Sunscreen Chemicals Seep Into Bloodstream, New FDA Study Confirms

Sunscreen companies have long claimed the chemicals in their products aren’t absorbed into the body. Turns out they are.

Sunscreens contains more chemicals at higher concentrations than they did 50 years ago.

It’s also applied much more frequently.

These two facts have prompted the FDA to re-evaluate the safety of sunscreen.

First the agency conducted a study to determine whether the chemicals used as active ingredients in the products are absorbed into the bloodstream, which the industry has denied.

“Because sunscreens are formulated to work on the surface of the skin, some have argued that sunscreens would not be absorbed in appreciable quantities and therefore that studies are unnecessary,” the agency said in a press release.

The study, published May 5 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found the opposite to be true.

The chemicals are absorbed into the bloodstream at concerning levels.

The 24 participants in the study were instructed to apply sunscreen four times per day for four days on all areas that wouldn’t be covered by a swimsuit, an amount one might realistically apply on a beach vacation.

Researchers then measured the concentration of four different active ingredients in their blood: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule.

After just one day, all four chemicals were found in levels that far exceed the level at which the FDA requires safety testing (anything higher than .5 nanograms per milliliter).

For oxybenzone, which has been found along with other sunscreen ingredients in breast milk, blood concentrations reached the threshold after a single application and exceeded 20 nanograms per milliliter on day 7 of the study.

Oxybenzone is also toxic to coral reefs, which has led Hawaii to ban sunscreens that contain it.

Three of the chemicals remained in the bloodstream seven days later.

Now the FDA must conduct further studies on all four ingredients  before they can be considered generally safe and effective.

Specifically the agency needs to determine whether the chemicals the risk for cancer, birth defects, or other adverse effects.

“With sunscreens now being used with greater frequency, in larger amounts, it is more important than ever to ensure that sunscreens are safe and effective for daily, life-long use,” the press release says.

“Creation of sunscreen products with SPFs greater than 15 and greater broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays have led to currently marketed products with more active ingredients combined together in higher concentrations than were previously used.”

The FDA recommends continuing to use sunscreen while the chemicals are being studied, claiming the risks of sunburn outweigh the risks of sunscreen, but considering they haven’t weighed those risks yet, it may be wise to take their advice with a grain of salt.

Here are some natural alternatives:

The post Sunscreen Chemicals Seep Into Bloodstream, New FDA Study Confirms appeared first on Return to Now.

Sunscreen chemicals absorb into your bloodstream, FDA study finds

The chemicals in sunscreen seep into your bloodstream after just one day, FDA says

N’dea Yancey-Bragg

Published 9:49 PM EDT May 6, 2019

The chemicals in sunscreen don’t just sit on top of the skin, they absorb in the bloodstream, according to new research from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A study published Monday in the peer-reviewed medical journal JAMA found that several active ingredients in different sunscreens enter the bloodstream at levels that far exceed the FDA’s recommended threshold without a government safety inspection.

“However, sunscreens have not been subjected to standard drug safety testing, and clinicians and consumers lack data on systemic drug levels despite decades of widespread use,” former FDA chairman Robert Califf and JAMA Dermatology Editor in Chief Kanade Shinkai wrote in an editorial accompanying the study.

The 24 participants in the study were instructed to apply one of four different kinds of sunscreen spray, lotion or cream four times per day for four days on all areas that wouldn’t be covered by a swimsuit.

Not all sunblock is created equal: Here’s the best sunscreen for your kids and the environment

Do you need sunscreen in the shade?: Yes, and here’s why

Researchers then measured the concentration of four different active ingredients in the participants’ blood: avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene and ecamsule. If the absorption exceeds 0.5 ng/mL, the FDA recommends “nonclinical toxicology assessment including systemic carcinogenicity and additional developmental and reproductive studies.”

