A Post-Election Public Health Thanksgiving

November 22, 2016

This year’s election has proven that America is a nation divided, both in ideology and direction for the future, including for public health. There is more immediate uncertainty as many in the Mailman community anticipate family conversations this Thanksgiving. For some, the holiday is an opportunity to reflect with those close to them. Others may be headed for dinner tables seated next to views and votes very different from their own.

Thomas Blaylock in the Department of Health Policy and Management took the lead in contacting Mailman students and faculty for talking points and thoughts going into the holiday feast. Below are responses from Blaylock and seven others.

Unmoored by Trump

by Thomas Blaylock, Associate in Clinical in the Department of Health Policy and Management

"If Trump winning has given me a swift kick off the shore to actually go into the world to do something in my tiny insignificant little life boat, then this election may not be all bad.  What do we do at Thanksgiving? I think we just speak our minds. And also listen."

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Surviving a Louisiana Homecoming this Thanksgiving

by Kittu Pannu, Department of Sociomedical Sciences, MPH '17

"This upcoming Thanksgiving, I’ll be traveling home to one of the reddest of red states: Louisiana. It’s a state where the education and healthcare system ranks among the lowest of its peer states. It’s a place where police brutality recently took center-stage. And it’s my home."

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Deep in the Heart of Texas

Carrie Jiang, Department of Health Policy and Management, MHA '18

"I grew up in Texas, a state famous for gun-toting cowboys and crass, religious bumper stickers. A state where abstinence-only is the main form of sex education, if sex education even exists at all. As much as I love my home state, I’ll be the first to admit that Texas is flawed."

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China, USA, We Cannot Fear Democracy

by Aria Quan, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, MPH '17

"The problems we face do not come from letting people make their own decisions, but rather from the failure to deal with issues derived from the complexities of globalization, economics, and complicated international relationships. Social problems cannot be explained in an oversimplified and one-sided statement."

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Three Health Care Talking Points from an Economist

by Tal Gross, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management 

"But there are separate reasons to be concerned about Donald Trump: he has promised to deport millions of people, he has proposed unconstitutional restrictions on Muslims, he has promised to encourage the military to torture prisoners, he hates the press and seems to be in favor of restrictions on the first amendment, the KKK endorsed him, and so on."

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Republicans, Don’t Let Trump Go Too Far

by Stephanie Kung, Department of Population and Family Health, MPH '17

"I am spending this Thanksgiving with my boyfriend’s family in Ohio. They all voted for Donald Trump. Prior to the election, they spoke with distaste about Trump–about his hate-laden speech and his misogynist words. I know that even though their vote in effect legitimized his bigotry, they do not stand behind it."

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Four Policy Issues from a Public Health Economist

by Bhaven Sampat, PhD, Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management

"The U.S. scientific workforce is heavily reliant on immigrants, and has always been. More generally, science and technology are increasingly global efforts. Anti-immigrant and isolationist rhetoric and policy could have several negative effects on the U.S. scientific and technological enterprise."

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Three Fallacies in Trump’s Immigration Policy

by Stephanie Kung, Department of Population and Family Health, MPH '17

"To deport millions of illegal immigrants requires a colossal increase in federal agents to find and apprehend illegal immigrants, it requires detaining them in detention facilities, moving them through the court system, and finally transporting them back to their home countries, all of which costs a lot."

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