Almost a million excess deaths in Britain due to decades of social inequality

Several reports published in Britain over the last few years attest to the fact that staggering levels of social inequality, fuelled by austerity policies, have claimed the lives of around a million people.

Earlier this month a paper led by the University of Glasgow and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), found as a “a conservative estimate” that there were 334,327 excess deaths beyond the expected number in England, Wales and Scotland over the eight-year period from 2012 and 2019. GCPH is a partnership between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Glasgow City Council and the University of Glasgow.

The report by authors David Walsh, Ruth Dundas, Gerry McCartney, Marcia Gibson and Rosie Seaman, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, notes, “Mortality rates across the UK stopped improving in the early 2010s, largely attributable to the “UK Government’s austerity policies which have cut both the income of the poorest and a

— source | Robert Stevens | 16 Oct 2022

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Is the Pandemic Over?

Some public health officials criticize Biden’s comments, which come as the White House is pushing people to receive newly reformulated COVID-19 bivalent booster shots. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins, COVID killed 13,000 people across the U.S. over the past month as 2.2 million new infections were reported.

Yale epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves “Sorry folks. Mr. Biden is dead-wrong. 500 people dying per day. 2nd leading cause of death in US. We’re top in mortality among G7. Life expectancy down. He thinks this is good politics. It may be but it’s predicated on accepting the suffering of millions of Americans,” Dr. Gonsalves said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Monica Gandhi, “What [President] Biden & the [World Health Organization] means ([the WHO] said [the] end [is] in sight last week) is that COVID [is] never over because [it’s] non-eradicable but that [the] emergency phase ends when mortality [is] lower than anytime since March 2020 & when we have biomedical advances,” she said.

— source | Sep 20, 2022

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Black Maternal Mortality in U.S.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the battleground for abortion access now shifts to the states, even as the U.S. faces the worst rates of maternal mortality among all rich nations, with Black maternal mortality three to four times higher than the national average. Now a new documentary examines the crisis of Black maternal mortality through the families of two young Black women who died after giving birth. “Aftershock” is co-directed by Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt, who join us to discuss how Black women navigate a healthcare system built against them and efforts underway to reduce racial disparities. “We know that Black women’s health and infants’ health is the marker of the health of a nation,” notes Lee. “In a system that puts profit over people, doesn’t listen and center birthing people already, Black women are even more affected by this due to the systemic racism that’s ingrained into our system,” adds Eiselt.

Amber Rose Isaac, as you mentioned, died in April 2020. She had what is called HELLP syndrome, which is a very treatable condition that many pregnant women get, but, unfortunately, when she showed up to her doctor with symptoms of HELLP syndrome, she was dismissed. They did not listen to her. And unfortunately, by the time she had a C-section, it was too late to save her.

And it is clear that these women were loved women. They were loving women. And their partners, Omari Maynard, the partner to Shamony, and Bruce McIntyre, the partner to Amber, loved them so much. And through their grief — and what I’ve learned from these families is that grief really is an expression of love — through their grief, they’ve become activated to improve outcomes for all of us. And they’re doing amazing work. Omari is a painter. He paints portraits of other women who have passed away. He reaches out to the other fathers when they lose a partner from childbirth complications, to offer support. And that’s how we met Bruce McIntyre, because Omari reached out to Bruce when Amber passed

— source | Jul 25, 2022

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46 Migrants Found Dead in Texas

San Antonio authorities say they found 46 migrants dead inside a sweltering tractor-trailer that was left abandoned in a remote road on Monday. Sixteen survivors were hospitalized, including four children, to be treated for heat stroke and exhaustion as temperatures in the region surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Local authorities said a city worker heard a cry for help from inside the truck yesterday afternoon and found a body on the ground outside the trailer in a partially opened gate to the trailer.

Listen, there is no words to describe what is happening right now at the border, especially here in Texas, and what is happening in San Antonio. What we are seeing is an unprecedented situation that is evolving and developing at the border. In our calculations, maybe this year we’re going to break all the records of migrants that are dying by crossing the border, while crossing the border. Maybe we’re going to be reaching this unprecedented number of more than 1,000 migrants a year. That means three migrants per day. I mean, this is not only sad, this is not only history, but this is ridiculous.

I mean, we need to understand that whatever connections we need to do, one of them, it is precisely the policy of deterrence used by the United States government, but also by the state of Texas, to actually prevent migrants to come to the country legally. I mean, what we are seeing is an effort, a concentrated effort, to actually expel immigrants, reject

— source | Jun 28, 2022

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Unchecked emissions could double heat-related child mortality

If carbon emissions are limited to slow temperature rise, up to an estimated 6,000 child deaths could be prevented in Africa each year, according to new research.

A team of international scientists, led by the University of Leeds in collaboration with researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), have shown that thousands of heat-related child deaths could be prevented if temperature increases are limited to the Paris Agreement’s 1.5ºC target through to 2050.

However, heat-related child deaths could double in sub-Saharan Africa by mid-century if high emissions continue.

Their workpublished in the journal Environmental Research Letters, estimated the impact of climate change on annual heat-related deaths of children under five years old in sub-Saharan Africa, from 1995 — 2050.

The findings show that since roughly 2009, heat-related child mortality has been at least double what it would have been without climate change.

