Democracy Now! February 4, 2003

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Democracy Now! February 4, 2003
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What did the seven Columbia astronauts die for? Velcroe? Tractors? Pharmaceuticals? We ll look at the experiments in the sky and the commercialization of space; It s kind of like me putting a spinning gun to my head : a soldier refuses to take the anthrax vaccination and faces court martial; Physicians and Congresspeople present a national health insurance bill; The Price of Oil is too High : hundreds of protests outside gas stations from Logansport, Indiana to London, England

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One-minute music break 9:07-9:09: Today peace demonstrators across the United States and the United Kingdom are trying a new tactic: they re protesting outside gas stations, from Marin County to Miami Beach, from London, England to Logansport, Indiana. Guest: Jen Carr, organizer for Peace Action, one of the groups involved in the international day of action. Contact: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: A year ago, one of the biggest stories in the space world was tourism. Many a newspaper wrote about how for $20 million you could get buy a chance to travel aboard the International Space Station. It was part of the growing commercialization of space. In May of 2001, Pizza Hut became the first company in history to deliver a pizza to outer space. The pizza was topped with salami because pepperoni did not fare well in space. The delivery location was the International Space Station. In December 2001, NASA Chief of Staff Courtney Stadd predicted future collaborations between NASA and film giant Warner Brothers. Last summer MTV and Pepsi announced plans to send Lance Boss of the pop group Nsync into space. The trip was postponed. But someday commercial space tourism may become common. The Futron Corporation predicted last year that by 2021, as many as 15,000 passengers could be flying in sub-orbital space annually. An additional 60 tourists are projected to fly each year in orbital space. Much of this is possible because of a 1998 law passed by Congress. It was called the Commercial Space Act. It established economic development as a priority goal for NASA and the International Space Station. And the commercial aspects are also in the scientific experiments conducted in space. Newsday reported yesterday that an increasing number of space experiments are funded by pharmaceutical companies as well as unlikely companies such as John Deere, the manufacturer of tractors. One mission included an experiment on the flammability of Velcro. On board Space Shuttle Columbia crewmembers grew protein crystals that pharmacists use to develop drugs. They also researched ways to improve long stays in space, such as converting urine into drinking water. Guest: Robert Park, director of the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C. and professor of physics at the University of Maryland. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:35: Corporal Anthony Fusco joined the Marine Corps in 1999 with a firm desire to protect the constitution of the United States. But this past December he was ordered to take the anthrax vaccine before a six-month deployment to the Persian Gulf. Fusco refused it, citing research that the vaccine had harmful side effects. Fusco was removed from his unit and now faces a court martial and a possible year in prison. He is the only member of the 45,000-person First Marine Expeditionary Force charged with refusing the vaccine since the controversial program resumed. Randy Airola was a staff sergeant in the Air Force for over seven years. In September 1998, Airola voluntarily took the first four of six anthrax inoculations as a condition for being deployed to Qatar. When Airola suffered several adverse reactions to the vaccine, she decided not to complete the dosage. She was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force. Guest: Corporal Anthony Fusco, faces a court martial for refusing to take the anthrax vaccine Guest: Randy Airola, former Air Force staff sergeant who took the first four of six anthrax vaccine shots, had adverse reactions, and refused to complete the vaccination course. She was discharged. Guest: Dr. Meryl Nass, doctor of Internal Medicine and a biological warfare researcher. She originally supported the military s use of the anthrax vaccine during the Gulf war. She has since reversed her position. She has been investigating anthrax and biological warfare for the last 14 years, and issues regarding the anthrax vaccine for the last five years. Dr. Nass testified at a congressional hearing in 1999 on the subject. Contact: Guest: Jane (a pseudonym). Jane s husband is currently on a naval ship. he is being pressured to take the anthrax vaccine. She says he will refuse no matter what. They want to have another child and are concerned that the anthrax vaccine will result in birth defects. 9:35-9:40: The State of Arizona s largest hospital chain has become the latest to refuse to vaccinate doctors, nurses and other front-line workers against smallpox under the Bush administration s voluntary smallpox vaccination program. Banner Health System is far from alone. More than a hundred hospitals from every region across the US are forgoing the vaccinations. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal employees is calling for a delay in the program and says several of his chapters had advised their nurses not to cooperate. That union represents 350,000 health care workers. The Service Employees International Union, the American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association have also called for a delay. Under the first phase of the Bush administration s program, half a million health workers are to be vaccinated in the coming weeks. Then, an additional 10 million health care workers, police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel are to be vaccinated by late summer. (The military began its mandatory vaccination program last month). By next year, the administration hopes to make the vaccine available to the general public. The Center for Disease Control has shipped out over 100,000 doses to 35 states so far. In New Jersey one hundred health care workers were expected to take the vaccine on Friday, and 97 did. But last week in Connecticut, only four health care workers took the vaccine. In Vermont, only seven showed up, and in Los Angeles, only 27. Guest: Cheryl Peterson, Senior Policy Analyst, American Nurses Association, Guest: Dr. Richard P. Wenzel, Chairman, Medical College of Virginia Hospitals. His was the first hospital to announce they would not participate in Bush s program to vaccinate 11 million Americans against smallpox. Guest Phone: Tom skinner, Spokesman, Centers for Disease Control, 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:53 SMALLPOX DEBATE, CONT D 9:53-9:58: Some two dozen nationally prominent physicians and some congressional leaders have teamed up to introduce a national health insurance bill. Guest: Dr. Quentin Young, former President, American Public Health Association and a national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster.

Date Recorded on: 
February 4, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
February 4, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., February 4, 2003
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