Community Health and the Lake Wobegon Effect

It would be nice if every community could have above average health. The problem of course is that it’s not possible – by definition. But that may not stop Congress from decreeing that whenever "a greater-than-expected number of cases within a group of individuals, a geographical area, or a period of time" is found or just suspected something ought to be done about it. OK, not doable but maybe worthwhile, right?

It’s only worthwhile if you really want to find the answer. Unfortunately, the "Strengthening Protections for Children and Communities From Disease Clusters Act" doesn’t want to find the answer. It only wants to find a particular answer. And that answer is, "using health protective" science, limited to alleged toxins and pollutants.

The attempt to codify ours as the Third Age of the Epidemiologic Transition, one in which man-made illnesses are allegedly our primary source of woe and the only ones for which interventions will work, is especially appalling given the staggering amount of evidence that disease clusters are almost never the result of exposure to chemicals and that infectious diseases are, as ever, the real culprits. To get some idea of just how fast and how often emergent infectious processes may set off illness (including cancer) within a community see "Truly Emerging – A New Disease Caused by a Novel Virus"