Philippines declares state of public health emergency due to coronavirus | ABS-CBN News

Commuters mostly wearing face masks cross at a busy street in Mandaluyong on February 5, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) – President Rodrigo Duterte has placed the Philippines under a state of public health emergency to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus infections after authorities confirmed local transmissions of the disease.

Over the weekend, health authorities confirmed 7 cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 10. Duterte’s order came nearly 3 weeks after the Department of Health suggested declaring a public health emergency when the first cases emerged.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 constitutes an emergency that threatens national security which requires a whole-of-government response…” Duterte said in Proclamation No. 922 signed on Sunday.

“The declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency would capacitate government agencies and LGUs to immediately act to prevent loss of life, utilize appropriate resources to implement urgent and critical measures to contain or prevent the spread of COVID-19, mitigate its effects and impact to the community, and prevent serious disruption of the functioning of the government and the community,” he said.

READ: President Duterte issues Proclamation No. 922 declaring a state of public health emergency in the Philippines @ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/DPD5E5sME9

— Arianne Merez (@arianne_merez)

The declaration shall remain in effect until the President lifts or withdraws it.

With Duterte’s proclamation, all government agencies and local government units are urged to mobilize the necessary resources to “eliminate the COVID-19 threat.”

The health chief is also given authority to call upon the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies for assistance in addressing the threat of the virus.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Monday said the President’s proclamation paves the way for easier procurement of medical supplies needed to contain the virus as well as access to sufficient funding for agencies, including local government units, for proper response to the disease outbreak.

Duque added that the proclamation gives the government powers for mandatory quarantine of patients and requires health authorities to provide updates on issues concerning the disease outbreak.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo on Sunday said Duterte’s move came “after considering all critical factors with the aim of safeguarding the health of the Filipino public.” 

Over the weekend, the health department raised the country’s alert system to Code Red, Sub-level 1 because of the virus, which was meant to serve as a “preemptive call” for authorities and health workers to “prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.” 

COVID-19 has killed 3,792 people while infecting more than 109,000 in 95 countries worldwide.

-with a report from Agence-France Presse

This content was originally published here.

When you notice your mental health declining

5 Powerful Ways to Help You Deal With Depression

Depression is a very serious medical and psychological disorder that puts your outlook on life in negative and dangerous perspective.

By its definition, depression drains your hope, energy and your motivation, making it extremely difficult to feel better.

It is a quite common disorder and one in third people have experienced depression during their lifetimes, in one way or another.

One person out of ten, experiences moderate to severe symptoms of depression.

To overcome depression, the key is to start with small steps.

Healing and getting better takes time and it is important that you don’t expect overnight results.

Try to make positive choices for each and every day.

When dealing with depression, it is crucial to make an effort and take action, no matter how hard it may seem when you are overwhelmed with negativity.

One of the simple methods is to come up with so-called ‘happy thoughts’.

Those are things that you enjoy and that make you feel good even when thinking about doing them.

Exercising, going out, spending time with family, friends and engaging in a pleasurable hobby are all highly beneficial and recommended steps.

The things that are most difficult to tackle are those that will help you most in the long run.

However, it is important to start small, by doing something that will make you feel good right now.

Every small step that you make is one step closer to becoming a healthier and better version of you.

1. Stay connected and get support

It is crucial that you reach out to other people when dealing with depression.

By knowing that you have help and support will help you keep healthy perspective towards the future you are planning to build.

When you are depressed, it is oftentimes difficult to connect to friends and family, but staying active and involved in social situations with other people can keep a positive effect on your mood and outlook.

You will simply feel less depressed when you are around other people.

Try to talk to a friend or family member who is a good listener.

They don’t need to be able to offer any helpful solutions. Just the mere act of talking and sharing how you feel can help you relieve depression.

One of the ‘tricks’ is partaking in social activities that help others – like volunteering.

Researches have come to the conclusion that providing support to others in need, be it to people or animals will boost your mood.

It doesn’t have to be anything big.

You can start small by simply offering a listening ear to a friend in need.

You will see that these small steps will help you go a long way.

2. Engage in activities that make you feel good

Even if you don’t feel like it at the moment, if you force yourself to engage in activity that you know will make you feel better, you will give yourself opportunity to break the depression cycle you’re in at the moment and open up to positive outcomes.

Typical for this situation is that you will feel glad that you forced yourself to partake in the said activity, as it will make you feel so much better about yourself and life.

Doing fun and pleasurable activities won’t cure your depression, but they will help you feel more energetic and increase production of ‘happy hormones’ in your brain.

These activities are known to help people relieve effects of depression:

  • Spending time in nature and in the sun
  • Making a list of things that you like about yourself
  • Fill a bathtub with warm water and have a long and relaxing bath
  • Read a book that you enjoy
  • Play with your pet
  • Listen to the music that is on your ‘favorites’ playlist
  • Watch funny video compilations
  • Make a list of small and easily achievable tasks and complete them one by one
  • Go out with your friend or a group of friends
  • Find a hobby that you enjoy doing
  • Find the way to express yourself – through art, exercise, dancing, learning or a hobby
  • Make small trips to places you always wanted to visit.

3. Build healthy habits

Having enough sleep is one of the most important things when dealing with depression.

If you sleep less than optimal eight hours, oftentimes both your mood and energy for that day will suffer.

If you have troubles with sleep, think about the stressful situations that you are exposed to, and try to grasp what it is that stresses you.

Finding the way to take control over a situation that causes you stress will help you relieve the pressure and feel better.

One of the useful practices that you should adopt are relaxation exercises such as yoga, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, meditation and many others.

