Twenty years ago today, the World Health Organization created “World AIDS Day” to raise awareness about the deadly pandemic of HIV/AIDS. AIDS has killed over 25 million people since 1981. Last year alone two million people died from AIDS, more than ten percent of those were children. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, can be highly contagious and highly and easily preventable.Â
The good news is that anti-retroviral drugs have enabled those living with HIV to lead relatively normal lives. Recently, HIV has been compared to diseases like diabetes, controllable although potentially deadly if not managed daily. Which has led some to question the amount of funding spent in controlling the spread of the disease, and finding a cure and a vaccine.Â
News organizations around the world recently published the comments ofÂ Syracuse University’sÂ Jeremy Shiffman, who is questioning if HIV/AIDS is over-funded. He stated,Â
“AIDS is a terrible humanitarian tragedy, but it’s just one of many terrible humanitarian tragedies”
Today, CBS News published an article that grossly misrepresented a statement released by the head of the World Health Organization, made in response to the global economic crisis. Here are the paragraphs, which I assume are accurate, that lead up to their false reporting:
“”There needs to be a rational system for how to apportion scarce funds,” said Helen Epstein, an AIDS expert who has consulted for UNICEF, the World Bank, and others.Â
AIDS advocates say their projects do more than curb the virus; their efforts strengthen other health programs by providing basic health services.Â
But across Africa, about 1.5 million doctors and nurses are still needed, and hospitals regularly run out of basic medicines.Â
Experts working on other health problems struggle to attract money and attention when competing with AIDS.Â
“Diarrhea kills five times as many kids as AIDS,” said John Oldfield, executive vice president of Water Advocates, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that promotes clean water and sanitation.Â
“Everybody talks about AIDS at cocktail parties,” Oldfield said. “But nobody wants to hear about diarrhea,” he said.Â
These competing claims on public money are likely to grow louder as the world financial meltdown threatens to deplete health dollars.”
But in an irresponsible and over-reaching attempt to strengthen their report, CBS News then followed with this:
“”We cannot afford, in this time of crisis, to squander our investments,” Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general, said in a recent statement.”
Sounds like Dr. Chan, the head of the World Health Organization, the very organization that founded World AIDS Day, agrees that AIDS funding should be cut. Well, here is the statement from Dr. Chan, in context:
“A world that is greatly out of balance in health is neither stable nor secure. Robust health systems are essential to maintain surveillance and response capacity in the face of pandemic threats. The lack of investment in sub-Saharan African health systems in the 1980s meant they were tragically unprepared for the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the decade that followed.
We must not repeat the mistakes of the past. We cannot afford, in this time of crisis, to squander our investments, to abandon our drive for greater balance in this world, which I firmly believe is a marker of civilized society. I am calling on all governments and political leaders to maintain their efforts to strengthen and improve the performance of their health systems, to protect the health of the people of the world, and in particular of those most fragile, in face of the present financial and economic crisis.”
Clearly, Dr. Chan was not agreeing that HIV/AIDS funding should be cut at this critical time. She was calling for the opposite.Â
Shame on CBS for their irresponsible reporting. I call on Dr. Chan and the World Health Organization to demand CBS clarifies her remarks and apologizes for their lack of journalistic integrity in this report.
Video:Â Director-General of the World Health Organization Dr Margaret Chan speaks on the Global Situation and Strategies for addressing HIV/TB at the HIV/TB Global Leaders’ Forum.
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‘Significant and Imminent Threat’: Trump Gag Order Largely Upheld by Appeals Court
A Washington, D.C. federal appeals court Friday afternoon largely upheld and reinstated U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s very narrow and limited gag order on Donald Trump for his trial on charges related to his alleged efforts to subvert the U.S. Constitution and overturn the results of the 2020 election.
“We agree with the district court that some aspects of Mr. Trump’s public statements pose a significant and imminent threat to the fair and orderly adjudication of the ongoing criminal proceeding, warranting a speech-constraining protective order,” reads Judge Patricia Millett unanimous three-judge panel ruling, posted by Lawfare’s Anna Bower. “The district court’s order, however, sweeps in more protected speech than is necessary. For that reason, we affirm the district court’s order in part and vacate it in part.”
The judges upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about known or reasonably foreseeable witnesses concerning their potential participation in the investigation or in this criminal proceeding.”
