Tag Archives: COVID

Apology accepted, RFK Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has just learned a lesson that I think should be spread throughout the world as it grapples with the issues of the day.

It is that no one ever should compare whatever discomfort one is enduring in the moment to what occurred during the dark, horrible era of The Holocaust. RFK Jr. uttered a most despicable comparison the other day at an anti-COVID 19 vaccine rally in which he bellowed that people who are forced to be vaccinated against a killer virus are enduring trauma similar to what Anne Frank suffered while she was hiding out in her apartment in Amsterdam during World War II.

Kennedy has apologized for his remarks. I accept his apology. I also hope he — nor any other public figure — makes the same hideous analogy ever again.

Anne Frank died at the age of 15 at the hands of her Nazi captors after she and her family were taken from that apartment and sent to a death camp. She was one of about 6 million European Jews who died during The Holocaust, which was the most unspeakable act committed during the 20th century … or perhaps in all of human history.

Kennedy sought to make some odious comparison between what governments are doing now in ordering vaccines to what the Nazis did to Europeans. Good God in Almighty heaven!

I want to add a personal point of privilege. My wife and I saw the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam in 2016 and were moved to tears at the tale of horror it told of the suffering she and her family endured while they hid from their Nazi captors.

The Holocaust stands alone and should never — not ever! — be held up as something to which one can compare other controversial acts.

Lesson learned, RFK Jr.? I damn sure hope so.


Don’t politicize pandemic!

Never would I have imagined that a worldwide medical crisis would produce the kind of political division in the world’s most prosperous nation that we have seen erupt in the United States of America.

Did you see the video of that woman in Virginia threaten her local school board if it requires children to wear masks in school? She said she would scarf up any firearm she could find and … do something with them, presumably to harm other human beings. Why? Because they might order students to wear masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

It’s happening everywhere, man! Blue states and red states have become battlegrounds among Americans who are fighting with each other — and threatening public officials — because of masks, vaccines, social distancing.

Good grief! What in the world has happened to us?

I am just one American patriot, so I can speak only for my little ol’ self. If the government tells me I have to do something, like wear a fu**ing mask to prevent the spread of potentially fatal virus spores, then I am going to follow the government’s lead.

I served in the Army for a time more than 50 years ago and was told then I had to follow “lawful orders.” Failure to follow such orders would result in me being punished for insubordination. I haven’t heard an unlawful order yet coming from the feds about how we should conduct ourselves if we are dedicated to getting rid of the killer virus.

Too many of my fellow Americans have determined that these mandates are unlawful and so they have decided to disobey them. They are courting disaster and tragedy, not just for themselves but for everyone around them.

They are politicizing a quintessentially non-political issue. Our public health is way beyond the realm of cheap politics.


News gets tiresome

My name is John and I am a news-a-holic. With that introduction, I am declaring a certain addiction I have to the consumption of information about my world. I cannot help myself. It is who I am.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I want to declare my news fatigue over the reporting of the COVID-19 pandemic, the coronavirus crisis and all the assorted variants of the disease that have sprung up around the world.

They have exploded in India, South Africa and have traveled around the world in — snap! — just like that. The disease and its variants have consumed broadcast, cable and streaming networks, not to mention the printed pages of newspapers, magazines and assorted journals.

I cannot quite put my arms around this story. I haven’t yet grown tired of the congressional hearings examining the 1/6 insurrection, which I consider to be an existential threat to the very government I and others cherish.

The pandemic coverage is becoming tiresome.

I say that knowing that members of my family have contracted the disease. One family member was in serious condition in a hospital for a month; we could have lost her. Several friends of mine have died from the disease. I have skin in this game.

However, I am weary of hearing so much about the disease. Yes, some of the news of the past few days has been heartening to some extent, with reports of cases diminishing and projections from health experts that we might be able to live with the disease the way we live with, say, the flu or the common cold.

I will continue to be an ardent consumer of news. I won’t apologize for that addiction. Nor will I say I’m sorry about growing weary of the bombardment about the pandemic.


SCOTUS infected by animus, too?