For all ingredients, the levels of all chemicals far exceeded that limit on the first day of the study. Three of the ingredients remained in the bloodstream for seven days. For oxybenzone, which has been found along with other sunscreen ingredients in breast milk, plasma concentrations reached the threshold within two hours after a single application and exceeded 20 ng/mL on day 7 of the study.

Oxybenzone is also believed by scientists to be toxic to coral reefs, which has led Hawaii to ban sunscreens that contain it.

The FDA has previously included those four chemicals on a list of ingredients that need to be researched further before they can be considered generally safe and effective. However, study authors note the results don’t mean that people should stop using sunscreen.

“Just because they are absorbed doesn’t mean they are unsafe,” study coauthor Theresa Michele, director of the division of nonprescription drug products at the FDA, told NBC News. “That’s why we are asking for additional data.”

Protect that face!: 5 SPF trends your face needs this summer

Sunscreen bans: What travelers need to know about sunscreen bans

The American Academy of Dermatologists released a statement in response to the study, encouraging people to continue using sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher along with other protective measures.

“These sunscreen ingredients have been used for several decades without any reported internal side effects in humans,” AAD President George J. Hruza said in the statement. “Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, and dermatologists see the impact it has on patients’ lives every day. Unprotected exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays is a major risk factor for skin cancer.”

There were nearly 300,000 new cases of melanoma in 2018, making it is the 19th most commonly occurring cancer in men and women, according to the World Cancer Research Fund.

The FDA recommends applying sunscreen of SPF 15 or more every two hours, even on cloudy days; limiting your time in the sun especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the sun’s rays are most intense; and wearing clothing that covers skin that may be exposed to the sun, such as long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats.

Did you get your eyelids?: You may be applying sunscreen and SPF moisturizers all wrong

Contributing: Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY

Follow N’dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

Man in Custody in Synagogue Shooting in California, Officials Say – The New York Times

A man has been taken into custody in connection with a shooting at a synagogue in California on Saturday afternoon that resulted in injuries, the authorities said.

The Poway Station of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter that the shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. local time at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., about 25 miles north of San Diego. It said that there were injuries but that no additional details were immediately available.

Derryl Acosta, a spokesman at Palomar Medical Center, said the hospital’s trauma center in Escondido, Calif., was expecting at least one patient and that one to four additional patients might also be on the way.

Walter Vandivort, who lives in the neighborhood of the synagogue, said he heard gunshots while he was indoors. He said he was unsure how many he heard.

Top Executives of Opioid Company Found Guilty of Racketeering – The New York Times

“The decisions, the money, the strategy came from the top,” K. Nathaniel Yeager, a federal prosecutor, said during closing arguments.

Details of Insys’s strategy from 2012 to 2015 to target doctors and allegedly bribe them have been revealed in lawsuits and news reports for about five years. The trial of Mr. Kapoor and his four co-defendants has brought to light the extent to which the schemes permeated the entire company and its national sales team.

Former Insys sales representatives, testifying for the prosecution, said their bonuses were tied to the dosages of Subsys prescribed by the doctors they recruited. The higher the dose, the higher the bonus. Evidence presented in court showed that sales representatives had to justify low doses to their boss within 24 hours.

Not only did Subsys cost more at higher doses, but patients were also more likely to become dependent on the highly addictive medication. Subsys is up to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Alec Burlakoff, the former vice president of sales at Insys, has pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy. He wrote in an email read at trial that patients on high doses would be desirable because they “will continuously refill their monthly prescriptions indefinitely.” Court filings in a separate case suggest Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, pursued a similar strategy.

Two Insys sales representatives made a rap video in 2015 about titration, the technique used to increase a patient’s dose. The main lyric: “I love titrations, and it’s not a problem. I got new patients, and I got a lot of them.” The video, in which the salesmen dance alongside a person in a Subsys dispenser costume, was shown at a national Insys sales staff meeting where Mr. Kapoor was present.

