October 4th, 2020 1-3PM ET
Sunday on The Robert Scott Bell Show:
No mask, no child custody. COVID-19 is a new factor in family law Melanie Joseph wants to see her son, but a judge won’t let her — for no reason except that she won’t wear a mask. Joseph’s 14-year-old son has asthma, a condition that could put him at risk of contracting COVID-19 during this pandemic, court filings show. Broward Circuit Judge Dale Cohen called the mother an “anti-mask person” who had the “audacity” to brag about it on Facebook. Conservatives take issue with the decision, but it illustrates how judges in family court now must consider the health risks of COVID-19 on top of juggling the interests of feuding ex-spouses, single parents and reluctant child-support payers. COVID first made family law news in South Florida early in the pandemic, when an emergency room doctor treating coronavirus patients was stripped of custody of her 4-year-old daughter. An appeals court quickly overturned the decision, and the child’s estranged parents eventually resolved their custody disagreement.
Traces of coronavirus found in Lake Superior water, researchers say Traces of the novel coronavirus were found in water samples taken from Lake Superior beaches in Duluth, Minn., according to researchers with the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. Since July, researchers have collected water samples from eight different beaches in Duluth in an effort to better understand how the novel virus “acts in the water and whether it can spread there,” the Star Tribune reported. (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is “no evidence that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can spread to people through water” at oceans, lakes and other natural bodies of water, as well as pools, water playgrounds and hot tubs.) In September, the researchers found traces of SARS-Cov-2 for the first time in water samples from Park Point, the beach at E. 42nd Avenue, and Brighton Beach. “The research team describes the detection level at 100 to 1,000 copies per liter or 10,000 times lower than levels observed in wastewater,” the researchers said, according to the Star Tribune.
Belly Fat Linked to Higher Risk of Premature Death, Regardless of your Weight It’s well known that carrying extra fat around your waist can be harmful to your health, bringing greater risk of developing illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. But a recent study found that, regardless of weight, people who carry more fat around their abdomen had a higher risk of dying sooner – in fact, there was an 11% increase in death during follow up with every extra 10cm of waist circumference. The researchers included 72 studies in their review, which contained data on 2.5 million people. They then analysed the combined data on body shape measures, looking at waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-thigh ratio, and waist and thigh circumference – in other words, all the areas where a person naturally stores fat. Beside the finding on belly fat, the researchers also found that people who tend to store more fat on the hips and thighs – instead of their abdomen – had a lower risk of dying sooner, with each extra 5cm thigh circumference associated with an 18% reduced risk of death during the follow-up period (between 3-24 years, depending on the study). But why might this be the case? The answer has to do with the type of fat tissue we tend to store in certain areas of our body.
Adolescents Often Get ‘Red Flag’ Drugs for First Episode of Mental Illness The care adolescents receive for a first episode of mental illness varies widely across the U.S., and many are prescribed “red flag” drugs, according to new findings. Overall, nearly 30% did not receive follow-up treatment in the three months after their initial episode, and more than 45% were prescribed benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) or another medication not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for first-line treatment of mental illness in children, Dr. Janet Currie and Dr. Emily Cuddy of Princeton University found. The FDA has approved two selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for children with depression, fluoxetine and escitalopram, the authors note in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One TCA and six atypical antipsychotics are FDA-approved for obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) in children, and several SSRIs are approved for OCD and anxiety in kids. The American Psychiatric Association recommends fluoxetine as an initial treatment for depression in adolescents. The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that selective serotonin-reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are well tolerated in adolescents, and recommends against benzodiazepines for anxiety in children as they have not been shown to be effective and can lead to dependence.
Irish court rules Subway bread is not bread Those wrestling with the great culinary-philosophical dilemmas of our time – are jaffa cakes actually cakes or just up-themselves biscuits, is putting chorizo in paella really an act of gastronomic terrorism, and what kind of monster doesn’t love Marmite? – can give thanks to the Irish supreme court. Earlier this week, it brought clarity to an important, if less bitterly contested, debate. In a judgment published on Tuesday, the court ruled that the bread served at Subway, the US chain that hawks giant sandwiches in 110 countries and territories, could not in fact be defined as bread because of its high sugar content. The ruling followed an appeal by Bookfinders Ltd, Subway’s Irish franchisee. The company had argued that the bread used in Subway sandwiches counted as a staple food and was consequently exempt from VAT. However, as the court pointed out, Ireland’s Value-Added Tax Act of 1972 draws a distinction between staple foods – bread, tea, coffee, cocoa, milk and “preparations or extracts of meat or eggs” – and “more discretionary indulgences” such as ice-cream, chocolate, pastries, crisps, popcorn and roasted nuts.
