Archive for the ‘public health’ Category

Thanksgiving: 250,000 Reasons to Stay Home

November 19, 2020

Thanksgiving: 250,000 Reasons to Stay Home

As the number of Americans dead from COVID-19 rises past 250,000, The Centers for Disease Control advises you to stay the hell home for Thanksgiving:

“More than 1 million COVID-19 cases were reported in the United States over the last 7 days.

As cases continue to increase rapidly across the United States, the safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate at home with the people you live with.

Gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading COVID-19 or the flu.”

— “Celebrating Thanksgiving,” CDC

Gatherings in the home seem to account for the greatest number of new infections. Currently, at least 3 million Americans are infected with coronavirus. As Colorado’s governor put it, holding a large family Thanksgiving dinner is like holding a loaded pistol to Grandma’s head.

More:

“CDC recommends against Thanksgiving travel amid surge of coronavirus cases,” Brittany Shammas, Washington Post

Related:

“The trauma of Thanksgiving for Native communities during a pandemic,” Rachel Ramirez, Vox

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South Dakota Death Cult

November 19, 2020

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a pistol-packin’, hard-drivin’, snake-oil pushing, Trump-touting former beauty queen, has resisted implementing elementary coronavirus public health policies in her state, claiming they would infringe on personal freedom. Her libertarian lovefest has given her state the nation’s highest COVID-19 positivity rate. “I’ve consistently said that people that want to wear masks should wear masks, and people that don’t shouldn’t be shamed because they choose not to,” the governor reiterated on Wednesday.

While South Dakota’s hospitals are filling up and her constituents die thinking coronavirus is a hoax, Kristi Noem declares that, if President Biden enacts a national mask mandate, she won’t enforce it.

More:

“As deaths spiral, South Dakota governor opposes mask rules,” Stephen Groves, Associated Press

“‘It’s not real’: In South Dakota, which has shunned masks and other COVID rules, some people die in denial, nurse says,” Joel Shannon, USA Today

“What Nurses Are Seeing and Hearing in South Dakota,” Molly Olmstead, Slate

“South Dakota is grappling with the nation’s highest positivity rate. This Covid-19 widow wants a mask mandate,” Lucy Kafanov, Leslie Perrot and Hollie Silverman, CNN

Updates:

“Kristi Noem rigidly follows Trump strategy of denial as Covid ravages South Dakota,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

“South Dakota gripped by pandemic amid Kristi Noem’s no-mask approach,” Talli Nauman, The Guardian

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

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Trump COVID Advisor Scott Atlas: It’s Grandma’s Last Thanksgiving!

November 17, 2020

Trump COVID Advisor Scott Atlas: It's Grandma's Last Thanksgiving!

Trump COVID-19 advisor Scott Atlas, MD, is not an epidemiologist or an infectious disease expert. He’s a renowned expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Dr. Atlas has no pandemic expertise and hasn’t practiced medicine in 10 years, but he’s a fellow in Health Care Policy at Stanford’s conservative Hoover Institution and bloviates on Fox News, so he’s the go-to White House medico. When it comes to coronavirus, Dr. Atlas wants to let lots of people get it to bring about “herd immunity.” Real pandemic experts estimate it would require the deaths of 2 million Americans to achieve “herd immunity” in the U.S.

That hasn’t deterred Dr. Atlas. He says Americans aren’t doing enough to collaborate with the virus. They should ditch those masks, ignore advice on social distancing, and celebrate at the table with Grandma, bringing about her “last Thanksgiving.”

Many of his former medical colleagues are appalled, and Stanford University is distancing itself from Dr. Atlas. No so Mr. Trump.

More:

“On Fox News, Dr. Scott Atlas encourages large holiday gatherings: ‘For many people this is their last Thanksgiving,’” Media Matters

“Trump adviser Scott Atlas criticizes plans to avoid seeing elderly for Thanksgiving,” Brett Samuels, The Hill

“Trump COVID Adviser Scott Atlas Is on a Hot Streak of Dumb Ideas,” Matt Stieb, New York Magazine

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Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases

October 21, 2020

Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases
Remember South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally back in August, where 400,000 riders gathered without face masks or social distancing? Back then there was little COVID-19 in the Dakotas or surrounding states, but attendees brought the viral souvenir back to their Upper Midwest homes with them.

“Within weeks of the gathering, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita. The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October. Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick.”

“More than 330 coronavirus cases and one death were directly linked to the rally as of mid-September, according to a Washington Post survey of health departments in 23 states that provided information. But experts say that tally represents just the tip of the iceberg, since contact tracing often doesn’t capture the source of an infection, and asymptomatic spread goes unnoticed.”

–“How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest,” Brittany Shammas and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

More:

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was ‘superspreading event’ that cost public health $12.2 billion: analysis,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

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Trump Spreads Virus. Dr. Atlas Spreads ‘Pixie Dust & Pseudoscience.”

October 19, 2020
Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.

Trump virus advisor Scott Atlas knows MRIs, not viruses.

Donald Trump found Dr. Scott Atlas on Fox News and put him on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Atlas is not an epidemiologist or an infectious disease expert, he’s an expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). As far as we know, Dr. Atlas has not imaged the presidential noggin.

Scott Atlas is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank devoted to the free-market bloviation used by the wealthy to justify an ugly economic Social Darwinism. True to form, Dr. Atlas hates face masks, and contact testing, wants to reopen schools, and bring about “herd immunity.”

