Up Six Points as Buttigieg and Biden Stall, Sanders Takes Commanding Lead in New Iowa Poll 

Up Six Points as Buttigieg and Biden Stall, Sanders Takes Commanding Lead in New Iowa Poll

The new Times poll showed Sanders with 25 percent of the Iowa vote and 40 percent of support from those under 30 in the state.

By Andrea Germanos

Sen. Bernie Sanders has a strong lead over his Democratic rivals among likely voters in Iowa, according to a new New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday, just over a week out from the state’s caucuses.

The Vermont senator had the backing of 25 percent of respondents—a six-point surge since the Times-Siena poll from late October.

Support for Former Vice Presdient Joe Biden and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg is unchanged since the last poll, with Biden at 17 percent and Buttigieg at 18 percent in each.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 15 percent put her in fourth place in the new poll, a drop from the 22 percent that put her at the top of the Demcratic pack in October.

The support captured by Sanders from younger likely Iowa caucus goers blows away his rivals.

Sanders had 40 percent of support from those under 30. Warren and Buttigieg came in distant second for that age group, with each getting 16 percent. Biden had 10 percent, and no other candidate scraped double digits.

For those aged 30-44, Sanders was again in the lead with 31 percent. Trailing well behind at 19 percent, Warren and Buttigieg tied for second place, and Biden followed with 14 percent.

Biden bested his rivals with voters over 65, nabbing 32 percent with Buttigieg a distant second at 17 percent.

The survey of 584 voters was conducted Jan. 20-23 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points.

A possible factor in Sanders’s lead in the new poll, progressive journalists John Nichols and Krystal Ball suggested on Twitter, could be senator’s rejection of President Donald Trump’s march to war with Iran

As the Times reported, “the race remains up for grabs”—39 percent said they could be persuaded to caucus for a different candidate. Still, another good sign for Sanders’s supporters was the out earlier this month from Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom that put him in the lead with 20 percent, a five-point surge in support from November.

Sanders, on Twitter, said Saturday that it was not a moment for complacency.

“We’ve got a long way to go,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough fight and we can’t take anything for granted. Knock on doors. Make phone calls. Do everything you can.”

Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses are February 3.

Source: Up Six Points as Buttigieg and Biden Stall, Sanders Takes Commanding Lead in New Iowa Poll | Common Dreams News

Amid Years of Funding Cuts to Public Health, First US Case of China’s Coronavirus Detected

Amid Years of Funding Cuts to Public Health, First US Case of China’s Coronavirus Detected

Public health advocates say state, local, and federal agencies are underprepared to cope with the spread of a new infectious disease.

By Julia Conley

Officials in Washington State reported Tuesday that a resident was diagnosed with the coronavirus which was first detected in Wuhan, China last month, leading federal public health agencies which have suffered billions of dollars in cuts in recent years to issue warnings and post information about the illness.

“This is an evolving situation and again, we do expect additional cases in the United States and globally,” Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told the Washington Post.

On social media, observers in both the U.S. and Canada noted that the spread of the coronavirus follows cuts to the CDC and other agencies.

The Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonpartisan public health advocacy group, published a report last April saying that public health efforts are currently underfunded by $4.5 billion.

“Recent increases to funding for public health emergency preparedness, including for weather-related emergencies, have not made up for resources lost in earlier years, let alone emerging threats,” the group wrote. “The CDC also lacks sufficient dedicated funding to adequately support the cross-cutting, foundational capabilities that form the backbone of comprehensive public health systems at the federal, state, and local levels.”

As Modern Healthcare reported at the time, the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) provides state and local health agencies with the bulk of their funding, but the fund has been slashed numerous times in recent years.

In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a bill that diverted more than $6 billion from the fund over nine years to make up for cuts to Medicare physician payments. President Donald Trump’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans in 2017 slashed the fund by $750 million.

The budget bill passed by Congress in 2018 cut the fund by $1 billion over 10 years. The Trump administration in 2018 further diverted millions of dollars from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“When CDC funding is cut, state and local governments are often forced to reduce funding for critical programs including those to prevent chronic and infectious diseases, to protect environmental health and to provide vaccinations for children, among many others,” said John Auerbach, CEO of TFAH, last year as the group released its report. “These are programs Americans need and support. They shouldn’t be constantly on the chopping-block.”

Public health cuts in recent years have already sent federal officials scrambling to allocate funding in the midst of potential crises, according to Modern Healthcare. The CDC had to request emergency funding in 2014 when a number of people in the U.S. contracted Ebola during West Africa’s epidemic, and in 2016 to fight an outbreak of Zika.

“That kind of funding impedes the ability of public health to actually prevent risk or to respond in a timely manner,” Auerbach told Modern Healthcare. “If the funding comes in the midst of an emergency you’re quickly doing catch-up.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) is meeting Wednesday to determine whether the coronavirus should be considered a global health emergency.

The respiratory illness has killed at least six people in China and has sickened nearly 300 people there, as well as several in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

The risk for the general population in the U.S. is considered low, according to the CDC; older adults with health conditions may be at increased risk for infection.

Source: Amid Years of Funding Cuts to Public Health, First US Case of China’s Coronavirus Detected | Common Dreams News

Gun Rally Underway at Virginia State Capital – LIVESTREAM

Gun Rally Underway at Virginia State Capital – LIVESTREAM

In Virginia, large crowds are gathering at the state’s capital for a gun rally. The protest is in opposition to gun control laws, and has come with many threats of violence, prompting Gov. Ralph Northam to declare a ‘state of emergency’. They began the morning reciting the second amendment, and are dividing into two groups, those willing to lay down their weapons to enter the capital and those that wish to stay armed in the streets of Richmond. 

We may add information as it comes. 

Watch Live Stream Here: