Category Archives: medical news

Dr. Anthony Fauci: cult hero

Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci might be the nerdiest cult hero in American history.

He has become the de facto voice of reason within the Donald Trump administration, which is led by a pathological liar who also happens to be an ignoramus. Fauci has been the primo truth-teller among the men and women who’ve been briefing us daily about the progress of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the United States.

He will turn 80 years of age next Christmas Eve. Fauci runs the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He is a giant among the physicians and scientists who work with the National Institute of Health.

Fauci has been charged with helping craft the nation’s response to the pandemic as it has circled the globe, killing thousands of human beings. It has claimed more than 1,000 Americans and the United States is now the world’s most infected nation, with more than 120,000 Americans infected by the unique coronavirus known as COVID-19.

Dr. Fauci, though, is facing a monumental task while reporting to pandemic task force chairman Vice President Mike Pence, who in turn reports to Donald J. Trump. You see, Pence is the nation’s No. 1 suck-up to Trump and Trump is the nation’s No. 1 purveyor of fake news.

So, when Fauci contradicts the crap that flies out of Trump’s mouth,  he runs the risk of angering the Top Liar, who has demonstrated a propensity for removing those who fail to fall in line with whatever falsehood he is peddling.

Trump tries to persuade us that we’ve got this pandemic “under control.” We don’t have it under control. The cases of infection are increasing daily and they are threatening the economic health — not to mention the physical health — of the nation.

Meanwhile, we have Dr. Fauci trying to tell us the truth. A social media Fauci Fan Club has emerged. I’m grappling with whether I should join. I likely won’t do it, but it surely is tempting.

However, I remain wedded to my belief that the nation needs this wise and learned man more than ever as an antidote to the imbecile to whom he must answer.

Trump’s push to ‘re-open’ country could bring even more heartache

Donald Trump’s desire to restart the nation’s economy is presenting some truly dangerous potential consequences. If only the Idiot in Chief could understand what’s at stake.

He wants to reopen businesses by Easter. Trump seems to believe that the coronavirus is going to heed his demand and magically disappear, as if his presidential fiat will make it happen.

That ain’t how it works. I believe Dr. Anthony Fauci, the epidemiologist who works on the presidential pandemic response team, laid it out there: Illness and disease do not respect timetables.

That doesn’t matter to Donald Trump.

His fixation with the nation’s economic health has little if anything to do with concern over businessmen and women’s future, or their livelihood. It has everything to do with his re-election chances.

Except that reopening the doors to business around the country could expose millions of Americans to disease, which could inflict far more pain than even this presidential ignoramus can anticipate.

Donald Trump is likely not going to be persuaded by anyone’s expert opinion on matters that do not register in what passes for the president’s brain. He is focused only on himself and what’s good for his political future.

The irony, though, is that a premature reopening of business in America well could doom that future to monumental failure, not to mention doom millions of Americans to an even more grim fate.

As Osita Nwanevu writes in the New Republic: The choice the country now faces isn’t between public health and economic stability. We are choosing which public health and economic catastrophe we would like to see unfold. And one is clearly preferable.

Sickening.

How will this crisis change our beloved country?

The bad news is obvious: Too many Americans are suffering from the coronavirus pandemic, as are too many of our fellow human travelers around the world.

The good news is a bit harder to find, but it’s there: We will emerge from this crisis in due course. It likely won’t be as soon as Donald Trump keeps saying it will occur, but we’ll get through this.

Now for some  uncertain news: How will this crisis and our national reaction to it change this country we all love beyond measure?

My strong sense is that when we emerge on the other side that we won’t be quite the same as we were prior to the first death was recorded what seems to long ago.

Maybe we should adopt tighter personal hygiene habits. We should wash our hands more frequently than we did prior to the pandemic. Perhaps we should adopt some modified form of “social distancing.”

To be clear, I am a hugger. I tend to embrace good friends I haven’t seen in some time. That might change, particularly if my friends wave me off, suggesting I should keep my distance. I guess I’ll take on a case-by-case basis.

On a government level, we most certainly should reintroduce the pandemic watchdog element to our National Security Council. Donald Trump eliminated that arm of the NSC not long after he took office as president of the United States. We are paying for that inattention now. Each of our state governments perhaps ought to find the will and the wherewithal to establish pandemic-oriented agencies as well.

The change in our national psyche also is likely to linger long after the disease runs its course. I hope with all my strength for a vaccine, much like we developed in the 1950s with polio. Many other diseases have emerged since then, but we haven’t found cures for them; I think of HIV/AIDS in particular.

Our daily lives are likely to see changes. What they turn out to be remains one of the great unknowns, one of the uncertain elements that awaits us.

