Tag Archives: Covid 19

Biden moves quickly on pandemic fight

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

President Biden is wasting no time proving he means what he says about pulling out all the stops in fighting the killer pandemic.

The president today ordered 200 million more doses of the vaccine that is expected to help eradicate the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

This, dear friends, is music to my pointy ears.

Now, a bit of full disclosure.

A very close and dear member of my family has just been released from the hospital, where she spent four weeks, most of the time hooked up to a respirator. She now is resting at home with her husband and her golden Labrador retriever.

This is my way of telling you that this disease cuts me close to the quick and I am not going to relent one iota in following the recommended measures to maintain my own health, along with the health of our beloved family members.

President Biden said during his inaugural speech that we should wear masks and do all the things we need to do out of love for our country. I love my country, Mr. President! I hear you, sir!

I also want you to ensure the nation that you do not let up — not at all, not one bit! — in maintaining our national resolve to rid us all of this killer virus.

The death count passed the “horrific” status long ago. It is climbing as I write these words. It came too damn close to claiming someone who is very special to me.

Two hundred million more doses on the way? Yes! Bring more … many more!

Biden to restore empathy to high office

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It looks as though we have received a sneak  preview of what I believe might become a hallmark of a Joe Biden presidency.

The president-elect today bid so long to his beloved Delaware and while doing so teared up, talking about his late son, Beau and how his entire family will have “Delaware” inscribed in their hearts forever.

He ended his speech with tears streaking down both cheeks. Joe and Jill Biden have arrived in Washington and will get ready for the biggest day of their lives, when Joe Biden ascends to the pinnacle of political power.

Empathy, compassion, heart-felt emotion. That has been missing for the past four years. It is the kind of quality we occasionally need to see in the president of the United States. We caught a glimpse of it today and I suspect that as we move forward into the Biden presidency we are going to see much more of it.

I have noted before how the term “consoler in chief” isn’t described in writing in the president’s job description. It is implied. It is understood that at times — such as these — we need a president who can wrap his arms around grieving families and offer them the kind of emotional support they need.

Heaven knows, a nation in the midst of a killer pandemic needs that kind of empathy from our head of state. We have lost 400,000 Americans  to the COVID-19 virus. Many more will succumb to this disease. President Biden cannot snap his fingers and cure it just like that. He can, though, speak to us about the pain many of us are feeling. Indeed, a man who has endured unspeakable tragedy in his own life can understand; his wife and infant daughter died in a car crash many years ago and then he buried his son, Beau, just five years ago.

Joe Biden knows about pain. He knows how to relate to others who are suffering from similar pain.

We saw a touch of it today. I look forward to seeing much more presidential empathy as we move ahead.

Where is POTUS? Hello?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump remains AWOL. He is MIA. He is hiding in plain sight, out there on the golf course in south Florida, hacking away at little white balls.

Meanwhile, the nation continues to fight what looks still like a losing battle against the unseen enemy, the virus that has killed more than 337,000 Americans.

I no longer expect anything from Donald Trump. He’s all but a goner.

Then again, I remain fixated on this nagging sense that he should be in the game. He should be barking out directives to his team of “the best people” on how he intends to facilitate delivery of the much-needed and long-awaited vaccine.

There remains no national strategy to wage war against a national enemy. Remember when Donald Trump called himself a “wartime president” and that he would conduct himself in such a manner while battling this disease? That turned out to be yet another promise unkept.

We are being briefed almost daily by President-elect Biden and members of his medical/science team. They will be taking over in just 22 days; they cannot pass soon enough, if you ask me. They haven’t suited up just yet.

Which brings me back to my point. We have one president at a time. The nation remains buried under the tragedy brought to us by this disease. Donald Trump has abdicated his responsibility as the leader of this nation by homing in matters that have everything to do with his political future and not a single freaking thing to do with you and me … and our health and well-being!

I’ve heard pundits pontificate about how we should ignore Trump that he’s no longer relevant to the national discussion. I do ignore the lies. I ignore the self-serving bloviating. I will not ignore any president — no matter how distasteful he is — when he has something important to say about a pandemic that continues to ravage the country we all love.

Dammit to hell anyway! Donald Trump took an oath to protect us. At the end of that oath, he said “so help me God.” The nation he pledged to protect is suffering.

Step up … Donald! Then in only 22 days you can just get the hell out of the way.

Update on COVID test

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I took the liberty the other day of announcing to the planet that my wife and I had taken a test to see if we had become infected with the COVID-19 virus.

We learned this morning we both tested negative. The young woman who called with the results was practically giddy when she gave us the news. I don’t know if she feared for us or whether she had grown weary of delivering bad news to patients who came to the McKinney clinic for coronavirus testing.

Whatever. We ain’t infected. We certainly ain’t sick.

We also are not out of the proverbial woods, even with the vaccine that is being injected into the arms of thousands of Americans each day.

Mask up, keep your distance, wash your hands … and keep your voice down, America.

Yes, to Dr. Fauci staying on the job

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Imagine that you’re the nation’s — if not the world’s — leading infectious disease doctor and you’ve been “advising” a president of the United States who dismisses your advice and calls you an “idiot.”

Then the president loses his re-election effort and you get a call from the fellow who beat him, the guy who pledged throughout his successful campaign that he would “rely on the science” to help set a course to battle a killer pandemic. He new president wants to you stay on as his “chief science adviser.”

What do you do? Well, you do what Dr. Anthony Fauci did when President-elect Joe Biden asked him to stay on. You say “yes” on the spot, which the president-elect said was Dr. Fauci’s response.

