Nel's New Day

December 18, 2022

News – December 18, 2022

Politics surrounding Covid and other health issues can kill people. According to two studies, mortality rates are higher for working-age people living in more-conservative U.S. areas and places with more conservative state policies. Expansion of social safety nets, increase in minimum wages, and taxes on unhealthy behaviors such as smoking increase human lifespans. Researchers examined Covid mortality records and stress on hospital intensive care units as well as congressional members’ overall voting records and whether the state was a political trifects, governor and both legislative chambers of the same house. States with GOP-controlled governments had 11 percent higher Covid rates, also 26 percent higher in areas where voters lean conservative. Hospital ICU capacity followed the same higher pattern when state political power was conservative. Public policies such as general opinions about masks and vaccines helped change the nation’s pattern of Covid mortality.

“If liberty means you’ve got guns and that gun is accessible when you’re having a depressive episode, they’re not there to coddle other citizens.”

If all states implemented liberal policies on the environment, gun safety, criminal justice, health and welfare, labor, marijuana, and economic and tobacco taxes, 170,000 lives would have been saved in 2019, but conservative policies in all states would have caused about 217,000 more deaths, “the equivalent of a 600-passenger airplane crashing every day of the year.” Blocking nationwide abortion services can increase maternal deaths by 25 to 30 percent.

Covid vaccines have saved 3.2 million lives and kept over 18.5 people in the U.S. out of the hospital, according to a new study that states this estimate is conservative. Thus far, Covid caused almost 100 million cases and over 1 million deaths in the U.S. Healthcare is again featuring the use of masks as numbers of Covid cases, deaths, and hospitalizations are increasing.

Long-Covid also killed over 3,500 people during the first 30 months of the pandemic, 30 percent in adults 75 to 84 years old with more deaths over 85 years old and more in males than females. Almost all the deaths were among non-Hispanic Whites. This figure could be a large undercount. At least 7.5 percent of the U.S. population suffer symptoms lasting over three months after contracting the virus. Diagnosis is frequently cognitive impairment, breathlessness, fatigue, and coughing, but others have debilitating pain, racing heartbeats, and severe neurological tremors. New studies reveal brain disorders.

Benjamin Abramoff, director of the Post-COVID Assessment and Recovery Clinic at Penn Medicine, cautioned that it is difficult to draw conclusions from the study without additional details about the patients’ medical histories and the severity of their covid infections.

On other subjects:

Fewer than two weeks before the GOP judicial majority takes over North Carolina’s Supreme Court, the current court ruled 4-3 that Republicans acted unconstitutionally to decrease Democrats’ influence by gerrymandering and its voter ID law intentionally discriminating against Black voters by 4-3 decisions. We’ll watch to see that the state’s high court does after its control in 2023.

The District of Columbia Circuit Court ordered the ending of Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) Title 42, permission to expel migrants from U.S. borders because of Covid, on December 21 unless the Supreme Court interferes. Since DDT’s order in March 2020, over 2.4 million people have been expelled. To qualify for asylum, migrants must face persecution for specific reasons such as their race or political opinion.

Wonder how Brett Kavanaugh will vote in the Supreme Court? The man who loves beer attended a party hosted by Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) chairman Matt Schlapp and also partied with DDT’s top adviser Stephen Miller, suspected sex-trafficker Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Sebastian Gorka, and other far rightwing celebrities.    Congress may have salvaged marriage equality in the U.S., but women may lose their rights to birth control, just as many of them had lost to have abortions. Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) handpicked Matthew Kacsmaryk and was confirmed by only GOP votes for a federal court in Texas. In Deanda v. Becerra, he opposed the part of Title X, a federal law for over 50 years that provides grants to health providers funding  voluntary and confidential family planning services for patients that includes “services for adolescents.”

With no standing, a father sued to block all grants not requiring patients under 18 to “obtain parental consent” before receiving Title X-funded medical care in opposition to the “minor’s right to privacy” including a right to contraception, which Alexander Deanda states is unconstitutional. He never tried to get Title X-funded care, his daughters never attempted to get it, and he doesn’t indicate that they might seek Title X-funded care. He just says that one of his daughters might try to get contraception, and Kacsmaryk agreed. Deanda uses a Texas state law, despite the federal law being “the supreme Law of the Land” with state law yielding to federal law. The federal appeals court case Doe v. Iwin (1980) rules “as with adults, the minor’s right of privacy includes the right to obtain contraceptives.” The Supreme Court, however, could overturn minors’ rights, and maybe even contraceptive rights for adult women.

Kacsmaryk follows Justice Samuel Alito’s devotion to centuries-old rulings by claiming that “the common law held minors were incapable of giving consent to make important life decisions.” The judge in this case ignores English and early American law permitting minors to consent to sex as early as age 12 when he states that 17-year-olds historically have no control over their sexuality. Thus he ruled that “the Title X program violates the constitutional right of parents to direct the upbringing of their children.” Public universities can’t even leave out a basket of free condoms with the danger that someone under 18 could take one. Deanda’s goal is to shut down Title X, and Kacsmaryk seems quite happy to do so.

Cruel cold weather is attacking a good part of the U.S., and corporate utility giants will benefit from the bills. The nine largest energy utility companies collected almost $14 billion in profits in 2022’s first three quarters and about over $11 billion benefiting wealthy shareholders with dividends and stock buybacks. Energy companies are sharing in the high costs of inflation to give themselves billions. Because some people cannot afford the higher bills, utilities have shut off households’ power 440,000 times across 15 states making their rates publicly available, a large increase from last year. Southern Company’s Georgia subsidiary raised rates almost 12 percent in June 2022, and its Tennessee subsidiary increased rates 25 percent two months later.

FTX founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried has been arrested and denied bail in the Bahamas for his alleged massive fraud in the company with eight counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, and campaign finance violations. After saying he will fight extradition, he reversed his position and plans to return to the U.S. where he faces a possible 115 years in prison.

Sen. Mitt Romney’s (R-UT), Ronna McDaniel, may lose her position leading the RNC because of the GOP losses in the past three general elections, her entire term as RNC chair.

U.S. inflation is still going down for the fifth month in a row while the rates around the world are rising in major economies.

The past week has revealed more information about texts from Mark Meadows, DDT’s former chief of staff, who Mother Jones’ David Corn calls “a liar—at least by omission.” Last year, Meadows’ book, The Chief’s Chief, worshipped DDT and blamed his presidential loss on Fox’s “less-than-enthusiastic coverage” of the candidate, purported media conspiracies, and massive fraud. Unfortunately, he had no proof but insisted that DDT had won the election because of the “palpable” excitement at rallies and the “feeling I got during the final days of President Trump’s campaign.” Plus proof from the social media. DDT’s January 6 speech was only a farewell address that “did not call for violence” and told Meadows he didn’t intend to go to the U.S. Capitol, despite evidence to the contrary.

The trove of thousands of text messages revealed by Talking Points Memo that Meadows received and sent during the post-election period created a new picture. Some of them had been already made public, but one outstanding came from Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) on January 17, 2021 citing a conspiracy theory of Dominion Voting Systems rigging the election declared:

“Our LAST HOPE is invoking Marshall Law!! PLEASE URGE TO PRESIDENT TO DO SO!!” [Norman misspelled “martial” law.]

Meadows left that out of his book, and Norman is back in Congress for another two years. Meadows discouraged none of the texts calling for insurrection to overturn Joe Biden’s election. According to TPM:

“Meadows received at least 364 messages from Republican members of Congress who discussed attempts to reverse the election results with him. He sent at least 95 messages of his own… The members who messaged Meadows about challenging the election included some of the highest-profile figures on the right flank in Congress, such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), all of whom are identified as playing leading roles in the effort to undo Trump’s defeat.”

Three days after the election, Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) wrote Meadows:

“Mark, When we lose Trump we lose our Republic. Fight like hell and find a way. We’re with you down here in Texas and refuse to live under a corrupt Marxist dictatorship. Liberty!”

Some of this information may appear in the last House January 6 investigative committee hearing at 1:00 pm EST.

December 27, 2021

COVID’s Political Problems

President Joe Biden promised to help states with the pandemic but told governors that states need to take the lead in controlling the coronavirus, meaning they will be responsible for infections, hospitalizations, and deaths. Thus far, the number of infections per 1 million have varied from 225,108 in North Dakota to 73,293 in Hawaii with deaths per million between 3,494 in Mississippi and 739 in Vermont. Despite heavy criticism for the pandemic handling from conservatives in my state of Oregon, the infection rate is second from the bottom at 98,190 below only six states below Oregon at 1,333 deaths per million.

A major reason for these differences is state administration. At least 19 states created laws this year blocking state or local authorities from public health guards such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, and promoting or requiring vaccinations. Legislatures in other states are considering similar statutes, all in the name of “individual liberties” and allow people “a voice in public health.” Ohio goes so far as to restrict closing restaurants to protect customers from an outbreak of foodborne disease. Montana doesn’t require vaccinations for anyone working in hospitals or clinics in opposition to a federal order.  

Politics have played a huge part in hospitalizations and deaths because of deaths. The new Omicron variant and the skyrocketing rate of infections and deaths in some states has caused a spate of vaccinations, but blue states have above average rates of vaccinations with red states below average. The vaccination map looks like the election map with battleground states in the middle. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is an example of the Republican attitude when he tweets “Real America is done with #COVID19” and later called the public health protection policies a “two-year attack on our liberties.” Since vaccines became common, states voting for DDT have an over 50 percent higher risk of people dying from the coronavirus. Since February 1, 2021, red states have an average of 116 COVID deaths per 100,000 people, compared to 77 deaths in blue states. Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia—all states voting for DDT—have the worst per capita death rates. The difference between red and blue counties is even more pronounced.

