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Federal Gov’t. Committee Suggests Reducing Ban On Gay Men Donating Blood



A federal government advisory board is suggesting the U.S. soften its ban on gay men donating blood.

Since 1977, the U.S. government has banned any man who has ever had sex with another man from donating blood. A consortium of blood donation organizations, including the American Red Cross today calls the ban “medically and scientifically unwarranted.”

Now, the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability has voted to drop the ban for men who have not had sex with another man in at least a year, according to Buzzfeed.

The advisory group’s chairman, Jay Menitove, notes that the system “has been very successful, in part, I believe, because the public has trust in the system and the decisions we make.” He adds, “To maintain that trust and compliance on the part of the public, it is time to modernize.”

The American Red Cross, the American Association of Blood Banks, and America’s Blood Centers, in a joint statement also say the recommendation is “consistent with our joint position.”

Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC) calls the news “a step in the right direction.” 

But the ACLU notes the “proposed one-year deferral will prevent two men who maintain a committed, monogamous relationship from ever donating blood. This proposed policy does not distinguish between high risk and safer sex practices… Criteria for being a blood donor should be based on science, not discriminatory stereotypes and assumptions.”

Bloomberg notes that the advisory board’s recommendations “will be considered by a group of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration in a Dec. 2 meeting. While the FDA doesn’t have to follow either panel’s advice, their recommendations are considered influential.”



Image via Wikimedia
Hat tip: Huffington Post


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Coronavirus Data Disappears From CDC Dashboard After Trump Hijacks Info



The Trump administration on Tuesday forced all hospitals and states to make a significant and immediate change in how they report coronavirus patient data, hijacking the information to be funneled into the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Experts warned the move could allow the administration to politicize the data, hide it, be less transparent, all of which interferes in the real-time usage of information to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

That appears to be what has happened.

“Previously public data has already disappeared from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website,” CNBC reports.

“Dashboards last updated as of July 14, 2020,” reads the CDC’s website where information on availability of hospital and ICU beds used to appear.

Early into the coronavirus pandemic the CDC removed information on the number of COVID-19 tests performed when it became clear the numbers were unacceptably small.



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Why Is the Coronavirus Pandemic Subsidizing Hate?



This article first appeared in Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter. To see the article in its original location or to subscribe, click here.

After the the names were released by the government last week of those who received pandemic-relief assistance under the Payroll Protection Program — transparency the Trump administration initially fought hard against — we learned of many billionaires and big, well-funded companies that received government loans, in additions to Trump family friends and allies, like billionaire governor Jim Justice of West Virginia and billionaire rapper Kanye West.

But also among those who received more than $150,000 — which are the only recipients whose names are made public — has been the Catholic Church, a multi-billion dollar tax exempt global empire that hardly qualifies as a “small business,” which is what the program was initially designed to help save. Meanwhile, thousands of desperate, hurting small businesses, per a Pro Publica investigation, didn’t receive money promised them and many were forced to shut down, their owners left penniless.

“Houses of worship and faith-based organizations that promote religious beliefs aren’t usually eligible for money from the U.S. Small Business Administration,” the Associated Press noted. “But as the economy plummeted and jobless rates soared, Congress let faith groups and other nonprofits tap into the Paycheck Protection Program, a $659 billion fund created to keep Main Street open and Americans employed.”

After heavy lobbying by the church, the virulently anti-LGBTQ, anti-abortion Archdiocese of New York received $28 million, an archdiocese led by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who’s called gay relationships not “natural.” Catholic entities in total — including many archdioceses that had paid out huge settlements in sex abuse cases and were facing bankruptcy — were paid at least $1.4 billion. But the AP believes the money may actually have exceeded $3.5 billion.

The list goes on and on. The American Family Association, labeled as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center — and whose spokesperson and “radio host,” Bryan Fischer, just two weeks ago called homosexuality “unnatural, unhealthy and immoral”— received a loan to keep propagating its lies and distortions.

Also on the list was the Liberty Counsel, the legal group that fights against laws protection LGBTQ people, and the ugly Concerned Women for America and Joyce Meyer Ministries, which rail against homosexuality, same-sex marriage and transgender people.

To read the remainder of this article, visit Michelangelo Signorile’s Substack newsletter.

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As Putin’s Hackers Try to Steal COVID-19 Vaccine Secrets ‘Kremlin Kevin’ McCarthy Pushes Bill to ‘Protect America’s Statues’



Many Americans woke to the news Thursday morning that Russian hackers are trying to steal coronavirus vaccine secrets from the U.S., the UK, and Canada, according to officials in those three countries, CNN reports, The Russian hackers are the same group of President Vladimir Putin’s “Cozy Bear” intelligence agents accused of hacking the DNC’s servers before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Meanwhile, House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has just announced on Twitter he has “introduced the Protect America’s Statues Act to cut funding from cities and states that refuse to restore order.”

McCarthy says he is concerned that “Leftwing mobs are trying to erase history by destroying statues of George Washington, General Grant, and Christopher Columbus. Enough is enough.”

McCarthy’s bill would apply to “any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

Some Americans are expressing concern that the coronavirus pandemic, already by far the worst in the world and growing significantly in the vast majority of states, is not important to Republicans in Congress or the White House.

“Just completely uninterested in even thinking about addressing the colossal problems plaguing the country, a total abdication in favor of culture war pot-stirring,” Media Matters’ Senior Fellow Matthew Gertz lamented in response to Minority Leader McCarthy bragging about his new bill.

He is not alone.



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