New cases and deaths from COVID in Florida continue to decline

While other states are dealing with increases of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Governor Ron DeSantis appears to have steered Florida through difficult times of COVID cases and deaths. With a 7-day average of 1,500 recent cases among Florida’s 21.5 million population, the state has 95 deaths over a 7-day average.

Palm Beach County had no deaths yesterday and has had a 7-day average of 5 deaths for its 1.5 million population. The county has had 103 new cases over a 7-day average.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Urges Sen. Booker’s Nutrition Hearing to Address Rising Obesity Rates With Plant-Based Diet

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Nutrition specialists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit of more than 17,000 doctors, contributed a statement for the record for today’s United States Senate Agriculture Committee hearing entitled “The State of Nutrition in America 2021.” In its statement, the Physicians Committee urges Congress to explore the growing evidence of meat and dairy’s links to chronic disease and the many benefits of a plant-based diet.

The Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research is holding this hearing to examine the state of nutrition in this country and to explore the many disparities related to food policy. Subcommittee Chair Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Mike Braun (R-IN) recently introduced a bill to convene a new White House conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health.

“Foremost in Congress’s minds should be rising rates of obesity in the United States, especially among people of color, and that nutrition policy in this country still does not warn against the risks of consuming processed meat or dairy, or the benefits of a plant-based diet,” says Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and president of the Physicians Committee. “Additionally, more evidence shows that a plant-based diet may help prevent severe COVID-19.”

In 2015, after 22 experts from 10 countries assessed more than 800 epidemiological studies, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified consumption of processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.”

Research shows that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily also increases the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and overall cancer mortality. Studies show that processed meat also increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Other studies have linked it to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Red meat also increases the risk of heart diseasediabetes, and certain cancers.

Dairy products are a leading source of saturated fat in the American diet. Scientific evidence also shows that milk and other dairy products increase the risk of asthmabreastovarian, and prostate cancers, cognitive decline, and early death, and offer little if any protection for bone health.
Dairy products also cause bloating, diarrhea, and gas in the tens of millions of Americans who have lactose intolerance, the natural progression of not breaking down sugar in milk.

The National Institutes of Health estimates approximately 95% of Asians, 60% to 80% of African Americans, 80% to 100% of American Indians, and 50% to 80% of Hispanics are lactose intolerant. Though once considered a disease, lactose intolerance is actually the norm for most humans; after infancy, most people not of European descent—about 70% of the world’s population—become physically uncomfortable after consuming dairy.

“A plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is a great way to achieve good health,” Dr. Barnard says. “These foods are full of fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. Eating a variety of these foods provides all the protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients your body needs.”
Those who eat a plant-based diet lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions:

“Congress should have a frank and honest debate about what’s on Americans’ dinner plates and should highlight the links that meat and dairy—foods heavily subsidized by the federal government—have to chronic disease,” Dr. Barnard adds. “The Physicians Committee looks forward to continue to engage with federal policymakers on the benefits of a plant-based diet.”

Florida continues to do well with COVID-19 response

COVID-19 has devastated the economies of many states in the union and most countries across the globe. Yet, COVID has not had a larger death rate to the population than other diseases. While any death is tragic no matter the cause, the number of Floridians who have passed away because of COVID remains relatively small. Florida is arguably one of the most vulnerable states in the nation because of its large number of elderly who are more susceptible to death from COVID-19 than younger populations. The following numbers are only those we can get from government sources and those have been called into question as often being inflated causes of death because of COVID.

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An important point when reading articles or watching the news is we are often given the total numbers of COVID cases and deaths, which have happened over the course of about 22 months (almost two years). So, for this article and the numbers below, I have broken them down to being based on yearly averages. We count all diseases on a yearly basis and it is unclear why our government officials and much in the media choose to use total numbers when talking about COVID-19. Breaking the numbers down by year or even by month and season has been the traditional and more rational way to keep track of the severity of diseases affecting us humans.