Michael Osterholm, an actual infectious-disease expert, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday that the “herd immunity” theory promoted by Dr. Atlas is “the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudo science I’ve ever seen.”

“Herd immunity” strategy failed in Sweden, and experts estimate it would require infection of up to 70% of the U.S. population and the deaths of 2 million Americans to achieve “herd immunity” in the U.S. without a vaccine. Biomedical researcher William A. Haseltine says “Herd immunity is another word for mass murder.”

(more…)

How COVID-19 Swept Across America

October 12, 2020

See in one minute how Covid-19 has torn across the U.S. since March in this one-minute video developed by Microsoft AI for Health, Brown School of Public Health, and Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

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Trump: Infector-In-Chief Moved to Fully-Staffed White House Medical Unit

October 5, 2020

Trump: Infector-In-Chief Moved to Fully-Staffed White House Medical Unit

Coronavirus-infected Donald Trump has moved from the Presidential Suite of Walter Reed National Medical Center to another exclusive boutique clinic, the White House Medical Unit (WHMU), a fully-appointed private hospital in the virus-infested public housing unit temporarily occupied by Mr. Trump. It’s a combination urgent-care center and emergency room.

The WHMU normally has a staff of about 24 doctors, nurses, physician assistants and army medics in addition to White House Physician Sean Conley. Dr. Conley, you may remember, is the medical genius who said that Donald Trump was at a low risk of contracting coronavirus, and prescribed hydroxychloroquine for the president as a COVID-19 preventative. The WHMU is a military unit, and additional personnel can be mobilized as needed on a moment’s notice.

So don’t let anyone tell you that elderly, obese COVID-19 patient Donald Trump has “moved back home.” He just moved from one exclusive government-funded hospital to another.

More:

“What medical facilities does the White House have now that Trump’s leaving the hospital?” Don Sweeney, McClatchy DC

“Trump Returned To The White House And Took His Mask Off While Infected With COVID-19,” Stephanie M. Lee and Amber Jamieson, BuzzFeed News

Related:

“Concern rises for White House residence staffers as their workplace emerges as a virus hot spot,” Jada Yuan, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Mommy’s Little Virus Vector

October 2, 2020

Mommy's Little Virus Vector

There are  56 million K-12 students in the United States, and school districts, politicians, some and parents are anxious for them to get back to schoolrooms and off the kitchen table virtual classroom. But information on COVID-19 in children is just coming to light, and attempts at safely re-opening schools have been spotty and uneven.

Though Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other Trump idolators prefer to operate in the absence of facts, a new study of 85,000 people with COVID-19 and their 575,000 contacts found that children contract and transmit the coronavirus as frequently as their elders. That means kids, especially the super-spreaders among them, can infect each other, their teachers, and their parents and caregivers. Teachers, understandably, are concerned. And while infected children are less likely to suffer fatalities, there appear to be long-term consequences of COVID-19 infection.

Until September, child sacrifice in the U.S. was a weird QAnon conspiracy theory. Opening schools in a pandemic without real planning makes it reality.

More:

“COVID-19 Cases Rising Among U.S. Children as Schools Reopen,” AP via Education Week

“‘Children have become acceptable carnage,’” Andrew Atterbury, Nicole Gaudiano, Mackenzie Mays, Juan Perez Jr., and Madina Touré, Politico

“Children’s role in spread of virus bigger than thought,” The Harvard Gazette

“10 facts about school reopenings in the Covid-19 pandemic,” Anna North, Vox

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COVID-19: 200,000 Americans Are Dead.

September 23, 2020

COVID-19: Trump Knew.

200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. So far. President Trump knew it would happen beforehand, lied about it, did nothing. He continues to lie about it and do nothing. At this rate, by the end of the year nearly 380,000 Americans will be dead from COVID-19.

In the global race for most Coronavirus deaths, the United States in on top, with more fatalities than any other country. Americans are not only sick and tired of winning, they’re dead from it.

More:

“200,000 Americans Dead From Coronavirus—That’s An Average Of 873 A Day Since It Started,” Carlie Porterfield, Forbes

“How many needless Covid-19 deaths were caused by delays in responding? Most of them.” Isaac Sebenius and James K. Sebenius, STAT

“200,000 dead as Trump vilifies science, prioritizes politics,” Jason Dearen, Associated Press

“Remember the 200,000 Americans who have died from covid-19 — and vote,” Washington Post 

Update:

“We Aren’t Nationally Mourning The 200,000 COVID-19 Victims Because If We Did It Would Be A Reckoning,” Amber Jamieson, BuzzFeed News

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USPS Was Ready for COVID-19 In April. Trump Was Not.

September 18, 2020

USPS Was Ready for COVID-19 In April. Trump Was Not.

In April, as the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of Americans, the United States Postal Service planned to distribute 650 million masks, five per U.S. household. and even drafted a press release. about it. The White House knew of the COVID-19 threat but was still “downplaying” it, and blocked the plan. Thousands more died.

More:

“White House reportedly scrapped plan to send masks to every American because it wanted to avoid ‘panic,'” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

“Newly revealed USPS documents show an agency struggling to manage Trump, Amazon and the pandemic,” Tony Romm, Jacob Bogage and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

“Of Course Trump Nixed a Masks Plan That Could’ve Eradicated COVID-19 in April,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

Update:

“Trump administration scrapped plan to send every American a mask in April, email shows,” Laura Strickler and Geoff Bennett, NBC News

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Image (after Howard Wilcox and Joe Lawrence) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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