Archive for the ‘public health’ Category

Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

January 20, 2022

Florida Health Official Suspended for Urging Employee Vaccinations

The Medical Director of Orange County, Florida, has been put on leave for encouraging his staff to get vaccinated. Dr. Raul Pino, an epidemiologist, emailed his staff on January 6th, noting that only 77 of 568 employees had been fully vaccinated and boosted, and another 219 had received two shots:

“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated. We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic. I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.”

Orange County includes Orlando and Disney World, home to a famous cartoon mouse. Florida’s Department of Health includes cartoonishly anti-vax Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, appointed by infamous pro-virus Governor Ron DeSantis, a cartoonishly libertarian Republican.

Orange County has reported a large increase in COVID-19 cases, with 40% of residents testing positive. That doesn’t include tourists and travelers at busy Orlando International Airport.

More:

“Florida Department of Health confirms Dr. Raul Pino put on leave for encouraging Orange County Department of Health employees to get vaccinated,” Danielle Prieur, WMFE

“Florida health official placed on leave after encouraging employees to get vaccinated,” Timothy Bella, Washington Post

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USPS is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

January 19, 2022

Postal Service is taking orders for COVID-19 test kits

The U.S. Postal Service urges you to stick it up your nose, for free:

“The U.S. Postal Service has begun taking orders for at-home coronavirus test kits.

The website [is] COVIDtests.gov….  (Click here to see how many users are on the test kit site.)

Each household order will contain four rapid tests, which the Postal Service says will be shipped for free ‘in late January.’

Some on Twitter reported problems with orders from residents of apartment buildings with multiple units being told that someone from that household had already ordered the tests.”

“The White House says it will prioritize shipments to Americans from ZIP codes that have experienced high rates of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with the first 20% of each day’s orders going to those areas.”

“There will also be a phone number so those without access to computers or high-speed internet can place orders.”

— “The Postal Service is now taking orders for COVID-19 test kits,” Brian Naylor, NPR News

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USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

January 11, 2022

USPS to Deliver 500 Million Home COVID Test Kits

After White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki pooh-poohed the idea of mailing COVID rapid test kits to all American households and a torrent of angry criticism followed, the Biden administration is doing just that. Thank you, Jen Psaki.

There are logistical hurdles to sending out test kits besides the expense of purchasing and delivering them, however. Instead of simply mailing kits to every U.S. houshold identified by the 2020 Census or making them availible at local pharmacies or public locations, the administration is setting up a website where people must request the kits. That didn’t work so well at the beginning of Obamacare, and there’s no reason to think the rollout will be any less rocky this time.

More:

“Anger at Jen Psaki Helped Americans Get Free Covid Rapid Tests,” Robert Mackey, The Intercept

“White House making final touches for plan to mail 500 million COVID test kits: report,” Mike Murphy, MarketWatch

“White House, USPS finalizing plans to begin shipping coronavirus test kits to U.S. households,” Jacob Bogage and Dan Diamond, Washington Post

Update:

“At-home COVID tests will be covered by insurance starting Saturday: Coronavirus Updates,” Jonathan Franklin, NPR

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CDC: Cruise Ships Are On Course for COVID

January 4, 2022

After finding 91 cruise ships with COVID outbreaks, some 5,000 cases, the CDC recommended that Americans avoid cruise ships, even if thay’re vaccinated, and no matter what Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says.

More:

“CDC warns against cruises, regardless of vaccination status,” Adriana Gomez Licon, Associated Press

Related:

“Royal Caribbean’s Odyssey of the Seas prevented from entering 2 island nations due to Covid-19 outbreak onboard cruise ship,” Melissa Alonso and Aya Elamroussi, CNN

Updates:

“Cases Rise, Criticism Mounts, but Ships Keep Cruising,” Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times

“Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise cancel voyages amid Omicron scare,” Praveen Paramasivam, Reuters

“‘Not the cruise I signed up for’: 30-fold increase in Covid cases upends industry,” Erin McCormick, The Guardian

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Video: “Sea Cruise,” written by Huey “Piano” Smith, recorded by Jimmy Buffett, 1995.

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Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

January 3, 2022

Twitter Axes Anti-Vaxxer Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, GOP QAnon Drama Queen and Miss Misinformation 2021, has finally been booted from Twitter for her anti-vax, pro-virus tweets. Sadly, her official congressional Twitter account is still active, and she has lots of time to tweet, having been bounced off all her House committees.

