2013-05-21 14:34:38

Democracy Now! 2013-05-21 Tuesday

Dozens have been killed and more than 200 wounded in a devastating tornado in Oklahoma. The storm tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, leveling two elementary schools, a hospital and scores of homes destroyed. Rescue crews continue to dig through the rubble in a bid to find survivors. It was the deadliest tornado to hit the United States since 161 people were killed in Joplin, Missouri, two years ago. We’re joined by two guests: Beverly Allam, an Oklahoma resident who lives a few miles from Moore and lost everything in the state’s tornado in May 1999, and Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.

In their new book, "The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills," economist David Stuckler and physician Sanjay Basu examine the health impacts of austerity across the globe. The authors estimate there have been more than 10,000 additional suicides and up to a million extra cases of depression across Europe and the United States since governments started introducing austerity programs in the aftermath of the economic crisis. For example in Greece, where spending on public health has been slashed by 40 percent, HIV rates have jumped 200 percent and the country has seen its first malaria outbreak since the 1970s. An economist and public health specialist, Stuckler is a senior research leader at Oxford University. Dr. Basu is a physician and epidemiologist who teaches at Stanford University. "Had austerity been organized like a clinical trial, it would’ve been discontinued given evidence of its deadly side effects," Stuckler says. "There is an alternative choice that we found in the historical data and through the present recessions: When we place people and their health at the center of economic recovery, it can help get our economy back on track faster and yield lasting dividends to our society."

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