The Larger Shame
From Nicholas Kristof's piece in today's New York Times:
"If it's shameful that we have bloated corpses on New Orleans streets, it's even more disgraceful that the infant mortality rate in America's capital is twice as high as in China's capital. That's right - the number of babies who died before their first birthdays amounted to 11.5 per thousand live births in 2002 in Washington, compared with 4.6 in Beijing.
Indeed, according to the United Nations Development Program, an African-American baby in Washington has less chance of surviving its first year than a baby born in urban parts of the state of Kerala in India.
The national infant mortality rate has risen under Mr. Bush for the first time since 1958. The U.S. ranks 43rd in the world in infant mortality, according to the C.I.A.'s World Factbook; if we could reach the level of Singapore, ranked No. 1, we would save 18,900 children's lives each year.
So in some ways the poor children evacuated from New Orleans are the lucky ones because they may now get checkups and vaccinations. But nationally, 29 percent of children had no health insurance at some point in the last 12 months, and many get neither checkups nor vaccinations."
Full column here.