The government is saying, “We have got to do something about the flow of opioids in this country — not from across the borders, not from people’s kitchens where they’re made and converted — but from the pharmaceutical companies that are making billions,” Mr. Bailey said.

In a similar effort to hold individuals accountable, the attorneys general in New York and Massachusetts have recently turned their attention to the Sacklers, the family that controls Purdue, filing lawsuits that allege members of the family pushed their company to aggressively sell opioids like OxyContin, despite the high risk for addiction.

While the legal strategy may be noteworthy, evidence has emerged that aggressive marketing of opioids is far from unique to Insys.

“The Insys story is symbolic, representative of the kind of conduct, the kinds of things that have been going on behind the scenes to fuel this opioid crisis,” said Gregory Curfman, deputy editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Government lawyers called witnesses and presented their arguments over the course of two months. Defense lawyers rested their case in less than three days.

Beth Wilkinson, the lawyer for Mr. Kapoor, sought to persuade the jury that many of Insys’s marketing strategies were commonplace. Pharmaceutical companies often hire physicians to help promote their medications.

“In this country, that’s not illegal. In fact, it’s not even unusual,” Ms. Wilkinson told the jury during opening statements. Plus, she explained that “all the information is public” on the government’s Open Payments Data website.

Ric Flair Hospitalized After ‘Very Serious’ Medical Emergency |

Ric Flair was rushed to a hospital Thursday morning after suffering a medical emergency, TMZ Sports has learned. 

We’re told Flair was in the Atlanta area when something went wrong. The 70-year-old WWE legend was initially taken to the emergency room to be treated. 

The specifics are unclear at this point — but we’re told the situation is “very serious.”

We reached out to Ric’s camp for comment — so far, no word back. 

Flair had a previous medical scare back in 2017. He was placed in a medically induced coma for 11 days after his intestine ruptured. Flair was in critical condition and on the verge of dying. 

But, “The Nature Boy” pulled through — and a year later, he married his longtime girlfriend Wendy Barlow … who stuck by his side throughout the entire medical scare and subsequent recovery. 

Ric had been doing great recently — and had a massive star-studded bash for his 70th birthday back in February … with a guest list that included Todd Gurley, Charles Barkley, Jeff Hardy, Triple H, Evander Holyfield and Dennis Rodman

Several injured after ‘gun man opens fire’ in a San Diego Synagogue | Daily Mail Online

Police in California have detained a man in relation to a shooting at a San Diego synagogue that left one dead and several others injured.

John T. Earnest, 19, was identified as the suspect by law enforcement sources. An unconfirmed manifesto posted online shortly before the attack and purporting to be from Earnest cites hatred of Jewish people as the motive for the attack, and takes credit for a separate arson attack on an Escondido mosque last month. 

The shooting attack took place at the Chabad of Poway Jewish congregation around 11.30am PT on Saturday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office said.  

Four victims were transported to the Palomar Medical Center to be treated for gunshot wounds. One of them, an older woman, later died from her injuries.

Police say the suspect is a resident of San Diego who was armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. 

An armed off-duty Border Patrol agent who was inside the synagogue returned fire and injured the suspect, who then retreated in a vehicle before surrendering to police without incident, according to police. 

Synagogue members console one another outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue Saturday on Saturday in Poway, Calif. Several people were injured and one was killed in a shooting at the synagogue

Synagogue members walk outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue Saturday in Poway, California

Local authorities are reporting that Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is one of injured shooting victims at Chabad of Poway in Poway, California on Saturday. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is originally from Brooklyn, New York

An FBI agent gives out information to members of the media outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Saturday

more videos

In the 4,000-word manifesto posted before the shooting, the author described himself as a 19-year-old nursing student and native of California.

‘If you told me even 6 months ago that I would do this I would have been surprised,’ the author wrote, adding that he was inspired by the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last month and the suspect in that case, Brenton Tarrant.

