public health

Debate Amid Coronavirus: Are Single-Use Plastic Bags Safer?

Legal Planet Plastic Bags

How Plastics Companies and Environmental Groups Can Help Us Find an Answer

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, concerns have grown over the safety of grocery bags. Many U.S. states—among them New York, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon—have suspended or delayed their single-use plastic bag bans in the past two months. Some places like Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and San Francisco have gone even further to temporarily ban reusable …

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Are the Coronavirus Models Too Pessimistic?

Unfortunately, if anything, reality has often turned out somewhat worse than predicted.

The White House thinks coronavirus models are too pessimistic. If anything, the evidence suggests the models aren’t pessimistic enough. Their projections of future deaths have often been too low.

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Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Conservatives versus Lockdowns

Spurred on by conservative groups, protesters are demanding that their states go back to business as usual.  This sentiment isn’t limited to the kinds of hotheads who insist on congregating in public during an epidemic, or even to  conservatives like Betsy DeVos who  help to fund these groups and promote their protests. It also includes …

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In Support of Public Health Federalism

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Reactionary State Responses to COVID-19 (and Other Threats to Public Health) Don’t Mean Federalism Is For Suckers

For decades, “states’ rights” has been a rallying cry of the right wing. Most Americans are familiar with the dynamics that required the federalization of civil rights law, both in the 1860s and again in the 1960s, the protection of much of our nation’s federal lands, and the national crises that necessitated the federal government …

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Richard Epstein Strikes Again

Once again, the famed libertarian law professor offers wildly offbase advice.

Having previously pooh-poohed the dangers of the coronavirus, Richard Epstein is now calling for an immediate end to social distancing and business shutdowns.  It’s unfortunate that he has chosen to dig himself deeper into a hole rather than admitting his earlier mistake and moving on. As I discussed in a previous post, Epstein initially predicted …

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The Story of Rona the Roaming Coronavirus

The little virus who loved to make friends.

Once upon a time, there was a little coronavirus named Rona.  Rona loved to make friends with people and play with them.  She could make friends with one person and just a few days later be playing with two or three or four people they met together. Rona’s Uncle Donald told everyone it was ok …

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Trump’s EPA May Cause as Many U.S. Deaths as the Coronavirus

The effects are more gradual, but deregulation could be as deadly as the pandemic.

The Trump Administration has been busy repealing pollution laws that protect public health.  The health impact of these rollbacks isn’t as dramatic as an epidemic.  There’s a credible argument, however, that it will be just as deadly. In order to put some numbers on the effects of deregulation, we need to make some assumptions on …

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We Need an Environmental Dr. Fauci

Much of environmental law is about protecting public health. But the Trump Administration won’t listen.

During the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci has become the voice of reason. Much of the public turns to him for critical information about public health, while even Trump finds it necessary to listen. In the Trump era, no one plays that role in the environmental area. The result is a mindless campaign of deregulation …

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We’re Spending Trillions to Support Businesses. What About Coronavirus Victims?

Discussion of this issue is just beginning, but there’s a strong case for compensation.

The deaths of coronavirus victims are an ominous statistic that people watch anxiously. Many of those victims have left behind spouses, children, or grandchildren who were dependent on them.  While we are spending trillions to help businesses impacted by the coronavirus, so far we are doing nothing for surviving families. We need to start seriously …

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California and the Coronavirus: A Timeline

The first reported California death was a month ago. It seems more like an eon has passed.

How does coronavirus hit a state? First slowly, and then very fast. California was one of the first places in the U.S. to be hit with the coronavirus, and also one of the earliest to take action. Here’s a timeline, with some national events for comparison: January Jan. 25.  First California coronavirus case reported. February …

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