Stop the Next Pandemic: Conservation as Public Health Policy

The legacy of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leaves behind an urgent question: How do we prevent history from repeating itself? Far from a doomsday conjecture, our shared history with pathogens shows that outbreaks will happen again. Soon. But to forestall the next pandemic, we must first understand how outbreaks begin.   “Zoonosis”— a disease that can … Read more

The “Africanization” of Ebola

Many media outlets and Western anti-Ebola campaigns have perpetuated the devaluing of black lives everywhere by misrepresenting almost 10,000 black lives taken by the Ebola virus in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Mali. Much of the public discourse has taken the liberty of sensationalizing Ebola deaths, and others have erroneously used dehumanizing video footage of Ebola victims … Read more

The Bioterrorist Threat

Contrary to popular belief, the use of biological weapons is not a modern occurrence. The first documented case of biological weapons occurred in Europe in 1346 when the bubonic plague was used as an agent. The invading Tartar Mongol army from Asia catapulted plague-ridden corpses into the besieged city of Caffa on the Crimean Sea. … Read more

Australia Takes Aim at Tobacco Behemoth

In a move that would further expand Australia’s progressive crackdown on tobacco marketing, the Australian legislature is looking to impose even harsher restrictions on the packaging of tobacco products sold in the land down under. Accompanying the recent $2 rise in cigarette costs, the new restrictions would alter the standardization of tobacco product packaging. In … Read more

Drawing the Line

How the debate over terminology effects global health research and policy. The recent custody battle between actress Halle Berry and her ex-husband provides a neat example of the blurred definition of race and ethnicity in the United States. In an attempt to justify the classification of her daughter as “black,” Berry invoked the “one-drop rule” … Read more

The Media: Friend or Foe for Global Health Activists?

How the mainstream media can curb funding and public interest for health interventions. Almost all of us can remember when the Haitian earthquake sent ripples of tragic photographs and interviews through the media. Depictions of the utter destruction gripping the capital of Port-au-Prince ran rampant as non-governmental (NGOs) and faith based organizations (FBOs) scrambled to … Read more

A Follow-Up to the Calorie Cop Post

This is a response to Max and Cathy, which got a little long for the comments section in the original post. Max, I agree with you that government subsidies for corn and sugar are bad. However, whereas you say that “the food industry” is “majorly dysfunctional,” I would argue that federal food policy is majorly … Read more

Heath Care Closing Arguments

This is the last part of Obama’s closing argument for health care reform to the House. It’s rather stirring. I’ve always regarded the heath care debates as something of a litmus test for our democracy, and here Obama gets at the heart of it: does America still have what it takes, as a polity with … Read more