‘Tarrant was a catalyst for me personally,’ the manifesto reads. The author also states that he committed an unsolved arson attack against the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque in Escondido on March 24, adding that he spray-painted the message ‘For Brenton Tarrant’ in the parking lot of the mosque.

The author of the manifesto says that he does not support President Donald Trump, calling the president ‘Jew-loving’ and ‘anti-White’. Much of the manifesto consists of grievances against Jewish people. 

Saturday’s shooting unfolded during services on the last day of Passover, and there are believed to have been about 100 people inside the synagogue at the time of the attack.

Witnesses say the gunman was wearing a tactical vest and a helmet according to CBS 8. The reports have not yet been confirmed by police.  

One of the victims is said to be the synagogue’s Rabbi, Yisorel Goldstein, who founded the Chabad center in 1986. He was reportedly shot and lost two fingers. 

Witnesses say the rabbi tried to calm the gunman and members of the congregation even after he was wounded.  

President Donald Trump responded to the shooting in remarks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

‘Based on my last conversations, it looks like a hate crime. Hard to believe,’ Trump said. ‘My deepest sympathies go to the families who were affected.’ 

‘It looks like the person has been apprehended, no more danger, and law enforcement has done a fantastic job,’ he continued. 

President Donald Trump responded to the shooting in remarks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, center, speaks at a news conference held outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue Saturday in Poway, California. Several people were injured and one died in a shooting at the synagogue

Multiple people were sighted on the ground inside the house of worship, located at 16934 Chabad Way. 

Major Vaus told CNN that members of the congregation attempted to overpower the gunman. 

‘This shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy,’ Major Vaus stated, adding that the shooter had ‘hate’ in his heart.  

The suspect attempted to flee the scene in a car before being apprehended by authorities a short distance down the road. 

Police declined to share information about the suspect’s identity in a Saturday afternoon press conference, but he does live in San Diego.  

‘There are injuries. This is a developing situation,’ the department’s Poway Station said on Twitter. 

Two young girls are also reportedly missing in the wake of the shooting. 

Two people hug as another talks to a San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue. There have been four confirmed victims of the shooting, with one left dead

So far four victims have been transported to the Palomar Medical Center to be treated for their injuries

The incident took place at the Chabad of Poway house of worship in San Diego, sometime after 11.30am local time

The shooting comes on the last day of Passover. According to the synagogue’s website, the congregation were hosting a Passover Holiday Celebration that began at 11am and was scheduled to last all day

The department had earlier said deputies were investigating reports of a man with a gun in the area of the Congregation Chabad synagogue. 

Sheriffs have confirmed that at least one person has been shot. Authorities say they’re ‘confident’ there was one gunman involved. 

The shooting comes on the last day of Passover. According to the synagogue’s website, the congregation were hosting a Passover Holiday Celebration that began at 11 am and was set to end at 7pm with a final Passover meal. 

‘It’s a very important celebration for us. There’s lots of people inside, they’re praying,’ Minoo Anvari a member of the congregation told NBC 7. ‘Everybody was crying and screaming.’

Anvari said her husband was inside during the shooting and said someone came in, started cursing and then opened fire.

Officers from the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Sheriff’s office have been deployed to other churches

The San Diego Sheriff’s Office confirmed the shooting in a tweet early Saturday afternoon, local time

It’s believed the man fired between 12 and 14 shots inside the center.

Witnesses say that even after being shot, Rabbi Goldstein called for unity and prayer among the congregation.

‘Rabbi said, ‘We are united,” said Anvari, a refugee from Iran.

‘This is something bad (that) is happening all over. And we have to believe that this bad thing is real and we don’t have to ignore it. We have to open our eyes. He prayed for peace. I respect him — even in spite of being injured he refused to go to hospital and he spoke. And he finished his speech and he then left the synagogue.’

The suspect behind the shooting is said to live with his parents. Police are currently preparing to raid his home, reports say.