For instance, according to USAFacts.org, Florida’s total deaths from COVID-19 have been .15% annually of the state’s 21,570,527 person population. Florida has had 58,933 deaths because of COVID and broken down by 22 months comes to about 2,678 deaths per month. Multiply that by 12 months in a year, the average number of annual deaths in Florida because of COVID is 32,145. This would be our third leading cause of death in Florida, distantly behind heart disease and cancer. While heart disease and cancer are not communicable diseases, the bulk of deaths for these diseases are preventable, as with COVID-19. Yet we have not shut down the economy because of heart disease or cancer, and in fact, the government has been complicit in approving of and promoting things that cause heart disease and cancer in Floridians.

Until we get a handle on the best ways to combat the virus, it may be a good idea to protect yourself with a boost to your immune system with healthy eating, supplementation, and exercise.

Fortunate for those who have contracted COVID and survived now have natural immunity, which will help them combat COVID-19 and many of its variants. Since COVID is a novel virus, we continue to collect more data that will help us determine how effective natural immunity and synthetic vaccines are in combatting the disease.

Should the unvaccinated pay more for health insurance?

There have been several polls asking the questions if those Americans not vaccinated should pay more for health insurance. Most of the polls show an even split of opinions, though when asked of those who have been vaccinated, it is a clear majority opinion of ‘yes’. The theory, of course, is that the unvaxxed among us will cost our healthcare system more so than those who have been vaccinated.

This is a decision most likely to come from health insurers and perhaps from the federal government. After all, the federal government’s Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) allows for smokers to be charged up to 50 percent more than non-smokers by health insurers. For instance, Florida smokers are charged 50 percent more while smokers in Colorado only pay 15 percent more than non-smokers.

If the unvaccinated were to be charged to help extra costs insurers may incur, then this would open the door wider for those who are obese, choose poor diets, do not exercise or consume unhealthy amounts of alcohol. After all, if it is fair to charge higher premiums for not getting vaccinated for COVID-19, then it would be fair to charge more for soda drinkers, processed meat eaters, etc. Heart disease and cancer account for far more deaths each month than COVID-19, so where are the supporters of higher premiums for regular fast food consumers?

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Florida’s Dept of Health out with latest COVID-19 “situation report” – death to population remains under .2%

Leaders have squandered this opportunity to help get Americans to adopt healthier habits, which would reduce our collective healthcare costs in the future.

The Department of Health for the State of Florida has published its weekly COVID-19 Situation Report with its numbers through August 19, 2021. The numbers of new COVID-19 cases seem to have leveled off and we will see if that continues its plateau or declines as expected. According to the state government’s numbers, .192 percent of the Florida population has passed away because of COVID-19 over the last 1 1/2 years. Meanwhile, over the same time period, .318% of the state’s population has died of heart disease and .31% of the state population has died of cancer. Most heart disease and cancer deaths are preventable, which brings forth the question as to why there is such a major focus on COVID-19 when deaths from other preventable diseases are left in the shadows.

Some would answer that it is because COVID-19 is a transmittable disease, while cancer and heart disease are not, which would be correct. Yet, the government has been leading the charge to prevent COVID-19 infections and has been unsuccessfully regardless of the massive mandates, spending taxpayer money it does not have, and forcing businesses to close or heavily modify how they operate.

Why do they not do the same to help prevent the two leading causes of death? Because heavy government restrictions do not work. They did not work with COVID-19 and have been proven not to work with alcohol (a proven cause of cancer). It has been proven that processed meats cause cancer, yet there have been no Draconian actions taken against our local delis. Restaurants may serve unhealthy foods laden with salt (known causation of heart disease), yet politicians are quick to kill the restaurant industry with bizarre and non-science-based restrictions to prevent COVID-19.

