There are heroic people in #WestVirginia who are fighting to keep the state from more HIV and HCV infections, endocarditis, from more overdoses, sickness and death, but let's be clear @EricJTarr4WV is a public health menace. This bill will destroy needle exchange in the state. 1/
Watered down by @MooreCapitoWV Judiciary Committee, the bill going for full passage now hobbles syringe exchange in the state, making it supremely difficult to do the hard work of HIV prevention and harm reduction. 2/
Let's be 100% clear. @EricJTarr4WV has not a shred of scientific evidence to support his opposition to syringe exchange programs (SEPs). They prevent HIV. They do not promote drug use or increase crime. Full stop. Stop the bullshit. 3/
West Virginia is in the midst of an opioid crisis and a flourishing HIV and HCV epidemic among people who use drugs. @EricJTarr4WV is the "gasoline man," pouring fuel on the fire of epidemics in his state. He just is. This is what he is doing. Let's not mince words. 4/
And @EricJTarr4WV is also fiscally reckless. New HIV and HCV infections are going to cost the state MILLIONS of dollars. He's just flushing cash down the toilet with his obsession with needle exchange. 5/ wvpublic.org/2021-03-01/wha…
In 2021, after COVID19 and the political interference and public health cost us hundreds of thousands of lives, @EricJTarr4WV says "hold my beer," and is prepared to through hundreds of people in his state on the fires of HIV, HCV and overdose, because he doesn't like SEPs. 6/
Harm reduction is non-partisan, groups like the libertarian @CatoInstitute (no bleeding heart liberal think tank!) have been consistently supportive of it. 7/ cato.org/policy-analysi…
Republicans in Florida are on board w/ harm reduction. Everyone here knows I have no love for Ron DeSantis, but he did the right thing, showed leadership on this issue and signed the bill that passed almost unanimously in the Florida legislature. 8/ forbes.com/sites/janetwbu…
So @EricJTarr4WV is betting his career on making more people sick, having more people die and costing his state millions upon millions of dollars in medical and other expenses to care for people who get infected with HIV and HCV because of his actions. It is so twisted. 9/
And he doesn't have a leg to stand on. He's a science denier, fiscally irresponsible and cruel. This is his legacy. Pray for the state of #WestVirginia, for those who will get sick, who will die from one man's prejudices and ignorance. 10/
Follow @LaurenMPeace @mtnstspotlight for the news on this topic, learn about the issues, then find ways to support harm reduction on the ground in the state. Our friends in West Virginia desperately need our help now and for the foreseeable future. end/

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More from @gregggonsalves

6 Apr
Dear @BenSalango, In a recent economic analysis, the cost of treating the 35 new HIV cases related to intravenous drug use (IDU) in Kanawha County in 2020 is expected to run nearly $17 million. 1/
The cost of providing curative treatment for the 635 cases of chronic hepatitis C (HCV) associated with IDU in 2019 in Kanawha County is likely to be as much as $44.5 million. 2/
As you plan to effectively neuter harm reduction in Kanawha County, you must face the fact that you will add to these millions by your one single act. 3/
Read 7 tweets
3 Apr
@samhorwich @ezraklein I was first relieved that there at least was some pushback in the piece and it wasn’t 100% libertarian BS. But after a re-read realized it was a capitulation out of ignorance letting a purely ideological view of the regulatory state drive the narrative. 1/
@samhorwich @ezraklein The main tell here? People like Alex will always say less regulation as the answer to every question. Anyone who knows FDA, the history and politics, will realize the agency has drifted towards appeasement of its critics since the 1980s. I should know. I was one of them. 2/
@samhorwich @ezraklein Did FDA make mistakes over the past year? Surely, but in the larger context, these missteps (and even the agency’s better decision) are now being pitched by Goldwater Institute and others that it‘s now time for guess-what? More deregulation. Ezra walked straight into it. 3/
Read 27 tweets
1 Apr
Last note to @ATabarrok & @ezraklein. We got lucky w/ vaccines. Many other decisions @US_FDA are made at margins & the push from libertarian right to further weaken the approval process serves no one. We know less & less about what we put in our bodies, pay more & more for it. 1/
We just don't "figure it out later." As @VPrasadMDMPH, @jsross119, @akesselheim have noted evidentiary basis for drugs, etc. is getting weaker. There are opportunity costs, real human dangers about letting ineffective, poorly tested agents out on market. 2/
No one was going to suggest delaying vaccine EUAs w/ the data we saw emerge. Frankly, the process worked. It almost failed w/ hydroxychloroquine because of political pressure, notion that there were few downsides to putting the drug out there for a new indication w/o evidence. 3/
Read 8 tweets
1 Apr
Our roads & bridges are crumbling. Our transportation network: a joke. I've seen better airports in countries the size of Utah. @POTUS isn't betting on big government as @SangerNYT says. 1/ nytimes.com/2021/03/31/us/…
This framing makes it partisan, as if the key question is how big would you like your government? I'd like a 21st century nation please. With basic infrastructure up to code. Write that article. 2/
I mean for god's sake, the Mies-Van-Der-Rohe less-is-more minimalist ideology of government has ruined us. Infrastructure crumbling, public health so weak, education sub-par, inequality so deep. This is not a sign of a healthy nation. 3/
Read 13 tweets
26 Mar
So there are some ghouls on Twitter crowing that "other" states are seeing increases in #COVID19 cases this week, some substantial. The implication is look how good we're doing, compared to those "other" states. 1/
It doesn't matter who is doing it. We should not be heralding the deaths of fellow Americans as if this is some contest. 2/
Some aspects of what has happened are predictable, some are not, but to look at the differences in COVID19 rates right now and use it as a political cudgel to undermine our national response, sound public health practice is gruesome. 3/
Read 7 tweets
22 Mar
I am sympathetic to this case & know some of the authors here, but frankly people from around the world have been saying this for months now. It's largely been coming from the global South, not asking for handouts but transfer of know-how. Great to have these people on board. 1/
But let's not obscure the fact the delays in American leaders speaking out like this has cost lives. We could have had a global plan for scale-up, not a solely domestic one from the start. 2/
Now let's get down to business. @POTUS needs to tell the companies that the USG will underwrite tech transfer, scale-up of production, mobilization of precursor commodities and chemicals, now, today, not this summer. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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