Officers from the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego Sheriff’s office have been deployed to other churches as a precaution, Fox 5 reported

‘No known threats however in an abundance of caution, we will be providing extra patrol at places of worship,’ San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. 

The shooting comes exactly six months after a gunman killed 11 people at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.   

The cruelest disease you’ve never heard of: Frontotemporal Dementia – 60 Minutes – CBS News

The cruelest disease you’ve never heard of: Frontotemporal Dementia

60 Minutes reports on a disease that a leading researcher says “robs us of our very essence; of our humanity.” Sunday at 7 p.m. ET/PT

What is Frontotemporal Dementia?

Victims are usually in middle age, but some have been in their 30s when they were afflicted with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, a devastating form of dementia. People with FTD either lose their personality to the degree their own families can’t recognize them anymore or they lose their ability to recognize themselves in a cruel twist to a disease that’s always fatal. Bill Whitaker reports on this little-known form of dementia that steals personalities from people in their prime years and inflicts huge burdens on their families on the next edition of 60 Minutes, Sunday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT on CBS.  

FTD robs people of their personality, judgment, empathy and, sometimes, their speech.  57-year-old Thomas Cox lost interest in his family and job a few years ago and subsequently was fired. He knows he has FTD, but is unaware of its effect on him and his family; he spends much of his time looking at pictures on his cell phone and seems capable of doing little else. “I can blame the disease. I can say that the disease stole my husband,” says his wife, Lori.

Dr. Bruce Miller is a leading researcher of FTD and is working hard to find a cure or therapy for the devastating disease. Whitaker met Cox at Miller’s lab. “This is profound as anything that can happen to a human being. It robs us of our very essence of our humanity, of who we are,” Miller says. He’s studying Cox and others, some of whom can exhibit dangerous or impulsive behavior, like Mark Johnson, whose family found it necessary to put him in an assisted living facility at the age of 39.

Amy Johnson, his wife, tells Whitaker at first her husband became indifferent and could no longer watch their children or hold his job. He also displayed impulsive and compulsive behavior. “He couldn’t stop eating. I started locking the food up… I took his credit card. He’d walk down to the grocery store and steal food,” says Amy. A healthcare worker helped her make the decision to move him out of the house. “Because now when he thinks of something, the part of his brain that tells him ‘that’s a bad idea’ doesn’t work anymore.” Amy must use savings that Mark intended for their retirement to pay the thousands of dollars a month it costs to care for him in the facility where he now lives.

Neither Cox nor Johnson have any real sense that something is wrong with them. But in the other variant of FTD that Miller is studying, the loss of speech and communication, victims can be aware of what is happening. The Very Rev. Tracey Lind, 61, was dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Cleveland for many years before she began to have difficulty recognizing congregants and finding the right word in her sermons. Then she had an episode that stunned her.  “I was washing my hands and I looked in the mirror and I did not recognize my own face.”

The news has been hard on Lind and her spouse Emily Ingalls, whose caregiver burden will only grow over time. In the meantime, they make appearances to raise awareness for dementia and educate its victims and their families. It’s Lind’s new ministry. “I’m going to face this disease called FTD that I’d never heard of before and I’m going to see what I can do with it,” she tells Whitaker.

Yale scientists restore brain function to 32 clinically dead pigs

  • Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine successfully restored some functions to pig brains that had been dead for hours.
  • They hope the technology will advance our understanding of the brain, potentially developing new treatments for debilitating diseases and disorders.
  • The research raises many ethical questions and puts to the test our current understanding of death.


The image of an undead brain coming back to live again is the stuff of science fiction. Not just any science fiction, specifically B-grade sci fi. What instantly springs to mind is the black-and-white horrors of films like Fiend Without a Face. Bad acting. Plastic monstrosities. Visible strings. And a spinal cord that, for some reason, is also a tentacle?

But like any good science fiction, it’s only a matter of time before some manner of it seeps into our reality. This week’s Naturepublished the findings of researchers who managed to restore function to pigs’ brains that were clinically dead. At least, what we once thought of as dead.