The numbers for red states may be less than accurate. The state’s health department found an undercount in two labs of 7,699 COVID cases during nine months this year. Missouri’s incumbent Attorney General Eric Schmitt, also a U.S. Senate candidate, has already declared mask mandates, quarantines, and other public health policies illegal. He also told public health agencies in several counties to stop “announcements of current cases/deaths.”

Five states that refused federal unemployment benefits because of “lazy people not looking for work,” are now rewarding jobless people who refused vaccinations by giving them state unemployment. Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, and Tennessee have passed laws for the benefit and other Missouri, Wisconsin, and Wyoming may follow. Despite protests to vaccines, under five percent of workers have left jobs anywhere because of vaccination mandates.

The media also plays a large part in causing infections and deaths. A study from last year shows that people relying on conservative media and social media are more likely to have inaccurate beliefs about COVID’s seriousness. The poll also agreed with the red-blue state results: Republicans worry less than Democrats that they or family members would be exposed and less likely to consider COVID a major health threat. The same conservatives are also more likely to trust worthless preventions and cures and thought CDC was using the virus to undermine DDT instead of DDT actually undermining CDC. Over a year later, much more is known about the coronavirus, the conservative media is much more likely to lie about the knowledge, and conservatives less likely to believe its dangers.

Among religious groups, the evangelicals have the lowest acceptance of vaccinations—41 percent compared to 60 percent to 72 percent percent of other Christians and Jewish Americans. By now, religious anti-Vaxxers are so hardwired in their beliefs that only one percent self-identified as vaccine refusers said they might change their minds if a religious leader encouraged them to reverse their opinion. Only 11 percent of vaccine hesitant would be vaccinated with persuasion from a religious leader.

Even DDT, their cult leader, cannot convince them after he was negative or lukewarm about vaccinations for over a year. In the midst of his campaign five years ago, DDT claimed he could shoot somebody in the middle of Fifth Avenue and people would still vote for him. The audience cheered. When he said he had gotten a COVID booster vaccination and said vaccines have “saved tens of millions of lives worldwide,” however, people booed.    

DDT went even farther in an interview with Candace Owens, a conservative talk show host. He told her “the vaccine is one of the greatest achievements of mankind.” She pushed back, and he responded:

“Oh no, the vaccines work. The ones who get very sick and go to the hospital are the ones that don’t take the vaccine…. If you take the vaccine, you’re protected… I came up with a vaccine, with three vaccines all are very, very good.”

DDT wasn’t the scientist who developed the vaccine, but they went on the market before he left the White House. Right now, he wants the glory while he’s pursued in court by alleged crimes in Georgia, New York, and Washington, D.C. GOP pollster Frank Luntz thought DDT’s claim would cause Republicans to be vaccinated, but the result hasn’t been all positive. Far-right conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich said DDT was “alienating his own supporters to impress people who don’t like him.” Another conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, forced to pay plaintiffs on two different defamation charges, called DDT either “completely ignorant” or “the most evil man who has ever lived to push this toxic poison on the public and to attack your constituents when they simply try to save their lives and the lives of others.”

In what she may have thought was politeness, Owens stuck in the knife during a video on Instagram:

“People oftentimes forget, like, how old Trump is. Like they came from a time before TV, before internet, before being able to conduct their independent research.”

In the video, Owens, 32, also pushed colloidal silver to fight off the coronavirus, saying she takes a “teaspoon a day” or “more when I’m sick.” With no medical support for this purpose, colloidal silver, possibly causing organ failure, permanently turns the user’s skin a bluish-gray color, an irreversible syndrome called argyria.

The question is whether DDT’s vaccine promotion will regain suburban voters, as Joe Scarborough said he’s trying to do, while keeping his lunatic fringe. Known for his Christmas greetings from his family all holding semi-automatic guns, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said his voters and others like those who supported Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) “weren’t voting for libertarian ideas—they were voting for the craziest son of a bitch in the race. And Donald Trump won best in class, as we had up until he came along.” And DDT may be trying to keep his voters alive until 2024.

Hypocrisy runs rampant among Republicans. Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has pandered to every anti-health policy—vaccinations, wearing masks, etc.—and even owed $60,000 in fines for not wearing a mask on the House floor by mid-November. She also owns stocks in three different companies manufacturing COVID vaccines. Conservative Christians endanger people around them by using the “religious freedom” claim as a “get-out-of-vaccination-free” card even if they had to pay clergy to sign for religious exemptions. Then they used the claim for everything else they don’t like—abortion, although Jewish people state life beings at birth, not conception; travel from Muslim countries; LGBTQ rights; etc.

According to medical experts, neurological effects from COVID can create the inability to think clearly which includes headaches, anxiety, depression, hallucinations, and vivid dreams as well as strokes and seizures with over 80 percent of COVID patients encountering complications. Even mild cases can alter brain activity analogous to mild cognitive impairment. And conservatives won’t get vaccinated.

People fighting vaccinations don’t realize that COVID can stay in the body’s organs—heart, brain, etc.—for at least up to eight months, according to autopsies up to 230 days after patients first reported symptoms. Disseminating during early infection, the disease infects cells throughout the entire body, widely in the brain as well as in eyes, muscles, skin, peripheral nerves, and tissues in the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, and lymphatic systems. This research explains why long COVID exists in people with either mild or asymptomatic infections.

Deaths from COVID in the U.S. = 839,605 with over 1,000 a day. 

December 13, 2021

COVID Deaths Increase in U.S., Disinformation Spreads

Republicans are determined to continue the cult of death in their lies about vaccination while the number of cases and deaths from COVID skyrocket. Last Friday, when a massive tornado in the Southeast consumed the media with possibly over 100 deaths, 1,574 people died of COVID, raising the total in 22 months to 817,326 people. The media ignored  the daily average of over 1,000 people dying of the disease in just the United States. The U.S. passed 50,700,000 infections since the February 2020 discovery of the virus with Friday’s infections of 136,839 infections. Deaths could be far higher than those reported. People still refuse to list COVID as the cause of death, and some states show lower numbers by listing other causes for the death. Television wants visuals: destroyed buildings are far more exciting to film and people on ventilators.

For months, the media has reported that counties heavily voting for Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) have much higher rates of the virus with much lower rates of vaccinations. A new study from NPR examining 3,000 counties reinforces the continuing trend with people in DDT’s counties dying at 2.73 times greater than those supporting President Joe Biden. In October, counties with the highest percentages of voting for DDT had death rates at six times higher than the bluest tenth of the counties.

According to polling, partisanship is the one strongest predictor of people getting vaccinated. Mistrust in official information and exposure to disinformation about both COVID and vaccines are high among Republicans. Among Republicans, 94 percent believe one or more false statements about COVID, and 46 percent think four or more false statements about the disease are the truth. Only 14 percent of Democrats believe in four or more false statements. Some of these falsehoods are COVID cause infertility, contain microchips, and change DNA. Republicans also think the government inflates the number of COVID deaths.

Unvaccinated people are three times more likely to lean Republican rather than Democrat, according to Liz Hamel, vice president of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health policy think tank tracking attitudes toward vaccination. The situation has greatly worsened in the past several months. The rate of vaccinated Republicans has stopped at 59 percent, compared to 91 percent of the Democrats. Religion also plays a part. Atheists are 90 percent vaccinated compared to 57 percent of Christian evangelicals. Since May, the vast majority of deaths, about 150,000, occurred among the unvaccinated.

Because new COVID variants cause more asymptomatic and mild cases of the virus in vaccinated people, the hospitalization rate is becoming a way to determine policy. The reported number of infected people will be increasingly inaccurate with the availability of at-home tests separate from public health information or lack of information to avoid quarantining.

A November study by the Kaiser Family Foundation reveals the danger to public health from Fox, Newsmax, and OAN to Republicans because of their disinformation. From the beginning, Fox denigrated the seriousness of COVID, ridiculed efforts to protect people such as mask wearing and social distancing, and argued against vaccinations. In exchange, Fox stars pressured people to use dangerous and ineffective treatments such as horse dewormer and bleach injections. A nickname for the crisis is the Fox News Pandemic. Viewers most likely to believe the most information are those for the Fox network (36 percent), One America News (37 percent), and Newsmax (46 percent).

COVID vaccinations don’t cause infertility, but men worried about the connection between the virus and sexual functioning should read the cautions about contracting the virus. Coronavirus infection can damage blood vessels, including those creating penile erections for a half year, even in men with mild or asymptomatic cases. Researchers think this impotence could be permanent. (A new study shows that vaping can cause the same problem in men between 20 and 65 because of nicotine and other chemicals.)

Republicans are now promoting new lies. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), declared by the New York Times as the GOP’s “foremost amplifier of conspiracy theories and disinformation,” has a new myth about curing COVID—gargling with mouthwash. According to Johnson, “Standard gargle, mouthwash, has been proven to kill the coronavirus.” Experts pointed out that most infections occur through the nose. Epidemiologist Raymond Niaura said gargling won’t hurt “if accompanied by vaccination.” In the past, Johnson has pushed hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin which got him suspended from YouTube.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), known for allowing his athletes to be sexually abused by a doctor while he was assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State University, tells people that “real America” is done with COVID. As a member of the investigating panel for the crisis, he has access to evidence, research, data, and officials regarding COVID but ignores it.

