I noticed 2 articles this morning that cover different aspects of this challenge. One talks about the high infant mortality rate in the US, twice as high as in for example Sweden or Japan or Portugal, and the other is concerned about the slow uptake of the Gardasil vaccine with US schoolgirls age 13-17.
As to the infant mortality problem, researchers don’t seem to know exactly why this is the case, there doesn’t seem to be any blatant differences between the rates in whites and non-whites, for one. I’m wondering whether the availability of antenatal and postnatal care may be one factor, and that there may be insufficient screening for genetic abnormalities. The other thing that may come into play here is of course that it is very hard to get an abortion in the US, so many pregnancies may be carried to term where the fetus has abnormalities that are not survivable, which is not the case in first world countries.
As to the Gardasil vaccine, this one is a complete mystery to me, at least with regards to how those parents who refuse to have their children inoculated against cancers of the anus, vulva, penis, cervix and throat caused by the HP virus argue against it. The argument of many of these religious parents seems to be “if the kids can’t get cancer from having sex anymore, they will just fuck like rabbits all the time”. So only about a third of all eligible females have received the full 3 vaccinations to date(here in Australia, it’s about 75%). The notion that HPV vaccination increases promiscuity has been shown to be false. And of course, just with any other vaccine, herd immunity is necessary to prevent the spread of disease, in this case HPV, from one person to another through oral or penetrative sex.
A gargantuan defense budget is one thing, but when the basics of health care are being threatened by a lack of funding and lack of education of the public, then the USA as a country just looks pathetic.