4. Pay attention to the food you eat

Learn about what foods are beneficial and what to avoid.

Intake of certain types of food directly affect your brain and mood. Typical examples are caffeine, alcohol and trans-fats.

Avoid those whenever possible and try not to skip meals as it will make you additionally irritable.

Avoid sugary snacks and refined carbs.

Although they can lift your mood for a short time, they are known as energy crashers.

5. Get help from a professional

Making these small steps can significantly help you when dealing with depression, but they are not a substitute for getting a professional help.

Depression is a serious condition that can negatively affect your life in more ways than just one, but it is treatable and easily manageable if you seek professional help.


Rest assured that all these small steps together will bring you speedy and complete recovery.

Start small and start today, with any single thing from this list.

The post When you notice your mental health declining appeared first on The Powerful Mind.

This content was originally published here.

Ohio health official estimates 100,000 people in state have coronavirus

A top health official in Ohio estimated on Thursday that more than 100,000 people in the state currently have coronavirus, a shockingly high number that underscores the limited testing so far.

Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton said at a press conference alongside Gov. Mike DeWine (R) that given that the virus is spreading in the community in Ohio, she estimates at least 1 percent of the population in the state has the virus.

“We know now, just the fact of community spread, says that at least 1 percent, at the very least, 1 percent of our population is carrying this virus in Ohio today,” Acton said. “We have 11.7 million people. So the math is over 100,000. So that just gives you a sense of how this virus spreads and is spreading quickly.”

She added that the slow rollout of testing means the state does not have good verified numbers to know for sure.

“Our delay in being able to test has delayed our understanding of the spread of this,” Acton said. 

The Trump administration has come under intense criticism for the slow rollout of tests. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top National Institutes of Health official, acknowledged earlier Thursday it is “a failing” that people cannot easily get tested for coronavirus in the United States.

Not everyone with the virus has symptoms, and about 80 percent of people with the virus do not end up needing hospitalization, experts say. However, the virus can be deadly especially for older people and those with underlying health conditions.

The possible numbers in Ohio are a stark illustration of how many cases could be in other states as well, but have not been revealed given the lack of widespread testing.

More than 1,300 people in the U.S. have currently tested positive for the illness, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, while about three dozen people in the country have died.

Vice President Pence, who is overseeing the administration’s coronavirus response, said earlier Thursday that the U.S. can expect “thousands of more cases.”

Ohio officials said they are taking major actions to try to slow the spread of the virus. They are closing schools in the state for three weeks and banning large gatherings of 100 or more people. 

The state currently has just 5 confirmed positive cases, and 30 negative tests. Acton said Thursday that it appears that the number of cases of the virus doubles every six days.

As other experts have as well, she urged actions to slow the spread of the virus to avoid overwhelming the capacity of hospitals. Banning large gatherings and stopping school is part of that process.

“We’re all sort of waking up to our new reality,” she said, adding later that the state is “in a crisis situation.”

Noting the concerns about hospital capacity if the number of cases spikes too quickly, Acton said “there are only so many ventilators,” referring to machines that allow people to breathe when they cannot on their own.

Models indicate the number of cases could peak in late April to mid-May, she said.

If people are not seriously ill, she urged them to stay home so that only the sickest people who most need help are showing up at hospitals.

“This will be the thing this generation remembers,” she added. 

This content was originally published here.

With only three official cases, Africa’s low coronavirus rate puzzles health experts

To date, only three cases of infection have been officially recorded in Africa, one in Egypt, one in Algeria and one in Nigeria, with no deaths.

This is a remarkably small number for a continent with nearly 1.3 billion inhabitants, and barely a drop in the ocean of more than 86,000 cases and nearly 3,000 deaths recorded in some 60 countries worldwide.

Shortly after the virus appeared, specialists warned of the risks of its spreading in Africa, because of the continent’s close commercial links with Beijing and the fragility of its medical services.

“Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for Covid-19 to spread in countries with weaker health systems,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization, told African Union health ministers gathered in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on February 22.

In a study published in The Lancet medical journal on the preparedness and vulnerability of African countries against the importation of Covid-19, an international team of scientists identified Algeria, Egypt and South Africa as the most likely to import new coronavirus cases into Africa, though they also have the best prepared health systems in the continent and are the least vulnerable.

‘Nobody knows’

As to why the epidemic is not more widespread in the continent, “nobody knows”, said Professor Thumbi Ndung’u, from the African Institute for Health Research in Durban, South Africa. “Perhaps there is simply not that much travel between Africa and China.”

But Ethiopian Airlines, the largest African airline, never suspended its flights to China since the epidemic began, and China Southern on Wednesday resumed its flights to Kenya. And, of course, people carrying coronavirus could enter the country from any of the other 60-odd countries with known cases.

Favourable climate factors have also been raised as a possibility.

“Perhaps the virus doesn’t spread in the African ecosystem, we don’t know,” said Professor Yazdan Yazdanpanah, head of the infectious diseases department at Bichat hospital in Paris.

This hypothesis was rejected by Professor Rodney Adam, who heads the infection control task force at the Aga Khan University Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya. “There is no current evidence to indicate that climate affects transmission,” he said. “While it is true that for certain infections there may be genetic differences in susceptibility…there is no current evidence to that effect for Covid-19.”

Nigeria well-equipped

The study in The Lancet found that Nigeria, a country at moderate risk of contamination, is also one of the best-equipped in the continent to handle such an epidemic.

But the scientists had not anticipated that the first case recorded in sub-Saharan Africa would be an Italian working in the country.

