring, or ineffective monitoring at best.

*edited to add.


#15

Apparently we're now living in a John Brunner novel but which one? I suspect it's "The Sheep Look Up" rather than "Shockwave Rider".

Meanwhile the invisible hand of the market will decide who gets Salmonella as the result of capitalism with no government oversight. And the answer is, "probably not the rich people".


#16

It's probably a good idea to bleach surfaces, if you are going to eat it and wash your hands like crazy. But then, you also have to trust that other people are cleaning surfaces and washing their hands like crazy.


#17

Right, so people who eat raw chicken and people who don't wash their hands after handling raw chicken.


#18

How many people would live if we shut down the parts of the government that are in the business of killing people? i.e. Military industrial complex, prison industrial complex, medical industrial complex, pharmaceutical industrial complex et al


#19

How about people use common sense when handling raw meat. This sage piece of advise doesn't go away because the government can't get its shit together. I always use gloves when handling raw meat, never mix cutting devices/surfaces and always disinfect after I'm done.

Whether or not the government is "open" doesn't change the fact that restaurants, homes and any other place where food is prepared; people should follow those simple sanitation guidelines.


#20

Or people who, say, accidentally get some liquid from a raw chicken in their eye or in their mouth when they're dismembering a bird and the meat sprays unexpectedly. Or people who don't properly clean food preparation surfaces that have had raw chicken placed on them, or who prepare food on surfaces that haven't been properly cleaned by someone else.

There are still ways responsible chicken handlers can get salmonella. Let's not go blaming the victims here.