What a revoltin’ development this is turning out to be. The U.S. Supreme Court’s two wings — the liberals and the conservatives — are at each other’s throats in the same way libs and cons are fighting in Congress and with the White House.

What’s more, we hear now that one of the court’s conservative justices, Neil Gorsuch, refuses to don a mask during court members’ meetings, despite the request issued by Chief Justice John Roberts, who wants to show respect for Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who refuses to attend the hearings because of her diabetes.

You see, Sotomayor’s medical condition makes her susceptible to the COVID-19 virus. That doesn’t seem to bother Gorsuch.

Oh, then there’s this: Gorsuch is among the court’s conservative members; Sotomayor is one of the court liberals.

This is astonishing. What kind of pompous ass would behave in the manner that Gorsuch is behaving by refusing to mask up to help keep the virus away from one of his colleagues? Furthermore, why cannot the chief justice issue an order to all the justices to mask up in order for them to attend the weekly court conferences?

Neil Gorsuch defied a request from Chief Justice John Roberts to wear a mask out of respect for Sonia Sotomayor, a report says (msn.com)

We’re still in the middle of a killer pandemic, man! It is not an unreasonable thing for Chief Justice Roberts to insist that his fellow justices observe the protocols established by medical professionals to reduce the infection risk.

As for the animosity, media reports indicate that the court’s two wings are getting increasingly testy with each other as they grapple over how to decide critical court cases. With the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision hanging in the balance, for example, the court’s liberal wing is becoming alarmed — reportedly — over the prospect of the conservative court majority overturning or severely limiting a woman’s right to end a pregnancy.

I am alarmed at what is happening to our government.


Laura shows her crassness

Laura Ingraham long has been considered part of the right-wing, nut-job cabal of talking heads who rose to infamy during the Donald Trump administration. Still, I didn’t actually realize she was capable of the kind of crassness she exhibited the other day when revealing that the nation’s top military leader had contracted the COVID-19 virus.

But she did.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley has tested positive for the virus. The highly decorated, battle-tested Army general is exhibiting mild symptoms. He’ll be OK. Ingraham, though, applauded while telling her Fox News viewers of Gen. Milley’s condition.

Can you comprehend why someone such as Ingraham would do such a thing? When in the name of non-partisan defense policy did the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff become a political punching bag?

Oh, I guess it’s because Milley expressed regret for taking part in that hideous photo op with Donald Trump the day Trump traipsed in front of the church to hold up a Bible. Or perhaps it was when Milley questioned Trump’s response to the 1/6 riot.

There was Ingraham, a COVID-19 denier and blowhard right-winger, cheering the notion that the Joint Chiefs chair is now afflicted with a disease that has the potential of inflicting some serious harm to the man’s heath.

Disgraceful. Then again, this is what I have learned to expect from the right-wing media corps of Trumpkins.


Give it up, Novak!

Maybe I’m just slow on the uptake. Perhaps I am not studying this issue as closely as I should before popping off.

Novak Djokovic, the best men’s tennis player on Earth, should just give up his quest for a 21st major championship and go home rather than defying Australia, the host country of the Australian Open that — by the way — has imposed strict protocols for entering the nation in this pandemic age with which we’re all coping.

Djokovic is not vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. Moreover, he lied about where he was and what he did and with whom he did it. Australia has been in virtual lockdown for more than a year and has imposed strict entry requirements as the nation seeks to rid itself of the virus that is still killing people around the world.

What in the world gives Djokovic any additional latitude to enter the country and then compete against fellow tennis pros? Don’t tell me it has anything to do with his standing as the No. 1 men’s player in the world or that his next major championship would break the record held by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

I think Martina Navratilova, the former No. 1 women’s player in the world, has it right: It’s not worth it to the game, or the host country for Djokovic to keep fighting this issue. “Just suck it up and go home,” Navratilova said.

Yep. Go home, Novak. You’ve broken the rules and lied to the world.


Pandemic = confusion

This blasted pandemic is confusing me to no end. Many things remain constant: masks work; vaccines are essential; social distancing is preferred.

