‘It’s In Many Ways All Theater’: China Vows To Stem Flood Of Fentanyl Into U.S., But It Promised That Under Obama Too
Although the Trump administration is touting the promises, experts say there's nothing new to get excited about. “There are economic incentives for the Chinese to let opioid production flourish and fewer incentives to restrict their economy to cooperate with foreign law enforcement. We will have to wait and see how much the Chinese government cracks down on fentanyl producers," said Jeffrey Higgins, a retired special supervisory agent with the DEA.
The New York Times:
Trump Says China Will Curtail Fentanyl. The U.S. Has Heard That Before.
China vows to stem the supply of the powerful opioid fentanyl flowing into the United States. It pledges to target exports of fentanyl-related substances bound for the United States that are prohibited there, while sharing information with American law-enforcement authorities. Such promises, echoed in the recent meeting between the countries’ presidents, ring familiar. (Wee, 12/3)
In other national health care news —
The New York Times:
‘He Did Not Lead On AIDS’: For Bush, Activists See A Mixed Legacy
The death of George Bush on the eve of World AIDS Day was a painful reminder for some of the most lethal days of the epidemic, when people — predominantly gay and bisexual — were struck down by an illness that few in the White House seemed to lose sleep over. For them, the 41st president was a slow-moving leader whose response to the crisis was hard to separate from his public uneasiness with gay men and lesbians. “If one was being charitable one could say it was a mixed legacy, but in truth it was a bad legacy of leadership,” said Urvashi Vaid, who led the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force from 1989 to 1992. “He did not lead on AIDS.” (Stack, 12/3)
The Washington Post:
Polio-Like Disease In U.S. Kids Appears To Have Peaked For 2018, CDC Says
Federal health officials said Monday that cases of the paralyzing, polio-like illness that was spiking in children in the United States this year appears to have peaked. In 2018, 134 cases of acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, have been confirmed in 33 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Another 165 cases are under investigation. In a statement, the CDC said officials expect the number of cases to decline for the remainder of the year. Most of the latest confirmed cases occurred in September and October. (Sun, 12/3)
The Associated Press:
Should Social Media Check Be Required To Get A Gun License?
Should authorities be able to deny handgun licenses for hateful tweets? A New York lawmaker is raising the question with a bill that would require police to scrutinize the social media activity and online searches of handgun license applicants, and disqualify those who have published violent or hateful posts. (12/4)
Chinese Scientist Who Claimed Gene-Editing Success Now Missing: Report
The Chinese scientist who claimed to have created the world's first gene-edited babies, He Jiankui, is missing after his former employers denied that he was detained over the weekend, the South China Morning Post reports. A spokeswoman for his former workplace, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, denied reports that He was being detained. “Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are," the spokeswoman told the newspaper, while also declining to elaborate. (Keller, 12/3)
The Wall Street Journal:
A City Solves Veteran Homelessness
Rockford, about 90 miles northwest of Chicago, is one of the first cities to effectively end homelessness among veterans, according to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Officials consider its programs a model for other cities. Its goal is now to eliminate all homelessness by 2020. Rockford and dozens of other cities accepted a challenge posed by then-First Lady Michelle Obama in June 2014 to end veteran homelessness, creating a network for city officials to brainstorm and share ideas. Since then, some 63 communities and three states have followed Rockford’s lead to be certified as having solved the problem, including bigger cities like Miami, which was certified last summer. Other major metros, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York have also signed on to the challenge. (Snow, 12/4)
Statin Rethink: Who Should Take The Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs?
A study published Monday is pushing back against the notion that up to 40 percent of Americans should be taking statin drugs to reduce the risk of heart disease. The study, in the Annals of Internal Medicine, argues that current medical guidelines haven't adequately considered the risks from these widely used drugs. "Some harms are mentioned, but it's entirely unclear how they were considered when coming up with the recommendations," says Milo Puhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the University of Zurich and senior author of the new study. "In our approach we very explicitly considered the harms." (Harris, 12/3)