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Washington (DC). Research published today revealed that many of our politicians may be essentially dead, or close to dead. The study used data mining to evaluate heart rate profile of Washington senators and representatives while Congress was in session. Data were obtained via Apple Watch and similar devices.

“Many of members did not have a heart beat at all,” said Dr. Geetha Flak, who led the study. The result came to a surprise to the investigators. “We had suspected that many members of Congress are emotionally underdeveloped,” said Dr Flak, “but the fact that they do not have a heartbeat – and presumably many don’t have a heart at all – came as a surprise.”

Furthermore the subjects that did have detectable rhythms often had ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. The median heart rate was higher in the House of Representatives, maybe because members are younger on average. “It is interesting that we don’t see any reported deaths, especially in the Senate. In our paper we postulate this may indicate a high prevalence of zombies, or maybe fossils, but that remains speculative,” said Dr Flak. “It should however be noted the near absence of sensible legislation making it out of the chambers supports this hypothesis.”

What peaked interest was a clear dichotomy in the heart rate profiles. While data was anonymized, location within the chamber could be extracted from GPS coordinates. Asystole was more prevalent on the right side of the aisle, where as Vtach/VFib predominated on the left. There was also strong correlation with certain legislation. Discussion of abortion or gun control seemed to stimulate the right, many showing an agonal rhythm and some even maintaining frequent escape beats, while at the same time the left almost entirely was in VFib (“LAFB”, Left of Aisle Fibrillation en Bloc). Conversely, health care issues put the entire right chamber into cardiac standstill (Flak dubbed it Right Bench Block).

Next, Flak’s team will tackle a much more ambitious goal, “We are planning a comparative effectiveness study, looking at the US versus other countries’ executive government branches, “ she said. “The study will utilize functional MRI and EEG monitoring. “We are hoping to show non-inferiority of the US, however with the latest developments, I am note sure we have any brain activity in the White House at all.”

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