Tag Archives: CDC

Alzheimer’s delivers far-reaching pain and suffering

A conversation I had this morning with a family member reminded me of something I’ve actually known for decades.

Alzheimer’s disease claims many more victims than just those who are afflicted with this killer.

A member of my family (not the person with whom I talked today) is battling the disease. His condition appears to be worsening. He is confused; he has lost virtually all the examples of mental acuity he used to display.

Eventually, this family member likely could lose his ability to speak, feed himself, bathe himself. What then? It falls on those closest to him — his wife and his children and grandchildren — to bear an unbearable burden.

Which brings me to my point. It is that Alzheimer’s disease inflicts far more harm on loved ones than it does on the actual victims.

How do I know this? My own mother died of the disease in September 1984. She was just 61 years of age when she left us. We carried that burden to the end.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that about 5 million Americans are afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, a neurological disorder that robs individuals of their cognition. It steals their identity. It turns vibrant human beings into shells of their former selves.

As the nation continues to age, the number of Alzheimer’s diagnoses is bound to increase, piling on more heartache to loved ones who are left to care for them.

While the nation’s political leaders debate and argue over how — or whether — to spend public money on more Alzheimer’s research, it is good to remember the toll being taken on an increasing number of Americans who are left to cope with the ravages this killer brings to its victims.

Do we devote enough national attention to battling this killer, let alone devoting enough of our resources to search for effective treatments and, indeed, even a cure? Not to my way of thinking.

Nor to those who are left to care for those caught in the grip of a disease that robs them of their very being.

Seven words CDC won’t allow?

Wherever he is, the late comedian George Carlin must be laughing his a** off.

Carlin once made famous those “seven words you can’t say on TV.” I won’t repeat them here. Many of you know them already.

Now we have the Centers for Disease Control being told not to use seven supposedly hot-button words in future budget proposals.

Oh, my. What is the world coming to?

The CDC’s banned words are: fetus, diversity, transgender, vulnerable, entitlement, evidence-based and science-based.

You can’t say it

I want to focus on one of those banned words: science-based.

What in the name of hocus-pocus is going on here? I mean, we’re talking about the Centers for Disease Control, aren’t we? Doesn’t the CDC deal directly and wholly with science? I do not understand this directive. I do not grasp why the CDC — of all agencies — would get this kind of directive from on high.

Critics of the Trump administration have alleged that it is being run by science-deniers. Here’s one example: They deny the existence of climate change despite mounting scientific evidence that Earth’s climate is changing, that it is getting warmer.

So now the CDC is being told it cannot use “science-based” terminology?

What in the world would George Carlin do with this bit of idiocy?

Ebola 'czar' gets expected criticism

Is there any better example of being “damned if you do, or don’t” than President Obama’s appointment of an Ebola “czar”?

Let’s meet Ronald Klain, who is the new manager of the government’s response to the Ebola situation. Klain is a trusted adviser to the president, a Mr. Fix-It sort of individual. He is known as a master government technician who knows how to make things work.


He’s not a medical professional. However, he comes into the game reportedly with a good deal of nuts-and-bolts know-how.

Republicans in Congress have been yapping about the president’s propensity for naming these “czars.” He’s got a czar for all kinds of things.

Yet … the GOP wanted him to name an Ebola czar because, they contend, the government’s response to this so-called “crisis” has been tepid, ineffective, milquetoast.

So then Obama puts Klain on the job.

GOP leaders now contend that Klain is the wrong person for the job. I haven’t yet heard who they think is the right person, or even how they would describe that individual.


I’m not at all certain the president even needed to appoint a czar to do this job.

A surgeon general would have been an appropriate person to lead the nation’s response to this matter, but Republicans have blocked the naming of that individual for reasons that have nothing to do with his or her medical qualifications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is run by someone who’s qualified to coordinate the effort; but Dr. Thomas Frieden has been criticized — again, by Republicans mostly — his own agency’s failure to manage this “crisis.”

The president is damned yet again for doing what his critics have demanded he do.

Right-wing media attack getting out of hand

Right-wing mainstream media talking heads need to get a grip on this Ebola story.

Some of ’em are yammering about demands for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden to resign.

For what?


Two of the “stars” of this trash Dr. Frieden cavalcade are Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham. They haven’t listen too intently to what their colleague Shepard Smith said on the air recently, that the Ebola “crisis” in the United States isn’t a crisis at all, that we have little to worry about and that — here it comes — we shouldn’t politicize this issue by seeking to lay blame on medical professionals who are trying to do their job.

