I am sure you all have noticed I’ve stayed pretty silent about this election. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have words to say. In fact, I just finished a 105-page report on how the Trump presidency will affect 20 areas of health. I have now read over 300 articles on the issue, virtually attended two conferences on the effects the Trump presidency will have on health, and have listened to at least ten podcasts by leading health policy experts. In thinking about how my knowledge and current opinions might be helpful to the general population, I’ve decided to start a new page on my blog. It’ll be called The THE Site—THE standing for Trump’s Health Effects. Each Monday, I’ll write a blurb about how Trump will affect an area of health. It’ll combine information from sources from all sides of the aisle, but experts nonetheless, from the most recent news articles, press releases, notes from livestreams from conferences led by the medical community or other influential health actors, podcasts, general opinions from leaders in the health world, even Trump himself, and, of course, some Hope—literally and figuratively.
Though I would love to write about all topics, I barely feel qualified to write about health. I am a global health and public policy double major at Duke, am interning with a leading nonprofit in the health world, and am living in the global health capital of the world—Geneva, but I am no expert. I am 21 years old for crying out loud! It has taken me hours to weed through the complicated wording of the Affordable Care Act, to decipher complex medical language, to piece together vague, intellectual quotes by leaders in the health world, to fully understand a podcast after listening to it three times… I do not pretend to be an expert.
But I am one person, who is passionate, who is determined, who cares. I am a citizen of the United States. I am a voter. I am a change-maker. So my thoughts are as valid as anyone else’s. That’s the beauty of this world: that I have the power and freedom to express my thoughts. And that you all have the power and freedom to read them and decide for yourselves what you’ll do with my words. Check your email each day, or visit my site, to read my daily THE update, and think about how the future of health will be affected by our president. How does it make you feel? What are you doing about it? Who are you teaching about it? What hope are you finding?
Don’t just subscribe and read my updates, though. Share THE with your friends and family. Debate it! (Though I prefer that if you would like to debate with me, specifically, that you do so NOT over Facebook. There are many other means: email, comments on the blog directly, conversations on campus next semester… I love to discuss, but I am, shockingly, not starting this so that you can hurl insults at me). I do not mean for this blog to be controversial. I simply mean to state the facts. And to offer ideas for how you can get involved. But I recognize that any time anyone writes about politics, it may seem like the author is pushing an agenda. Moreover, we are all flawed and inherently biased, no matter how much we try to deny it. So do not hesitate to contact me if you disagree with something, but please do so in a respectful, purposeful way, and not over Facebook, please.) The more people who read this blog, and the news in general, the more people will start caring. The more people start caring, the more we can make change.
So, with that I say: most importantly, please use my words as power. To read something and throw it away is a waste of reading. To read something and fight back solely for the purpose of fighting back is a useless fight. Take my words and use them to fuel what you believe is right, what you believe will advance this world forward. Use my words to build a coalition to purport your ideas. And never stop believing that we are the makers of our own future, of our own nation.
THE LOGISTICS OF THE TRUMP TAB:
In realizing just how much content I actually have, and how little time we have before Trump is sworn in, I’m going to be posting twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays…This will amount to 18 posts until Inauguration Day (January 20th).
Each post will have “hyperlinks” where you can click on certain key words to be re-directed to more information. All info will be adequately sourced, both within the post and with a source list at the bottom. I will try, if at all possible, to include direct Trump quotes, opinions from experts in the field who are Republicans and Democrats, and definitely a few of my own snide comments to keep life interesting.
Below is an outline of my 18 posts, covering anything from Congress and Trump’s Cabinet to HIV and biotech. You may notice I don’t explicitly cover the environment—which is of course very related to health—but don’t worry: It’ll come up in posts 2, 16, 17 and 18.
1) Monday, November 21st:
2) Thursday, November 24th:
3) Monday, November 28th:
4) Thursday, December 1st:
5) Monday, December 5th:
6) Thursday, December 8th:
Big Pharma–Getting Rid of the Revolving Door or Promoting It? Reducing drug prices or keeping the status quo?
7) Monday, December 12th:
Will Trump Aid AIDS? Trump’s Views on Contraception, Abortion, and HIV Care
8) Thursday, December 15th:
The Opioid Crisis—Will Trump Tackle the US Epidemic?
9) Monday, December 19th:
An Analysis of Trump’s New Health and Human Services Secretary
10) Thursday, December 22nd:
Foreign Aid—What does Trump Mean for Africa? Nepal? The MMC? PEPFAR?
11) Monday, December 26th:
Trump on Immigration—Is He Building a Wall? How is This Related to Health?
12) Thursday, December 29th:
R&D—And How the New House FY2017 Budget Will Affect It
13) Monday, January 2nd:
Shall We Say Goodbye to FDA Phase III Clinical Trials?
14) Thursday, January 5th:
The Future of Biotech
15) Monday, January 9th:
Paid Maternity Leave (WOOHOO!!!!!!!!)
16) Thursday, January 12th:
Is This the End of Certain Departments as We Know Them? (Veterans Affairs, Department of Education, USAID, EPA)
17) Monday, January 16th:
What can Trump Actually Do Without Congress?
18) Thursday, January 19th:
What We Can Expect in the First 100 Days