Now, though, we hear that the Omicron variant — the latest such offshoot of the killer pandemic — is on the verge of petering out. It’s peaking soon, the medical pros tell us. We are going to see a dramatic reduction in infection, hospitalization and worse … quite soon.

Herd immunity. Do you remember that one? Now I hear that Omicron is going to infect damn near everyone. Not if we can help it in our North Texas home. We don’t want to test positive for anything resembling the virus. So far, so good on that one.

As for what lies ahead, we hear now that we might have this virus among us practically forever. We will have to treat it like the flu, or the common cold, nothing worse than that.

Hey, if that’s what lies ahead, I am OK with that.

I just am a bit puzzled as to what to expect, when to expect it and how to deal with it if and when it — whatever “it” is — arrives.

And, no … I do not blame Anthony Fauci for this, or the CDC’s Rachel Wallensky, or President Biden.

This world of ours is treading onto territory it hasn’t seen before.

I am going to deal with my confusion in due course and hope for the best as we battle through this pandemic.


Fauci has earned his spurs

Critics of Dr. Anthony Fauci have been asking a legitimate question about his credentials, which is: What makes his opinions matter so much over those of other infectious disease experts?

I’ll give you my take on that.

It is because Fauci, who serves as President Biden’s chief medical adviser involving the coronavirus pandemic, has survived through multiple presidential administrations — of both parties and all sorts of differing political ideologies.

Starting with the Reagan administration, then through the Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43, Obama, Trump and Biden administrations, Anthony Fauci has been a constant presence.

He has given sound advice to all those men. He has earned the respect of most of them (Donald Trump’s petulant response to some of the good doctor’s pronouncements notwithstanding). Trump’s political allies remain in Congress, and they have taken up the anti-Fauci cudgel on behalf of the ex-POTUS.

I am going to stand with the Ivy League-educated physician and researcher, though, as he seeks to explain the consequences of the pandemic and the assorted variants it has spawned.

What’s more, I applaud him for fighting back fiercely against what I believe are scurrilous and slanderous attacks on his character.


Don’t apologize, doc

The ol’ “hot mic” caught another public official speaking the truth about a political adversary.

The “victim” this time was Dr. Anthony Fauci, who muttered “what a moron” after being berated by U.S. Sen. Roger Franklin, a Kansas Republican, about Fauci’s personal financial disclosure. The exchange took place Tuesday during a Senate committee hearing.

My request to the doc is this: Don’t apologize!

Franklin was berating Dr. Fauci over financial disclosures that Fauci said are a matter of public record. All anyone has to do is look them up on the Internet. Franklin wasn’t buying it. He didn’t know what he was talking about, Fauci said.

So, then he muttered the “moron” crack.

Hey, he was speaking the proverbial truth to power in that instance.

To my way of thinking, Fauci should say out loud and on the record that other GOP critics of his are “morons” for spreading lies and exposing the doctor’s family to threats of physical harm.

Are you listening, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky?


Paul ‘kindles the crazies’

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci have become enemies. Whether their status reaches “mortal enemy” status remains to be determined, but something tells me they aren’t far from reaching that perilous state in their hostile relationship.

Fauci appeared today before a Senate committee that includes the Republican Paul as one of its members. He accused Fauci of lying about whether the COVID-19 virus had its origins in a lab in China. Fauci fought back.

According to NBC News: “What happens when he gets out and accuses me of things that are completely untrue, is that all of a sudden that kindles the crazies out there, and I have threats upon my life, harassment of my family, and my children, with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me,” said Fauci during the Senate hearing.

Fauci says Sen. Paul ‘s attacks ‘kindle the crazies’ who have threatened his life (msn.com)

And so it goes. Paul, who also is a physician when he isn’t stirring up the GOP nut jobs out there, will continue to harangue the good doctor for as long as he is able.

To be candid, I will stand with Fauci. My goodness, he is the nation’s pre-eminent infectious disease expert. He knows a lot more about this stuff than virtually anyone else, and that includes Sen. Rand Paul. So, for Paul to question the credibility of a man who took an oath years ago to “first, do no harm” is laughable on its face.

To put a fine point on it, Rand Paul just pi**es me off.