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Toddler died from meningitis after anti-vaxx parents treated him with maple syrup instead of medicine

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Two Mormon parents who own a nutritional supplement company are accused of letting their toddler son die from meningitis because they tried to treat him with home remedies instead of medicine.

David and Collet Stephan have pleaded not guilty to charges that they failed to provide the necessities of life to their 19-month-old son Ezekiel, reported CBC News.

Prosecutors in Alberta, Canada, say the couple did not call an ambulance until the boy stopped breathing and instead fed him supplements with an eye dropper and lay down with him.

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READ MORE: ‘Pro-life’ Idaho Republican thinks parents have a religious right to let kids die from treatable illness

Collet Stephan, 35, told police that a friend told the couple their son had meningitis — inflammation caused by an infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.

She said they tried to boost the boy’s immune system by feeding him with olive leaf extract, whey protein, water with maple syrup and juice with frozen berries.

They finally fed the boy, who was becoming stiff and lethargic after two weeks of illness, a mixture of apple cider vinegar, horseradish root, hot peppers, onion, garlic and ginger root.

The child was airlifted to a hospital after he stopped breathing, and doctors removed him from life support after five days.

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Prosecutors played recordings during the couple’s trial of Collet Stephan describing their attempt to treat the boy.

The 32-year-old David Stephan and his wife operate Truehope Nutritional Support Inc. from their home in Raymond.

Health Canada unsuccessfully tried in 2004 to stop the company from distributing its supplement Empowerplus, which the couple claims can manage mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder.

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The government did issue warnings about the supplement — which prosecutors say the couple gave to their dying son.

Prosecutors told the court the couple loved their son and were not accused of ignoring or killing him, but they said the parents should have sought medical assistance sooner.

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David Stephan has said he believes the government is prosecuting the couple to force parents through the courts — instead of through legislation — to vaccinate their children.

He argues that no evidence shows Ezekiel’s death would have been prevented if he had been given the vaccine for Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).

Empowerplus, which is basically a mixture of vitamins and minerals, was developed by Truehope, a company founded by David Stephan’s property manager father, Anthony Stephan, and a salesman friend, David Hardy.

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Critics say the Stephans’ claims about the supplement are not backed by reliable scientific testing.

Truehope threatened to sue a mental health writer, Natasha Tracy, who wrote critically of her experience buying and taking the supplement.

David Stephan complains in social media posts that these critics are conspiring to keep them from raising money for their defense through online fundraisers.

If convicted, the couple faces a possible five-year prison term and the loss of their other children.

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WATCH: Joe Scarborough says after 30 years, the GOP base realized ‘it never trickles down’


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‘They just fired on us’: Horrifying videos of cops ‘using journalists for target practice’ in Minneapolis

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Journalists covering the protests in Minneapolis reported on being targeted by police on Saturday.

Multiple reports -- including live coverage on CNN -- showed police firing rubber bullets at journalists.

It’s open season on the media for the cops in Minneapolis. Evil. https://t.co/ZR3Nnf9ofH

— Nick Stellini (@StelliniTweets) May 31, 2020

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Scientists warn of ‘superspreaders’ as Americans flock back to restaurants, salons and churches

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SAN DIEGO — Churches. Hair salons. Restaurants. Malls. What do they all have in common?They’ve all been cleared to reopen in San Diego County amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic — and by and large, they all require people to congregate inside, potentially with strangers.This comes as an increasingly vocal group of scientists has sounded the alarm about the danger of indoor gatherings due to the potential for airborne transmission of the disease by “superspreaders.”This week Kimberly Prather of UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography penned an urgently worded perspective paper in t... (more…)

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About 75% of Trump’s proposed coronavirus capital gains tax cut would go to the top 1% of earners

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Roughly three-quarters of the benefits from the capital gains tax cut floated by President Donald Trump as part of the administration's coronavirus relief plan would go to the top 1% of earners, according to the Tax Policy Center.

Trump has repeatedly floated a cut to capital gains taxes, which are taxes paid by investors on profits made when an asset, like stock or real estate, is sold. The capital gains tax rate is already 35% lower than the top income tax rate, and only about 6% of households in the bottom 80% of earners claim any capital gains, meaning the overwhelming majority of benefits would flow to the wealthy.

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