Tag Archives: COVID

COVID vaccine: political weapon

Damar Hamlin’s collapse on the football field during the Buffalo Bills-Cincinnati Bengals contest the other evening has prompted a disgusting and disgraceful display of politicization I didn’t believe was possible.

Hamlin is now released from the hospital and is home in Buffalo continuing his recovery from the frightening moment when he suffered a heart attack after tackling a Bengals player in the first quarter of a game that was suspended and eventually canceled by the National Football League.

Now comes word from some right-wing commentators and a Republican U.S. senator from Texas that Hamlin’s collapse might have been spurred by the COVID-19 virus vaccine.

What an utterly disgraceful turn!

The senator was Ted Cruz, who retweeted a message that came from actor Kevin Sorbo questioning the circumstance surrounding Hamlin’s collapse. Cruz took the tweet down. U.S. Rep. Collin Allred, a Dallas Democrat — and a former pro football player — called Cruz’s politicization of the Hamlin incident a “new low, even for Ted Cruz.”

This kind of second-guessing, grandstanding and hideous conjecture from the cheap seats simply illustrates the coarsening of our society.

It has no place … except in the gutter.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Thank you, Dr. Fauci

While we’re giving thanks to this or that person, I want to offer a word or two of gratitude for the public service delivered by someone who served seven U.S. presidents.

Anthony Fauci has retired from his post as chief medical adviser to President Biden. He is calling it a career after serving as the nation’s chief infectious disease expert.

I want to offer him thanks for taking on a job that earned him as many foes as friends over the years. Why is that? Because he was unable to predict the course that infectious diseases would take, but he still managed to save literally millions of lives over his many years of service.

Republicans who are about to take control of the House of Representatives have promised to bring Dr. Fauci back to Capitol Hill to answer stern questions about his service during the COVID pandemic. The good doc likely will stand strong against the GOP onslaught.

I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Fauci while attending the International Conference on HIV/AIDS in Bangkok back in the summer of 2004. He was there to provide wise counsel to those seeking answers to that disease. I was in Bangkok as part of a journalist contingent traveling through Southeast Asia to learn about the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in that part of the world.

Fauci served with distinction in presidential administrations dating back to Ronald Reagan. He served under the administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Donald Trump and finally, Joe Biden.

Yes, there were some rocky times, particularly during the Trump years as the administration sought to get its arms around the COVID virus. The vitriol hurled against Dr. Fauci from those on the far right has been unfair and just plain wrong.

I just want to take this brief moment to express one American patriot’s deep thanks for the service Anthony Fauci delivered. Those who survived illness from the killer virus well might owe this good man their lives.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Teachers want to bail

Finding and keeping high-quality educators is a difficult enough job even when conditions are ideal. Throw in a killer pandemic and then politics on top of that, then the public school system faces a seriously daunting task.

The Texas Tribune reports a disturbing trend: Results from a new online survey of K-12 teachers in Texas, released on Thursday, shows most “seriously considered” leaving the profession this year, a 19% increase from two years ago.

Not good, man. Not good at all.

Earlier this year we saw Dallas-Fort Worth area school districts pummeled by resignations of superintendents, some of whom were leaving districts that as recently a year ago were honored for superlative work in educating children.

What drove them away? In too many cases, it was the constant hectoring from parents over mask mandates and other restrictions made necessary by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tribune reports:

I tried my hand at substitute teaching in 2012 and learned right away I am not wired to work with other people’s children. My brief exposure to classroom work filled me with admiration for those who see it as a calling.

Therefore, I am unsettled to learn that politics is getting in the way of those who are dedicated to guiding young minds and to teaching them skills they will need to succeed.

New survey indicates more Texas teachers want to quit | The Texas Tribune

It shouldn’t need to be said, but Texas can ill-afford to let good teachers go because of political pressure. Our public school system, for which we all pay, suffers as a result.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Go after Fauci? Why?

Did I read this right, that if Republicans take control of Congress after the midterm election that they’re going to “go after” Dr. Anthony Fauci?

This prompts two immediate questions: What has he done to provoke this vengeful reaction? Why go after a man who has decided to retire from public service after serving presidents of both parties with distinction for many decades?

The threat comes from Sen. John Kennedy, the Louisiana Republican who bears not a single similarity to the late president whose name he shares.

Fauci announced this week he is stepping down in December as President Biden’s chief medical adviser. The man has had a full plate over many years. It became a heaping plate when the coronavirus pandemic broke in late 2019.

His advice rankled many on the right, including the man who brought him on board to help deal with the pandemic … Donald J. Trump.

So now there might be another persecution in store, if the cards align and the GOP takes back Congress.

So says John Kennedy.

Good grief! The man saved many thousands of lives with his advice to two presidents of the United States, Donald Trump and then Joe Biden.

It looks for all the world to me as though Kennedy wants to make as much hay as Americans can stand.

Well, he can count me out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Where’s the compassion … doc?

It never ceases to amaze how the man who claims to represent the Texas Panhandle in Congress — the Dipsh** Doc, if you will — can exhibit so little common decency when it involves the commander in chief.

Ronny Jackson, the Republican who once, served as White House physician for Donald Trump and Barack Obama — keeps tweeting the idiotic messages calling attention to President Biden’s struggle to get past the COVID-19 infection that continues to register on his test results.

And yet … there is no expression of concern or of any good wishes for the president’s complete recovery from the ailment. It ain’t coming from Jackson, who continues to enrage many of us out here with assertions about the president’s mental acuity … which is absolute rubbish.

I must remind Jackson and other GOP critics that Joe Biden sent Donald and Melania Trump wishes for a speedy recovery when they contracted the virus.

