Target: Representative Jason Chaffetz, Chair of the House Oversight Committee
Goal: Address the recent rise in cases of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
Outbreaks of drug-resistant bacterial infections have been steadily rising nationwide since 2000. The rise of this bacteria represents a profound national and international health concern that will only increase in urgency over the years. Demand that Congress hold an investigation into these cases and develop a comprehensive plan of action to address them.
These bacterial strains, sometimes called “superbugs,” are a direct result of an over-reliance on antibiotics in our medical culture. Antibiotics have been regularly prescribed for such varying maladies as throat infections and the common cold, and as such many bacteria have evolved to be resistant to them. These bacteria are, as a result, much more difficult to treat, and much more dangerous.
The most recent outbreak to have occurred was at a number of hospitals in Charlotte, North Carolina, and that was only a week after as many as 179 people were possibly exposed at a hospital in Los Angeles. Alarmingly, the bacteria had survived traditional medical instrument sanitization techniques and was spread between people who had been exposed to the instrument.
One congressman, Representative Ted Lieu, has already filed a request with the House Oversight Committee to hold a hearing on this most recent series of outbreaks, but that does not guarantee that the committee will do so. Sign the petition below to demand that the House Oversight Committee launch an investigation into the increase in cases of these bacterial infections and formulate a comprehensive plan to combat them.
Dear Congressman Chaffetz,
I am writing you today to echo the sentiments your colleague, Representative Ted Lieu, communicated to you and your committee regarding drug-resistant bacteria. This is a very serious issue that will only increase in urgency over the years. It demands a response right now.
National and international overprescription of antibiotics to treat rudimentary ailments and even viruses (which antibiotics are not effective against) has accelerated the evolution of certain bacteria to be resistant to these drugs. As a result, we are starting to see cases of people becoming infected with bacteria that do not respond to the traditional treatments all over the country, and with ever-increasing frequency. In 2000, for instance, only one state reported any cases of drug-resistant bacterial infections—in 2014, that number had risen to 38. As more and more bacteria evolve to be resistant to antibiotics, these numbers will only rise.
These infections are much more difficult to treat and are much more dangerous. We need a plan of action. I urge you to comply with Representative Lieu’s request and launch an investigation into the recent outbreaks in Los Angeles, and create a comprehensive national plan to tackle this issue going into the future.
[Your Name Here]
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