Category Archives: Uncategorized

Vaccines are coming…..but it won’t be easy

Remember as well that the efficacy levels we’re seeing this morning are after the second dose. If everyone magically got the vaccine this morning, we still wouldn’t all be able to breath easy for nearly a month. And we are not all getting it this morning, for sure. It’s obvious that the pandemic is ripping through a long list of countries right now – cases are rising steeply, hospitalizations right behind, and although we’re better at treating the patients than we were, deaths are inevitably going up as well. This is all going to get worse before it gets better – but the good news here is that it really is going to get better. Keeping your head down, wearing masks and keeping your distance is more valuable than ever, because there’s an actual finish line in sight that you have to reach. Hang on for the vaccine – for the vaccines – because they really are coming.”

But

“The Pfizer/BioNTech candidate, last we heard, needs -80C storage, and that is not available down at your local pharmacy. Pfizer has been rounding up as many ultracold freezers (and as much dry ice production) as they can, but there seems little doubt that this is going to be a tough one. I know that the press release talks about getting 1.3 billion doses of this vaccine during 2021, but actually getting 1.3 billion doses out there is going to take an extraordinary effort, because you’re getting into some regions where such relatively high-tech storage and handling becomes far more difficult.”

25th Amendment Time– long overdue

The simple fact is this election is far from over,” the president said, “Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.”

“Mr. Trump’s advisers said the president has refused to acknowledge that he has lost, maintaining his baseless accusation that Democrats had stolen the election.”

Medicynical note: Delusions of grandeur, paranoid ideation, unaccepting reality, uncontrolled emotional reactions. 25 th Amendment time. For the sake of the nation let numb nuts novocaine Mike handle the next three months.

Latinos Close the Door

While Democrats aggressively pushed to turn Texas blue this election cycle, they were banking on help from people like Barbara Ocañas, a highly educated, 37-year-old Latina voter from the Rio Grande valley.”

“But, after Donald Trump faced backlash for using the word “coyote” to describe human smugglers, Ocañas was turned off by liberals focused more on semantics than the actual realities of the migrant crisis affecting her home. As the daughter of a Mexican émigré, she believes that undocumented immigrants are “just people, like you and me”.”

“However, when it comes to earning US citizenship, “there is a right way and a wrong way to do it”, she said.”

Medicynical note: An interesting phenomenon among Latinos in southern Texas. Despite all the invectives and hate about Latino refuges from Trump and many of his supporters, a significant number of S.Texas Latinos voted for Trump. Driven by slowly declining petroleum industry jobs, abortion and perhaps simple contrariness they abandoned the plight of Latino refuges, separated immigrant children, asylum seekers and even DACA beneficiaries. They join others who have shut the door behind their own good fortune (most notable example Clarence Thomas) to oppose progressive policies. Sad, but it’s really happening.

Melania, Einstein Visa Recipient

Trumps emphasis in shutting down immigration brings Melania’s Einstein Visa and other work visas into focus.

Melania Trump obtained US citizenship on a visa reserved for immigrants with “extraordinary ability” and “sustained national and international acclaim”, according to a report in the Washington Post.”

“Nicknamed the “Einstein Visa”, the EB-1 is in theory reserved for people who are highly acclaimed in their field – the government cites Pulitzer, Oscar, and Olympic winners as examples – as well as respected academic researchers and multinational executives.”

Medicynical note: Melania’s abuse of the visa system– everything legal but clearly Trump’s wealth and influence greased the skids– is consistent with the Trump family’s lifelong monied privileges. None of them have ever worked for an hourly wage. None have ever had to apply for a job without a fix having been in place. Donald and his children including his son-in-law were legacy admissions (paid for by donations by parents to colleges and grad schools of choice). And lastly their business success was paid for largely by their millions in inherited wealth, not hard work and diligence.

And these privileged folk maintain that they represent the working people of the country. In reality, their reign has destroyed the economy, our health care system and our products’ access to overseas markets. Their tax cut benefitted mainly corporations and billionaires. It increased the Federal debt by trillions, even during the time the inherited (from Obama) economy, was doing well.

In America money rules.

Ignore Science at Your Own Risk–The Sturgis Rally

South Dakota’s Republican governor, a vocal opponent of lockdowns, gave her blessing, local leaders set aside their misgivings, and thousands of people from every state in the nation rolled down Sturgis’s Main Street.”

“In the aftermath, hundreds of people have gotten sick and Sturgis has become a rumbling symbol of America’s bitter divisions over the coronavirus, even now, as cases continue to surge, surpassing more than 121,000 daily infections on Thursday, and the nation’s death toll crosses 235,000.”

Medicynical note: Against advice, the governor of South Dakota allowed, no encouraged, the rally. Now people are dying. How many have to die before republicans take COVID seriously? How many lives justify the financial gain of holding the rally? For South Dakota denial is a disease.

Culp was Culpable…..and not very good at his job

Our Republican candidate for governor loses job. He hasn’t been there for months– used annual leave and leave of absence.