Peter Navarro, DDT’s former trade adviser and member of the White House virus strategy task force, said he won’t comply with the subpoena to appear before the House COVID investigating group because DDT told him not to testify. Navarro’s adviser Stephen Hatfill is, however, cooperating with the committee. Members want to question Navarro about his warning to the president in February 2020 about being unprepared to respond the virus and Navarro’s oversight of government investments in supplies and equipment to fight the pandemic. He has already written about the White House response in his book, negating a claim of executive privilege.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who said he rejected Democratic bills because only partisan support for them, voted in favor of blocking all mandates for COVID vaccines and testing for the private sector in businesses employing over 100 people. The Senate vote of 52-48 passed the bill with one other Democrat and 50 Republicans. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS) plans another bill to block vaccine mandates for medical professionals. To go into effect, bills must also have a majority of House votes and then two-thirds of membership—in the Senate, 67 votes—to overcome a presidential veto.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) declares studies prove masks don’t work, but the only one he cites, coming from Denmark, had no statistical evidence to support Paul’s falsehood. The study was performed when the country’s businesses were closed, people with COVID were in quarantine, and social distancing was practiced. A number of other studies showed mask-wearing can cause a significant reduction in COVID. After a thorough analysis of Paul’s ideas, WaPo gave him four Pinocchios for lying. In Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson’s hid an analysis showing that mask mandates saved lives during a Delta variant spike from the public and during his cabinet meetings.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, host of the Dr. Oz Show, wants to join the quacks in the Senate. Although he lives in New Jersey, he plans to run in Pennsylvania, diving in after DDT’s choice, Sean Parnell, suspended his candidacy after a judge used his domestic abuse to give custody of the children to Parnell’s wife. Oz promotes raspberry ketones to dissolve fat and hydroxychloroquine as a “miracle cure” for COVID, acting as DDT’s medical adviser. 

Tucker Carlson, who likely has had his COVID vaccinations because Fox network requires either the vaccine or testing, claims to be the “truth-teller” alerting his audience that the virus feminizes men. He talked about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who supposedly told people “that getting COVID emasculated him, it changed him, it feminized him, it weakened him as a man.” Having had COVID, his far-right guest Nigel Farage didn’t want to be identified as being “feminized”; he blamed Johnson’s much younger wife for any problems.

Roger Stone, pardoned by DDT after convictions for lying, obstruction, and witness tampering, addressed anti-vaccine activists at an October conference. One idea presented was to drink one’s own urine to guarantee against COVID. Another person said the purpose of vaccines was to make people into “cyborgs” with microscopic technology designed to put “another kind of nervous system inside you.” Stone said he was open to the ideas and wanted use them to motivate conservative voters for the 2022 election.

The latest grift comes from Black Oxygen Organics (BOO) that sells dirt for $110 a small bag. People are to eat or bathe in it to get rid of toxins including heavy metals, pesticides, and parasites; it supposedly cures everything from autism to cancer to dementia—and can “detox” vaccinated people. The company’s salespersons cannot be sued because, like Tupperware and MaryKay cosmetics, it operates with people buying the product and then selling it. The source of BOO dirt is a peat bog with decayed plants sharing a border with a landfill; it has elevated levels of arsenic and lead. Four plaintiffs in Georgia are suing the Canadian company. 

Anti-vaccine people being vaccinated to save their jobs are trying to be “unvaccinated” with daily doses of niacin, butyric acid, and other supplements. Another false “detox” system is bathing in Borax mixed with sea salt, Epsom salts, and baking soda. Borax has been linked to infertility and can damage the skin and other organs.

According to research, the major motivation for spreading disinformation is hatred for political opponents. One percent of people share 75 percent of all links to fake news publishers. Republicans are more likely to share fake news than Democrats, who are more motivated by accuracy. Of the fake news sources, 30 percent publish “almost completely fabricated stories,” 5 percent have “a flawed editorial process,” and two-thirds of them refer to fake news sources. The research is here.

December 1, 2021

COVID Kills, HIV/AIDS Ignored

Today, December 1, is World AIDS Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of the AIDS pandemic. The first case was reported in June 1981, and for the next decades, activists fought to get help from the government and the medical community, both largely ignoring the virus which they considered a “gay” disease. The first AIDS Day was in 1988.

Consider the difference between than and now to work for a vaccine. In 2021, the conservative community fights against any governmental and medical assistance. By last October, more people died of COVID in the U.S. since its discovery 20 months earlier than the 700,000 people dying of AIDS in the U.S. during the past 40 years. In 20 months, over 800,000 people have died of COVID in the U.S., widely believe an under-estimation, and almost 50 million have been infected, again probably with tens of millions more people having asymptomatic or unreported cases. The deaths averaging about 1,000 a day continue because people won’t get vaccinated against the disease. In two weeks, about the same number of people in the U.S. will die of COVID as the annual death rate for people with HIV (the cause of AIDS)—although the nation has not found a vaccine for HIV in 40 years. Yet tens of millions of people who are terrified of being around people with HIV/AIDS behave in a cavalier fashion regarding COVID.

Some insanity surrounding the recognition of COVID as a deadly disease: 

Judges appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) lied as they block any protective mandates for vaccinations: A three-judge panel in Texas blocked the mandate implementation for healthcare workers in hospital receiving Medicare or Medicaid payments, and a federal judge in Missouri blocked all mandates for any healthcare workers in ten states, ones with the lowest vaccination rates and highest rates of COVID deaths. A judge in Louisiana blocked vaccination mandates for healthcare workers nationwide, and a Kentucky-based federal judge blocked mandates for federal contractors in three states. Vaccine mandates work. Instead of walking off the job, most of the people get vaccinations. Only 34 of 35,000 New York City police took unpaid leave by failing to meet vaccine deadlines. At United Airline, at least 99 percent of the employees got vaccinated. Houston Methodist hospitals went from 75 percent vaccinated to 99.4 percent vaccinated after the mandate.

[One sane justice: Stephen Breyer rejected a request for the Supreme Court to block the vaccine mandate at the large Massachusetts hospital system, Mass General Brigham.]

Republicans are financially rewarding unvaccinated people: Last spring, GOP states cut off extra unemployment assistance to force people back to work. It didn’t work. Now, beginning with Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds, they have started to tell unemployed workers who refuse to get vaccinated that they will receive unemployment benefits if they lose their job for that reason. Reynolds is being joined by Florida, Kansas, and Tennessee. Until now, people who voluntarily quit their jobs haven’t not gotten these benefits.

GOP political leadership spreads lies about vaccinations and the lack of COVID danger: A prime example is Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX), who was DDT’s White House doctor for a few years. One of his predictions was that DDT was so healthy he could live for 200 years, perhaps because he drank on the job, according to the Department of Defense inspector general. After the new variant, Omicron, was announced, Jackson tweeted that Democrats had created the virus to “push unsolicited nationwide mail-in ballots.” He concluded, “Democrats will do anything to CHEAT during an election—but we’re not going to let them!”

Conservative pundits join politicians in their fantasy world: Fox hosts, all of whom must be vaccinated but won’t admit it, blame Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for new variants: Rachel Campos-Duffy blames Buttigieg for creating variants to stop people complaining about the supply chain issue. She said Omicron is promoting his running for president in 2024.

Conservative religious leaders also push anti-vaccine positions: Televangelist Marcus Lamb, founder of the right-wing Christian Daystar Television network, not only pushed lies about vaccinations on his network but also invited others to appear on his network to promote unproven drugs as COVID treatment. Lamb died of COVID on November 30; his wife said that he had followed “many of the protocols talked about here on Daystar” for his treatment and he “100 percent believed in everything we’ve talked about here on Daystar.” Two weeks before Lamb’s death, his son called his illness “a spiritual attack from the enemy.”

Conservatives incite violence to stop vaccinations: On Fox Information, Donald Trump Jr referenced the riots in Europe as a way to obtain “freedom.” He said that the U.S. media is keeping people in the U.S. from hearing about them and turning them into “sheep.” He called the riots “excellent.”

Conservative politicians and pundits pander to supporters by denigrating science: For over a year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, respected in the public health sector for over 50 years and advised the past seven U.S. presidents, has been the chief scapegoat for every GOP politicians in their smear campaign against science, especially the men who aim to be elected president in 2024. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) sneer at him for being a mere “bureaucrat,” and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted criticism about him over 20 times in one day, again with the label of bureaucrat. On Fox network, host Lara Logan compared him to the Nazi doctor Josef Mengele who performed experiments on Auschwitz prisoners during the Holocaust. Her colleague, Tucker Carlson, compared Fauci to World War II dictator Benito Mussolini.

Republicans plan to use the high COVID death rates to sabotage Biden in the 2022 election. Their new meme is that he failed in his promise to cut back the pandemic. Never strong on logic, followers may believe their false claims, but these tweets explain where they again fail reasonable thought:  

The GOP: Joe Biden promised he would shut down the coronavirus. He failed.

Andrew Wehrman, historian at Central Michigan U. and author of The Contagion of Liberty: Smallpox in the American Revolution: Let me get this straight. It’s Biden’s job to stop the coronavirus, but it’s also unconstitutional for him to try to stop it?  

Republicans are dying because of no vaccinations, and their religion and politics are the reason. An analysis by county based on votes for either President Joe Biden or DDT show that DDT’s counties are much harder hit since the vaccination was available. Counties voting most strongly for Biden are vaccinated at a 40-percent higher rate than those that voted most strongly for DDT. Conservative politicians and religious leaders are killing their constituents.  