Uh, Mr. President-elect, you can count me as one American who is glad to know that you’re going to keep Anthony Fauci nearby to offer his best, learned advice on how to handle this pandemic. Joe Biden will become the eighth president for whom Fauci has worked.

All of them, Democrat and Republican alike — except for Donald J. Trump — have heeded his advice and plotted courses of action to battle prior medical emergencies based on what he has told them.

As for The Donald, his description of the Ivy League-educated physician and scientist as an “idiot” tells me all I need to know about the numbskull approach Trump has taken to the pandemic response.

Hmm … a good question

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A former colleague and a friend of mine is posing a question that needs some attention up yonder in the Texas Panhandle.

Jon Mark Beilue, with whom I worked at the Amarillo Globe-News, asks:

Just making an observation: On Monday, Nov. 23, Potter and Randall counties (combined population, 255,128) reported 623 new COVID cases. On this same date, Dallas County (2.6 million) reported 541 new cases. A county with 10 times the population has 82 fewer new cases. Just asking a question: Why?
Does anyone have an answer for my friend? Anyone at all?

Mask-wearing: not a political statement

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, whom I have dubbed the Cruz Missile, is demonstrating once again why I dislike him so intensely.

He decided to describe his fellow senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio, as acting “like a complete ass” because Brown insisted that the senator presiding over the body wear a mask.

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was without a mask when he presided. Brown wanted him to put one one, believing that he posed a potential threat of infecting other senators, given that they were meeting in an enclosed room, aka the Senate chamber.

As The Hill reported: “This is idiotic,” Cruz tweeted┬áMonday night, adding that Brown “is being a complete ass. He wears a mask to speak – when nobody is remotely near him – as an ostentatious sign of fake virtue.”

No, Ted. Your colleague is acting out what some have referred to as an “abundance of caution” in light of the pandemic that continues to kill Americans at an alarming rate each day. Perhaps he has read about it; this pandemic’s been in all the papers, man.

Cruz is now being discussed as a possible 2024 GOP presidential candidate. Hmm. His theme well might be: Wear a mask and be an ass.

Docs are conspiring?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

I just picked my jaw off the floor.

Why did it fall so far? I just heard Donald Trump say out loud to a campaign rally that the nation’s doctors and nurses are conspiring to fake death counts by the coronavirus because they, um, get more money.

He said also that if we hear about deaths from the coronavirus that we shouldn’t believe what we are hearing. It’s all fake, says the president of the United States of America.

I am baffled. Flummoxed. Enraged.

Donald Trump’s lying has plunged to new lows and that, my friends, is saying patently frightening.

He says if people catch the killer virus, they aren’t likely to die. They’ll just get better; they become immune from further infection; they get on with their lives.

Oh, but wait: More than 1,000 Americans died yesterday from the coronavirus. How could that happen? Donald Trump says docs and nurses are faking it. The media are reporting “fake news.”

This individual is as despicable as they come. He needs to lose this election … bigly.

Trump ‘cured’? Uh, huh

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Donald J. Trump says he is “cured” of the coronavirus that felled him and the first lady.

Do you believe him? Do you take anything that comes from Trump’s mouth at face value? Nope. Neither do I.

The doctors, though, do say he is no longer contagious, which I suppose Trump has interpreted as meaning he is “cured.”

Donald Trump has called his positive test for the virus that has killed more than 215,000 Americans as┬á “blessing.” Yet he continues to downplay it. He declares the disease will disappear. I have this flash for The Donald: More than 50,000 Americans are still getting sick daily from the virus, which is a trend that has spanned several days in a row. From my perch out here in Flyover Country, it doesn’t look like the disease is anywhere near disappearing.

This brings me to another key point. If Trump was “blessed” to have been stricken by the virus, one might hope he would have learned to keep his mouth shut and let the scientists, the medical doctors and the assortment of experts who comprise his White House COVID response team explain to us in detail what is going on with the disease.

I only can surmise that Trump’s blessing doesn’t extend to acquiring any wisdom about speaking out of turn and spewing lies that put Americans at risk.

He went so far as to declare himself “immune” from future positivity because he has caught the disease once. Not so fast, say the experts. COVID doesn’t respect previous afflictions, they tell us.

So now we’re back to where we were when Donald Trump tested positive for a serious disease. I am glad he appears to be on the mend. I only wish he would have learned something from it. He didn’t learn a damn thing.

Trump endangers his followers

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Certainly long after this election has gone by — perhaps even forever and ever — I will remain baffled by how Donald Trump continues to hold onto his support when he puts his ardent followers at extreme risk of catching a virus that could have killed him.

Trump once again today called a rally at the White House. Supporters were arrayed in front of the balcony from which he spoke. Trump himself might still be contaminated with the COVID-19 virus that hospitalized him for a few days this week; at least he had sense enough to stay away from the fans.

There they were, though. Clustered together. Many of them wore masks. Some of them didn’t. They cheered the Old Man’s lies and invective just like they always do.

And there he was, in all his campaign-rally glory, exhorting the troops to march on as if nothing has happened to change everyone’s life for well past the foreseeable future.

Joe Biden continues to enjoy a comfortable poll lead. Do I believe the former vice president will win this election going away? Hah! No. I don’t! My hope remains strong that he will be able to win by a comfortable enough margin to dispel any doubt that Trump vows to concoct that the election is somehow “rigged.”

How in the world does Trump manage to hold tightly to that 40 to 42 percent bloc of voters, some of whom get to stand in front of him in crowds that defy medical experts’ recommendations — and admonitions?

It’s a mystery. Perhaps I should just let that mystery stand and cease trying to attach a semblance of reason to the irrational.