6 Reasons Why the Nurses Union Endorsed Bernie Sanders Over Hillary Clinton
The more than 100,000 people who have jammed into arenas in Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Houston, Dallas, New Orleans, Madison and other cities should be a wake up call for anyone still on the sidelines in the critical 2016 election campaign.
National Nurses United, I’m proud to say, has endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for many of the same reasons that have brought those 100,000 people to their feet.
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) August 11, 2015
Bernie Sanders aligns perfectly with nurses on the most critical problems facing our nation, from income inequality to guaranteeing healthcare to all to holding Wall Street and corporations to account to opening the doors to college education for everyone to racial justice to the climate crisis.
Those are the same issues that animate nurses when we talk about voting for nurses’ values—caring, compassion and community to heal America.
But we also support the Sanders moment because of the rare opportunity his campaign represents to not just speak truth to power, but to join movements together to change our country. To stand as a social movement against the obscene wealth that controls our lives, starves our communities, destroys our people and expand a populist movement that put human life before profit.
All the establishment pundits who are scrambling for ways to dismiss the outpouring of excitement for his campaign and to marginalize those who have filled the stadiums increasingly look like cranks trying to stop an approaching train.
Bernie can’t win. Exactly what they said about President Barack Obama at this parallel point in 2007. American history, of course, is filled with examples of change that could never occur, until it does—abolition of slavery, votes for women, ending legal segregation, the right to same sex marriage. Sanders is used to the naysayers. They said he couldn’t win running for mayor of Burlington, as an independent running for Congress and then Senate and he won them all. That’s why we have elections—to let the voters, not the “experts,” decide.
He’s not drawing African American and Latino voters. As his campaign and platform become better known, that is changing, evident in the multi-racial crowd at his overflow Los Angeles rally and support from young artists like Lil B and Killer Mike. At a time when Cecil the lion evokes more outrage than the death of Sandra Bland, Bernie is increasingly speaking out and has advanced a platform with a call for a “societal transformation” to end police violence, mass incarceration and “institutional racism.” Nurses hold every life in their hands. Nurses know why Black Lives Matter needs to be amplified and so does Bernie Sanders.
He’s an “avowed democratic socialist.” That fear mongering has lost much of its resonance. What does democratic socialism mean in America? It’s how we teach our children, put out fires, pay for our libraries and for building our roads, bridges, highways and street lighting. It’s how we inspect our food to make it safe, to provide oversight for clean air and water, develop life saving medications and vaccines and of course, provide Social Security and Medicare. Every governor, mayor and school board member who uses public funds to pay for basic services could be called a socialist.
We also support the Sanders moment also because of the rare opportunity his campaign represents to not just speak truth to power, but to join movements together to change our country. Photo credit: National Nurses United
As nurses, an organization of predominantly women, I have been asked, don’t you want to break the glass ceiling with Hillary Clinton?
Yes. We’d love it if Hillary had Bernie’s politics, his unequivocal opposition to a dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would expand big pharma’s monopoly control over high priced drugs and hand corporations increased ability to overturn public protections. And if she opposed the toxic polluting, climate disaster known as the Keystone XL pipeline.
And we’d especially love to see her standing up for single payer, Medicare for all at a time when millions remain uninsured, skipping needed care or facing bankruptcy due to inflated medical bills.
But, at a time of the greatest income disparity in nearly a century, Citizens United corruption of our political system, an all out assault on workers lives and a threat to our planet and our future, our first challenge today must be to break the Wall Street, corporate stranglehold over our economy, our politics, our nation.
“You’ll never have to wonder which side I am on,” he says. While other candidates are intrinsically tied to Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce, Bernie not only calls for repeal of Citizens United and public financing of campaigns he is the only candidate not taking money from big corporations and PACs.
Bernie wants to take money from Wall Street too—by taxing them to fund a civil society with the health care, the jobs, the housing and the environmental protections people need.
Bernie Sanders knows that his campaign is not about him. It’s about all of us. And it will take all of us to change the course of history. It’s time to start now.
RoseAnn DeMoro is executive director of the 185,000-member National Nurses United, the nation’s largest union and professional association of nurses, and a national vice president of the AFL-CIO. Follow Rose Ann DeMoro on Twitter.
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Fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds pass on health problems to future generations, including deformities, reduced survival, and reproductive problems, according to a new study.
Low Levels Lead to Generational Impacts<p>Researchers exposed inland silverside fish to bifenthrin, levonorgestrel, ethinylestradiol, and trenbolone to levels currently found in waterways.</p><p>"Our concentrations were actually on the low end" of what is found in the wild, DeCourten said, adding that it was low amounts of chemicals in parts per trillion.</p><p>Bifenthrin is a pesticide; levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol are synthetic hormones used in birth controls; and trenbolone is a synthetic steroid often given to cattle to bulk them up.</p><p>Such endocrine-disruptors have already been linked to a variety of health problems in directly exposed fish including altered growth, reduced survival, lowered egg production, skewed sex ratios, and negative impacts to immune systems. But what remains less clear is how the exposure may impact future generations.</p><p>For their study, DeCourten and colleagues started the exposure when the fish were embryos and continued it for 21 days.</p><p>They then tracked effects on the exposed fish, and the next two generations.</p>
Inherited Problems<p>DeCourten said the altered DNA methylation is one of the plausible ways that future generations would experience health impacts from previous generations' exposure. Hormone-disrupting compounds have been shown to impact DNA methylation, which is an important marker of how an organism will develop.</p><p>"Methyl groups are added to specific sites on the genome, [the exposure] is not changing the genome itself, but rather how the genome is expressed," she said. "And that can be inherited throughout generations."</p><p>In addition, Brander said there are essentially different "tags" that exist on DNA molecules, which tell genes how to turn on and off. She said the exposure to different compounds may be "influencing which methyl tags get taken on or off as you proceed through generations."</p><p>The researchers said the study should prompt future toxics testing to consider impacts on future generations.</p><p>"The results … throw a wrench in the current approach to regulating chemicals, where it's often short-term testing looking at simple things like growth, survival, and maybe gene expression," Brander said.</p><p>"These findings are telling us we really at least need to consider" the next two generations, she added.</p>
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By Laura Beil
Consumers have long turned to vitamins and herbs to try to protect themselves from disease. This pandemic is no different — especially with headlines that scream "This supplement could save you from coronavirus."
