Saturday, December 11, 2004

Bush "Fit for Duty"

President Bush was found to be "fit for duty" in his medical checkup which was delayed this year from its usual August time.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko also took a medical and was found to suffer from severe dioxin poisoning:

Dioxin -- one of the contaminants found in Agent Orange -- is formed as a by-product from industrial processes such as waste incineration, chemical and pesticide manufacturing and pulp and paper bleaching.
The tests showed that Yushchenko suffered from chloracne, a type of adult acne caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, which sometimes takes two to three years to heal, hospital dermatologist Hubert Pehmberger told The Associated Press.
Dioxins are a normal contaminant in many foods, but a single high dose can trigger illness, London-based toxicologist John Henry said last month.
Shortly after the announcement of the diagnosis on Saturday, Henry told British Broadcasting Corp. television that Yushchenko's case was, in his experience, unique.
"We've never had a case like this, a known case of large, severe dioxin poisoning ... It's normally fairly mild. It can cause liver damage," he said. "It's usually low-level, long-term poisoning. A very large dose, nobody has any real idea of what it would cause. Now we do know."

This is a good reminder about the risks that democracy is faced with. In countries as different as Ukraine and Italy, for example, anti-democracy forces are rising.