Little more than a week ago, “our model was based on an epidemic concentrated in China, but since then the situation has completely changed, and the virus can now come from anywhere,” Mathias Altmann, an epidemiologist at the University of Bordeaux and one of the co-authors of the report, told FRANCE 24 on Friday. The short shelf-life of studies testify to the speed of the epidemic’s spread.

The Italian who tested positive for the coronavirus in Lagos had arrived from Milan on February 24 but had no symptoms when his plane landed. He was quarantined four days later at the Infectious Disease Hospital in Yaba. Several people from the company where he works have been contacted and officials are trying to trace other people with whom he might have had contact.

For Altmann, an expert in infectious diseases in developing countries, the fact that coronavirus appears to have entered sub-Saharan Africa through Nigeria is “actually good news”, because the country appears to be relatively well prepared for confronting the situation.

In a continent that “has had its share of epidemics and whose countries, therefore, have a huge knowledge of the field and real competence to react to this kind of situation”, Nigeria is in a very good position to confront the arrival of Covid-19, Altmann said.

“The CDC [Center for Disease Control] responsible for the entire region of West and Central Africa is located in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, which means that their organisational standard in health matters is very high,” he added.

The country was already renowned for “succeeding to pretty quickly contain the Ebola epidemic in 2014,” Altmann points out. It took the Nigerian authorities only three months to eradicate Ebola in the country. The World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control at the time congratulated Nigeria for its reactivity and “world-class epidemiological detective work”.

But despite Nigeria’s strengths, the coronavirus pathogen represents a particular challenge, in that it is hard to detect. The virus may be present in an individual who has few or no symptoms, allowing it to spread quietly in a country where, like everywhere in Africa, there is “a shortage of equipment compared to Western countries, especially in diagnostic tools”, Altmann said.

Neighbouring countries like Chad or Niger have “less functional capacity to handle an epidemic,” Altmann said. But they also have an advantage: these are agricultural regions where people are outdoors more, “and viruses like this one prefer closed spaces and are less likely to spread in a rural setting,” he added.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Daily news briefReceive essential international news every morning

This content was originally published here.

10 Things You Should Make Yourself Instead of Buying (Your Wallet and Health Will Thank You!)

Being part of the do-it-yourself movement is a fantastically empowering thing. Not only do you save a lot of money by making your own stuff, but also you protect yourself from toxins big industry likes to stuff into the things we buy. And, my personal favorite is the new sense of ability — the I-can-do-this factor — of making your own anything. It’s completely contagious.

Don’t for a second think it’s too time-consuming or difficult! Most of the following DIY projects involve less than five ingredients, many of which are commonplace. They take little time and effort but rather just a change of habit. They often work better, have less negative environmental impact and are healthier alternatives to the status quo.

Here’s the even better part, while this article promises a mere ten things, by following the provided links below, you actually get access to twenty-plus things you can (and should) easily make yourself instead of buy.

Cleaning Products

From window washing to drain unclogging, it is easy to make your own green cleaning products. You can still disinfect. You can still smell the lemon-y fragrance you’re accustomed to. But, you’ll be saving lots of cash and providing a healthier environment for yourself and those around you. Learn How to Tackle 10 Home Cleaning Tasks With Just 5 Green Ingredients.

Hygiene Products

None of us like to have smelly pits, rotten teeth or oily hair, but that doesn’t mean we have to use evil industry products that test on animals, use secretly dangerous chemicals (fluoride!) or commercial monopolies. Make your own hygiene products with only a few ingredients. Make your own After-Shave Cream or Whipped Body Butter.

Spaghetti Sauce

Forget buying those pricey jars of spaghetti sauce. In the end, they take just as long to heat up, are full of additives and lack the kick of fresh veggies and herbs. Do it raw. Throw fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, peppers and a little olive oil in the blender. Simple and healthy! Try this Fresh Marinara Sauce and this Vegan Vodka Cream Sauce.

Who doesn’t like the convenience of one shaker cooking? That’s why we buy those seasoning and spice mixes. Unfortunately, they often have ingredients that are neither seasonings nor spices. So, make your own. Once you get a good pantry, it’s just measuring and combining. Try making your own seasoning mixes instead and try some DIY fajita seasoning.

For sure, all gardeners should compost all organic materials. It is a big deal because it provides you with the good soil for free and it decreases the amount of waste you send to the landfill. As for mulching, just use what’s in the yard: grass clippings, leaves and twigs. There’s no need to buy something wrapped in a plastic bag and labeled mulch.

Insect Repellant

Mosquitoes are a rough one. It’s tough to handle to the bites and annoying to live with itching. Not to mention thus buggers are far too insistent on buzzing in and around the ear area. But, DEET can’t be the answer. Try a little natural mixture and avoid the poisons. 

Fresh salsa taste way better than the jarred versions. Plus, they don’t have all that sodium, don’t have all the chemicals and are ridiculously easy to make. It’s tomatoes, spicy peppers and onions in a blender. Get fancy and add some roasted garlic or cilantro or whatever. But, why not make on the spot? You could even make your own black bean and corn chips to dip.

For more Life, Animal, Vegan Food, Health, and Recipe content published daily, don’t forget to subscribe to the One Green Planet Newsletter!

Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing you with high quality content. Please support us!

This content was originally published here.

Flight From China Diverted Away From Ontario Airport, Top County Health Official Preaches Calm on Coronavirus – NBC Los Angeles

Los Angeles County’s top public health official said Tuesday residents should not be alarmed about the coronavirus, despite the spread of the disease in China and the growing number of deaths attributed to it.

“At this moment, (there is) absolutely nothing to be afraid of,” Department of Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Kathryn Barger asked for the update to counter misinformation as many Chinese communities prepare for Lunar New Year celebrations.

