Bill Gates & the Media; Medicare B Premiums; NFT Fever
08:23 GMT 19.11.2021 (Updated: 13:54 GMT 06.08.2022)
Opioid deaths hit record highs during the pandemic. How a solid investment in public health infrastructure could alleviate this crisis.
Alan Macleod, senior staff writer for MintPress News, author, journalist, and media analyst, and a member of the Glasgow University Media Group, joins us to talk about philanthropy and what it means for billionaires to be funding media endeavours. We talk about compiled data indicating that Bill Gates has donated over $300 million to various media organisations in the US and around the world, what sort of specific activities this money is funding, and how this could shape the way news is covered by recipient organisations. We also talk about how donations always come with strings attached, and what this means for unbiased reporting.
Morgan Artyukhina, writer and news editor at Sputnik News, joins us to talk about the news that the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention uncovered 15 vials in a storage facility owned by pharmaceutical giant Merck in eastern Pennsylvania labelled "smallpox" and "vaccinia", and the mystery of how these potentially deadly viruses ended up there in the first place.
Dr Bill Honigman, retired emergency physician and California State Coordinator and Healthcare Issue Team Coordinator for Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), talks to us about reports that overdose deaths in the US hit record numbers during the pandemic, with more than 100,000 deaths. We talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant issues like economic precarity, anxiety, and depression are drivers for this increase in mortality, how the lack of infrastructure in poorer states may have exacerbated the problem, and what the government could do to alleviate this crisis. We also talk about the increase in Medicare B premiums, which may erase the increase in benefits that people saw last year, and how this could be tied to the introduction of a new and very expensive drug to treat Alzheimer's, whose efficacy has been questioned by medical professionals.
Brennan Hall, NFT and crypto enthusiast, talks to us about the craze over "Non-Fungible Tokens" or NFTs, what they actually are, and their connection to cryptocurrency trading, and the confusion around these markets.
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