What’s dead may never die, it seems

The researchers did not hail from House Greyjoy, but came largely from the Yale School of Medicine. They connected 32 pig brains to a system called BrainEx. BrainEx is an artificial perfusion system — that is, a system that takes over the functions normally regulated by the organ. Think a dialysis machine for the mind. The pigs had been killed four hours earlier at a U.S. Department of Agriculture slaughterhouse; their brains completely removed from the skulls.

BrainEx pumped an experiment solution into the brain that essentially mimic blood flow. It brought oxygen and nutrients to the tissues, giving brain cells the resources to begin many normal functions. The cells began consuming and metabolizing sugars. The brains immune system kicked in. Neuron samples could carry an electrical signal. Some brain cells even responded to drugs.

The researchers have managed to keep some brains alive for up to 36 hours, and currently do not know if BrainEx can have sustained the brains longer. “It is conceivable we are just preventing the inevitable, and the brain won’t be able to recover,” said Nenad Sestan, Yale neuroscientist and the lead researcher.

As a control, other brains received either a fake solution or no solution at all. None revived brain activity and deteriorated as normal.

The researchers hope the technology can enhance our ability to study the brain and its cellular functions. One of the main avenues of such studies would be brain disorders and diseases. This could point the way to developing new of treatments for the likes of brain injuries, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and neurodegenerative conditions.

“This is an extraordinary and very promising breakthrough for neuroscience. It immediately offers a much better model for studying the human brain, which is extraordinarily important, given the vast amount of human suffering from diseases of the mind [and] brain,” Nita Farahany, the bioethicists at the Duke University School of Law who wrote the study’s commentary, told National Geographic.

An ethical gray matter

Before anyone get an vibe, it’s worth noting that the brains did not approach neural activity anywhere near consciousness.

The BrainEx solution contained chemicals that prevented neurons from firing. To be extra cautious, the researchers also monitored the brains for any such activity and were prepared to administer an anesthetic should they have seen signs of consciousness.

Even so, the research signals a massive debate to come regarding medical ethics and our definition of death.

Most countries define death, clinically speaking, as the irreversible loss of brain or circulatory function. This definition was already at odds with some folk- and value-centric understandings, but where do we go if it becomes possible to reverse clinical death with artificial perfusion?

“This is wild,” Jonathan Moreno, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, told the New York Times. “If ever there was an issue that merited big public deliberation on the ethics of science and medicine, this is one.”

One possible consequence involves organ donations. Some European countries require emergency responders to use a process that preserves organs when they cannot resuscitate a person. They continue to pump blood throughout the body, but use a “thoracic aortic occlusion balloon” to prevent that blood from reaching the brain.

The system is already controversial because it raises concerns about what caused the patient’s death. But what happens when brain death becomes readily reversible? Stuart Younger, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University, told Nature that if BrainEx were to become widely available, it could shrink the pool of eligible donors.

“There’s a potential conflict here between the interests of potential donors — who might not even be donors — and people who are waiting for organs,” he said.

It will be a while before such experiments go anywhere near human subjects. A more immediate ethical question relates to how such experiments harm animal subjects.

Ethical review boards evaluate research protocols and can reject any that causes undue pain, suffering, or distress. Since dead animals feel no pain, suffer no trauma, they are typically approved as subjects. But how do such boards make a judgement regarding the suffering of a “cellularly active” brain? The distress of a partially alive brain?

The dilemma is unprecedented.

Setting new boundaries

Another science fiction story that comes to mind when discussing this story is, of course, Frankenstein. As Farahany told National Geographic: “It is definitely has [sic] a good science-fiction element to it, and it is restoring cellular function where we previously thought impossible. But to have Frankenstein, you need some degree of consciousness, some ‘there’ there. [The researchers] did not recover any form of consciousness in this study, and it is still unclear if we ever could. But we are one step closer to that possibility.”