“There is no need to panic and there is no need for people to cancel their activities” Ferrer said. “There’s nothing that indicates that there’s human-to-human transmission in L.A. County.”

The first case of coronavirus in Los Angeles County was confirmed Sunday. The patient was a traveler returning through Los Angeles International Airport home to Wuhan City, China, which is the epicenter of the deadly disease. The person felt sick, told officials and is now being treated at a local hospital well-equipped for the task, Ferrer said.

The individual came into “close contact with a very small number of other people,” she said.

The only people who should be concerned are those who have been in close contact with someone with a confirmed case of the disease for at least 10 minutes, according to Ferrer.

The CDC’s guidance indicates people who have casual contact with a case — “in the same grocery store or movie theater” — are at “minimal risk of developing infection.”

Ferrer provided reassurances about the trajectory of the disease in the United States to date, given that it has been circulating in China since early December and despite extensive travel between the two countries, only five U.S. cases have been confirmed.

The coronavirus outbreak was first noted in December in the industrial city of Wuhan in the Hubei province of central China. Since then, more than 5,975 cases have been reported in China, with at least 132 deaths.

“In China, the situation is dire,” Ferrer told the board. “What happened in China is not what’s happening in the United States right now.”

On Saturday, the Orange County Health Care Agency confirmed a case of coronavirus after a traveler from Wuhan tested positive. The two Southland cases are the only confirmed cases in California so far, and two of five in the United States. The other U.S. cases were reported in Arizona, Illinois and Washington state, according to the latest available data on the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials in San Diego County are awaiting results of tests on a potential case there involving a person who recently traveled to impacted areas in China.

The CDC has expanded screening to 20 airports and will now be screening all travelers from China, not just Wuhan, as of Tuesday night, Ferrer said.

Hong Kong closed borders with mainland China Tuesday, CNN reported, and concern over the virus rattled global financial markets Monday, with the Dow Jones Average dropping more than 450 points.

The United States and several other countries are making plans to evacuate citizens from Wuhan. San Bernardino County officials were working with the U.S. State Department on a plan to potentially use Ontario International Airport as the repatriation point for up to 240 American citizens, including nine children, but that plane was diverted to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County.

Those passengers were expected to first land in Alaska, where they would be screened by CDC workers before being cleared to proceed into the continental U.S., according to San Bernardino County officials.

Supervisor Hilda Solis said she was worried about discrimination related to the virus.

“I’m really concerned about how people are going to be mistreated,” Solis said.

Ferrer asked all Angelenos to help in that regard.

“People should not be excluded from activities based on their race, country of origin, or recent travel if they do not have symptoms of respiratory illness,” she said.

There is no vaccine for the virus, only treatment for the symptoms, but residents can take steps to reduce the risk of getting sick from this and other viruses. Health officials recommend staying home when sick, washing hands frequently and getting a flu shot.

“Thirty thousand people will probably die this year from influenza alone,” Ferrer noted.

Even if the virus is not spreading in the United States, rumors are.

USC students were shaken by an erroneous late night claim on social media that a student on campus contracted the coronavirus. The school issued a statement Tuesday morning denying anyone on campus was diagnosed with the virus.

For general information about the coronavirus, go to www.cdc.gov.

This content was originally published here.

Guy Sets Up Dog Walking Group To Get Men Out In The Fresh Air And Talk About Mental Health

Rob Osman from Bristol, England, has had it pretty rough. The 38-year-old has battled with anxiety and depression for most of his life, and at one point was reduced to living in his sister’s windowless basement smoking far too much weed to care. Eventually, however, Rob found a way out of the rut.

Many things have helped him to get better, including the pursuit of a psychology and counseling degree at a local university. But the best remedy was walking his Hungarian Vizsla, Mali. As they were strolling outside, Rob felt his body relax and the tension melting away.

Realizing the huge healing power of this simple everyday activity, he set up a group called Dudes & Dogs. It’s a mental wellness community that encourages men to get out in the fresh air for a walk and talk about their feelings.

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

“Talking helps. It really does,” Osman wrote on the group’s website. “It’s helped me no end, but sometimes as men, we aren’t the best at it. Well Dudes & Dogs wants to change that for the next generation. There is no doubt things are changing. We want to be a part of that. By simply getting outside, talking things through, we can start to change our mood.”

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

It all started during one of those wet, windy, and cold days that the UK is so notorious for. There was no way in hell Rob wanted to go out, especially not the way he was feeling.

But there was the dog. She didn’t care that her owner felt like crap. She didn’t care that the weather was rubbish, she just wanted to get out and play. “It’s been the best therapy I’ve ever had,” Rob said.

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

Pretty soon Osman started inviting friends on walks with Mali. Some days they would chat but often they simply hang out. But most importantly, discovered that his friends were also benefiting from the dog and fresh. This got the man thinking if he could expand this model to more people. More men.

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

They are very resistant to seeking mental health treatment. According to a study by Priori, 40% of men won’t talk to anyone about their mental health. Dogs, however, seem to ease them into having these conversations.

“They need someone to listen,” Osman told TODAY. “The idea of using a dog gives people an hour away from the family and gets them out. Dogs are like four-legged antidepressants. When people are around them they drop their defenses. They play with the dog.”

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

To learn more about the program watch the video below

Image credits:

Image credits: jamesbeckphotography

If you want to support Dudes & Dogs, check out their crowdfunding campaign

Image credits: dudes_anddogs

Image credits:

Image credits: Rob Osman

Image credits: Rob Osman

Image credits: Rob Osman

Image credits: Rob Osman

Here’s what some of the guys who went on a walk with Rob had to say about it

This content was originally published here.

