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public health

  • South Carolina is one of 10 holdouts against Medicaid expansion. Attitudes towards expansion, however, might be changing.
  • A West Virginia nonprofit group says it's been awarded $100,000 in grants for monkeypox vaccination and education efforts among LGTBQ individuals in 13 Appalachian states. The Community Education Group received the grants to develop and distribute materials, offer grants and hold meetings aimed at reducing cultural stigmas and barriers related to the virus. CEG also will accept grant applications from organizations in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
  • As rapidly intensifying storms and rising sea levels threaten coastal cities from Texas to the tip of Maine, Hurricane Ian has just demonstrated what researchers have warned: Hundreds of hospitals in the U.S. are not ready for climate change.Hurricane Ian forced at least 16 hospitals from central to southwestern Florida to evacuate patients after it made landfall near the city of Fort Myers on Sept. 28 as a deadly Category 4 storm.Some moved their patients before the storm while others ordered full or partial evacuations after the hurricane damaged their buildings or knocked out power and running water.
  • President Joe Biden caused a stir in a “60 Minutes” interview on Sept. 18 when he declared that the covid-19 pandemic is over.PolitiFact has been tracking a campaign promise Biden made in 2020 that is closely related, but distinct, from what Biden told “60 Minutes.” During the presidential campaign, Biden said, “I’m never going to raise the white flag and surrender. We’re going to beat this virus. We’re going to get it under control, I promise you. “Biden is on safer linguistic ground with his promise to get covid “under control” than saying “the pandemic is over.”
  • The concerns about delta-8 are largely focused on how it’s made. Delta-8 is typically produced by dissolving CBD — a compound found in cannabis plants — in solvents, such as toluene that is often found in paint thinner. Some people in the marijuana industry say that process leaves potentially harmful residue. A study published in the journal Chemical Research in Toxicology last year found lead, mercury, and silicon in delta-8 electronic cigarettes.
  • The agency's five-year State Health Improvement Plan is set to expire in 2023. An update requires input from the public through an online survey. It's anonymous, by the way.
  • Last month, the FDA authorized omicron-specific vaccines, accompanied by breathless science-by-press release and a media blitz. Just days after the FDA’s move, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed, recommending updated boosters for anyone age 12 and up who had received at least two doses of the original covid vaccines. The message to a nation still struggling with the covid-19 pandemic: The cavalry — in the form of a shot — is coming over the hill.But for those familiar with the business tactics of the pharmaceutical industry, that exuberant messaging — combined with the lack of completed studies — has caused considerable heartburn and raised an array of unanswered concerns.
  • The South Carolina Senate has passed a bill that would ban businesses from refusing to serve people who haven't gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and prevent public employers from requiring the shots. The Senate approved the bill 29-12 on Wednesday. Senators made changes to a House bill which that chamber passed in December, meaning the proposal returns to the House to see if it accepts those changes. Senators initially put in a large unemployment tax penalty for private businesses that fired unvaccinated workers. But instead they compromised to allow fired workers to collect unemployment benefits, retroactive to the last nine months.