Category Archives: medical news

Tragic milestone: 100K dead from virus

Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Now that we have passed yet another grievous milestone in the fight against COVID-19, it’s time to look briefly — no need to rehash what we know — at how we got to this terrible event.

Donald Trump declared the virus “under control” in the beginning. We had 15 cases nationally. Trump said the disease would disappear like magic.

It hasn’t. The death toll stands at 100,000 — and counting!

He told us that as president, he calls the shots. Governors should yield to his authority as head of state and commander in chief. Then he punted. He tossed it all back to the governors.

Trump has fought with Democratic governors who have insisted that health concerns should be paramount in their executive decision-making. Trump has heaped praise on Republican governors who have insisted with equal fervor that the economic collapse has brought even more misery to Americans; Trump is in their corner.

Trump has enacted no national plan. He has produced no national strategy. Trump has contradicted medical experts he assembled to participate in the coronavirus pandemic response team.

Oh, and the virus that Trump said would disappear miraculously?

It hasn’t done any such thing. It has gotten worse. It is continuing to worsen. It is killing more Americans every hour.

And still … Donald Trump boasts about what a “fantastic job” he is doing. No. He is not!

Governor has learned the hard way how to deal with Trump

I have to give Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer high marks for knowing how to work with a president of the United States who doesn’t understand the partnership aspect of governing.

Donald Trump keeps threatening states that don’t follow policies he favors. Whitmer, meanwhile, has told Axios that she “censors” her public comments about Trump believing that if she pulls her punches that Trump won’t cut her state off from federal aid she insists it deserves.

At issue of course is the coronavirus pandemic and Trump’s game-playing with governors who are fighting the medical crisis the best way they can. Trump keeps sending conflicting messages. He doesn’t want states to enact all-mail voting available for the presidential election, spewing lies about “rampant voter fraud.” Whitmer, meanwhile, seeks to wage the fight against the virus with virtually no emotional support from a president whose sole focus is riveted on his attempt to win re-election.

I need to mention that Whitmer reportedly is among the candidates being considered for a vice-presidential spot on the Democratic ticket led by former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

I suspect strongly that if she gets the nod, she won’t “censor” her remarks as she hits the campaign trail.

Still, for now she’s trying to do her job. If it means softening her comments about Donald Trump, I’m OK with that.

These numbers don’t lie

Donald Trump keeps telling us about the “fantastic” success he has scored in “managing” the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Liar in Chief, of course, is lying yet again as he seeks to dupe the nation into believing his pandemic prevarication.

The United States comprises about 5 percent of the world’s population. Right? Check!

The pandemic death toll, though, puts the national failure in stark relief, as American deaths from the coronavirus comprises 30 percent of the worldwide total. You got that one? Good!

It is incumbent, then, to ask whether that is the mark of a successful response to a worldwide health crisis. I submit that it is the mark instead of a monumental failure.

Donald Trump wants you to believe he has been the man with the plan. He denies the dithering and dawdling that took place when the pandemic first took root.

Trump said the virus would disappear like a “miracle.” It didn’t.

Trump has said the virus is “under control.” It isn’t.

Trump has declared that anyone who wants a test for the virus can get one. No, we cannot.

We are now paying the terrible price for Trump’s lying, his game-playing, his blaming of others. He wants to win re-election and is going to seek to fool us one more time that he “alone” can fix what’s wrong with the nation.

No, he’s a failure.

WHO gets the shaft

Let me see if I can follow this matter that so far more or less escapes me.

The world is locked in a deadly pandemic brought to us by the coronavirus. It has killed 93,000 Americans — and counting. The United States is trying to corral the viral infection, with little success.

Other nations are suffering grievously as well.

So what does Donald John Trump threaten to do? He said he might pull all U.S. funding resources from the World Health Organization, the United Nations-sponsored health agency that many nations rely on to provide medical expertise that it brings to bear … particularly in times such as this!

Trump is angry at WHO because he alleges the agency has been too friendly with China, where Trump keeps saying is the source of the coronavirus. WHO did nothing, he says, to help stem the tide of the infection.