Investigation show that an additional 400,000 people may have been killed by COVID because DDT stalled the CDC efforts to warn people about the pandemic. He shut up Nancy Messonnier, a senior CDC health expert, after she warned in a February 25, 2020, news briefing about the serious nature of COVID. CDC was permitted no press briefings for most of the following March. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House COVID task force coordinator, recently reported how the White House blocked these briefings, including one in April to emphasize the need for wearing masks to contain the spread of the virus. Radiologist Scott Atlas, DDT’s former adviser and current adviser for Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis, told CDC to recommend testing only on symptomatic people. He also advocated for herd immunity by letting everyone be infected.  

According to DDT’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows, DDT was so indifferent about the danger of COVID that he went to a debate with Joe Biden despite having been tested positive for the virus three days earlier. DDT lied about his diseased status and refused to take the mandated test immediately before the debate. While he exposed everyone in the room to COVID but downplayed the pandemic during the debate. His refusal to be tested broke the debate rules, but Moderator Chris Wallace, a Fox host, told DDT’s campaign they were joining the debate “on the honor system.” While carrying the virus, DDT met with Gold Star families to talk about the “value of sacrifice.” DDT went to the hospital seriously ill with COVID three days after the debate.  

Forty years after the first AIDS case was reported in the U.S.—and perhaps almost 60 years after it arrived in the nation—HIV/AIDS may have a vaccine, thanks to the development of those for COVID. Although Dr. Fauci worked in this area, the vaccine was not actively pursued because of the public’s belief that AIDS and HIV were plagues for immoral people. Scientists working on an HIV/AIDS vaccine now hope that the mRNA technology for COVID vaccines could help find an HIV/AIDS vaccine. Meanwhile, the 33rd anniversary of World AIDS Day passed almost completely unnoticed by the media as the United States struggles to cope with the spread of COVID by the unvaccinated.

In the past 24 hours, at least 1,633 deaths from COVID in the U.S. have been reported.

November 8, 2021

COVID Insanity from Conservatives

The COVID insanity continues, promoted by selfishness and rejection of scientific knowledge. Far-fetched fears of vaccination have gone from lies about simple microchips being implanted through the vaccine to egg-producing parasites and ways to change people’s DNA. All accompanied by the non-stop cry of “freedom” as anti-Vaxxers deny everyone else their freedom. A three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit Court covering Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas temporarily blocked the new vaccination mandate President Joe Biden placed on all businesses with over 100 employees exempted by weekly testing at the employees’ cost. Judges stated that the issue is legislative, not executive. Two of the judges were appointed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and the third by Ronald Reagan. The White House urges businesses to continue its requirements for vaccinations.

When Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers tested positive for COVID this week, he (1) was unvaccinated, (2) lied about it, (3) ignored COVID protocol, and (4) has been getting his medical advice from podcast host Joe Rogan. Rodgers also lied when he said FDA-approved vaccines were untested. He prefers Rogan’s “homeopathic treatment”—taking a very small amount of natural substances—and Invermectin which has not been yet vetted. He tried to cover his lies by saying his treatment “immunized” him. Now Rodgers blames the “’woke’ mob” and cries about “cancel culture”—whatever he thinks that is. 

Newsmax has followed Fox in ordering its employees to get vaccinated and provide copies of their vaccination cards. Despite its hosts opposing vaccinations, Fox employees went along with the order for vaccinations or weekly testing, but Newsmax’s Steve Cortes continues his opposition to mask mandates, instead supporting fake cures such as hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin. After the order came out, he said no one has to get vaccinated and doesn’t plan to follow the directive. Newsmax has taken Emerald Robinson off the air for a conspiracy theory; she was a favorite journalist of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at his press conferences. Even the far-right network couldn’t cope with Robinson’s bizarre tweet:

“Dear Christians: the vaccines contain a bioluminescent marker called LUCIFERASE so that you can be tracked. Read the last book of the New Testament to see how this ends.”

Newmax debunked the information in Robinson’s tweet, and Twitter temporarily removed her account. She formerly worked at One America News network so she may have trouble finding another place. The evangelicals may take her: last week she tweeted, “I don’t want a multi-cultural society. I want a Christian society.”

Conservatives have done a good job spreading lying disinformation about COVID. A poll found 78 percent of U.S. adults either believe or aren’t sure about at least one of eight false statements about the pandemic or vaccines. Unvaccinated adults and Republicans are the most likely to hold these misconceptions: 64 percent of unvaccinated people are almost three times to be unsure about at least one statement than vaccinated adults at 19 percent. Almost half (46 percent) of Republicans are unsure of at least half the statements, compared to only 14 percent of the Democrats. Percentage is of people who believe or are unsure about the false statement:

  • 60 percent: the government exaggerates the number of COVID deaths.
  • 39 percent: pregnant women should not get the COVID vaccine.
  • 35 percent: the government intentionally conceals deaths from the COVID vaccine.
  • 31 percent: the vaccine causes infertility.
  • 28 percent: Ivermectin is a safe and effective treatment for COVID.
  • 24 percent: people can contract COVID from the vaccine.
  • 24 percent: the COVID vaccine contains a microchip.
  • 21 percent: the COVID vaccine can change DNA.

News resources play a big part in beliefs: over one-third of people who trust information from CNN, MSNBC, network news, NPR, and local television news do not believe any of the eight false statements, and small shares of them, between 11 percent and 16 percent, believe or are unsure about at least four of the eight false statements. Of those who believe or are unsure about at least half of the false statements, 36 percent trust the Fox network, 37 percent trust One America News, and 46 percent trust Newsmax.

The rate of COVID-caused deaths between red and blue states has been higher than ever during the past month. The reason is most likely the rate of vaccinations—86 percent for Democrats and 60 percent for Republicans.  Looking at difference between red and blue counties makes the much higher rate of deaths in GOP-dominated areas even more stark. Left-leaning communities, even suburbs, have such high levels of vaccinations among Democrats that even the unvaccinated are partly protected.

Yet the Delta variant has hit conservative communities hard. In counties where DDT received at least 70 percent of the vote, the virus has killed 47 out of 100,000 people in the past four months but only ten out of 100,000 in counties where DDT received under 32 percent of the vote. During October, the death rate in DDT’s counties was over three times that of Bidens—25 per 100,000 compared to 7.8 per 100,000. Conservative writers’ excuses for the difference such as weather or age don’t hold water. 

Two major reasons for the low vaccination rate among conservatives are their resentment at being told what to do and their rejection of science and empirical evidence. Republicans are so stubborn that their far-right pundits purport the low vaccination rate comes from liberals trying to persuade naysayers to get vaccinated. John Nolte argued that “a countless number of Trump supporters believe they are owning the left by refusing to take a lifesaving vaccine.” He maintained that liberals want “their opponents to drop dead.” The chart above left was for months before the latest surge.

Anti-Vaxxers won’t believe the government, but a few people on the edge of getting vaccinations might pay attention to the new report about immunity. Unvaccinated people who had already contracted COVID are five times more likely to be re-infected than those who are fully vaccinated, debunking the myth of “natural” immunity. In another report, the Director National Intelligence found the coronavirus causing COVID “was not developed as a biological weapon.” It also “probably was not genetically engineered,” and “China’s officials did not have foreknowledge of the virus before the initial outbreak of COVID-19 emerged.” The report indicates that agencies think the infection came from an infected animal or “a laboratory-associated incident, probably involving experimentation, animal handling, or sampling by the Wuhan Institute of Virology.”

This two-minute video should be enough to terrify anyone into getting a vaccination. New X-rays, 10,000,000,000,000 times more powerful than a typical X-ray exam, reveal the 3-D internal details of organs down to a scale about 100 times smaller than that of a CT scan. This one was done at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The video begins with a normal lung and moves on to showing the restriction of airspace in the lung of a person who has died from COVID. The focus is on the acinus, air sacs called alveoli at the end of a bronchial tube where oxygen is absorbed into the blood and carbon dioxide diffuses it. People each have about 300 million alveoli in the lungs. With the infection, alveoli literally collapse, eliminating airspace for the oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange. Suffocation. 

The ESRF-hosted Human Organ Atlas has more videos of lungs and other organs.

Almost two weeks ago, the Supreme Court refused to block Maine’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers although Justices Neil Gorsuch, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito dissented, wanting to stop the mandate until a ruling emerges from the appeals process. The mandate had a religious exemption. On November 8, 2021, a federal judge in Texas ruled that United Airlines may continue its employee vaccine policy, one of the most stringent in the nation.

Arizona’s GOP legislature decided to put all its wish list into a budget bill, but the state Supreme Court ruled against them. At the top of the list that Republicans lost was their ban on mask mandates and vaccinations in schools as well as the GOP prohibition on “vaccine passports” and other pandemic-related restrictions on private businesses, schools, and churches. The ban against “teaching CRT” was a no-go too as were laws blocking future governors’ use of emergency powers after Doug Ducey leaves office in 2023. Restrictive voting laws also disappeared as did more punitive ones in other areas.

The Supreme Court ruled in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905) that states upheld the authority to enforce compulsory vaccination laws, ruling that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state. The court wrote:

“In every well ordered society charged with the duty of conserving the safety of its members the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand. Real liberty for all could not exist under the operation of a principle which recognizes the right of each individual person to use his own liberty, whether in respect of his person or his property, regardless of the injury that may be done to others.”