She’s right. The researchers undertook their research for the betterment of humanity, and we may one day reap some unimaginable medical benefits from it. The ethical questions, however, remain as unsettling as the stories they remind us of.

Trump-Pence Admin Allows Medical Providers to Deny Lifesaving Care to LGBTQ People

HRC responded to the Trump-Pence administration’s latest attempt to undermine the rights and welfare of LGBTQ people and their families. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a final version of a regulation that would allow medical providers to cite their personal beliefs in refusing to provide a broad spectrum of services — including lifesaving care for LGBTQ patients.

“The Trump-Pence administration’s latest attack threatens LGBTQ people by permitting medical providers to deny critical care based on personal beliefs,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “The administration’s decision puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of being denied necessary and appropriate health care solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone deserves access to medically necessary care and should never be turned away because of who they are or who they love.”

HHS announced today the issuance of the final rule that will sanction discrimination by healthcare providers who believe their personal beliefs should determine the care a patient receives. The rule could allow virtually any individual or entity involved in a patient’s care — from a hospital’s board of directors to the receptionist that schedules procedures — to put personal beliefs ahead of a patient’s health. This regulation will undoubtedly empower health care providers to deny necessary care to LGBTQ people and women.

This regulation will deter health care organizations and providers from taking necessary action to guarantee that all patients have access to the care they not only deserve but also are legally entitled to. In practice, the broad reach of the rule could allow health care providers to refuse to provide not only abortion and sterilization procedures, but also to deny treatment or preventative care for AIDS or HIV, hormone therapy treatment and transition related care and in-vitro fertilization for lesbians, single women or interfaith couples. The rule is especially dangerous for those already facing barriers to care, particularly LGBTQ patients, patients of color and those who are struggling to make ends meet.

Fear of discrimination causes many LGBTQ people to avoid seeking health care, and when they do enter care, studies indicate that LGBTQ people are not consistently treated with the respect that all patients deserve. Studies show that 56% of LGB people and 70% of transgender and gender non-conforming people reported experiencing discrimination by health care providers — including refusal of care, harsh language and physical roughness because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 23% of transgender respondents did not see a doctor when they needed to because of fear of being mistreated as a transgender person and a startling 55% of transgender respondents who sought coverage for transition-related surgery were denied. Delay and avoidance of care due to fear of discrimination compounds the significant health disparities experienced by LGBTQ people.

Ocasio-Cortez Reveals She’s Cutting Back On Social Media For Her Health, Says It’s A ‘Public Health Risk’ | Daily Wire

Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced on Sunday that she is no longer using Facebook and is cutting back on all social media for health reasons associated with being too engaged with social media.
“I actually think that social media poses a public health risk to everybody,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “There are amplified impacts for young people, particularly children under the age of 3 with screen time. But I think it has a lot of effects on older people. I think it has effects on everybody. Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.”
“I personally gave up Facebook, which was kind of a big deal because I started my campaign on Facebook,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “And Facebook was my primary digital organizing tool for a very long time. I gave up on it.”
“Like every once in a while, you’ll see me hop on Twitter on the weekends, but for the most part, I take consumption of content, when it comes to consumption and reading, I take the weekends off,” Ocasio-Cortez added. “And so I’m not, like, scrolling through trying to read everything online that journalists are writing on weekends. I try to do that during the workweek.”
While many of Ocasio-Cortez’s critics and fans believe that her social media game is her greatest strength, Ocasio-Cortez has become a frequent punching bag on social media as many of the things that she posts are false, offensive, or both. Here are just a few examples:
Ocasio-Cortez’s poll numbers have been on a rapid decline ever since she entered office as her unfavorable ratings have grown at twice the rate of her favorable ratings.
Another poll found that that only 12% of New Yorkers believe that Ocasio-Cortez was a “hero” after she worked to sabotage the Amazon deal — which would have brought tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenues to New York — while “38 percent label her a villain.”