Florida Baker Act: 6-year-old girl sent to mental health facility after school incident – CBS News

A 6-year-old girl in Florida is “traumatized” after being sent to a mental health facility following an incident at her Jacksonville elementary school, her mother said. Nadia Falk was allegedly “out of control,” but her mom says she has special needs and is questioning the state law that allowed her to be committed to the facility.

According to a sheriff’s report, a social worker who responded to Nadia’s tantrum at Love Grove Elementary School stated the girl was a “threat to herself and others,” “destroying school property” and “attacking staff.”

She was removed from school and committed to a behavioral health center for a psychiatric evaluation under the Baker Act, which allows authorities to force such an evaluation on anyone considered to be a danger to themselves or others.

Nadia’s mother, Martina Falk, said her daughter has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and a mood disorder.

“I specifically placed my daughter at this school back in August 2019 because I was told they had specifically trained staff to handle special needs children,” she said.

Surrounded by her legal team, Martina said the nearly two-day mandatory stay at the mental health center, away from her mother, did more harm than good.

“She’s traumatized. She is not herself anymore. I don’t know what the long-term effects are,” she told CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez.

Duval County Public Schools told CBS News the decision to admit a student under the Baker Act is made by a third-party licensed mental health care professional and said, “We’ve reviewed the school’s handling of this situation and find it to be compliant both with law and the best interest of this student and all other students at the school.”

But critics ask if the Baker Act being overused, especially when it comes to school kids.

In 2018 in Cocoa, Florida, a 12-year-old boy with autism was taken to a facility in a police cruiser. It was the boy’s first day in middle school and during a meltdown, he scratched himself and then made a suicidal reference.

The boy’s mom, Staci Plonsky, said the school should have called her before enforcing the Baker Act.

“The behavior plan outlined what to do if he makes verbal threats,” she said. “They only had to follow the plan.”

The number of children involuntarily transported to a mental health center in Florida has more than doubled in the last 15 years, to about 36,000, according to a 2019 report by the Baker Act Reporting Center.

“I absolutely think that the Baker Act is being overused,” said state lawmaker Jennifer Webb.

Webb’s bill to reform the nearly 50-year-old law is being debated at the state House. It would require better training for school officials and resource officers and establish more consistent rules on exactly when a parent should be notified that their child might be committed.
 
“It should only be used as a last resort, and Baker Acting 6-year-olds just seems excessive to me,” she said.

Webb believes funds allotted for schools after the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland in 2018 can be used for better training.

Martina is now looking for a different school for Nadia.

This content was originally published here.

Medicare for All Helps Unions by Taking Health Care Off the Bargaining Table

On February 11, the Nevada Culinary Workers Union publicly criticized Democratic front-runner Bernie Sanders’s Medicare for All plan ahead of the state’s Democratic presidential caucus. On February 12, Sanders responded, “Many, many unions throughout this country — including some in Unite Here, and the Culinary Union is part of Unite Here — absolutely understand that we’ve got to move to Medicare for All.”

Sanders continued, “When everybody in America has comprehensive health care, and when we join the rest of the industrialized world by guaranteeing health care to all people, unions can then negotiate for higher wages, better working conditions, better pensions. So, I think the future for unions is through Medicare for All.”

After Sanders’s statement, the Culinary Union’s Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Argüello-Kline denounced Sanders and his supporters, stating, “It’s disappointing Senator Sanders’ supporters have viciously attacked the Culinary Union & working families in NV simply because we provided facts on proposals that might takeaway what we have built over 8 decades.” The Culinary Union was joined in denouncing the Sanders camp by fellow Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. On February 13, Pete Buttigieg joined with Klobuchar, Warren and the Culinary Union in promoting condemnations of the Democratic front-runner and Medicare for All.

Ironically Warren’s campaign staff repeatedly crossed the Culinary Union’s picket line in March 2019.

Flashback to September 17, 2019: General Motors confirmed to the press that it had ceased payment for the health care coverage of striking United Auto Workers (UAW). On the same day, presidential candidate Joe Biden addressed members of the AFL-CIO on his health plan, stating, “I have a significant health care plan. But guess what? Under mine, you can keep your health insurance you’ve bargained for if you like it.” For the striking UAW members, the choice of keeping private health insurance that was bargained for wasn’t an option.

Talking points touting “choice” have frustrated advocates of Medicare for All and sympathetic union members this election cycle. Biden, Warren and Klobuchar aren’t the only candidates this primary season to promote the “choice” argument: Former Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Tim Ryan and John Delaney have parroted similar statements in promotion of their proposed health plans.

Earlier on February 12, Buttigieg joined Biden and company in echoing familiar “choice”-focused talking points, tweeting, “There are 14 million union workers in America who have fought hard for strong, employer-provided health benefits. Medicare for All Who Want It protects their plans and union members’ freedom to choose the coverage that’s best for them.”

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), fired back, “This is offensive and dangerous. Stop perpetuating this gross myth. Not every union member has union healthcare plans that protect them. Those that do have it, have to fight like hell to keep it. If you believe in Labor then you’d understand an injury to one is an injury to all.”

Nelson later joined the Culinary Union leadership in denouncing “attacks” from Sanders supporters, rather criticisms of union management not directed at the rank and file. But Nelson has been a consistent advocate of Medicare for All and the AFA has stood with Sanders since 2016.

To paraphrase Nelson and her advocacy, Medicare for All is popular among organized workers. The 150,000 members of National Nurses United (NNU), the U.S.’s largest union of registered nurses, have organized the charge on behalf of patients and fellow workers. NNU and AFA aren’t alone: Over 600 locals, 22 national unions, 44 State AFL-CIOs and 158 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations have endorsed the single-payer legislation. Even with strong support from many rank and file members, some union leaders have shied away from Medicare for All in order to adjust their sails to the political winds at a moment’s notice.