Personal liberty or religious exemption do not trump a public health threat.

October 29, 2021

Dangers of COVID Aftereffects

The media focuses on death and hospitalizations from contracting COVID, but a huge danger is the aftermath of the disease. Called “long COVID” or “long-haul COVID,” literally hundreds of disorder symptoms can last indefinitely at this time because people have had the disease less than two years. Some of the problems are simply annoying, such as loss of taste and small—although people may use too much salt to compensate. Others are more debilitating: shortness of breath, hair loss and rashes, exhaustion, fatigue, insomnia, nerve and muscle pain, heart palpitations, impaired metabolic function, and gastrointestinal distress. The CDC also lists cough, chest pain, depression, headache, and intermittent fever. These symptoms, often in a cluster, can occur even after mild or asymptomatic cases when people don’t realize they have had COVID.

Ziyad Al-Aly, a researcher of long-haul patients in the Department of Veterans Affairs health system, said that the virus “can affect nearly every organ system.” People can also suffer from dizziness, numbness, anxiety, and brain fog marked by confusion, memory loss, and inability to concentrate. The aftermath can appear like dementia. In the worst of cases, patients as young as 18 “can’t form sentences,” said Jördis Frommhold, leader of a German study of long COVID. Formerly working on her master’s degree, Cassandra Hernandez, a 38-year-old San Antonio nurse in San Antonio, forgot “how to use a fork” and struggled to read at a fifth-grade level. One study found 60 percent of people recovered from COVID sith signs of ongoing heart inflammation leading to breath, palpitations, and rapid heartbeat—even in those with mild cases who had no prior medical issues.

Leading theories of long-haul COVID include fragments or reserves of the virus lingering in the body and persistent inflammation or damage caused by the initial infection which affect blood vessels, nerve pathways, or other areas of the body. In a dominant theory, long COVID, triggered by an unfamiliar infection, revs up immune systems that continue to attack health tissue despite the disappearance of the initial infection. Another theory is a combination of all these reasons. Long COVID mirrors other idiopathic chronic illnesses triggered by viral and bacterial infections including myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

These symptoms sometimes disappear in three or four months whereas improvement can occur with a few lingering issues. In the worst cases, people remain significantly impaired for over a year, struggling to keep a job or becoming homeless. Problems vary from day to day and may be worse after times of stress. Treatment, not necessarily a solution, involves physical therapy, cognitive exercises, etc. The National Institutes of Health began a $1.2 billion initiative to study causes and treatment of long COVID, and the American Medical Association and CDC have initiatives to teach doctors about identifying and treating the disorder. Vaccines may reduce lingering symptoms, but other vaccinated people who get breakthrough infections become long-haulers.

The AMA estimates between 15 percent and 80 percent of patients experience long COVID. The organization has a policy to support “the development of an ICD-10 code or family of codes to recognize Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (‘PASC’ or ‘long COVID’) and other novel post-viral syndromes as a distinct diagnosis.” Devang Sanghavi, MD, listed three categories of long COVID:

  • Lingering or ongoing symptoms from COVID’s direct cell damage.
  • Symptoms caused by chronic hospitalization such as muscle weakness, cognitive brain dysfunction, and psychosocial stress.
  • Interplay between the immune system and inflammatory markers appearing after recovery.

Although most studies have been small and based on self-reporting, U.S. and British researchers found 37 percent of COVID survivors experienced at least one symptom between three and six months after initial diagnosis in an analysis of 270,000 health records for people recovering from COVID. Top symptoms were anxiety or depression (15.49 percent) following by abnormal breathing (7.94 percent), abdominal symptoms (8.29 percent), and fatigue (5.87 percent). Forty percent of long-haulers experienced the first symptoms months after the initial infections.

Another study of 57 studies encompassing over 250,000 people contracting COVID found over half of them had at least one long-haul symptom six months or more after their initial diagnosis. CDC defines long Covid as “a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected.”

Children don’t escape long COVID: their fatigue and difficulty in concentration cause problems in school and learning. Studies about young long-haulers have divergent results: a British study of 1,700 British children found only 4.4 percent having symptoms longer than four weeks and 1.8 percent over eight weeks while a much smaller study in Rome found over half the infected children still had at least one symptom four months later. In the U.S., over 5.7 million children tested positive for the coronavirus as of October 3.

During virtual learning, students with long covid could participate from their beds or lie down during breaks between classes. Now many of them struggle with classrooms and in-person social interactions they considered normal before contracting COVID. Some schools are uncomfortable making accommodations for the syndrome as they also struggle with wearing masks, quarantining, testing, and other healthcare issues. The Department of Education does have guidance about children with the syndrome being eligible for school accommodations, but student support is complicated.

Long-haul COVID should not be surprising. Other viral illness have caused lasting symptoms. The 1918 influenza pandemic caused such symptoms as neurologic problems and personality changes, according to Dr. Michael Brode, medical director of the post-COVID-19 program at UT Health Austin. Yet COVID seems to result in problems on a much larger scale. With the “brain fog,” Brode said, subjects lost an average of seven IQ points, according to one study.

A year ago, people suffering from long COVID failed to receive validation from friends, family, and even their doctors. Much has been learned in that time although treatment is still uncertain. According to the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, federal law may protect long-haulers protected from discrimination. HHS stated long COVID is covered under the American Disability Act, Section 504, and Section 1557 “if it substantially limits one or more major life activities.” Patients must be assessed by professionals to determine if they qualify for a disability.

With the prevalence of long COVID, columnists are coming out of the closet with their own experiences facing chronic illness rejected by medical professionals, including conservative writers Ross Douthat and Megan McArdle. Wikipedia’s excellent overview of long COVID lacks current research, but its details are useful.

The World Health Organization now has official diagnostic criteria for long covid, symptoms appearing months after an initial infection possibly impacting daily functioning. To study the syndrome, WHO has published a clinical case definition for the disorder it calls “post covid-19 condition” which occurs in people with a history of probable or confirmed SARS CoV-2 infection, usually three months from the onset of their original case. Symptoms fluctuate in severity over time with no alternative explanation to better fit a patient’s illness. WHO conducted a Delphi consensus, gathering the input of relevant experts and other stakeholders on a topic including surveys of WHO staff, outside experts, patients, and patient-researchers in 44 countries across six world regions covered by the WHO.

Acknowledging the WHO’s criteria will change over time with knowledge, the organization calls for countries, researchers, and others around the world to adopt their criteria as a global standard. The CDC has listed a formal diagnostic code for “post covid-19 condition” to the latest edition of the International Classification of Disease, ICD-10, used by doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies for diagnostic and billing purposes.

The U.S. has far more COVID cases, including deaths, because of the sole focus by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) on the election, both before and after, according to emails and testimony obtained by the House select subcommittee probing the government’s coronavirus response. Steven Hatfill, a virologist who advised White House trade director Peter Navarro repeatedly described in emails how “election stuff” took precedence over coronavirus, even as the outbreak surged to more than 250,000 new coronavirus cases per day in January 2021. Hatfill stated he “was disgusted with the destruction of the National Pandemic Plan at the hands of conflicted petty bureaucrats.”

Deborah Birx, DDT’s choice to steer his virus response, told congressional investigators that the DDT’s administration was “distracted” by the election and ignored recommendations to stop the pandemic. Last year, she had told administrators to test younger people, expand virus treatment access, and distribute more vaccine doses in long-term care facilities. Over 130,000 people in the U.S. died because she was also ignored in telling them to use mask mandates, reduction in indoor dining, and education about risks in private home gatherings. Birx said “no” when asked if DDT “did everything he could to try to mitigate the spread of the virus and save lives during the pandemic.” She also faulted Scott Atlas, now adviser to Florida’s Gov. DeSantis, for advocating “dangerous” theories such as deliberate infection for “herd immunity.”   

DDT is still killing people through his disdain for healthcare precautions, including vaccinations, leading supporters to do the same. Thus far, at least 765,000 deaths in the U.S. have been attributed to COVID with hundreds of thousands more probably resulting from the prevalence of the virus. Almost 50 million people have definitely contracted the virus, giving about 15 million “post covid-19 condition” with millions more not identifying their infections. And it’s not stopping with over one million cases in the U.S. in just the past two weeks. 

October 21, 2021

Conservatives Continue COVID Chaos

The Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit against vaccines mandates when Justice Stephen Breyer rejected an emergency appeal from opposition to Maine’s required vaccinations for the state’s healthcare workers. Earlier rejections came for New York City teachers from Sonia Sotomayor and Indiana University staff and students from Amy Coney Barrett.

Florida, however, may get a lawsuit into the U.S. Supreme Court because Clarence Thomas is their justice. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is making school board members pay for their students’ safety by withholding their salaries if they require students to wear masks as well as quarantine after COVID exposure. One member in Leon County, Alva Striplin, wrote she was proud of low COVID rates in the open schools and thanked the community for their patience. The state withheld $17,500 for the month of school board members’ salaries. Teachers are also taking measures. One teacher buys masks for all her students, and others, especially young ones, are resigning. By July, 2,137 teachers left the Orlando-area Orange County school system, and another 493 consider leaving. In August, Florida had vacancies for 5,000 teachers and 3,700 support staff as well as major shortages in teaching substitutes and bus drivers.

Large businesses are also upset about opposition to vaccination mandates that they call “radicalism” by Gov. Greg Abbott and other GOP governors. In a recent survey of CFOs, 80 percent “totally support” Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for companies over 100 employees, and many of these companies already have these requirements. Yet Abbott blocks all vaccination mandates in Texas. During the 1950s, businesses accepted progressive taxation and strong labor unions, but Ronald Reagan led them back with his tax cuts and deregulation. Now businesses realize they need investment in infrastructure, something Republicans oppose.  

