public health

Weekend reads: Veto rally sets up a legislative showdown, the latest battles in education, and a new face enters the 2024 race for NC governor

BY: - May 14, 2023

In this issue: 1. Crowd cheers Gov. Roy Cooper as he vetoes abortion ban A crowd cheered Gov. Roy Cooper as he vetoed a Republican-authored abortion ban in an unusual rally that capped off a week of attempts to pressure a small group of GOP legislators into letting the veto stand.  Some bills are signed […]

Photo gallery: Veto rally draws big crowds as NC’s governor vows to fight Republican-backed abortion restrictions

BY: - May 13, 2023

Thousands gathered on Raleigh’s Bicentennial Mall Saturday cheering as Gov. Roy Cooper made good on his promise to veto Senate Bill 20, the restrictive abortion ban rushed through the Republican-controlled legislature with little public input and zero amendments. The governor will need at least one Republican to rethink their position in order to sustain his […]

a COVID patient

As the COVID public health emergency ends, prepping for a new pandemic is next

BY: - May 11, 2023

WASHINGTON — After more than three years and 1.1 million deaths, the United States on Thursday will end the public health emergency for COVID-19 — and Congress is attempting to better prepare for a possible resurgence of that virus or another. The expiration of the designation, originally put in place in January 2020, means alterations […]


Environmental groups file civil rights complaint against DEQ over scant poultry farm regulations

BY: - May 3, 2023

Jefferson Currie, the Lumber River Riverkeeper, drove his truck down St. Paul’s Road, a narrow, sandy stretch near the Robeson-Hoke County line and began counting the chicken barns: “Four, eight, twelve … this is a 48-barn operation,” Currie said, “at 35,000 per barn” – doing the math, that’s roughly 1.7 million birds being raised for […]

U.S. judge rules insurers don’t have to cover many free preventive health services

BY: - March 30, 2023

[This story has been updated.] WASHINGTON — Health insurance companies may no longer need to cover a wide swath of preventive health care services that were required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act, under a federal judge’s ruling issued Thursday in Texas. The decision could affect millions of Americans’ access to no-cost preventive health care […]

Medical marijuana

North Carolina should learn from other places and try to do marijuana right

BY: - March 21, 2023

Cannabis – aka marijuana. Most Americans already live in a state where it’s lawful to sell, obtain and possess – either for medical purposes, recreational purposes or both – and the genie is clearly not going back in the bottle.

Town Hall on Youth Mental Health to be held in Winston-Salem Thursday

BY: - March 16, 2023

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will hold a town hall Thursday evening on the mental health crisis among children and teens. The discussion will bring together NCDHHS officials and state lawmakers to get input from the public and talk about possible solutions. The most recent data from the federal Centers for […]

Child vaccination rates, already down because of COVID, fall again

BY: - January 17, 2023

Child vaccination rates dipped into dangerous territory during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when schools were shuttered, and most doctors were only seeing emergency patients. But instead of recovering after schools reopened in 2021, those historically low rates worsened, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Experts fear that the skepticism of science and distrust of government that flared up during the pandemic are contributing to the decrease.

Monday numbers: A closer look at the mounting toll of fentanyl on the nation’s youth

BY: - January 16, 2023

Last year, Policy Watch delved into the epidemic within the opioid epidemic: the terrifying rise of synthetic opioid fentanyl and staggering number of deaths it has caused in North Carolina and across the country. This month a new analysis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data by the non-profit Families Against Fentanyl shed new light on the ongoing crisis, particularly deaths among children 14 and under. The group’s analysis found fentanyl deaths among that group are rising faster than any other, tripling nationwide in just two years from 2019 to 2021 (the last year for which full CDC data is available). Over the same period, fentanyl deaths among infants increased twice as fast as overall deaths.

Vanderbilt Medical experts: Climate change affects health

BY: - November 15, 2022

An increase in auto-inflammatory diseases, skin conditions and even cancer may result from creeping global climate change, healthcare professionals said during a Monday seminar hosted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center as part of a series on health equity. “I think it’s important to take a step back and just acknowledge that climate change impacts every […]

Monkeypox cases are in sharp decline. Could the outbreak be over?

BY: - October 19, 2022

WASHINGTON — New monkeypox cases have been trending downward nationwide for more than two months, giving some hope the decades-old virus that had its first major outbreak in the United States this year is nearly under control, or even on its way out. However, experts caution that Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data broken […]

Monday numbers: Alarming levels of lead in drinking water at UNC-Chapel Hill

BY: - September 26, 2022

Last month, UNC-Chapel Hill detected lead in the water coming from the drinking fountains in the campus’ Wilson Library. After removing the fountains and expanding testing, this month the university has documented lead in fountains and sinks from a half-dozen campus buildings.