TB IN THE NEWS
Read lots more TB news on our website page ‘From TB Wire’!
We need you to weigh in! Keep asking your Members of Congress to co-sponsor the End TB Now Act, H.1776/S.288!! First the good news: the End TB Now Act has passed through both the House and the Senate Committees! Here’s a helpful fact sheet and a press release about the End TB Now Act.
Please continue to ask your Representatives and Senators to co-sponsor this important bi-partisan bill! Special thanks to Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. María Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) for being the lead sponsors. Call and write your members of Congress to ask they co-sponsor the End TB Now Act today, or thank them if they are signed on (Reps here, and Senators here).
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 1-202-224-3121 and ask for your senator/representative or give your state if you do not know their name. When you are connected to an office, ask for the Health Legislative Assistant. If you leave a voicemail message, include your name, phone number, and email so that they can respond.
Sample message: I am a constituent from [your town] and I am calling to urge Sen./Rep.____ to co-sponsor the End Tuberculosis Now Act of 2023. Additionally, the End TB Now Act has passed through the committees, and I am looking to your leadership to bring it to the floor. Would you please ask [Senator Schumer (if your Senator is Democrat)/Senator McConnell (if your Senator is Republican) or if a Representative - Representative Jeffries (if a Democrat)/McCarthy (if a Republican)] to bring this bill to the [House/Senate] floor?
The bill outlines a plan and critical actions to align tuberculosis efforts in the U.S. with international efforts. TB, an airborne infectious disease, is once again the leading global infectious disease killer. TB cases and deaths are rising across the globe. [Add a sentence about why you care about TB elimination.] The End TB Now Act will amplify our ability to end TB as a public health threat. I urge Sen./Rep. ____ to cosponsor this very important bill. Thank you for your consideration!
Discover many more peer-reviewed articles on our website page ‘Peer-Reviewed Publications’ !
We are excited to launch our new feature of the TB Wire – the TB Bookshelf! I have often heard that TB is the disease most featured in the arts (operas like La Boehme, books like The Constant Gardner, movies like Molin Rouge, TV series like All Creatures Great and Small and Peaky Blinders, etc.), but the non-fiction stories can be even more compelling.
Thus, with the help of our Coordinating Board (and any of you if you are interested in great reads!) we will present a short exploration of a TB-related book once a month at the end of each TB Wire. Appropriately for February, which is Black History Month, we will be starting with Maria Smilios' The Black Angels: The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis. Enjoy the extra prep for how we #EndTB!
CDC’s new What You Need to Know About Tuberculosis fact sheet is now available in English, Spanish, and Ukrainian. The fact sheet provides basic information about TB transmission, symptoms, testing, and treatment.
The fact sheet can be downloaded from the CDC TB website. Print copies are available to order free of charge on the CDC On Demand website.
CDC TB Skin Test Fact Sheet Available in Tagalog and Vietnamese
CDC’s What You Need to Know About the TB Skin Test fact sheet is now available in Tagalog and Vietnamese. Download the fact sheet in English, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese from the CDC TB website.
HIGHLIGHTED TB REPORTS/UPDATES
Read more reports and updates on our website page ‘From TB Wire’!
New CDC Fact Sheet: "What You Need to Know About Tuberculosis”
Uniting for Ukraine: Tuberculosis Information and Resources:
CDC has released new tuberculosis (TB) resources to increase awareness about the TB screening and attestation requirements of the Uniting for Ukraine program. Resources are available in Ukrainian, Russian, and English. Learn more: www.cdc.gov/unitingforukraine.
Find more TB resources on our website page ‘TB Resources’!
The Black Angels by Maria Smilios
Maria Smilios’ triumph of science writing and history, The Black Angels, opens in 1929 with mass resignations of white nurses at New York City’s Sea View Hospital creating a vacuum in care so severe that administrators were willing to recruit from black universities. And into those jobs stepped the book’s protagonists, Edna, Missouria, and Virginia.
Black Angels documents their next quarter century in the treatment trenches, but also discusses subjects ranging from TB research–in the petri dish, the patients, the pharmaceutical boardroom, and the press–, to New York City politics, to Nazis including those in stateside POW camps being cared for by the black angels. And it is this seamless, repeated circling back to the angels that provides the structural and personal foundation to the book. After all, the numbers are so staggering–even once a successful treatment is found – it’s easy to forget that everyone involved–patient, caregiver, bureaucrat, researcher–is an individual with their own perspectives, approaches and reactions.
Smilios makes it clear where our sympathies should lie, but though the book is about “angels”, it is not a hagiography, nor are even the worst of the “devils” cardboard villains (which in some cases would be an improvement.) The angels face unrelenting racism, classism and sexism–in all cases institutional and individual–which feel unfortunately contemporary in a book set almost a century ago. (A further echo of today: masking was not allowed for care workers.)
But none of the devils compare to the disease itself, and Smilios shows us the tolls, financial, societal, psychological and most importantly, physical. In the latter category she doesn’t shy from details, be it from the bacillus or the treatments, but she trusts the reader: Black Angels is sickness porn nor is it a clinical catalog of suffering, the kind we’ve grown used to in televised ads for prescription drugs.
Her experience as a science book editor comes through in the breadth and depth of the research which is as impressive as the balancing act she achieves with the topics. There are many fine books about tuberculosis, but in spite of its seemingly narrow focus, one should feel perfectly comfortable handing a copy to someone new to the subject, saying, “Read the main text, then go to the footnotes and bibliography, and follow whatever interests you.”