Exclusive: FDA widens U.S. safety inquiry into AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine – sources The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has broadened its investigation of a serious illness in AstraZeneca Plc’s COVID-19 vaccine study and will look at data from earlier trials of similar vaccines developed by the same scientists, three sources familiar with the details told Reuters. AstraZeneca’s large, late-stage U.S. trial has remained on hold since Sept. 6, after a study participant in Britain fell ill with what was believed to be a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis. The widened scope of the FDA probe raises the likelihood of additional delays for what has been one of the most advanced COVID-19 vaccine candidates in development. The requested data was expected to arrive this week, after which the FDA would need time to analyze it, two of the sources said. Effective vaccines are seen as essential to help end a pandemic that has killed more than one million people worldwide.
Coronavirus infecting majority of bad dreams: Many having social distancing nightmares Many people will likely tell you the coronavirus pandemic has turned 2020 into a nightmare. A new study finds that statement is more accurate than you might think. Researchers in Finland say a majority of the bad dreams people are having this year are now related to COVID-19. A team led by researchers from the University of Helsinki reveals the virus is overtaking all other themes when it comes to a person’s nightmares. Study authors say this may even suggest the global pandemic is causing people to share their anxiety with others. “The results allowed us to speculate that dreaming in extreme circumstances reveal shared visual imagery and memory traces, and in this way, dreams can indicate some form of shared mindscape across individuals,” says lead author Dr. Anu-Katriina Pesonen in a media release. “The idea of a shared imagery reflected in dreams is intriguing.”
Childhood Cancer Caused Largely by Environmental Factors, Report Finds For children in the U.S., cancer is the leading cause of death from disease. Worldwide, cancer has become so prevalent and devastating that some may use the phrase “like curing cancer” when describing something unfeasible or highly complicated. Yet in September, a team of more than 60 stakeholders and leaders in the health, science, business, policy and advocacy sectors collaborated to take a different, perhaps less flashy approach — preventing cancer, specifically by ending the use of toxic chemicals. Under the umbrella of the Childhood Cancer Prevention Initiative (CCPI), this collection of organizations published a report examining the impact of different cancer-causing chemicals and calling for a “national plan” to address the rising incidence of childhood cancer. In 2020, an estimated 1,806,590 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. and 606,520 people will die from the disease, including an estimated 16,850 children and adolescents ages 0 to 19 being diagnosed and 1,730 children will die of the disease. Researchers estimate that only 10% of all childhood cancers come from hereditary factors, meaning the lion’s share of childhood cancers come from environmental factors. To CCPI, this means 90% of all childhood cancer is preventable.
Antipsychotics for treating adult depression linked with higher mortality Rutgers researchers, together with colleagues at Columbia University, have reported an increased mortality risk in adults with depression who initiated augmentation with newer antipsychotic medications compared to a control group that initiated augmentation with a second antidepressant. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. Although antidepressants are the first-line pharmacological treatment for depression, many people do not respond to the first course of treatment. Subsequent treatment options include switching to another antidepressant followed by various augmentation strategies, including augmentation with a second antidepressant and augmentation with newer antipsychotics, such as aripiprazole, quetiapine and olanzapine. “Antipsychotics have well-recognized and often serious adverse effects, including a more than 50 percent increased mortality risk in older adults with dementia,” said lead author Tobias Gerhard, an associate professor at Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. “It had been previously unknown whether this mortality risk applies to non-elderly adults using newer antipsychotics as augmentation treatment for depression. The clinical trials that led to the approval of various newer antipsychotics for depression were just too small and too short to be informative for this question.”
Defend CBD! A bill that would protect hemp-derived CBD from the FDA needs our support. Action Alert! For a while now, we’ve been telling you about the FDA’s attack on CBD oil, a natural, safe, and non-addictive alternative to dangerous opioid drugs. The agency is on the verge of completing its enforcement policies for CBD. We must support a bill that would protect hemp-derived CBD supplements from the federal government. The bill is simple. It amends the law to provide an exemption for hemp-derived CBD from rules that apply to dietary supplements when there is an approved drug with that ingredient or if that ingredient is being investigated as a new drug. Note that the other provisions of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 still apply to CBD. Given that the FDA’s position seems to be that CBD is a “new supplement” (in FDA lingo, a new dietary ingredient, or NDI), this means that before companies sell CBD they will need to submit information to the FDA demonstrating that the CBD supplement can be reasonably expected to be safe.
Question of The Day!
What do you think of the LIBERTARIAN party as regards to the COVID response….and do you think they would not endorse MANDATED VACCINATION or other coercive/ restrictive methods? Is there any possibility that pushing for RANKED VOTING in this election is even feasible or useful at this late stage? Thank you sooo much for all your research and analysis all these years. …a breath of fresh air. – Jo
Remember Friends, The Power to Heal is Yours!
More upcoming RSB events:
Trinity Health Freedom Virtual Expo – October 24-25