Vitamin D<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Called "the sunshine vitamin" because the body makes it naturally in the presence of ultraviolet light, <a href="https://www.sciencenews.org/article/vitamin-d-supplements-lose-luster" target="_blank">Vitamin D is one of the most heavily studied</a> supplements (<em>SN: 1/27/19</em>). <a href="https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-12/" target="_blank">Certain foods</a>, including fish and fortified milk products, are also high in the vitamin.</p><p><strong>Why it might help: </strong>Vitamin D is a hormone building block that helps strengthen the immune system.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections:</strong> In 2017, the <em>British Medical Journal</em> published a meta-analysis that suggested a daily vitamin D supplement <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583" target="_blank">might help prevent respiratory infections</a>, particularly in people who are deficient in the vitamin.</p><p>But one key word here is <em>deficient. </em>That risk is highest during dark winters at high latitudes and among people with more color in their skin (melanin, a pigment that's higher in darker skin, inhibits the production of vitamin D).</p><p>"If you have enough vitamin D in your body, the evidence doesn't stack up to say that giving you more will make a real difference," says Susan Lanham-New, head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey in England.</p><p>And taking too much can create new health problems, stressing certain internal organs and leading to a dangerously high calcium buildup in the blood. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 600 to 800 International Units per day, and the upper limit is considered to be 4,000 IUs per day.</p><p><strong>What we know about Vitamin D and COVID-19:</strong> Few studies have looked directly at whether vitamin D makes a difference in COVID.</p>
Zinc<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Zinc, a mineral found in cells all over the body, is found naturally in certain meats, beans and oysters.</p><p><strong>Why it might help: </strong>It plays several supportive roles in the immune system, which is why zinc lozenges are always hot sellers in cold and flu season. Zinc also helps with cell division and growth.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections: </strong><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457799/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies of using zinc for colds</a> — which are frequently caused by coronaviruses — suggest that using a supplement right after symptoms start might make them go away quicker. That said, a clinical trial from researchers in Finland and the United Kingdom, published in January in <em>BMJ Open</em> <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/1/e031662" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">did not find any value for zinc lozenges</a> for the treatment of colds. Some researchers have theorized that inconsistencies in data for colds may be explained by varying amounts of zinc released in different lozenges.</p><p><strong>What we know about zinc and COVID-19:</strong> The mineral is promising enough that it was added to some early studies of hydroxychloroquine, a drug tested early in the pandemic. (Studies have since shown that <a href="https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-19-coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-no-evidence-treatment" target="_blank">hydroxychloroquine can't prevent or treat COVID-19</a> (<em>SN: 8/2/20</em>).)</p>
Vitamin C<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Also called L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C has a long list of roles in the body. It's found naturally in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, peppers and tomatoes.</p><p><strong>Why it might help:</strong> It's a potent antioxidant that's important for a healthy immune system and preventing inflammation.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections: </strong>Thomas cautions that the data on vitamin C are often contradictory. One review from Chinese researchers, published in February in the <em>Journal of Medical Virolog</em>y, looked at <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.25707" target="_blank">what is already known about vitamin C</a> and other supplements that might have a role in COVID-19 treatment. Among other encouraging signs, human studies find a lower incidence of pneumonia among people taking vitamin C, "suggesting that vitamin C might prevent the susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions."</p><p>But for preventing colds, a 2013 Cochrane review of 29 studies <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">didn't support the idea</a> that vitamin C supplements could help in the general population. However, the authors wrote, given that vitamin C is cheap and safe, "it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial."</p><p><strong>What we know about Vitamin C and COVID-19: </strong>About a dozen studies are under way or planned to examine whether vitamin C added to coronavirus treatment helps with symptoms or survival, including Thomas' study at the Cleveland Clinic.</p><p>In a review published online in July in <em>Nutrition</em>, researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium concluded that the <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vitamin may help prevent infection</a> and tamp down the dangerous inflammatory reaction that can cause severe symptoms, based on what is known about how the nutrient works in the body.</p><p>Melissa Badowski, a pharmacist who specializes in viral infections at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and colleague Sarah Michienzi published an extensive look at all supplements that might be useful in the coronavirus epidemic. There's <a href="https://www.drugsincontext.com/can-vitamins-and-or-supplements-provide-hope-against-coronavirus/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">still not enough evidence to know whether they are helpful</a>, the pair concluded in July in <em>Drugs in Context</em>. "It's not really clear if it's going to benefit patients," Badowski says.</p><p>And while supplements are generally safe, she adds that nothing is risk free. The best way to avoid infection, she says, is still to follow the advice of epidemiologists and public health experts: "Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart."</p>
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