A Waco (TX) editorial calls Abbott’s prevention of business mandates for vaccination an example of socialism:

“Bowing to the whims of a radicalized Republican Party of Texas in a state where 69,000 of our friends, co-workers and neighbors have died of COVID-19, Abbott played socialist tyrant last week, ordering that ‘no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer.’ In short, he demands that businesses cease protecting via private vaccine mandates their own employees—and thus risk company efficiency, productivity and viability…

“Abbott is trashing the formerly Republican principle that businesses should be free of burdensome government regulations that interfere with a vibrant capitalist society. Many businesses on their own are mandating vaccinations because they want environments where employees are significantly protected against spread of a highly contagious, potentially disabling virus…

“For all but the blind, it’s obvious what’s going on. We marvel at the pace with which the Republican Party continues to place on the funeral pyre its conservative tenets, one by one. Abbott’s order is clearly issued in his dread of Allen West, 2022 primary election challenger and right-wing rabble-rouser lately hospitalized with COVID-19, as well as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, likely rival for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination and now busy undermining public safety throughout the Sunshine State.

“And if the lives of Abbott’s constituents must be placed on the pyre for his political ambitions, so be it…

“For those of us who grew up in Republican environments where personal freedom was neatly balanced with the public good, one increasingly wonders if the Republican Party can rally from the socialist malignancy that now infects it.”

After being hospitalized with COVID after refusing to be vaccinated, Texas’ GOP gubernatorial candidate Allen West asserted he was “even more dedicated to fighting against vaccine mandates.” Touting monochlongal antibody infusion therapy costing the government 20 times more than a vaccination, West said he was opposed to “enriching the pockets of Big Pharma and corrupt bureaucrats and politicians.”

The lack of healthcare guidelines in Florida and Texas may have put 95,000 people in the hospital and killed 22,000 victims of COVID. By emulating the best-performing states of Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island—all with an average of 74 percent vaccinated adults by July 31, the two southern states would also have had about 1,311,900 fewer COVID cases.

Republicans claim big companies don’t need mandates while they lambast President Joe Biden’s requiring vaccines or have weekly testing. Last week, Tucker Carlson pushed the lie that the Fox network requirement for vaccine or weekly testing isn’t a mandate but attacked Biden’s identical requirement. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) led the charge in praising Delta Air Lines for its policy, instituted in August, of vaccine-or-test. Delta went farther by also charging employees opting for the test a $200-per-month health surcharge to cover the financial risk for hospitalizations. Cruz maintains that Delta managed a 90-percent vaccination rate without “the federal vaccine mandate. According to him, the addition of the $2,400 annual fine for weekly testing “respect[s] the right of their employees to make their own personal decisions.” Cruz’s former chief of staff, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) called Delta’s rules a “better answer” although it is far tougher than Biden’s requirement.

The first airline to mandate the vaccine, United, has a 99.5 percent vaccination rate, despite naysayers claiming that mandates won’t work. Hospitals across the nation are touting the vaccine mandate, saying that they are losing only one or two percent of employees. In the military, 92 percent have been vaccinated.

Fox network used the tragic death of former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s death from COVID-related reasons to support anti-Vaxxers. Powell suffered from multiple myeloma, a cancer of blood significantly weakening the immune system. He may have contracted COVID from people around him, possibly those who had refused to be vaccinated. Yet Fox host Will Cain used an isolated death to rant about COVID hospitalizations and deaths despite vaccinations, and John Roberts tweeted Powell’s death proved the vaccines’ waning efficacy. He later deleted the tweet after ridicule from other reporters. The more rabid anti-Vaxxers clamed Powell could have been saved by the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin. Major media sources failed to include information about Powell’s severely-compromised immune system. Newsweek’s headline referred only to “vaccines, age, [and] race” while leaving his illness to “other risk factors.”

Led by Tucker Carlson, Fox network’s tirades occur as often as 99 percent of the days on air. At least two Fox hosts, Neil Cavuto and John King, have contradicted this message. After contracting breakthrough COVID, Cavuto urged his audience to be vaccinated “for yourself and everyone around you,” explaining “I’m surviving because I got the shot.” King, immunocompromised with multiple sclerosis, thanked co-workers for being vaccinated and encouraged people in the U.S. to “man up or shut up” about vaccinations.

Science education failed the Miami private school Centner Academy when it fired teachers if they were vaccinated and then mandated 30 days at home after students received vaccinations. The “school” follows the debunked disinformation that vaccinated people “shed” the virus. Vaccines have no live virus; therefore their components cannot be transmitted. Co-founder David Centner said the school was operating on “anecdotal” information, and his dedicated anti-Vaxxer wife, Leila Centner, explained students are taught to operate on “emotional intelligence”—for almost $30,000 a year. Teachers are discouraged from wearing masks, but Centner list his top priority as “our students’ well-being and their sense of safety within our educational environment.”

In the U.S., infections in schools mimic the surrounding community with less transmission because of mitigation measures, according to Dr. Sean O’Leary, a University of Colorado pediatrics professor. In Kentucky, 45 of the state’s 171 schools had to close at least once since the beginning of this school year; the state has among the highest rate of cases with just over 50 percent of the population vaccinated. Texas bans mask-wearing mandates, and Livingston closed schools for Labor Day week after over 10 percent of the 600-member faculty became infected. Livingston recorded more positive cases among both children and teachers during the first few weeks of school than all of last year. San Francisco and Los Angeles, with masks, ventilation, and high vaccination rates, had zero to few cases in the first few weeks, and California, its population of 40 million almost ten times that of Kentucky, had under half the number of school or district closures as in Kentucky.

A Wisconsin brewer is working to get students vaccinated. The Minocqua Brewing Company Super PAC gives money to a class-action lawsuit filed against the Waukesha School Board for refusing to follow CDC guidelines for COVID school protocols. The company’s founder and owner, Kirk Bangstad, promised the Super PAC will fund actions “against every school board in Wisconsin that isn’t mandating masks for kids too young to get the vaccine and not following CDC guidelines for students while in school to protect against the deadly Delta variant.” Bangstad that he’s taking this action because those who should be responsible aren’t stepping up to do it. He stated:

“Many school districts have dropped all forms of Covid mitigation that were in place last year due to the shrieking hordes of Tucker Carlson-watching zombies separated from their cerebrums and driven only by their lizard brains.”

Wisconsin is home to Sen. Ron Johnson, the most vociferous voice of COVID disinformation in Congress.

September showed the greatest growth of COVID cases and deaths among children with 1.1 million testing positive from September 3-30 out of the six million since the pandemic began. In the week ending October 7, another 148,222 cases in children, one fourth of all cases, were reported.

October 3, 2021

Conservatives Struggle to Kill People with COVID

The number of hospitalizations and infections are dropping by about 50 percent in the United States, but deaths are staying high, hitting rural counties voting for Deposed Donald Trump (DDT) the worst—three to four times more than places voting for President Joe Biden. Of Democrats, 90 percent have been vaccinated, but only 56 percent of Republicans have their shots because of their hostility to science and a leadership elevating lies about vaccinations. Over one-half of Republicans blame immigrants for the U.S. pandemic instead of themselves for not being vaccinated.   Unvaccinated people are more likely to spread COVID than vaccinated people who become infected, according to a study of almost 150,000 contacts. Vaccinated people clear the virus from their bodies faster, reducing the ability to spread disease. Their immune systems coat the virus in antibodies much more quickly than in unvaccinated people.

One reason people in the U.S. refuse vaccinations comes from the “leadership” America’s Frontline Doctors (AFLDS), scammers who collect millions for fake COVID consultations before sending them on to make millions more from fake medications. A network of fake healthcare providers also sold hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, evidence-free “cures” for the coronavirus. AFLDS, a DDT-supporting organization, worked with other false healthcare groups to inculcate distrust, cheat people into getting ineffective treatments, and gull people into paying for fake consultations and medications. Conspiracy theorist and leader Simone Gold was arrested after her part in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

People paid $90 for consultations on, using Cadence Health, talking to “AFLDS-trained physicians” who prescribe fake treatments. Ravkoo works with pharmacies to ship drugs to patients’ doors. AFLDS describes COVID vaccines as “experimental biological agents” and preaches against their use and any vaccine mandates, masking, social distancing, and business restrictions. Yet America’s Frontline Doctors prescribing these medications for COVID have started including disclaimers about them in their notes with patients and on intake forms which must be signed by patients to remove liability from the healthcare worker. [Note: at least 700,000 people in the U.S. have died from COVID, and unvaccinated people comprise 99 percent of recent COVID deaths.]

Despite promises of “patient privacy,” the sites are easily hacked. Hackers reported that 90 percent of the 281,000 patients created in the Cadence Health database from July 16 to September 12, 2021, were referred from AFLDS. In just those two months, patients paid an estimated $6.7 million for consultations. The data also includes notes from patients’ phone consultations, which sometimes include medical histories and prescription information. The 340,000 prescriptions filled by Ravkoo from November 3, 2020, and September 11, 2021, garnered $8.5 million in rug costs. Hydroxychloroquine or invermectin comprised 46 percent of the prescriptions, and another 30 percent were for two other ineffective medications, zinc or azithromycin. Ravkoo has “current alerts” from the Better Business Bureau and a one-star rating out of five stars.