Talking points and political triangulation aside, Biden, Buttigieg and others aren’t wrong for stating that unions have fought tooth-and-nail for health benefits. They have certainly done so, and at great expense to wage increases and membership organizing. But Biden and Buttigieg missed a point in their “choice”-centered pitch — the public option plan that they, along with Warren and Klobuchar, are running on will leave health care on the negotiating table for organized workers.

Through a single-payer system and Medicare for All legislation, health care can finally be lifted from the bargaining table. Single-payer will allow more freedom for unions and replaces a system that keeps workers and patients at the mercy of executives and private insurers with one that recognizes the urgency to treat health care as a right, not a bargaining tool for bosses to hold over workers’ heads.

Removing Health Care From Bargaining

The benefits of organized labor backing Medicare for All over the public option are immense. Unions won’t have to waste negotiating capital fighting to merely preserve health benefits. Under a single-payer model, unions can use resources otherwise spent on retention of health benefits to instead organize new workplaces, fight for higher wages, fight for protections and safer working conditions. A single-payer system frees up organized labor to leverage their resources and membership in favor of gaining even more for their members.

If single-payer is realized, then union members will no longer be bound to tedious network-based health plans like Health Maintenance Organizations or Preferred Provider Organizations. Private insurance and the network “innovations” the market has created have significantly complicated the system and also limits choices for patients. With Medicare for All, patients, whether they be unionized or non-union, will be able to choose their provider and no longer be confined to networks, which a public option framework would maintain.

Under the public option, union members are tied to the benefits of their plan, which sometimes doesn’t cover necessary services. In other words, some union plans have coverage gaps where services like mental health care or long-term care aren’t covered. Medicare for All expands these services to everyone and eliminates the coverage gaps imposed by private insurance. Union members will receive more comprehensive benefits under Medicare for All than under their current private health insurance plans.

Single-payer systems also famously have improved outcomes compared to the American model of private employer-sponsored mixed insurance with an underfunded public insurer. Metrics in terms of quality, cost and access in the American health system have historically lagged behind nations with single-payer models. Under Medicare for All, union members can expect to receive health services that exceed or are at the same quality as the plans they fought for with more health services covered.

Unions also will no longer have to worry if an employer wants to change insurers. Under single-payer, union representatives at the bargaining table can be at ease knowing that their members will have guaranteed, comprehensive health coverage through Medicare for All. The single-payer model throws in the added benefit of eliminating the laborious process of switching health insurance carriers for union workers.

For public sector unions, single-payer will eliminate cost sharing, which is how the business-minded Republican and Democrat governments have passed the cost along to public employees. Cost sharing has forced public union workers to increasingly take a larger personal share of the expense for health coverage. With Medicare for All, unionized public employees can be assured that their hard-earned paychecks stay in their pockets and are not increasingly spent on health costs.

Medicare for All is also more than just getting health care off the bargaining table for unions, it’s about harnessing the energy of movement politics to create a new labor movement. Wages have stagnated since the ‘80s, workers are toiling for longer hours, wealth that has been created by workers is becoming increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few individuals. Labor has been under attack by business-friendly lawmakers and judges on all levels of government for decades. In an era of popular political movements, unions finally have the political climate to fight back.

Medicare for All can revitalize and invigorate a labor movement that has largely been on the defensive. In nations where health care is guaranteed as a human right through single-payer, unions are leading the way in combating pension “reforms” and uniting with non-organized labor against undignified working conditions. Countries with single-payer models have proven that when health care is removed from bargaining, unions thrive and are leaders against the features of an economic system designed to benefit the few.

The transition to a single-payer system is an opportunity for unions to join together to secure health care as a right for all workers, benefits that are the same quality or better, and expand choices and services for their members. All while leveraging the energy that could build working-class power and usher in a new dawn for the labor movement.

Union members have built an enormous amount of wealth for all. The people who got all of us the weekend and the eight-hour work day deserve better than a health system that holds their health care second to employers’ bargaining tactics and the profits of private insurers.

The “choice” arguments pushed by the defenders of private insurance are misleading on Medicare for All. Single-payer will save workers money, expand their freedoms and end the absurdity of toying with workers’ health care by executives to pad balance sheets. It’s crucial for labor to keep in mind management’s callous bargaining tactics like the striking auto workers faced: when employers stop paying for workers’ health benefits, there is no “choice.”

Medicare for All is the path forward for unions. The public option model doesn’t deliver in providing organized workers much needed relief in getting health care off the negotiation table. Getting health care away from the grips of employers and adding Medicare for All to the list of political must-dos is a top priority for organized labor.

This content was originally published here.

Buttigieg wants to give illegal immigrants health insurance – and he wants you to pay for it

Pete Buttigieg…reparations for slavery, decriminalize all drugs, and now this?If a Democrat is elected to the presidency in November, it is going to cost you a lot of money. Tons.

On Sunday, Buttigieg told an illegal immigrant that if he was elected president, they would have taxpayer-funded health care.

Ooh boy!

“As you know the Affordable Care Act, one of the many missing pieces that it has is that the exchanges are not available to the undocumented,” he said. “I would change that and that would be a change that would come with the ‘Medicare-for-All-Who-Want-It’ plan that I am proposing.”

Buttigieg was speaking at a political exchange with Planned Parenthood in Nevada.

While speaking to an illegal immigrant, Buttigieg told her that he viewed her as an American despite her illegal status. What a tool.