Any reciprocity from the other side? Hah!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Investigate? For what?

Ronny “The Twitter King” Jackson keeps yammering about launching an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci when Republicans take control of Congress after this year’s midterm election.

Jackson, the rookie congressman from Texas’s 13th District, doesn’t specify what the charges against Fauci would entail. Hmm. Why do you suppose that’s the case?

I figure it’s because the moron doesn’t have a clue. He’s just angry because Fauci keeps telling us it is wise to mask up, to keep our distance from strangers and to take other precautionary measures against getting sick from the COVID-19 virus.

As for Jackson, the nimrod who’s got his share of troubles staring him in his puss, he ought to show a bit more respect for one of world’s premier infectious disease doctors. Indeed, he ought to lay low on Twitter for a while as the House Ethics Committee determines if he broke the damn law by using campaign funds for personal expenses, which has been alleged against this clown.

Jackson, let’s recall once was nominated to become veterans affairs secretary by Donald J. Trump. He pulled his name back after allegations surfaced about his conduct, relating to accusations of harassment, drinking on the job and dispensing drugs a bit too cavalierly.

So, he moved to the Texas Panhandle, ran for Congress and then got elected. Good grief!

He’s been nothing but an insufferable pain in the ass ever since, firing off Twitter messages incessantly castigating the commander in chief and, of course, Dr. Fauci.

I am waiting with bated breath to see what in the name of demagoguery the former doctor — Jackson — plans to investigate about the job Dr. Fauci has done while helping us navigate our way out of this pandemic.

I just wish the Twitter King Jackson would just shut the hell up.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Go ahead and sue, Mr. POTUS

President Biden’s administration has filed an appeal to overturn a federal judge’s ruling that tossed out the mask mandate ordered by the president as the nation struggles to contain the COVID pandemic and the virus’s assorted variants.

Go ahead and appeal all you want, Mr. President.

My wife and I are going to keep masking up. We’re going to keep maintaining our distance from strangers. We’re going to keep washing our hands frequently.

The judge, based in Florida, tossed out the mandate citing some nutty notion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acted outside of its legal authority. Federal transportation authorities then removed the mandate on public transportation systems.

The president, though, is proceeding with his appeal. Fine. Go for it.

It won’t matter one damn bit to my wife and me. We’re going to keep doing what we can to prevent getting sick with the virus. We’re vaccinated to the hilt. That’s not enough, apparently. Masks are going to offer us protection. I’m all in on wearing masks.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Masks become a political weapon

There once was a time when the government told us to do something to protect our health, most of us would comply in relative silence. Few of us griped out loud.

No more, folks!

A federal judge this week overturned a mandate from the federal government to require airline passengers to wear masks to protect themselves against the COVID-19 virus. The Transportation Safety Administration has just decided it won’t require passengers to mask up before boarding planes.

I will go to my grave failing to grasp what in the world has happened to us. I will wonder forever and ever why we have begun fighting back with such anger at government’s desire to keep us safe from a disease that has killed nearly 1 million Americans.

Sigh …

It’s not entirely the “American way” to fight these efforts. Sure, we are a nation born from dissent against tyranny. Now we hear from those on the far-right wing of our political divide that “tyranny” has returned to government. It comes in the form of government ordering us to wear masks.

I scratch my noggin over that anger. Maybe I am just too passive. Some of you might think I’m a patsy, that I don’t stand up for my “rights” against an intrusive government.

I simply just comply with these mandates understanding that none of them lasts forever.

That anger has spread to visceral antagonism against medical professionals who advise the president on these matters. I have lost count of the rants I have read on social media from right-wing politicians who vow to prosecute Dr. Anthony Fauci over alleged “crimes” he supposedly has committed.

Crimes? What the … ?

It’s a new day, all right.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

They want this guy back?

Just think: a lot of Americans want to see this guy returned to the office he denigrated, disrespected and devalued damn near each day he occupied it.

I saw this social media meme and wanted to share it here. I don’t know its source; it doesn’t matter. I believe its content, although I need to put a couple of the barbs in some proper context.

The bit about “killing more Americans than Hitler” and losing “5 million jobs” is attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, which wasn’t entirely Donald Trump’s fault. Yes, he did downplay the seriousness of it as the killer virus began its path of death and destruction through the nation and around the world. That helped contribute to the calamity that befell the nation in 2020 and 2021.

And yet, millions of Americans continue to say he “told it like it is.” No, he didn’t. He told it the way he wanted us to believe it to be.

I should add that the 45th POTUS also told an estimated 35,000 lies, put many of our international alliances in jeopardy, mocked people with disabilities and prisoners of war and — this is the best one — became a Vladimir Putin enabler by refusing to admit the Russian tyrant is a killer and by refusing to condemn him for interfering in our electoral process.

Puh-leeeze …

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Annual COVID vaccine? Sure thing!

If the nation’s medical pros are right that we’re going to be consigned to getting annual vaccines to fend off the COVID virus, well, I’m all for it.

I keep hearing that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the president’s team of medical advisers are telling us that the virus won’t be exterminated, that we might have to get the vaccines each year. We do it with the flu, correct?

If that’s the case, then I am totally OK with that.

My wife and I this week obtained our second booster vaccine. We went to our CVS pharmacy in Princeton, Texas. We were in and out in just a few minutes. The nurse who stuck the needles into our arms was pleasant. Why, she even told us we didn’t have to wait 15 minutes in case of ill effect from the vaccine; “I just have to advise you,” she said.

This appears to be in our future. Whether it’s a long-term routine remains to be determined. Whether it’s long term, medium term or short term doesn’t bother me in the least.

We are both prepared to do what our government says it will take to protect us against the virus.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com