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United States Department of Health and Human Services


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Petitioning U.S. Governors, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Abolish Daylight Savings Time

Daylight Saving Time is a practice that was created over 100 years ago to increase the amount of workable hours during summer months.  By artificially "extending" day into the evening, the amount of literal daylight one had to work was increased exponentially. Today, this practice is absolutely foolish, as agricultural workers are the vast minority among all working Americans,  totaling 1~2% in most states,  less so in others. There are several medical complications that have been attributed to the practice of Daylight Saving Time such as increase in heart attacks.  The impacts of DST are likely related to our body's internal circadian rhythm, the still-slightly-mysterious molecular cycles that regulate when we feel awake and when we feel sleepy, as well as our hunger and hormone production schedules. Light dictates how much melatonin our bodies produce. When it's bright out, we make less. When it's dark, our body ramps up synthesis of this sleep-inducing substance. Just like how jet-lag makes you feel all out of whack, daylight saving time is similar to scooting one time zone over for a few months. The problems with DST are the worst in the spring, when we've all just lost one hour of sleep. The sun rises later, making it more difficult to wake in the morning. This is because we reset our natural clocks using the light. When out of nowhere (at least to our bodies) these cues change, it causes major confusion. Like anytime you lose sleep, springing forward causes decreases in performance, concentration, and memory common to sleep-deprived individuals, as well as fatigue and daytime sleepiness. Night owls are more bothered by the time changes than morning people. For some, it can take up to three weeks to recover from the sleep schedule changes, according to a 2009 study in the journal Sleep Medicine. For others, it may only take a day to adjust to this new schedule. All in all, we should allow our bodies to adapt to time changes just as they always have.  With the initial point of DST having become entirely unnecessary in the states which it is now still in effect, it is the most logical path to make it non-standard throughout America. 

Jaden Silvernagel
188,436 supporters
Petitioning TikTok

Tell TikTok to abide by their own standards and protect those with disabilities

TikTok currently is not meeting its own community standards.  For example, they are hosting a video that promotes a "challenge", encouraging users to mock and belittle individuals with disabilities.  This is in direct violation of their stated community standards: Attacks on protected groups (along with those with disabilities, some other groups include Race, Religion, Gender Identity, etc.) TikTok goes on to say: "We define hate speech as content that does or intends to attack, threaten, incite violence against, or dehumanize an individual or a group of individuals on the basis of protected attributes. We also do not allow content that verbally or physically threatens violence or depicts harm to an individual or a group based on any of the following protected attributes including but not limited to: claiming that they are physically or morally inferior referring negatively to them as animals, inanimate objects, or other non-human entities promoting or justifying exclusion, segregation, or discrimination against them A protected group, as listed by TIkTok, includes “Serious disease or disability.“ Too often, TikTok hosts videos which imply physical or mental inferiority, dehumanizing individuals with a disability, a group already predisposed to bullying and a group that TikTok claims to want to protect. This petition was not our first step. We attempted to resolve this through TikTok's customer support and this is the response:  “We reviewed your report. We found that the reported content doesn't violate our Community Guidelines. We understand that you may not want to see this type of content, and you have the option to block the account that posted it.” TikTok has had issues in the past in regards to their service to the disabled, and they vowed to do better.  We are asking that they live up to the standards that they have set for themselves. As TikTok behaves today, it is a not a safe environment for many wonderful people who live with disabilities. They need to protect people as well as speech.They can and must do better.

Eileen Payne
150,792 supporters
Petitioning President of the United States, United States Department of Health and Human Services, United States Department of Labor

Respiratory Therapists deserve to be classified as Healthcare Caregivers

Respiratory Therapists are often the unsung heroes of medicine. Most of the general public doesn't even know that we exist . We were hoping that would change during a respiratory pandemic. Sadly, it has not. When a patient in the hospital is deteriorating Nurses and Doctors alike scream, "Where is Respiratory?" Respiratory Therapists are screaming that now. When healthcare workers are mentioned, it's always Doctors and Nurses. The much needed ventilators are even mentioned but rarely the skilled professionals that manage them. Respiratory Therapists are very crucial  as we intubate the patients,manage the vents and breathe for these patients during code blues. Because of this care, we are at high risk for exposure. We do this willingly because if the patient isn't breathing then little else matters. The federal government doesn't  list us as caregivers or providers along with Doctors, Nurses or other Therapists. We're listed as Hospital personnel and even then, we're last like we were thrown in as an afterthought. This affects our being able to qualify for healthcare caregiver loans and grants. This also affects morale. None of us went into medicine for glory or fame but I would be less than honest if I said that this slight isn't hurtful.  By signing this petition  you may be helping Respiratory Therapists get the classification and recognition that we have rightfully earned and deserve.   Please consider reaching out to your elected officials as well.  Thank you!