A DACA recipient asks Buttigieg how he’d fix access to health care for the undocumented like her- he tells her “first of all, this should go w/o saying but it’s important to say out loud, that I regard you and all DACA recipients as American as I am or anybody else in this room.” pic.twitter.com/iV2BI9uFJX

— DJ Judd (@DJJudd) February 16, 2020

“So, first of all, this should go without saying but it’s important to say out loud that I regard you and all DACA recipients as American as I am or anybody else is in this room,” he said.

Absolutely sickening. As the child of immigrants who came here LEGALLY, the dumbing down of the term “American” is repulsive.

Last December, Buttigieg also said that he wanted to open up taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegals during a conversation with a voter in Spanish. 

“So the most important thing for me is that we offer the opportunity for health care to all in our country, and this includes the opportunity to buy this plan of Medicare-for-All-who-want-it,” he said based on a translation of his remarks.

“This is our solution. And this opportunity to buy this plan is for everyone regardless of their immigration status,” he continued.

At the time, Republican National Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel responded to Buttigieg’s comments.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Just because Pete Buttigieg is from Indiana does not make him a moderate.”

Buttigieg had said as far back as last June that he thought people in the country illegally should be allowed to obtain government healthcare.

“That needs to be available to everyone, there needs to be a way for people of any immigration status to participate,” he said. Buttigieg was speaking at the “We Decide” forum hosted by Planned Parenthood’s political arm.

Govt. healthcare for illegal aliens?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: “That needs to be available to everyone, (government healthcare) there needs to be a way for people of any immigration status to participate,”

We Decide” forum hosted by Planned Parenthood’s political arm – 06-22-19

— Nicholas Jones (@voyager4truth) August 9, 2019

They are still receiving taxpayer funding why???

According to the Cato Institute, Buttigieg’s rhetoric that he wants to turn Medicare into a “public option” where all Americans would have the choice of participating in the program without being forced to do so rings hollow.

Buttigieg makes the claim that, “I trust the American people to make the right choice for them. Not my way or the highway.”

He basically ides the fact that his plan would essentially create a single-payer health program, and would reduce Americans’ healthcare choices.

The Cato Foundation says that while Buttigieg implies his program would be “optional”, that is not the case. They state:

  • He would automatically enroll uninsured Americans in Medicare and it would cost them up to $7,000—whether they want it or not.
  • He would force Americans to pony up an additional $1.7 trillion in taxes==more than all the on-budget tax increases in Obamacare combined—whether they want to pay those taxes or not.

A public option is not about expanding choice, but rather eliminating any choice. According to Prof. Jacob Hacker, the purpose of the “public option” is to eliminate private insurance and create a government run single payer health system.

Buttigieg can call his plan whatever he wants, however it is not “Medicare for All Who Want It.” It is single payer, “Medicare for All.” Period.

And Buttigieg wants US to pay for illegal aliens to ostensibly get “free” health insurance. What a deal.

As we reported last week, when Pete Buttigieg isn’t spouting ideals of decriminalizing drug possession charges on the campaign trail, he’s effectively plagiarizing immigration stances and rebranding them as his own.

During a townhall in Merrimack, New Hampshire, Buttigieg suggested that small-town America should welcome increased waves of legal immigrants to drive up… population growth.

Apparently, the idea is that there’s potential economic benefits to inundating rural communities with more people – which is possible. Yet, like a coin toss, there’s also the possibility of economic downfalls when a traditionally smaller city has a sudden population boom.

During the townhall, Buttigieg stated:

“I’m proposing what we call “Community Renewal Visas” that when a community that is very much in need of growing its population, recognizes that, and makes a choice to welcome more than its share of new Americans that we create a fast-track, if they apply for an allotment of visas, that goes to those who are willing to be in those areas that maybe are hurting for population but have great potential.”

SOME of What “MODERATE” Buttigieg actually ADMITS to
♦️All drugs including Meth & Cocaine decriminalized
♦️Late term Infanticide
♦️Felons voting
♦️Scrap electoral college
♦️Implement New Green deal
♦️Name & Shame “white” Hate
♦️Nationwide gun control
♦️Fast track immigration

— 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐡 🇺🇸🎸🌴 (@LeahR77) February 10, 2020

His idea sounds nearly identical to one that was published back in April 2019, which called this type of initiative “Heartland Visas”.  

The “Heartland Visas” study tactfully found ways to explain things like when more people move into rural areas, more houses get built and get more expensive – which higher priced houses are good for the economy.

Yeah, higher-priced homes are lucrative for developers and Wall Street personas, not people trying to buy homes.

If President, @PeteButtigieg will decide if a community is “very much in need of growing its population” and he will make sure to send many more immigrants there on “fast-track” visas. https://t.co/ckpfnTQrSR

— NumbersUSA (@NumbersUSA) February 12, 2020

Then again, the leadership behind the Economic Innovation Group, who published the study, happens to host quite a bit of the investor types.

You’ve got Sean Parker, the co-founder of Facebook and Napster – who has a net worth somewhere around $7 billion.

You’ve got Chris Slevin, former legislative director for Senator Cory Booker. Their leadership section even proudly says that they’re composed of “policy experts, start-up founders, investors, and academics”.

You should always be critical of economics papers that are backed by these types of personas – and question where the loyalties lie. Mass immigration is usually lobbied by big business, and what’s not to love as the owner of behemoth companies?

You get the benefit of flooded labor markets, driving labor costs down. You also get an instant consumer boost, depending on what your company peddles. And of course, there’s big government right around the corner to get a few extra bucks in taxes.

Everyone wins – well, except the middle class and those lower on the economic totem pole.

