LANCET CONTINUES SLIDE TO IRRELEVANCE: WHY IS LANCET NOT TELLING THE WHOLE TRUTH CONCERNING VENEZUELA?
“The rising prosperity of Venezuela during the 20th century helped to consolidate gains in health outcomes made over decades. Now, a country rich in natural resources is submerged in a complex humanitarian emergency due to the politico-economic crisis that started in 2008, progressively destroying the health-care system.” The opening paragraph from a Lancet editorial being discussed below
Yesterday, the medical journal Lancet, led by editor Dr. Richard Horton, published a couple of articles on the state of affairs of healthcare and living conditions in Venezuela (Venezuela’s Public Health Crisis: A Regional Emergency and Venezuelans’ Right to Health Crumbles Amid Political Crisis). What can be gleaned from reading these two short pieces? Here is a verbatim account of what’s taking place in Venezuela, according to Lancet. Be aware that the authors admit that “The effect of the crisis on public health has been difficult to quantify since the Venezuelan Ministry of Health stopped publishing crucial public health statistics in 2016.” As commonly seen in medical research, FAILING TO PUBLISH is clear evidence of trying to cover up the truth.
- An economic crisis with 10 million percent (10,000,000%) hyperinflation.
- Shortages of everything healthcare, as well as interruption of all services (“Over the past decade, public health measures in Venezuela have substantially declined“).
- Healthcare workers fleeing the country along with Venezuelan citizens, creating another crisis in bordering countries like Brazil and Columbia.
- Skyrocketing death-rates (“Outbreaks and expanding epidemics of infectious diseases associated with declines in basic public health services are threatening the health of the country and the region“).
- Skyrocketing infant mortality.
- Skyrocketing maternal mortality.
- Skyrocketing rates of Dengue Fever, malaria, Chagas, and many others.
- 8 of 10 Venezuelans have no reliable water supply (less than 25% of healthcare facilities have running water —- and “the water that does reach the population is of poor quality or not potable“).
- Most of the population is without electricity.
- There is nothing to eat (“the cost of daily food out of reach for nine in ten Venezuelans“). I’ve seen reports that in 2018, the average Venezuelan adult lost something like 20 plus lbs.
Horton ended his editorial with the words, “The right to health and to food cannot be politicized and the international community is failing if these universal rights are not restored in Venezuela.” Although I would certainly agree on some level, “politicizing” is exactly what has rendered this once mighty journal, in many ways, irrelevant. After all, it was six months ago last week that Horton gave us The Death and Rebirth of Globalism, in which he accused the free world (particularly the US) of being guilty of creating “A collection of feelings—doubt, anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, insecurity—that are fueling a post-globalism moment of economic protectionism and identity politics” that he says is destroying the world, some countries more than others.
Horton listed these countries, which contained some of the worst offenders of human rights not only currently, but of the past century as well. Of course Venezuela made the list. I only bring this up because 16 short months ago Horton was actually praising the healthcare systems of countries like Venezuela. You see, it was Horton who wrote the November 2017 editorial (EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT) titled Medicine and Marx, where he stated in no uncertain terms the world should be looking toward communism as the solution to its burgeoning healthcare woes and cost over-runs. Don’t you think that Horton should have asked some Venezuelans first? That’s exactly what Cabot Phillips did in last month’s interview of New York City Venezuelans protesting against Maduro and his politics.