Kedra Shenett
146,430 supporters
Petitioning HHS Alex azar, United States Department of Health and Human Services

Transgender Rights

      The Trump-Pence administration plans to completely erase the work put forth by the LGBTQ community by destroying any reinforcement of non-discrimination laws. A report from the New York Times stated that The Department of Health and Human Services is spearheading this movement to define sex under Title IX. In doing so this will discriminate and negatively impact the lives of 2 million people. Our hope with this petition is to bring awareness to the head of this administration as well as the current Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, that there are millions of Americans who refuse to stand for this. This isn't about democrats or republicans, it's about people in our own country having the freedom to simply live their lives. People who have no agenda other than to live out their lives in such a way that allows them to be happy. It is in times such as these where we must rally around those in need and speak out for the well being of all citizens who inhabit this great nation. The people themselves hold the power to create something more than a country, more than a nation simply trying to prosper. We can create a brotherhood, a family, a sense of unity and a willingness to understand that will allow for Americans to live with pride. Sheltering those in need and supporting each other in our darkest hours. My hope is that in creating this, it will at the very least reach those of you who want to know you are not alone. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it. --Mark Twain       

Jacob Cremer
132,029 supporters
Petitioning Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, U​.​S. Senate, U​.​S. House of Representatives, United States Department of Health and Human Services, White House Coronavirus Task Force, Donald J. Trump

We Need A Federal Mask Mandate: #AmericaMaskUp

Dear Members of Congress: Our nation has failed to control the coronavirus pandemic on multiple fronts. Many states are facing increasing cases, hospitalizations, and ultimately deaths. The politicization of wearing a mask to prevent the spread of this contagious virus has resulted in polarizing and dangerous rhetoric across the nation.  Masking is not a political issue but a public health one. Universal masking is effective at curbing the spread of COVID-19. It is imperative our nation implement a NATIONAL MANDATE to wear a mask or face covering in public, especially in situations where social distancing cannot be maintained. The current national guidelines for Opening Up America Again do not require masks or face coverings, leaving the issue to individual states. Unfortunately, state leaders have been inconsistent in advising or enforcing masking, contributing to increased community spread.   We, the undersigned, as health professionals and concerned Americans, implore you to urgently implement a national mandate for masking to halt the spread of COVID-19.   We are a united states, and the decisions made in one state impact many. A national mandate for universal masking will save lives, revitalize our economy, allow our children to return to school, and unite the country against our common enemy, COVID-19.  On Behalf of the Illinois Medical Professionals Action Collaborative  (IMPACT): Shikha Jain MD FACP, Eve Bloomgarden MD, Ali Khan MD MPP FACP, Laura Zimmermann MD MS FACP, Amisha Wallia MD MS, Garth Walker MD, Seth Trueger MD, Maylyn Martinez MD, Emily Landon MD, Vineet Arora MD MAPP On Behalf of GetMePPEChi: Tricia Pendergrast On Behalf of Masks Now Illinois: Emma Davenport On Behalf of Lindsey Leininger PhD MA, Nerdy Girl in Chief at Dear Pandemic On Behalf of NeedMasksToday: Katherine Kennedy MD, Abhirami Janani Raveendran MD M.Ed. On Behalf of GetUsPPE: Megan Ranney MD MPH On Behalf of Helen Burstin MD MPH, CEO Council of Medical Specialty Societies

IMPACT4HC
111,681 supporters
Petitioning US House of Representatives

Remove Vice President Pence as the lead on the US coronavirus response

On 26 February 2020 US President Donald J. Trump named Vice President Mike Pence to lead the US response to the deadly coronavirus, COVID-19.  As of the evening of 26 February, there had been over 81,000 cases worldwide with 2400 deaths.  To name Vice President Pence to lead the US response suggests a lack of seriousness in the administration's handling of this looming crisis.  Pence has a history of rejecting science while Governor of Indiana. In 2015 he was responsible for the exacerbation of an outbreak of 200 cases of HIV in a small rural county.  Local health officials requested a temporary needle exchange program as the cases were related to IV drug abuse and the sharing of needles.  Pence delayed for months due to his values not aligning with a policy of needle exchange, resulting in the outbreak.  In 2000, he wrote in a Op-Ed that "smoking doesn't kill". He has repeatedly denied the overwhelming science that climate change is real and is caused, in part, by human activity. With such a dubious record in the area of public health, a lack of understanding of basic science, and zero experience in disaster management, it is clear that Vice President Pence is uniquely unqualified for this important position. It would be more appropriate that an individual with experience in disaster management and/or public health be tasked to lead the US response to this emerging public health emergency.

Committee to Protect Medicare
94,208 supporters