Friday, August 19, 2016

Zika Mosquitos in Florida! Kill Them! Rare Pediatric Cancer Clusters in Florida! Ignore Them! ... by gimleteye

The Florida Department of Health is sitting on data involving rare pediatric clusters in South Florida. One is in Miami-Dade County. One is in the region of Lake Okeechobee. That's according to analyses of available data by a team led by University of West Florida professor Raid Amin and five independent confirmations of that work by the American Statistical Association.

Purposely, the Florida Department of Health -- under directions of Gov. Rick Scott's administration -- has refused to release the exact locations of families with children suffering from rare cancers.

Why is government so quick to release detailed maps of Zika clusters, but not rare pediatric cancer victims? In Rick Scott's silence there is an answer. No one argues against killing disease-causing mosquitos. If the state "finds" rare pediatric cancer clusters, it has to address the question: "why, here?"

In a summer when billions of dollars of coastal real estate, when the personal health of hundreds of thousands of residents has been put at risk by water management policies embraced by the state that dump trillions of gallons of toxics in the environment, it is no wonder that rare pediatric cancer clusters is swept under the rug.

If you are a mother or father of a child who is suffering or who suffered from cancer, you are desperate to know why. If you are a politician who could and should have done more -- except it runs against your ideologies -- you are desperate to hide the facts.

We should deeply care about rare pediatric cancer clusters. Fox 4 News in Fort Myers recently ran a series of reports on this issue. Here is why we should care: children's undeveloped immune systems are bellwethers for toxics. When children get critically ill, in statistically significant numbers, we should all care.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health could easily put this controversy to rest.

Under a confidentiality agreement, share with the American Statistical Association the state's complete data set including street and block location. The data is sitting in a spreadsheet at the Sylvester Cancer Center in downtown Miami.

But Gov. Rick Scott doesn't want anything in the way of cost-cutting agendas involving public health regulation and the environment. As a former entrepreneur in health care, Scott understands how statistical analyses are used by either plaintiffs or defendants in costly, big-dollar tort litigation. With Zika mosquitos, politicians have an insect that can't fight back. With rare pediatric cancers, politicians are scared of what the evidence could turn up.

That's why the newspapers and TV reports are filled with maps showing where Zika has spread but not rare pediatric cancer clusters in Florida. It is a black mark on, especially, Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP majority in the Florida legislature.

Cancer is blind, and so -- apparently -- are voters.


Anonymous said...

IF, we still had a serious press,
and IF whistle blowers where not mercilessly prosecuted as of late,
and IF voters would think before they vote, like a bumper sticker I saw,

Well, then this saga would be long out in the open.

On the other hand, a news organization could ask previously affected people to report to one point with pertinent data, and voila, politician's would be starting to shift in their comfy seats.

Gimleteye said...

One of the reasons we have written this blog ... since 2007 ... is to elevate news that the press has refused to print. It takes a massive catastrophe, like this year's algae bloom, to shift editorial and reporting focus to what we have been saying: Florida is swimming in a sea of pollution. That said, credit is due to reporters like Craig Pittman of the Tampa Bay Times who hang in there. And a younger generation of newspaper editors and leaders are emerging who are more courageous than their predecessors. Overall though, a sorry state of affairs ...

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gimleteye for not only taking on this battle but doing it with such depth and care. Your compositions are beautiful and heartfelt and do make a difference.

Anonymous said...

When you continue to vote for people who want to hurt you and your children, what do you expect? Why do you think we did not get the $1.6 billion dollars President Obama asked to deal with Zika? Now the CDC has told people not to come to Miami-Dade county to avoid getting Zika babies, or being paralyzed. That there are cancer clusters impacting children, who cares among the Republican leaders the voters have put in place? And among those Republicans who control Congress? Let us and our children all die, as long as they stay in office. If Fl can't control it, it will spread. Lord help us if it gets to Louisiana with all that standing water. There are life and death consequences when you vote. Make good choices, your life may depend on it.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you again for your eye opening articles.

It sure seems the media today are the tail wagging the dog.