Cadence Health terminated its contract with AFLDS after learning of the fraud. Ravkoo also said it had stopped doing business with SpeakWithAnMD and AFLDS at the end of August because “the volume over there went up crazy, and … we don’t have that much capacity to fill that many prescriptions.” If used incorrectly, hydroxychloroquine can kill people, especially if taken with azithromycin. Ivermectin also causes poisoning.  After this information was revealed, SpeakWithAnMD’s parent company, Encore Telemedicine, immediately ended its contract with AFLDS and took down Cadence Health’s service.

Demographics show a majority of women patients, 58 percent to 38 percent male, and more people in their 50s and 60s than any other age groups. Patients came from every state with only Delaware and Vermont patients numbering under 100. Insurance paid for only $500 of the medications; all other costs were out-of-pocket.

To avoid vaccine mandates, a Republican doctor in Connecticut handed out signed blank vaccination and mask-wearing exemption forms to anyone sending her a self-addressed stamped envelope. She told people to “copy and distribute as many forms as they wish.” The retired doctor has given up her medical license.

For over a year, people have gathered for “freedom rallies” driven by conservative ideologies. Conspiracy theorists use instant messaging apps in groups calling themselves “freedom fighters” and “truth seekers” to join New Age spiritualists and politically anti-democratic people. Anti-pandemic messages are used for greater social control, using conspiracy beliefs about the evil cabal of elites, plan for a global government, and the agenda of depopulation. Freedom rallies build authoritarianism by maligning the liberal democratic establishment. Characteristics of “freedom rallies” are the alternate reality of conspiracies, pseudo-science-based ideologies, anti-lockdown freedom seeking, populist anti-mainstream anti-establishment, spiritualism and religion, and QAnon.

Even before any vaccine mandates were considered, conservatives started to claim they would quit before giving up their “freedom” to stay unvaccinated, and the media publicize people blustering about quitting their jobs if forced to be vaccinated. The reality? Most agencies and private businesses are losing only one percent, maybe two percent of the employees. For example, fewer than one percent of United Airlines employees are unvaccinated.

In Washington state, the weekly vaccination rate jumped 34 percent in late August under a mandate for state workers. Fox network reported over 90 percent of its full-time workers were vaccinated after a mandate to report vaccination status or get weekly testing. In the military, which requires vaccination, 95 percent of the members have at least one shot.

DDT’s common justification for his failure in managing the COVID pandemic is that no one ever knew it would happen. Yet Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) wrote DDT in 2018 about the lack of preparation in the U.S. after DDT tore down structures established by President Barack Obama to organize for such a disaster. The communication was soon after Timothy Ziemer, head of global security, left the White House’s National Security Council, leaving “the nation … unprepared for pandemic outbreaks or other global public health threats, as the Trump administration is proposing significant cuts to funding global public health and pandemic detection and prevention.” DDT failed to provide “satisfying answers” to repeated outreach from the senators over 16 months.

In 2019, months before the onslaught of COVID, Joe Biden warned about the U.S. not being prepared for a pandemic after DDT eliminated any progress by both himself and President Biden for a strong global health security.

Republicans have fought against giving states money to compensate for COVID problems; apparently, they know their constituents. Alabama is using $400 million from the American Rescue Plan to partially build three more prisons—two that each hold 4,000 prisoners and another one for women—to add to its historically violent prison system. That money is almost 20 percent of funding allotted to the state. The DOJ has also brought back its lawsuit against Alabama for its prison system “riddled with prisoner-on-prisoner and guard-on-prisoner violence.” The state is fourth in the nation in COVID deaths per capita and eighth in coronavirus infections.

Knowing the danger of children in school without masks, a federal judge temporarily blocked the South Carolina law banning school districts from implementing mask mandates. Texas schools banned from mask mandates show the danger of students without masks: their schools reported more coronavirus cases in two months than in the entire 2020-21 school year.

Opposition to requiring masks in schools will continue, however, with financial support from far-right groups, one of them built by the Koch fortune with other GOP megadonors’ support. A letter provided to the conservative Independent Women’s Network, a project tied to heiress Heather Higgins to the Vicks VapoRub fortune, has been sent to schools under the guise of parents opposed to mask wearing. “Push back,” it reads in encouraging people to send a draft letter to school officials, teachers, and newspapers. It spreads unsupported statements such as masks leading to communication difficulties, tooth decay, and more.

To people who use “religious freedom” to avoid being vaccinated, Pastor Keith Marshall from Washington state used the Bible for his question’s answer, “What does my faith in Jesus Christ exempt me from?”

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” – Philippians 2:3, 4

“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge in the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 3, 13, 14

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” – Matthew 25:40

Marshall added:

“Therefore, my ‘religious exemption’ requires I receive the COVID vaccination to safeguard life, and wear a mask to care for my neighbor. By invoking the name of Jesus to claim exemption, you are using the Lord’s name in vain and therefore sinning. Now, you may have your own political or personal reasons not to do so, but please, stop claiming your faith in Jesus Christ as justification.”

Marshall is now receiving hate mail from conservatives for quoting the Bible.

September 23, 2021

COVID Grows in GOP-Controlled States

In states supporting Dictator Donald Trump (DDT), opposition to mandating vaccinations just got crazier. Florida state Sen. Manny Diaz, the GOP chair of the state Senate Health Policy Committee, wants to “review” school vaccine requirements for such illnesses as measles and mumps. This on top of preventing COVID vaccine mandates. And the appointment of Joseph Ladapo, who opposes mask requirements at school and supports COVID treatments that don’t work, for surgeon general and secretary of Florida’s Department of Health. Wannabe presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, Florida’s governor, made the appointment, and Ladapo immediately gave parents “sole discretion over mask-wearing at school. His order supersedes earlier ones, wiping out court cases against DeSantis’ ban on school mask-wearing mandates. COVID has killed at least 51,892 people in Florida since the start of the pandemic, and over 3.5 million people in the state, including Manny Diaz, have tested positive for the virus. Ladapo has a history of writing op-eds for the Wall Street Journal, questioning vaccinations and mask-wearing while advocating hydroxychloroquine for a treatment. He also believes in “herd immunity,” allowing the coronavirus to spread unstopped.

A COVID spread in California showed the importance of wearing masks. When an unvaccinated teacher in Marin County took off her mask to read, she spread COVID-19 to 26 students, including 50 percent of her students. The school requires masks, but she didn’t comply. The classroom used social distancing, masks, ventilation, and an air filter, and the farther the students were from the teacher, the less likely they were to contract the disease.

On the Fox network, DeSantis called President Joe Biden’s approach toward the pandemic a “failure” and described the large number of deaths, infections, and hospitalizations in his state a “great success.” During his talk, he referred to his use of monoclonal antibody treatment. DeSantis’ biggest donor has millions of dollars invested in this treatment, and DeSantis ignores vaccines in favor of his donor’s money-making stocks. The Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s biggest newspaper, pointed out DeSantis had tweeted only once about vaccines in 130 tweets about COVID but nothing about people who had died. He did write twice about the state’s annual python hunt.

Seven Southern states ranking in the bottom ten for vaccinations, neighbors to Florida, comprise 70 percent of the orders for monoclonal antibodies in recent weeks. Costing 100 times the amount of vaccinations, the treatment also doesn’t have lasting effect against COVID.

DeSantis’ unswerving faith in mask bans for schools comes from his belief in California psychiatrist, Mark McDonald, who promotes the use of animal deworming Ivermectin for human COVID cases instead of vaccinations. McDonald compares masks on children to “child abuse” and apartheid, South Africa’s racist segregation in the 20th century. On social media, McDonald called people who wear masks “retarded.” DeSantis also listens to Dr. Scott Atlas, DDT’s adviser who pushed White House coronavirus task force members to let people to contract the virus with no government intervention.

In August, Florida Poison Control Centers reported 27 Ivermectin-related cases. DeSantis’ COVID surge is also causing a shortage of water because it needs to be diverted to liquid oxygen for hospitals.

According to an August poll, 60 percent of people in Florida supported in-school masking. In addition, 61 percent agreed the recent COVID spike was preventable, 73 percent see it as a serious problem, and 53 percent believe the surge is a serious problem. The majority opposes DeSantis’ policies.

  • 68 percent: local officials should be able to require masks in indoor public spaces.
  • 69 percent: withholding pay for school officials requiring masking, which DeSantis is doing, is a bad idea.
  • 59 percent: everyone should be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
  • 63 percent: masking is primarily a public health issue and not about personal freedom.
  • 62 percent: health care workers should be required to have vaccinations.
  • 60 percent: teachers should have vaccination mandates.

DeSantis’ net approval rating fell 14 points in Florida by early September since early July, and 59 percent of registered Florida voters oppose his presidential run. He’s also behind his leading opponent for Florida governor, Rep. Charlie Crist, by double digits.    

DeSantis may be killing off his voters: 63 percent of the recent deaths in the state are over age 65, and seniors have been 79 percent of all pandemic deaths in Florida. Death numbers in Florida may be higher than revealed because the state hasn’t released these numbers in its 67 counties for three months. Both numbers of infections and deaths in Florida have dropped since DeSantis revised the method of counting these. Florida isn’t alone in the increasing number of deaths; this chart shows DDT-supporting counties

The number of deaths from COVID in Florida may appear to be shrinking because the state’s Department of Health changed its method of reporting death data. With the new system, a week’s data dropped the number of daily deaths from 262 to 46 although the same number of people died. Instead of deaths reported by the recorded date, the system used by most states, Florida tallied new deaths by the date a person dies, shifting a spike during a downslope and moving the downslope forward in time, creating an “artificial decline” in recent deaths during the current rise in cases.