Until the end of this crisis arrives, I’ll concentrate on hoping for the best news … that it’s over. Then we can start planning for the uncertain future that lies ahead.

Why not invite Democrats to that bill-signing, Mr. President?

Donald John “The So-Called Unifier in Chief” Trump signed an important bill into law today.

It was the coronavirus pandemic emergency response bill approved by overwhelming bipartisan majorities in both chambers of Congress. The Senate approved it 96-0; the House approved it by a voice vote, thanks to some procedural maneuvering orchestrated by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

But …

Pelosi or other Democrats were nowhere to be found in the Oval Office today as Trump signed the bill into law.

Hasn’t he promised to unify the country? Hasn’t he pledged to work with Democrats as well as Republicans to “make America great again”? I believe the fate of this bill, which Trump supported after at first opposing it (while blaming Democrats, naturally, for wanting to load it up with unnecessary provisions) depended on Democrats as well as Republicans.

Oh, but of course Trump is still enraged at Pelosi because the House speaker engineered the impeachment of the president. That’s his rationale, although he hasn’t said it directly.

This individual’s petulance makes me sick.

Let us give thanks to medical first responders

For many years I have been offering unsolicited thanks to firefighters and police officers when I see them out and about. It’s the least I can do to let those who take an oath to “protect and serve” the rest of us.

I don’t go to hospitals much these days, which quite obviously is a good thing. Thus, it is hard for me to thank doctors, nurses, various medical technicians and others who toil in our hospitals.

These are dangerous times. Our nation is battling a coronavirus pandemic. The United States is now the world’s leading country afflicted by the virus; we have surpassed China, where the pandemic began, and Italy, which is suffering grievously as a result the illness that has felled so many Italians.

I want to use this forum to offer a brief, but supremely heartfelt, thank you to those who are struggling to tend to those stricken by the virus. It might sound cliché, but these individuals have been thrust into harm’s way in a manner that is every bit as dangerous as the men and women who fight for us on battlefields around the world.

Bullets aren’t flying in our hospitals, emergency room clinics, nursing homes or convalescent centers. The enemy there is that damn virus. It’s invisible, to be sure, but it is dangerous in the extreme.

If I encounter medical personnel at the grocery store, my intention will mirror my actions when I see firefighters and cops. Until then, I will rely on this forum to offer only this: Thank you.

One county judge peers into a neighbor’s ‘yard’ and offers sound advice

If I were sitting in Collin County Judge Chris Hill’s chair at this moment I might be inclined to tell Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins to mind his own bee’s wax.

Then again, were I occupying Jenkins’ chair, I might respond with, “Hey, Chris, we’re all in this together. I’m looking out for everyone in the region. That includes the residents of Collin County.”

Jenkins took part in a conference call among local county judges and local health officials who were meeting to discuss the coronavirus pandemic; Hill didn’t take part. Jenkins has issued a shelter-in-place order for all Dallas County residents, essentially ordering all non-essential businesses to close; Hill has asked folks to stay at home, too, but has kept businesses open.

Jenkins seems to think that his neighboring county judge hasn’t gone far enough. So that’s why he’s admonishing Collin County residents to stay at home while scientists, doctors, first responders answer the call to battle against the coronavirus.

Hey, I live in Collin County. I am heeding the advice given by Judge Jenkins. As for Judge Hill, well, he ought to rethink his reluctance to order the closure of those businesses.

As the Dallas Morning News has reportedAsked about the call with the hospital executive, Hill said it was accurate that he didn’t participate but that he had participated in two other calls with county judges Thursday that Jenkins didn’t take part in. “We need regional cooperation right now in North Texas,” Hill said. “And I urge Judge Clay Jenkins to reconsider his position.”

I need not remind anyone that the coronavirus cases in North Texas are growing rapidly. Accordingly, as a taxpaying constituent of Chris Hill, I hereby ask him to rethink his position.

We have “regional cooperation” in North Texas, even with Clay Jenkins’ apparent scolding.

Is this crisis making us a bit nicer to each other?

Maybe it’s just me, but I have this feeling in my gut that the coronavirus pandemic is helping create a society that is just a bit more courteous.

I kind of feel it when I go to the grocery store, or to fill my truck with fuel, or when I meet folks on the street. I find myself smiling a little more broadly at total strangers and they are returning likewise smiles to me. Our neighbors here in Princeton are offering to help us if we need it; we are returning the offer to them.

Is this what’s happening?

Our local TV stations are full of public service announcements that remind us that “we’re all in this together.”

