.@WVGovernor, @EricJTarr4WV, @MooreCapitoWV, @claymarsh, @AyneAmjad. #WestVirginia just ignored #WestVirginia's own health advice. Here is a statement from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources from a few years ago. 1/ oeps.wv.gov/harm_reduction…
"Data collected by the West Virginia Health Statistics Center showed that West Virginia ranked #1 in drug overdose deaths in 2015, with a rate of 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people. Deaths attributed to opioids, namely heroin and fentanyl, are on the rise in the state." 2/
"Additionally, West Virginia currently ranks #1 in the country in incidence of acute hepatitis B and hepatitis C." 3/
"Analysis of 2012-2015 surveillance data showed that between 25-40% of acute hepatitis C cases reported injection drug use as a potential risk factor for their infection." 4/
"A recent study identified 28 counties in West Virginia as high risk for rapid dissemination of HIV and hepatitis C among PWIDs." 5/
And the kicker: "Increasing access to Harm Reduction Programs in high-risk areas can reduce new viral hepatitis and HIV cases by decreasing the sharing of syringes and other injection equipment." 6/
The new news on overdoses in 2020 shows #WestVirginia at the top of the list. The recent outbreaks of #HIV, #HCV have made more and more serious infectious disease outbreaks a reality, not a distant possibility. 7/
There is no excuse for public health officials in the state to ignore their own advice except to serve their political masters. It's dereliction of duty and a violation of their Hippocratic oath to do no harm. 8/
As for the politicians? Not a leg to stand on. They are now responsible for any new HIV or HCV outbreaks. They are responsible for the millions of dollars in healthcare costs these new infections will incur. This was deeply, deeply irresponsible. 9/
Again, the rest of us have to support healthcare workers, harm reduction practitioners, those who have a heavy burden to bear now in cleaning up the mess these politicians and officials have created. Stand in solidarity with #WestVirginia, though not its craven leaders. end/

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More from @gregggonsalves

17 Apr
@WesPegden @orinmoore So, Wes, denialism is a broader concept, discussed here: "There is an overwhelming consensus on the evidence among scientists yet there are also vocal commentators who reject this consensus, convincing many of the public, and often the media too..." 1/ academic.oup.com/eurpub/article…
@WesPegden @orinmoore "...that the consensus is not based on ‘sound science’ or denying that there is a consensus by exhibiting individual dissenting voices as the ultimate authorities on the topic in question." 2/
@WesPegden @orinmoore "Their goal is to convince that there are sufficient grounds to reject the case for taking action to tackle threats to health." 3/
Read 19 tweets
15 Apr
So, @WVGovernor @claymarsh @AyneAmjad @EricJTarr4WV have blood on their hands. Syringe exchange works. It prevents HIV transmission. It does not increase drug use or crime. That's the evidence. 1/
I mean really, what the fuck? #WestVirginia is in the midst of an opioid and HIV epidemic and these bozos decide that gutting harm reduction in the state is their go-to strategy. It's inexcusable nonsense. 2/
And @WVGovernor @claymarsh @AyneAmjad @EricJTarr4WV are ready to flush millions of dollars down the toilet. The costs of HIV, HCV treatment alone mount into the millions. This is on them. Every cent. Every dollar. Every death. 3/ wvpolicy.org/saving-lives-a…
Read 7 tweets
11 Apr
.@DouthatNYT: in my youth, I was part of a Catholic evangelical group. But the homophobia, sexism, racism among its leaders shocked me. I walked away, never came back. This kind of pious hatred became policy for some denominations in the 80s, 90s. 1/ nytimes.com/2021/04/10/opi…
So who walked away from whom? Preach homophobia from the pulpit, tell women they can't make reproductive choices on their own, support policies that hurt rather than help people through the @GOP and you have box-office poison. Who wants to be scorned as a matter of faith? 2/
If there is any spiritual stirring in my soul at this point it's people like @RevDrBarber and @RedLetterXians who point the way, not the noxious variety of American Christianity that has been in ascendancy for 3 decades now. 3/
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
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/
Read 11 tweets
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

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