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Strengthen. The correct answer choice is (C)
The stimulus explains that infant mortality is an acceptable indicator of a society's general health status. The stimulus then reports that in some US localities, the mortality rate is higher than in many developing countries, but the overall US rate is declining. The stimulus then cautions (concludes) that US babies are not necessarily healthier on average than they were before.
The cautionary conclusion is not illogical, because it simply reserves judgment. You are asked to support the cautionary conclusion, and generally when you reserve judgment despite having some evidence, it is because you know there may be other factors. The correct response should bring in another factor relevant to infant mortality and infant health.
Answer choice (A): The stimulus already infers that average US figures mask local deficiencies, and restating the stimulus will not improve it. Furthermore, you are supposed to explain why the average mortality figures do not necessarily indicate anything on average about US infant health; you are not supposed to explain why a few localities may not experience improving health.
Answer choice (B): This response discusses what might cause much infant mortality, but you are supposed to explain why a decreasing mortality rate does not necessarily indicate increasing health.
Answer choice (C): This is the correct choice. It is likely that the usual connection between infant mortality and health is taken to be causal. If in the US technology saves a great many unhealthy babies that would otherwise likely die, that challenges the causal connection between health and mortality when in the US, explaining why decreasing US mortality rates do not necessarily stem from, and therefore do not necessarily indicate, increasing health.
Answer choice (D): The fact that the infant mortality rate decreased in 11 states does not explain why generally lower infant mortality rates do not necessarily indicate better health.
Answer choice (E): This incorrect choice explains that infant mortality is not the only cause of infant health, but the stimulus more likely requires support for the idea that infant health is not the only cause of infant mortality. Furthermore, this choice states that if babies do not receive proper care, they will not thrive. Since neither the stimulus nor this choice rules out that the infants receive the proper care, this choice does not explain why health does not improve.