Florida blocking of LGBTQ+ school topics hurts students: White House

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the legislation “is designed to target and attack the children who need support the most.” In other news, $600,000 in funding will help Wisconsin test tap water for “ever chemicals”, recreational marijuana laws advance in Pennsylvania, and more.

Bloomberg: White House denounces Florida bill restricting LGBTQ topics in schools

President Joe Biden’s White House has sharply criticized an effort by Florida’s Republican-controlled legislature to limit discussions of gender and sexual identity in schools, saying the bill threatens to exacerbate high rates mental health problems in gay and transgender children. The bill, which passed the state Senate Education Committee in a 6-3 vote on Tuesday, tells school districts they cannot “encourage classroom discussion about the orientation or gender identity in the primary grades” or in a way that is not considered “age”. -appropriate.” (Levin and Epstein, 2/8)

In other news from around the United States –

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Wisconsin gets $600,000 to test ‘forever chemicals’ in drinking water

Local governments will soon have access to federal funding to test public water supplies for “eternal chemicals.” Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday evening announced $600,000 in funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for sampling drinking water supplies for PFAS. Sampling will be voluntary, the statement said, but communities that take the opportunity to test their water systems “will have data to know that they are providing clean drinking water to their residents.” (Schulte, 2/8)

Philadelphia Inquirer: Recreational Marijuana for Pennsylvania Considered in Hearing

A Republican-controlled Pennsylvania Senate committee held Monday what was billed as the first in a series of hearings on the potential legalization of recreational marijuana use for adults. During the two-hour Law and Justice Committee hearing in Harrisburg, lawmakers and panelists debated whether legalization would eliminate the black market, make marijuana safer against deadly contaminants or do anything this is to prevent users from soaking joints in embalming fluid to achieve an extra high. A major concern was also how the police will enforce laws against driving under the influence. (Brubaker, 2/8)

North Carolina Health News: American Indians seek ways to stop overdose deaths

In September 2018, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) was on a list they probably would have preferred to avoid. The Office of National Drug Control Policy has identified the Qualla border, the 56,000-acre homeland of the Eastern Strip just south of Smoky Mountains National Park, as one of 10 “high-intensity drug trafficking areas ” from the country. Following a two-year undercover investigation targeting drug traffickers, federal, state and local law enforcement authorities raided the border, arrested 132 people and seized an array of illegal drugs from worth $1.8 million, including heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana. The operation was presented as a huge success and a possible turning point in the scourge that plagued the community. (Newsome, 2/9)

And in news related to postpartum depression and Munchausen syndrome by proxy —

The Washington Post: Coast Guard mother convicted in death of infant daughter

A Coast Guard non-commissioned officer was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday for the death of his 5-month-old daughter at a small island outpost in Alaska, in a case centering on mental health and postpartum depression of the young mother. Katie Richard, 25, was convicted of manslaughter last week after a nearly month-long trial at a Coast Guard facility here. The eight-person jury determined there was insufficient evidence to support charges of first-degree murder or alleged obstruction of justice related to the alleged deletion of phone records during the criminal investigation. . (Seck, 2/8)

AP: Colorado mother who abused 7-year-old child to death faces conviction

In late summer 2017, Olivia Gant happily sang Hakuna Matata from “The Lion King” as she was whisked away to a Denver hospice in purple pajamas. “That means no worries for the rest of your life,” she sang. The 7-year-old died less than a month later. The video released by her mother Kelly Turner is one of many clips highlighting the little girl’s battle with illness and death, which authorities say was used by her mother to dupe doctors and call for favors and donations to help ease her daughter’s pain. Authorities say Turner spent years manufacturing her daughter’s illness, earning sympathy from TV news reports and charitable foundations like Make-A-Wish, which even threw a ‘Bat Princess’ costume party for Olivia. in a hotel that cost $11,000. (Nieberg, 2/9)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage by major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.