Not a good candidate IMHO.

Medicynical note: He hasn’t worked for months (annual leave and leave of absence). The community learned they didn’t need a sheriff in this one police officer (him) town.

In addition he wasn’t a good sheriff. He mishandled a rape case– not believing the victim. The rapist was later convicted. He also refused to enforce a gun control law that was passed by the state legislature and public referendum because …….you know, he didn’t agree with it. He also ran on the notion that attempting to control a pandemic was an infringement of his “right” to infect others.

Republicans lost by a 60-40% landslide.

Sadly Covid Kills…..Republicans too

It’s a sometimes fatal disease.

“David Andahl, a Republican candidate for the North Dakota state legislature, won election on Tuesday, but the 55 year old won’t be taking office. Unfortunately, Andahl died of the coronavirus last month.”

“Andahl, who was known as a “Trump Republican,” died of covid on October 5, according a report last month in the Bismark Tribune. Mail-in voting started on September 24, which meant that ballots in the central North Dakota district couldn’t be changed under state law.”

Medicynical note: one of 230,000 COVID deaths that Trump supporters ignore presumably because of the “economy.”

Why? I don’t know. But as I’ve said before money makes people do funny things.

Health Care– America’s Shame (And I’m not talking about COVID)

A patient with a relatively minor surgical problem learns that the system is not design to offer value. She thought she was quoted an exact price for a surgical procedure.

“Because Qiu thought she was getting a deal on her usual 30% share of the bill, she decided to go ahead with the polyp removal on Nov. 5, 2019. As she sat in the waiting room filling out forms, staffers let her know she needed to pay in full before the surgery.”

Then came the actual bills

“Palomar Health billed Blue Shield $22,219.64 for the polyp removal, which the insurer negotiated down to $8,576.79. Blue Shield paid $5,769.72 and stated in an explanation of benefits document that Qiu was responsible for a $334.32 deductible and $2,472.75 coinsurance.”

“Because Qiu had already paid $1,873.20 on the day of surgery, the hospital billed her an additional $933.87, which meant Qiu was on the hook for the remainder of her 30% coinsurance.”

“These figures don’t include the fees Qiu paid for anesthesia or her doctor’s services.”

Medicynical note: What’s pathetic about our system of revenue production, sometimes known as healthcare in the United States is that it’s designed to maximize costs…….not quality of care.

The simple fact that a hospital staffer misinformed a patient isn’t a legal reason to force a hospital to lower a bill, Brousse said.”

“Initial estimated bills can be full of asterisks and “weasel words,” said Akshay Gupta, co-founder of CoPatient, a medical bill review and patient advocacy company.”

“”Even though she tried to be diligent, obviously she still didn’t know that she would need to get something that was legally enforceable,” said Gupta.”

So at one of the most vulnerable times in a person’s life the U.S. medical system of revenue production kicks in with a price that isn’t a price, excessive billing, and obfuscation that would embarrass a used car salesman (with apologies).

The CDC….Another Trump Disgrace

The CDC has been neutered, shamed, and blamed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and global crisis. From internal missteps that bungled the country’s rollout of diagnostic testing to blatant political interference and strong-arming on critical public health guidance, the CDC has gone from the world’s premier public health agency to a silenced, overridden, distrusted afterthought in the US response—an agency stripped of its ability to collect even basic health data from hospitals during a raging pandemic.”

Medicynical note: A beloved institution trashed by Trump and his misfits. Once the authoritative epidemiology in the world now the tool of an incompetent Presidency. It will take years to fix……if a competent government follows Trump.

COVID:What Went Wrong–EVERYTHING

In many states the response to the COVID outbreak mirrors that of Trump’s government, I.e. chaotic and incompetent

“As the government shifted its coronavirus reporting system, numbers have vanished from CDC Web pages. News organizations have had to sue for information about racial disparities in deaths. In many Florida counties, officials won’t tell parents whether there are coronavirus cases at their children’s schools.”

“Iowa is no exception. The state has refused to release its pandemic plan, which guides its response to the coronavirus, saying the document is “confidential.” The health department’s covid-19 dashboard doesn’t list hospitalizations among health care workers or outbreaks in congregate facilities such as homeless shelters and prisons.””

“In July, state auditor Rob Sand said Iowa’s system for reporting test results was rife with “illegal and unbusinesslike practices, inefficiencies, and apparently pointless risks.” He criticized Iowa’s use of medical privacy laws to justify its secrecy.”

Medicynical note : Delay and obfuscate seems to be Iowa’s policy. “

It wasn’t until May 5, more than seven weeks after the first Postville cases were diagnosed and 15 days after Agri Star requested help, that a state testing strike force finally came to the plant. Over 450 workers were tested for current and past infections.”

“Iowa did not make the results of that event public, and Guerrero said the state provided no interpretation when it sent the company its lab report.”

People are dying and some are playing politics.