So he wants to punish WHO by pulling all U.S. money from its coffers. It’s a huge hit that Trump wants to deliver to WHO.

I am one American who believes that the World Health Organization’s role is invaluable. The docs and other scientists who work for WHO provide plenty of expertise, guidance and counsel for the rest of the world to heed.

It also provides all manner of research for possible cures for diseases such as the one that’s killing Americans and other human beings every hour of every day.

So … with a pandemic still raging, the president of the United States wants to strip WHO clean? Idiotic.

Hoping for a good outcome for Amarillo’s baseball future

The start of the Major League Baseball season remains a moving target.

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown it all into a cocked hat. MLB hasn’t yet played a game that counts. The National Basketball Association suspended its season, along with the National Hockey League. The National Football League is supposed to start blocking and tackling, but there might not be fans in the stands.

As for baseball, there appears to be some serious tension building between the big-league clubs and their minor-league affiliates.

Pay attention, dear friends in Amarillo, Texas. I am about to talk about the beloved Sod Poodles.

There is some discussion about MLB shedding 42 minor league franchises. What in the world does that mean for the Sod Poodles, which are affiliated with the National League San Diego Padres?

Here is a small part of what Sports Illustrated is reporting:

Even as taxpayers help to keep teams afloat, several minor league affiliates reported that their MLB teams seem unconcerned about their plight during the COVID-19 crisis. Though MLB clubs are not allowed, by rule, to directly pump funds into their affiliates, several minor league executives chafed at not having received so much as a check-in phone call.

The frostiness comes amid months of tense back-and-forth between MLB and the minors over the Professional Baseball Agreement, which governs their relationship. Last extended in 2011, the deal expires this September and, as part of the negotiations, MLB is seeking to save costs by eliminating more than a quarter of affiliated teams by next season while pushing for other significant changes to its minor league partnership.

The SI article is titled “Minor League Baseball is in crisis.” So I’ll leave it to you to decide just how much of minor league ball is hurting.

As for the Sod Poodles, the franchise does not have a lengthy history. It has competed in just a single season. Granted, it was a highly successful season in 2019, with the Sod Poodles winning the Texas League championship.

Please do not accuse me of heightened negativity here. I want nothing more than for my friends and former neighbors in Amarillo to cheer the Sod Poodles on again and again.

We are faced, though, with Major League Baseball in the midst of a financial crisis created by a worldwide medical crisis. I don’t expect the baseball players union to give up the substantial sums of money that go the players. MLB, therefore, might have to face the harshest of realities if it cuts the enough affiliated franchises to save enough money to stay in business.

I am crossing my fingers. Please, let those savings not involve the Amarillo Sod Poodles.

Medics alarmed at Trump taking ‘unpoven drug’

I would be alarmed along with many doctors about Donald Trump taking a drug that hasn’t been proven to perform the miracles he keeps touting.

Except for this little thing: I don’t believe that the Liar in Chief is actually taking hydroxychloroquine, the drug he’s been touting as a potential cure for the COVID-19 virus that has killed more than 90,000 Americans.

He dropped that bomb today during a press availability. The first reaction was shock and amazement that the White House medical staff would give its tacit permission for Trump take the drug.

Then came the skepticism that Trump is actually taking the drug. You can count me as one of them.

It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that this is just one more gratuitous lie that came from Trump, a publicity stunt, the act of a carnival barker.

The word, though, from many of the docs is that hydroxychloroquine might cause heart problems. Given that Trump is officially “morbidly obese,” well … we might have a serious problem.

But only if he’s telling the truth.

She’s no hero; she is a lawbreaker

Shelley Luther is being hailed as a heroic figure, someone who is standing up to what many contend is a form of governmental tyranny.

I consider her to be a lawbreaker, someone who flouted a legally mandated directive to keep her business closed to save lives against a killer virus that has swept across the world in the coronavirus pandemic.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered salons closed. Luther’s business, Salon La Mode in Dallas, remained opened. She was doing customers’ nails and performing other cosmetic procedures even though she was putting herself and, more importantly, her customers at risk of catching COVID-19.