If politicians were truly interested in saving lives and following the science, they would propose bans on fried foods, alcohol, excessive salt, sugar, etc. The reason that doesn’t happen is that we would laugh them out of office even though the science would back them and such actions would never work because it would create a black market in those items. We would hear from politicians and science experts that besides getting vaccinated against COVID-19, the population may want to take other healthy actions to boost their immune systems to live a healthier life. Leaders have squandered this opportunity to help get Americans to adopt healthier habits, which would reduce our collective healthcare costs in the future.

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Most Americans feel medical professionals should treat those without COVID vaccinations

Recently, there has been much discussion whether doctors and nurses should treat those unvaccinated for COVID-19 for non-life threatening ailments. A YouGov survey of of almost 7,700 was released yesterday asked: “Do you think it is acceptable or unacceptable for medical professionals to refuse to treat people with non-life-threatening ailments who are unvaccinated against COVID-19?”

Most respondents found it unacceptable to not treat patients who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 while 29 percent suggested it would be perfectly acceptable to not treat them. And 19 percent did not know whether it was acceptable or unacceptable.

About half of Palm Beach County residents have been fully vaccinated

According to the most recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data, 49.6 percent of Palm Beach County, Florida residents have been fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus. And at least 56.8 percent of county residents have received at least one dose. And those with natural immunity, those who have contracted COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2, are 16 percent of the county population. Unfortunately, we are not able to have access to data on how many of those who had COVID-19 also got one of the three methods of manufactured vaccines.

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Palm Beach County has seen a small rise in COVID-19 cases there have not been any deaths. As for the number of county hospital beds being devoted to COVID-19 patients that remains at well under 10 percent, where is has remained since March 2021.

Tony Robbins sits down with Sanjay Gupta to discuss brain health

American neurosurgeon, medical reporter, and writer Sanjay Gupta joins Tony Robbins for an engaging conversation about brain health and its effects on your life. From movement to nourishment to rest, Robbins and Gupta share life hacks that are proven to improve both the quality and longevity of your life from Sanjay Gupta’s newest book “Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age“. Learn and laugh with these experts as they take you on a journey through innovative scientific information and inspiration about brain health and exciting developments for the future of this science.

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The future is vegan according to yet another survey

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Whole Foods Market revealed its first-ever plant-based trend predictions, with nut-based cheese alternatives, banana blossoms and creamy cashew dips topping the list. Looking ahead to summer and beyond, the grocer’s Trends Council pooled members’ industry knowledge, product-sourcing expertise and hands-on work with emerging and existing plant-forward brands to inform the predictions.

The choice to highlight plant-based predictions comes at a time when shoppers are focusing on eating more plants. According to a recent study by The Hartman Group, nearly half (48%) of consumers look for products labeled as “plant-based.”

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“Plant-based is the grocery category to watch right now as brands continue to innovate by using new ingredients and processes that make plant-based products exciting for shoppers,” said Parker Brody, Senior Global Category Merchant for Plant-Based at Whole Foods Market. “And in the laid-back days of summer, we find that customers are breaking out of their routines and are more open to trying something new, whether they’re longtime vegans or just starting to experiment with plant-based eating. So, expect to see gourmet plant-based cheese alternative spreads at picnics and fish alternatives made from banana blossoms on the grill this season.”

Whole Foods Market’s top five plant-based trends for the summer:

Alternative Cheeses Go Gourmet

Give summer charcuterie boards an upgraded, plant-based twist with a distinctive assortment of cheese alternatives that are all dairy free. While using nut-based milks and ingredients like black garlic truffle, dill Havarti and chive is unique, plant-based cheese makers are also replicating the methods used to make dairy cheeses for more authentic textures and flavors. Including a plant-based cheese will take your picnic basket to the next level.

BBQ for All (Yes, Even Vegans)

Remember when corn ribs broke the internet? Buckle up for more plants hitting the grill this summer that go far beyond the veggie burger: Think plant-based products like hot dogs, Italian-style sausages and even jackfruit BBQ. From algae-based casing to hickory smoke concentrate, these vegetarian options have unique ingredients making it easy (and flavorful) to incorporate more plants into cookouts. Mixing up classic grilling go-tos will leave meat lovers and vegetarians alike wanting more.