— source University of Leeds | Jul 5, 2022

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The Deaths of the TVA Kingston Clean Up Workers

On the night of December 22. 2008, a dike at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash pond broke, releasing 7.3 million tons of coal ash onto 300 nearby acres and into local waterways. No one was killed in the spill.

But the resulting cleanup of the toxic coal ash did result in the deaths of at least 50 of the 900 workers who worked the cleanup site. The workers were not given proper protection during the cleanup and were thus exposed to the radioactive and highly toxic waste.

It’s a little known tale of corporate violence.

Jamie Satterfield knows the story well, having covered it for the Knoxville News Sentinel. She left the paper last year and is now reporting for the Tennessee Lookout.

There was a safe way to clean up the spill but TVA and its contractor, Jacobs Engineering, did not protect the workers with proper safety equipment.

— source | Jul 8, 2022

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How Many More Seniors Will Die of Covid-19 in Los Angeles County?

One million Americans, over 90,000 people in California, and over thirty thousand Los Angeles County residents have died of Covid-19. The most vulnerable groups are seniors and people with disabilities, especially those that are homebound. The LA County Board of Supervisors should have made homebound people a priority. Instead, it failed them throughout the pandemic and continues to fail them today.

Our story begins with a phone call made in 2020. As the pandemic was getting more deadly, a tenant living at Barnard Way in Santa Monica died of Covid-19. Barnard Way is a 61-unit Section 8 complex with older, disabled, and poor residents. Shawn Casey O’Brien, who lives in the building, contacted the office of the LA County Board of Supervisors to request testing for building residents.

A young staffer spoke with Shawn and Ernie Powell (one of the authors of this piece). After two meetings the staffer indicated that the County itself could not provide the

— source | Ernie Powell, Nikola Alenkin | May 27, 2022

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U.S. COVID Death Toll Passes 1 Million & New Variants Spread

On Thursday, WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned the world is playing with fire in its handling of the pandemic.

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS: Coupled with low investment in early diagnosis, it’s simply not acceptable that in the worst pandemic in a century innovative treatments that can save lives are not reaching those that need them. We are playing with a fire that continues to burn us. Meanwhile, manufacturers are posting record profits. WHO supports fair reward for innovation, but we cannot accept prices that make lifesaving treatments available to the rich and out of reach for the poor. This is a moral failing.

You know, what the director-general is saying is absolutely correct. And as somebody who’s worked in global health for now over a decade, I’ve seen that this was the weakness that we were all worried about, you know, particularly that if we were hit with a pandemic like this, that countries would turn inwards instead of working together, that access to lifesaving medications and vaccines would primarily be focused in high-income countries and that the idea of global health equity, the idea that all lives matter regardless of where you live, that those ideas would take really a backseat to the interests of wealthy countries. And we saw this play out even with the Ebola epidemics, right? So, we saw with Ebola in West Africa, once it started to spread and there was a threat of cases coming to Europe or the United States, that’s when there was a lot more investment and interest and attention. And so, when there was a subsequent outbreak in the DRC, there was a lot more focus on it at that point than there had been, even though the DRC had suffered many Ebola outbreaks.

You know, we have seen in global health, especially around pandemics, that the focus is on global health security: How do rich nations keep cases from coming in? And this is what

— source | May 06, 2022

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Global Death Toll from COVID-19 Tops 15 Million

The World Health Organization is estimating the COVID-19 pandemic has killed nearly 15 million people directly or indirectly. The number is far higher than most official counts which put the global death toll at about five-and-a-half million. In its report, the World Health Organization calculated there were 14.9 million excess deaths over the past two years. This includes people who died with COVID, as well as those who died due to the pandemic’s impact on overwhelmed healthcare systems.

I am surprised at the reaction of the Indian government, primarily, to the WHO report on excess deaths and its estimate of the true toll of the pandemic, especially in India. But it didn’t come as a surprise to anyone who was following mortality news through the pandemic. There have been previous estimates by independent researchers and magazines, such as The Economist, which also suggested that we were looking at numbers that were far, far higher than the official figures that were released, estimated.

I think that the most significant thing here for me as a citizen and a resident of India is the fact that the Indian government has so vociferously denied the numbers that the WHO released. And the reason that they’re loath to admit that nearly 5 million people, as opposed to a little over 500,000 people by their estimate, died during the pandemic

— source | May 06, 2022

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Black people are dying from coronavirus — air pollution is one of the main culprits

During the turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic, we’re hearing often from our leaders that “we’re all in this together.” While true, some of us are in it more than others; black Americans are dying at a faster rate from the novel coronavirus than other groups. There are many reasons for this disparity, but a big one that’s getting too little notice is one of the many systemic failures endangering black Americans: their exposure to air pollution.

Harvard researchers recently found that even the smallest increase of exposure to a common air pollutant is associated with a 15 percent increase in the death rate from COVID-19 (on top of increased risk of lung cancer and heart problems). Fossil fuel plants are among the top emitters of this particle, along with other pollutants that can cause or worsen asthma and shortness of breath. Partly due to a history of redlining, African Americans live closer to fossil fuel infrastructure than the rest of the population: A 2017 joint report from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Clean Air Task Force found that more than a million African Americans live within a half-mile of an oil and gas facility.

— source | Jared DeWese | 05/24/20

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