That hasn’t stopped Blowhard Bill and Laura the Lip from firing off their criticism of Dr. Frieden.

Ingraham likened Frieden to “Baghdad Bob.” Remember that guy? He was the idiot propagandist who proclaimed that Iraqi forces were defeating American troops in 2003 — as Americans were rolling into the Iraqi capital city.

There’s no need at all to demonize Frieden in the manner that some on the right are seeking to do. Indeed, even O’Reilly’s own Fox colleague Greta Van Susteran has proclaimed Bill-O is wrong to criticize Frieden’s work as head of the CDC.

Let’s calm down, shall we?

'Shep' gets it exactly right on Ebola

One of two things has happened.

Hell has frozen over or the sun rose this morning over the western horizon.

How on God’s planet Earth can one explain that a Fox News Channel anchor has gotten it so very right on the media’s reporting of a non-existent Ebola “epidemic” in the United States of America?

Shepard Smith is the anchor. His message is right here. Listen up:


Readers of this blog know I am not prone to heaping praise on Fox News, the “unfair and unbalanced” network that keeps saying it is “fair and balanced.” My experience has been that when media keep saying such things, chances are they are neither.

Smith has laid out a perfectly reasonable rationale for why Americans have no reason to panic over news that two Americans have come down with Ebola symptoms. They treated a man who traveled to Dallas from Liberia; that man was infected with the disease and he has died, tragically. The two health care workers treated the gentleman and are now under the care of the best infectious disease medical professionals anywhere in the world.

Smith argues that unless you have come in contact with someone who is exhibiting Ebola symptoms, you have nothing — not a single thing — to fear.

He blasts the politicization of the story and the laying of blame on health care professionals who’ve been accused wrongly of lying about Ebola.

Smith’s best advice in combating Ebola? It’s fantastic! “Get a flu shot,” Smith said, adding that flu kills tens of thousands of Americans every year. It presents symptoms that are similar to Ebola.

We had a mild anxiety attack in Amarillo on Wednesday when a man was admitted into the emergency room of Baptist-St. Anthony Hospital. BSA ordered a lockdown of the ER after believing he was exhibiting “Ebola-like” symptoms; local media reported the lockdown and the reason for it. Those two events set off a whole lot of chatter around the city about the situation that unfolded at BSA.

It turned the individual tested negative for Ebola; the lockdown was lifted.

However, the angst was palpable throughout the city. Why? Because the media have done generally a poor job of keeping this story in perspective. At least that would be Shepard Smith’s take on it.

He is right. Listen to his remarks. If you do, you’ll feel better. Honest.

Ebola case testing my composure

Allow me this admission: News that a man got off a plane and is in Dallas, Texas, suffering from the Ebola virus is testing my resistance to panic.

Why? I have family immediate family members in the Dallas area.


I keep hearing stories of how people are getting exposed to this deadly virus. I know that exposure relies on contact with “bodily fluids” and all that. Still, people are getting infected in other ways, or so it seems.

I will continue to keep the faith my family members will stay far away from wherever this individual is being quarantined. They’ll go about their day as they usually do. They’ll work, study, perform household duties, tend to their children, do the things they do normally.

However, the deadly news out of West Africa has found its way to the United States — and to the very part of the country where our loved ones are living.

I won’t panic. I won’t worry myself sick over this news. I’ll continue to put a measure of faith in the medical professionals’ knowledge of how to deal with this disease and how to keep it contained to the individual who flew here from Liberia as he was infected with the often-fatal virus.

But damn! If I spend too much time thinking about Ebola, it’s hard to keep my composure.

Even worse than White House fence-jumper

Good grief! The more I hear about this one, the worse it gets for the Secret Service.

And this case is far worse than some guy jumping the White House fence and bursting into the president’s residence.


It turns out that a convicted felon, carrying a firearm, rode an elevator with President Obama while the president as in Atlanta to speak to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

How on God’s Earth does someone with a criminal record, packing heat, walk aboard an elevator with the Leader of the Free World without the Secret Service knowing it?

What’s more, the Secret Service didn’t even tell the president about it until several days later.

I’m more glad than ever that Julia Pierson quit today as head of the security agency.

More heads ought to roll before this matter shakes out.