Not surprisingly, most Americans don’t want to see an increase in immigration year over year.

Currently, the United States population is around 327 million, but if immigration policies weren’t changed throughout the years we’d likely have a population of about 251 million people. Since 1965, the United States has accepted over 75 million people to date via immigration.

Throughout the years, we’ve gone from accepting 250,000 immigrants annually, to then 500,000 a year, and by 1990 Congress decided a million or more annually is a good number.

If we keep that trend going just as is, we’ll have a population nationally to the tune of 404 million people by 2060.

Is there anything genuinely wrong about legal immigration – no, far from. But there has to be a point where someone looks at the numbers and says “We’ve got to take care of our own first”.

Buttigieg has flirted with the idea of increasing H-1B visas going out as well, which takes skilled jobs off the market for legal citizens. Bringing in too many medium-to-high skilled immigrants drives down those labor costs, much like how overflowing with low-skilled immigrants hurts low-skilled labor costs.

Good work by @CBedfordDC refuting the myth that Pete Buttigieg is some kind of moderate. “From health care and abortion to guns and immigration, and from the Supreme Court to the Electoral College, the man is decidedly a radical.” https://t.co/4phL3pNNJj

— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) February 4, 2020

Overall, the idea of just creating an influx of immigrant populations in rural communities to improve economic conditions just doesn’t make sense at all. And it seems that only a select few stand to benefit greatly from it.  

LET has a private home for those who support emergency responders and vets called LET Unity.  We reinvest the proceeds into sharing untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Click to check it out.

As alluded to earlier, Presidential hopeful Mayor Pete Buttigieg intends to take prison out of the equation for people convicted of possession of drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine.

In an interview that was held on Fox News Sunday, he believes that treatment is the only route that should be taken with those hemmed up on possession charges.

Buttigieg jumped into his rationale with a portion of his version of criminal justice reform with Chris Wallace recently, and the topic of prosecuting possession of drugs came up.

The South Bend, Indiana mayor indicated that if he were to become president, possession charges would no longer land someone in prison. While claiming that the “war on drugs” has failed, Buttigieg said the only remedy at this point is delivering treatment to those who are in possession of all sorts of narcotics.

Wallace asked the mayor the following:

“You not only want to decriminalize marijuana, you want to decriminalize all drug possession. You say that the better answer … is rather treatment, not incarceration.

But isn’t the fact that it’s illegal to have, possess meth and heroin, doesn’t that in some way — the fact that it’s illegal — act as a deterrent to actually trying it in the first place?”

Buttigeig responded with:

“Well, I think the main thing that we should focus on is distribution and the harm that’s done there. Yes, of course it’s important that it remain illegal.”

The back and forth continued briefly, as the host was confused at Buttigieg claiming that drug possession should remain illegal.

Wallace addressed the confusion by telling Buttigieg that his own website claims that he would “decriminalize” drug possession completely. When the bluff was called on the mayor, he responded with citing how everything else just hasn’t worked up to this point.

When he acknowledged that his campaign website did mention decriminalizing possession charges, he stated:

The point is, not the legal niceties, the point is we have learned through 40 years of a failed war on drugs that criminalizing addiction doesn’t work. Not only that, the incarceration does more harm than the offense it’s intended to deal with.”

There’s so many issues and questions that could be levied at Buttigieg’s idea on addressing drug crime. What about criminal cases where someone is initially charged with higher crimes, and then signs a plea bargain that only lists “possession”?

Furthermore, what data suggests that delivered treatment programs are more successful than incarceration of drug possession offenders?

According to his own plan online, he aims to enact the following if elected:

“On the federal level, eliminate incarceration for drug possession, reduce sentences for other drug offenses and apply these reductions retroactively, and expunge past convictions.

Research shows that incarceration for drug offenses has no effect on drug misuse, drug arrests, or overdose deaths. In fact, some studies show that incarceration actually increases the rate of overdose deaths. We cannot incarcerate ourselves out of this public health problem.”

So, there’s truth to the mayor’s notion that there’s some studies that show jail or prison hasn’t been stellar in dealing with drug crime and offenses.

Yet, according to the American Addiction Centers, no one has been able to quantify if any rehab programs genuinely works in the long run either.

In fact, the AAC says that any touted success rates of rehab programs can’t be trusted at all:

“Since many treatment centers do not follow up with their patients, the “100 percent” success rate some cite only applies to those who complete the length of their stay.

Even those who boast a more modest “30 percent success rate” only draw that figure from the immediate sobriety rates after treatment, not from six months or three years down the road.”

Considering that many rehab facilities claim that they’re a success by only having someone complete their program – what exactly is the average program length for any given addiction?

According to Advanced Recovery Systems, you could be a success story anywhere from 4 days to a little over 4 months of treatment.

ARS showed that detox programs are on average only 4 days, whereas residential style treatment is around 16 days. Some of the longer programs like expanded residential treatment averages out at 90 days and outpatient treatment is typically 130 days.

Despite rehab programs originating in 1864, when they were called “sober houses”, we still can’t say if that works either or would be even better than jail or prison-time for drug offenders.

Not to mention, where there’s drug possession – there’s usually other crime too. The DOJ has been quite hip to that fact since the well-crafted study published in 1994 showed that where there’s drugs, there’s all sorts of other crimes being committed.

Case in point, while finding the magic cure for addiction would be great – keeping people off the street who use drugs like heroin, meth, and cocaine keeps drug fueled crimes from affecting the population. Clearly, Buttigieg hasn’t thought this one out very well.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!

The post Buttigieg wants to give illegal immigrants health insurance – and he wants you to pay for it appeared first on Law Enforcement Today.

This content was originally published here.