My wife and I went to a supermarket in Farmersville the other day. We ventured about six miles east along U.S. Highway 380 to see for ourselves what we had heard from an acquaintance, that this store was doing an exemplary job of keeping their shelves stocked while so many of us are hoarding certain products.

We were standing near the stand-up freezers, watching store employees rushing to fill them with frozen vegetables. I was struck by the thought: You know, these folks might be performing one of the most valuable jobs in this community. They were hustling with broad smiles on their faces.

No one, as near as I can tell, welcomes the restricted movements we are enduring, or welcomes the rules that governments are imposing on our daily lives.

The medical personnel at our local hospitals, I am absolutely certain, do not welcome the stress they are facing as they perform heroic acts treating those afflicted with the coronavirus. They deserve our gratitude, our thanks and our best wishes as they struggle to keep our community healthy.

I hope I do not have to thank them personally while they treat me or any member of my family. I am more than willing to express my thanks to them all through this forum.

All of this just might be an unintended, but welcome, consequence of this serious crisis. It’s bringing out the best in us.

Speak for yourself, Lt. Gov. Patrick

I’m not living in fear of Covid-19. What I’m living in fear of is what’s happening to this country. And you know (Fox News host) Tucker (Carlson), no one reached out to me and said, “As a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on our survival, in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’ And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.

Those words of idiocy came from Texas Lt. Gov. Dan “The Dipsh**” Patrick, who said in effect that elderly Americans ought to be ready to die in order to preserve our national economic infrastructure.

Well, pardon me for breathing, Dan. But I ain’t willing to make that “exchange.”

Patrick bloviated on Fox News and offered what I believe to be a despicable observation about what is at stake.

Patrick is 69 years of age. For the record, I am 70. So this fellow is offering a bit of moronic logic that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Let’s play that idiocy out just a bit.

If an old man like me or Lt. Gov. Patrick wants to resume normal living, interacting with other human beings as if nothing is wrong, then we are endangering not just ourselves, but we could be putting other Americans at risk, too. Yep, that would be young folks. Hmm. Maybe children. Are they to be sacrificed, too, in the of restoring the “America we all love”?

I do fear the coronavirus, Dan Patrick. I fear for my health and for the health of my family.

To hear that kind of tripe coming from a supposedly responsible leader of a great state such as Texas is sickening in the extreme.

Shelter in place: Do it now and save lives

I want to call on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to do what he was elected to do, which is protect Texans against some of their more careless impulses.

The world is being attacked by an “invisible enemy,” the coronavirus. Local governments in the United States are issuing shelter in place orders. Many nations have done the same thing. Donald Trump is now reportedly considering going in the opposite direction; he is pondering whether to lift some of the restrictions businesses are facing in this time of peril.

Gov. Abbott ought to declare a statewide shelter in place mandate. Only a fool would want to put endanger himself or herself or put others in peril by exposing them to the virus. Yet we have too many fools among us.

Counties have imposed shelter in place edicts. The order limits Texans’ movement from their homes to stores to purchase food and other essential items. Dallas County invoked a shelter in place order over the weekend. Others have done so, too. Others are likely to issue similar orders.

Meanwhile, the state can simply override all 254 counties and make that declaration. Gov. Abbott can make that call.

My wife and I are prepared to follow such an order to the letter. We know it won’t last forever.

It’s time to step up, Gov. Abbott.

Hey, Judge Hill, it’s time to invoke ‘shelter in place’

This note is directed at Collin County Judge Chris Hill: They have done it in next-door Dallas County, so it’s time for Collin County to follow suit and invoke a shelter in place mandate.

I want my county to become even more proactive in fighting the spread of the coronavirus. One measure is to order residents to stay at home and leave the shelter of their dwellings only to purchase food and other essential supplies; you know, things like fuel for our vehicles and medicine for those who need it.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins issued the order over the weekend. The county of some 2.4 million residents is facing some serious hassle and heartache stemming from the pandemic. Jenkins saw the need to act and, so … he did.

Collin County is home to about 1.1 million Texans. My wife and I, along with our son, daughter-in-law and two of our grandkids, are among them. We want added protection orders invoked immediately.

I don’t know if Chris Hill will see this message. I intend to email it to his office. My concern is not unlike many others around the nation and the world. I am fearful that this pandemic can get totally out of control. Indeed, it might already be at that point.

However, if our local government can take measures to stem the tide where we live, then I am all in.

Shelter in place isn’t a case of being under house arrest. We can leave our homes to, oh, walk around the block, or simply get some fresh air. And, yes, we can make purchases at the store.

There isn’t any entertainment opportunities available now as it is, with restaurants, bars and other such venues closed for the short- and perhaps medium-term.

Issue the order, Judge Hill. I know of several of your constituents who will comply.