As the Texas Tribune reported: Luther knew she was operating in blatant defiance of emergency orders from the state and county. She had already torn up a cease-and-desist letter from local authorities, winning loud cheers onstage at an Open Texas rally in Frisco.

Ridiculous.

Here’s my favorite part. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Houston decided to get his hair cut at Luther’s salon … in Dallas. The Cruz Missile, who backs Donald Trump’s rush to return reopen the economy that has collapsed in the wake of the pandemic, thought he’d score some cheap political points by standing with Shelley Luther.

Cruz should be ashamed of himself, except that he isn’t.

As for Luther, she had been sent to jail for violating the stay-closed order. Top Texas Republicans sought to work for her release. So she got sprung from the hoosegow. She came out to a hero’s welcome.

Now this business owner is being hailed as a sort of cultural icon because she’s standing her ground against what she believes is government overreach.

She is standing instead for the fruitcakes who have stormed the Michigan state capitol building brandishing assault rifles and waving swastikas and Confederate battle flags; she is standing for other protesters around the nation who flock to beaches and ignore social distancing recommendations.

It’s people like Shelley Luther who make enforcing mandates aimed at protecting our health — and even our lives — more difficult than they need be.

Trump ups the ante to potentially dangerous level … or has he?

You know already that I trust Donald John “Liar in Chief” Trump about as far as I can throw his overfed body.

But there he goes, offering what well might be yet another in the nearly 20,000 documented lies he has told since becoming president.

He said he is taking a drug that doctors are warning us about the potentially deadly side effects. Hydroxycloroquine is its name. Trump has been touting its supposed effect in fighting the coronavirus, even though doctors are quite reluctant to avoid prescribing it as a cure for the killer virus.

Trump blurted it out today. He said he has been taking hydroxycloroquine for about two weeks. He said the White House physician effectively told him “Sure, why not?” when Trump asked whether it was OK to take the drug.

I do not believe Donald Trump is taking the drug.

I do believe he lied to us once again.

Why would he lie about this? I haven’t a clue.

It merely is that physicians worth a damn wouldn’t prescribe this drug as an antidote against COVID-19. I do not believe, therefore, that the White House doc gave the green light for the president of the United States to take a drug that is far from a proven remedy for this viral infection.

“What do you have to lose?” Trump keeps asking about hydroxychloroquine. The answer from many doctors has been clear and concise: Your life.

And yet we now have the president making a potentially reckless declaration that well could encourage Americans to follow this nimrod’s lead down a dangerous path. Let us remember that this is moron who said we could ponder whether to ingest “disinfectants” to fight the virus. Now this.

Reprehensible.

‘We’re back’ … umm, no we aren’t

Donald John Trump’s state of denial is breathtaking in its scope.

He said this past week that “vaccine or no vaccine … we’re back.” 

Actually, Mr. POTUS, we aren’t back. We are far from “back.” Thousands of Americans are still dying daily. Thousands more of us are getting sick. Take away the decline in death and infection in New York, and the rest of the country is still spiking.

Take a look at Texas — where my family and I live — and we see a surge in infection.

So while the president can bellow, bluster, bloviate all he wants about us being “back,” the reality tells us something quite different.

The death toll has surpassed 90,000 on its way to 100,000 Americans dying. Who knows when it will end? Trump doesn’t know. Neither do the medical experts he has brought aboard to coordinate the pandemic response.

So, Donald Trump needs to do us all a favor … and keep his trap shut!

What? Mitch says he’s wrong?

I guess hell can freeze over on occasion.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has admitted to speaking incorrectly about an issue involving former President Obama.

McConnell said erroneously that the Obama administration didn’t leave the Donald Trump administration with a pandemic response action plan.

D’oh! Turns out the former president did leave a 69-page playbook for the Trump team to use in case a pandemic were to erupt. “I was wrong,” McConnell said in a Fox News interview.

Now, it turns out that the Trump team didn’t look at it. I guess it had something to do with Barack Obama’s name on it, which I am going to presume made Donald Trump go berserk, given his irrational envy of anything associated with President Obama.

Well, it’s good to know that even the mighty Mitch McConnell can admit to making a mistake. Do not expect anything of the sort coming from Donald John Trump.