More:

“Twitter permanently suspends Greene’s account over COVID-19 misinformation,” Caroline Vakil, The Hill

“Twitter permanently suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account,” Doha Madani, NBC News

“Twitter bans Marjorie Taylor Greene’s personal account over COVID misinformation,” Joe Hernandez, NPR News

“Twitter Permanently Mutes Marjorie Taylor Greene Account for Spreading COVID Misinformation,” Jordan Hoffman, Vanity Fair

Updates:

“McCarthy Campaigns For Speaker By Denouncing Twitter After It Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Summer Concepcion, TalkingPointsMemo

GOP leader criticizes Twitter over Greene decision without naming her,” Rebecca Klar, The Hill

“Rand Paul Vows to Fill Misinformation Void Caused by Twitter’s Ban of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker

“Facebook temporarily suspends U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s account,” Daniel Uria, UPI

“Conservatives clash: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Dan Crenshaw trade social media insults,” Chelsey Cox, USA Today

“Trump’s Favorite Pastor Is ‘Tired’ of Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Zachary Petrizzo, Daily Beast

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U.S. Vaccinations Prevented 1.1 Million Deaths

December 17, 2021

The U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program has prevented an estimated 1.1 million deaths and 10.3 million hospitalizations. More here.

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Image from Into Action 

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Trump-Supporting Areas Are COVID Death Holes

December 9, 2021

Trump-Supporting Areas Are COVID Death Holes

Republicans are now the largest unvaccinated group in the United States, and mistrust official sources of information about COVID-19 and vaccines. People living in counties that voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 election have been nearly three times as likely to die from COVID-19:

“NPR looked at deaths per 100,000 people in roughly 3,000 counties across the U.S. from May 2021, the point at which vaccinations widely became available. People living in counties that went 60% or higher for Trump in November 2020 had 2.7 times the death rates of those that went for Biden. Counties with an even higher share of the vote for Trump saw higher COVID-19 mortality rates.

In October, the reddest tenth of the country saw death rates that were six times higher than the bluest tenth, according to Charles Gaba, an independent health care analyst who’s been tracking partisanship trends during the pandemic and helped to review NPR’s methodology. Those numbers have dropped slightly in recent weeks, Gaba says: ‘It’s back down to around 5.5 times higher.'”

— “Pro-Trump counties now have far higher COVID death rates. Misinformation is to blame,” Daniel Wood and Geoff Brumfiel, NPR

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The Hidden Pandemic: COVID Orphans

December 1, 2021

The 780,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States have left more than 140,000 children without primary caregivers. Over 5.2 million children worldwide have lost parents to the coronavirus. Maybe some of today’s demonstrators here in Washington professing their concern for children could adopt some of these kids.

More:

“COVID deaths leave thousands of U.S. kids grieving parents or primary caregivers,” Rhitu Chatterjee and Carmel Wroth, NPR News

“A crisis of childhood grief,” Anna North, Vox

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7 Doctors at Florida Anti-Vax Summit Get COVID

November 24, 2021

7 Doctors at Florida Anti-Vax Summit Get COVID

Days after anti-vax doctors met in Florida, seven of them came down with COVID-19. The fringe medicos met on November 6th at Ocala’s World Equestrian Center, so naturally they pushed ivermectin horse de-wormer as a coronavirus cure. As the Daily Beast points out, the Equestrian Center requires all participating ponies to be vaccinated against Equine Herpes Virus and Equine Influenza. Florida law prevents vaccine mandates for two-legged participants.

“Florida Summit on Covid” participants listened to the 9 panel “experts” and lunched together, and $250 VIP admission tickets included a private reception and photo opportunity, a likely virus incubator.

More:

“Seven doctors contract Covid after attending Florida anti-vaccine summit,” Maya Yang, The Guardian

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Mask-Wearing Cuts Covid by 53%

November 23, 2021
Mask-Wearing Cuts Covid by 53%

Florence Nightingale, masked, after H. M. Bonham-Carter

A global research study published in BMJ shows that wearing facemasks is the most effective non-pharmaceutical measure reducing COVID-19 incidence and fatalities:

“Mask-wearing is the single most effective public health measure at tackling Covid, reducing incidence by 53%, the first global study of its kind shows.

Vaccines … do not confer 100% protection, most countries have not vaccinated everyone, and it is not yet known if jabs will prevent future transmission of emerging coronavirus variants.”

“Results from more than 30 studies from around the world were analysed in detail, showing a statistically significant 53% reduction in the incidence of Covid with mask wearing and a 25% reduction with physical distancing.”

— “Mask-wearing cuts Covid incidence by 53%, says global study,” Andrew Gregory, The Guardian

Related:

“As GOP Fights Mask and Vaccine Mandates, Florida Takes the Lead,” Patricia Mazzei, New York Times, via Yahoo News

“Mixed feelings as D.C. lifts mask mandate,” Chelsea Cirruzzo, Paige Hopkins, Cuneyt Dil, Axios

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Image (“Florence Nightingale masked, after a lithograph by H. M. Bonham-Carter”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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