Remember when the soft drink industry spent millions of dollars to get us to vote down a soda tax? I commented on it in an election related post, but the gist of it was that communities wanted the option of using taxes/fees as a means of protecting the health of their people by reducing the consumption of sugary drinks in their community. This led to soft drink companies mega funding a campaign for an initiative to ban such soda taxes. I-1634 as it was called, was fantastically misrepresented as a ban on grocery taxes and the passing of I-1634 will go down in history as a win for large soda companies and a loss for the next generation of Americans.
One committee was registered to support this initiative: Yes! To Affordable Groceries. The committee had raised $22.12 million and had spent $21.45 million. The top five donors—The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Inc., Keurig-Dr. Pepper (formerly Dr. Pepper Snapple Group), Red Bull North America, and the Washington Food Industry Association— had given 98.57 percent of the contributions to the committee.
Another thing I remember is that one of the political parties jumped all over this issue, calling it an attack on our freedom and liberty; kind of like they are calling our public health response to Covid as an attack on our freedom and liberty. There are times and places to play the freedom and liberty card, but ….wait wait wait wait. Yes, yes, yes covid, soda tax, and the such are in fact about freedom, liberty and even our right to pursue happiness, but we should be talking about a peoples right to enact rules to help protect them from harm by way of food poisons and communicable diseases. Nobody has a right to spread disease willy nilly any more than a business has a right to sell carcinogens and poison under the guise of food and drink. Sure wish both political parties would work together for us, rather than use us to carry on their bickering.
Anyway, all that is what came to my mind when I recently read an article titled Diet-related diseases pose a major risk for Covid-19. But the U.S. overlooks them:
The same week British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care for Covid-19, two studies came out identifying obesity as a significant risk factor for serious illness and death. It was April 2020, and doctors were scrambling to understand why coronavirus gave some people mild symptoms and left others so sick they were gasping for air.
If you were to look back at my posts regarding Covid, you’d notice that I was calling this out from the start; that is me along with many other people who were out there talking about the science and health aspect of Covid, rather than Covid related business, economics and politics.
Covid really doesn’t give a rat’s ass about business, economics and politics, but Covid does cause suffering in people across the full spectrum from light symptoms on up to death. Even if you only wan’t to look at Covid from the political aspect, don’t forget that dead people don’t go to work, dead people don’t spend money and for the most part dead people don’t vote. Also, for you liberty loving politicians and political activists, I don’t think that people who are dead or unconscious on a ventilator are giving much thought to freedom and liberty.
Anyone really wanting to help in the freedom and liberty department might want to follow Boris Johnson’s example of getting his people free from disease; we aren’t getting there on our own.
As the pandemic heads into its third year, the connection to diet-related diseases and the overall vulnerability of the American population is a theme that remains absent at the highest levels of government. The only high-level Biden administration official who routinely talks about the issue is Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack — and he brings it up often.
Red, blue, green, yellow, whatever; show me a politician who doesn’t turn a blind eye to the reality of Covid and what we need to defeat so I can vote for them. Simply, every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, needs to start singing the song of the people before the songs of political parties and predatory businesses.
A nation can be mighty, when the citizens put away their political differences, work together for a common vision, a common goal and a common good. – Author: Lailah Gifty Akita