Pint-Sized and Plant-Based

Gone are the days of pleading with the kids to eat their fruits and veggies. For the littlest of eaters, brands are providing plant-forward options that come in kid-approved forms like nuggets, yogurt tubes and ice pops (did we mention they’re superhero themed?). These products are perfect for sneaking fruits and veggies into their meal and great for on-the-go backyard explorations.

Plant-Based Catch of the Day

Get ready for a recent wave of seafood substitutes that will be sure to surprise and impress! Ingredients like legumes and banana blossoms are being used to mimic the flaky texture of the real thing. This means alternative fish sticks, no-tuna sandwiches and a whole new depth of flavor in an otherwise simple fish dinner. So pop open some bubbly and wow friends with this fresh take on seafood.

Dairy-Free Dips in Disguise

Searching for a creamy dip to pair with a summer crudité spread? Look no further than these buttery-smooth and spreadable dips and cream cheese alternatives. Highlighting traditionally milky flavors like French onion, ranch and queso, they’re a fun and effortless way to enhance any starter course. They’re not just for dipping – smear on bagels, spread on sandwiches or dollop on crusty bread for a midday snack.

Rand Paul’s amendment to permanently ban funding of gain-of-function research passes U.S. Senate

The U.S. Senate passed U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s amendment that would permanently ban all funding of gain-of-function research in China. This is following much back-and-forth with Dr. Fauci, and continually defending against the use of American taxpayer dollars in funding gain-of-function research, which aims to enhance the infectiousness or severity of a virus. The amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Dr. Roger Marshall (R-KS), U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN), and U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC).

“We don’t know whether the pandemic started in a lab in Wuhan or evolved naturally,” said Dr. Paul. “While many still deny funding gain-of-function research in Wuhan, experts believe otherwise. The passage of my amendment ensures that this never happens in the future. No taxpayer money should have ever been used to fund gain-of-function research in Wuhan, and now we permanently have put it to a stop.”

Senate Amendment 2003 bans the National Institutes of Health and any other U.S. agency from funding any gain-of-function research in China.

The amendment defines gain-of-function research as “any research project that may be reasonably anticipated to confer attributes to influenza, MERS, or SARS viruses such that the virus would have enhanced pathogenicity or transmissibility in mammals.” This is the same definition the NIH used when implementing a funding moratorium on gain-of-function research in 2014-2017.

The origin of the COVID-19 virus is unknown. It has yet to be determined if the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or because of a laboratory accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China. But this pandemic, and the questions of its origin, has exposed the inherent risk of gain-of-function research and never again will taxpayer dollars fund this type of research in China.

During a Senate HELP hearing on May 11, Dr. Paul specifically asked Dr. Fauci about the funding of gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, and the potential link between the COVID-19 outbreak and the lab itself. Gain-of-function research essentially involves juicing up naturally occurring animal viruses to infect humans.

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For years, Dr. Ralph Baric, a virologist in the U.S. has been collaborating with Dr. Shi Zhengli of the Wuhan Virology Institute, sharing his discoveries about how to create super viruses. During their research, Dr. Baric and Dr. Shi worked together to insert bat virus spike protein into the backbone of the deadly SARS virus and then used the man-made super virus to infect human airway cells.

They funded much of the research they were doing through Dr. Fauci’s NIH and NIAID.

When Dr. Paul asked Dr. Fauci whether he supports the NIH funding of the lab in Wuhan, Dr. Fauci, a strong supporter and ardent advocate of gain-of-function research, claimed that the NIH “has not ever and does not now fund gain-of-function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

Despite Dr. Fauci’s previous denials, there is ample evidence and backing by the scientific community that the NIH and the NIAID, under his direction, funded gain-of-function research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. A multitude of scientists have reviewed this research and said it meets the definition for gain-of-function. Many of these scientists have also discussed the inherent dangers of conducting gain-of-function research and the risks it poses to the human population.

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