They also upheld the gag order “to the extent it prohibits all parties and their counsel from making or directing others to make public statements about (1) counsel in the case other than the Special Counsel, (2) members of the court’s staff and counsel’s staffs, or (3) the family members of any counsel or staff member—if those statements are made with the intent to materially interfere with, or to cause others to materially interfere with, counsel’s or staff’s work in this criminal case, or with the knowledge that such interference is highly likely to result.”
The judges removed from the gag order “speech beyond those specified categories.”
“We do not allow such an order lightly,” the judges added. “But Mr. Trump is also an indicted criminal defendant, and he must stand trial in a courtroom under the same procedures that govern all other criminal defendants.”
Bower explains, “Chutkan’s order would have prohibited statements that refer to special counsel Jack Smith as a ‘thug’ or ‘deranged.’ But the appeals court order does not apply to speech about the special counsel himself.”
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane sums up the ruling: “Much of the gag order in Donald Trump’s 2020 election conspiracy criminal case in DC is *REINSTATED*.”
Peter Doocy Admits No ‘Concrete Evidence Joe Biden Personally Profited’ From Hunter’s Business
In a report focused on House Republicans’ plan to vote on a resolution to open an official impeachment inquiry of President Joe Biden, Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy told viewers there is no evidence of impeachable offenses.
“The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business but they are going to try again with this impeachment inquiry set to start next week,” Doocy, who often criticizes President Biden in White House press briefings, said Friday on Fox News Business.
Other news outlets this week have also stressed Republicans have come up empty-handed.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill, reporting on the resolution Thursday, noted Republicans’ current investigation “has struggled to connect President Biden to the activities of his son, and they’ve failed to prove their most salacious allegation — and the one that would be most key for impeachment: that the president accepted a bribe.”
One of the main pillars of Republicans’ allegations against President Biden, the “narrative that President Biden pushed Ukraine to fire its prosecutor to help his son, who served on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burimsa, has largely been refuted,” The Hill also reported.
“Republicans have engaged in wide-ranging inquiry into Mr. Biden for months,” The New York Times reported Tuesday, “hunting for evidence to back up their allegations that he corruptly profited from his family members’ overseas business dealings and accepted bribes. To date, they have failed to deliver compelling evidence to back up their boldest claims.”
Watch Doocy below or at this link.
Peter Doocy: “The House Oversight Committee has been at this for years, and they have so far not been able to provide any concrete evidence that Joe Biden personally profited from his son Hunter’s overseas business.” pic.twitter.com/a5N44hIRrQ
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
Jobs Report Forces Fox News to Admit Biden Economy ‘A Lot Stronger Than Anybody Understands’
The monthly jobs report released Friday morning is being heralded as “robust,” “upbeat,” and “stronger than expected,” as unemployment again dropped to a near-50-year low (3.7%) while the economy added another 199,000 jobs.
“It’s the little engine that could, and this little locomotive keeps a chugging along…” declared professor of economics and public policy scholar Justin Wolfers.
“So the last three months have seen jobs growth at a very healthy average rate of +204k per month,” he added. “For context: Average monthly job growth from Jan 2000 to Dec 2019 was +87k.”
“If I had asked you a year ago to sketch what you thought a soft landing might look like,” he said, praising America’s post-COVID pandemic economy, “it’s likely you would have pretty much drawn the current economic data.”
On Thursday, Wolfers had discussed the incongruence between what economic data consistently shows about the strength of the U.S. economy, and what Americans are telling pollsters.
“There’s no question people are telling pollsters they’re miserable about the economy. But riddle me this,” he asked, “Why can’t we find evidence of this pessimism in anything other that public opinion polls? Every non-poll based indicator of confidence suggests folks are optimistic.”
Heather Long, The Washington Post economic columnist, offered this view in response to Friday’s jobs report.
“Step back for a minute and look at this US job market,” she wrote.
“4.7 million more jobs than pre-pandemic
Below 4% unemployment for two years
Wages growing faster than inflation
Women (ages 25 to 54) at an all-time high for labor force participation”
Even Fox News was forced to deliver positive comments while reporting on Friday’s monthly numbers.
“Overall you’ve got to look at this report as a big positive,” admitted pro-Trump Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “We’ve got more jobs created than expected.”
Speaking to the former chief economist of The White House National Economic Council under President Trump, Bartiromo said, “Joe LaVorgna, you’ve been saying this, the economy is a lot stronger than anybody understands.”
Watch below or at this link.
it’s time for my favorite Friday tradition — Maria Bartiromo having to cope with announcing another strong jobs report pic.twitter.com/bsOIQToEwe
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 8, 2023
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