Another form of disinformation about vaccines comes from evangelicals, including a popular app for evangelical churches, Subsplash, that urges viewers to fight pressure to get vaccinated. Users can put any lies on the app that they want. The National Religious Broadcasters fired Daniel Darling, senior vice president of communications, because he wouldn’t recant his pro-vaccine statements. On MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough’s show, he said his faith motivated him to get vaccinated and was proud of doing it. Darling described the vaccines as an amazing feat of discovery by scientists.

On the other side, Pope Francis and other high ranking Catholic leaders are calling on believers to be vaccinated against COVID because protecting others is the moral thing—a “God’s grace” and “an act of love.”

In other states:

Arkansas doesn’t mandate masks and spent $265,448 of COVID funding to enrich former Gov. Mike Huckabee by buying booklets containing disinformation about coronavirus from his company, EverBright Media. It contains the statement, “face masks aren’t recommended as a way of preventing Coronavirus for healthy people.”

Georgia has skyrocketing numbers of infections, hospitalizations and fatalities, but Gov. Brian Kemp told Fox that people can be trusted to do the right thing. He also signed an order telling “businesses to ignore any local COVID restrictions.”

Mississippi has the highest COVID rate in the nation but has no health mandates, and Gov. Tate Reeves blasted President Biden for any mandates and hopes to sue him. If Mississippi were a country, it would be second only to Peru in deaths per capita, and the vaccination rate is 42 percent. Reeves explained why deaths are okay with people in Mississippi:  

“When you believe in eternal life—when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, then you don’t have to be so scared of things.”

In his political statement, Reeves didn’t say how that covers all the people killed by those who choose to not be unvaccinated.

South Dakota’s ten-day motorcycle rally in Sturgis, like last year, was a super-spreader event. Cases in Meade County, briefly home to 700,000 motorcyclists, rose over from a weekly rate of 644 infections to 3,819 infetions plus seven deaths. A neighboring county to the home of the rally jumped from three cases a day at the beginning of July to 160 after the rally. Most of the affected counties have lower vaccination rates that the state’s average of 49 percent. The almost 700 percent increase after the rally was two and a half times that of the percentage leap last year although the daily deaths stayed about the same.

In Tennessee, one-third of the positive cases were youth under 19 years of age after school opened in August. Gov. Bill Lee signed an order leaving students’ mask-wearing up to parents. He recommended vaccines which weren’t available to anyone under 13.

On the more educated side, a New Hampshire legislator and retired doctor, William Marsh, has switched parties from Republican to Democrat because of the GOP House leadership’s anti-vaccine position.

Analyzing why conservatives have fought so hard against protecting their health, political analyst David Graham suggests they are upset with losing influence. In the Atlantic, he wrote:

“[Conservatives] are angry at someone (elites, liberals, the government, the establishment) for telling them how they ought to live… They want to live exactly as they please, even if that means they may die—and even if that means making other people sick along the way.”

Anti-vaxxers are doing more than just yelling against vaccines and masks. They block public meetings, threaten officials with violence and death, and beat up people whose job is to ask them to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination for entry to businesses. Abuse from anti-vaxxers forced the closure of mobile vaccination clinics in Colorado and Georgia when they threw garbage and lit fireworks on healthcare workers. A California clinic had to close down because a person refusing to get a vaccination attacked healthcare workers who wouldn’t give him a vaccination proof card. The stories continue, some of the violence perpetrated by law enforcement. Yet Republican leaders continue to support their behavior, just as they refuse to admit that DDT lost the election.

COVID Unvaccinated Leads to Less Health Care, Increased Costs

Over four years ago, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) appointed Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. Flynn lasted three weeks before DDT fired him, ostensibly because Flynn “lied” to VP Mike Pence although there were several other reasons. Before DDT left the Oval Office he pardoned Flynn who had pled guilty to lying to the FBI as well as other multiple charges and who plotted the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Now Flynn stated that the “deep state” (aka people who don’t believe in QAnon conspiracy theories) plans to put COVID vaccine in salad dressing to impose their will on “us.”

Flynn is part of the cabal bringing death to people in the United States through the anti-vax movement. Over a decade ago, one of my friends complained that the Affordable Care Act would kill people because it would cause a shortage of doctors. People didn’t die, however, because millions more people had health insurance. But in 2021, conservatives are killing people because they refuse to be vaccinated.

A huge influx of seriously ill—unvaccinated—people has been inundating the hospitals for months, blocking necessary access for those who need medical care such as dialysis and ventilators as well as for others who have cancer, heart issues, dialysis, etc. from necessary access. Now hospitals are denying this care in at least three states—Alaska, Idaho, and Montana—where hospitals are rationing health care. And all because people refuse to be vaccinated. These three states have declared “crisis standards,” which uses legal protection in prioritizing care. Qualifications include both health issues and roles in society, i.e., higher status for health-care workers or politicians with essential responsibilities. Arizona and New Mexico had declared crisis standards in some hospitals for short periods in 2020.

Only 40 percent of people in Idaho are vaccinated, and the state has no mandated masks or other health requirements. A regional health board just appointed a doctor who called COVID vaccinates “fake.” One hospital still not declaring the crisis standard has delayed elective and nonurgent surgeries and checks vital signs less often. The state’s crisis plan prioritizes children through 17 years old, pregnant women, adults from younger to older, and patients who “perform tasks that are vital to the public health response of the crisis at hand.” Those who don’t meet the standards will receive palliative care. One patient suffering a major trauma was sent 800 miles away to Sacramento.

In Montana one hospital said its ICU was operating at 150 percent, and another said shortage of medications keeps them from treating everyone. Oxygen may be administered without monitoring. People going to Providence Alaska Medical Center emergency room must wait in their cars for care, and the hospital has no more staffed beds. Only 48 percent of people in the state are vaccinated.

Another reason for overloaded hospitals is the myth that Ivermectin will protect people from COVID. In rural Oklahoma, emergency rooms and ambulances are backed up because people are taking doses meant for a 1,000-pound horse. One doctor said that gunshot victims have trouble getting into places where they can get care, and ambulances have to wait at the hospital for beds to open up. Symptoms in minor Ivermectin cases are nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, cramping, and don’t forget the inability to control bowels. Worse than that is vision loss, coming from a medication with no evidence of being effective against COVID. A recent review of 14 Ivermectin studies, with more than 1,600 participants, show no help for preventing COVID, and another 31 studies are still underway. One of the biggest trials, the Together Trial, was stopped on August 6 because Ivermectin was no better at a placebo in preventing hospitalization of a longer stay in the emergency room. The leader of the study said that the study would have been halted earlier for no evidence except for the public interest in the drug.

Even states with more vaccinated people, such as California and Washington, are experiencing the “tipping point” of care as people from those crisis states flood into other areas. Hawaii’s governor signed an order releasing health-care facilities and workers from liability if they must ration health care. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee told Idaho Governor to stop “clogging up my hospitals.”

This week, the U.S. averaged 153,000 new covid cases and 1,940 deaths each day. Today, clearly identified COVID deaths are 252 short of 700,000, and 2,228 people died in the past day. The so-called Spanish flu of 1918-19 killed 675,000 people, and fewer than the number of those who died from combat in all the American wars.

  WellSpan Health, a health care system covering South-Central Pennsylvania and northern Maryland reports younger and sicker COVID patients—and  90 percent of them are unvaccinated. Despite this knowledge, the stupidity and ignorance of anti-vaxxers and their leaders continues.

While unvaccinated people block those with vaccinations from hospitals, the latter is paying hospital expenses for the 98 percent of people who want the freedom to infect themselves and others. The average hospitalization cost of between $20,000 and $24,000 with ventilators far more expensive is paid by taxpayers and insurance that increases because of vastly higher premiums. An analysis of data shows 32,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in June, 68,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations in July, and another 187,000 preventable COVID-19 hospitalizations among unvaccinated adults in the U.S. in August, for a total of 287,000 across the three months. These costs do not reflect the medical expenses of “long-haul” COVID and welfare for those who cannot work because of the aftereffects of the disease that unvaccinated people chose to contract.

Insurance companies, however, are getting fed up with make huge payments for unvaccinated people. Most of the private and group health plans no longer waive “cost-sharing,” co-pays and deductibles, for COVID treatment, including hospitalization. The change could mean thousands of dollars sick people may have to pay. Preventable hospitalization for June through August ran over $5 billion.

This story sounds like satire, but the mind of conservatives can sometimes be hard to fathom.  Breitbart News’ John Nolte talked with Howard Stern about a conspiracy theory that vaccine-believers are using “reverse psychology” to kill off “Trump supporters.” By pushing vaccines, conservatives won’t take them, and they will die.  Nolte wrote:

“Do you want to know why I think Howard Stern is going full-monster with his mockery of three fellow human beings who died of the coronavirus? Because leftists like Stern and CNNLOL and Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Fauci are deliberately looking to manipulate Trump supporters into not getting vaccinated. If I wanted to use reverse psychology to convince people not to get a life-saving vaccination, I would do exactly what Stern and the left are doing…. I would bully and taunt and mock and ridicule you for not getting vaccinated, knowing the human response would be: Hey, f**k you, I’m never getting vaccinated! And why is that a perfectly human response? Because no one ever wants to feel like they are being bullied or ridiculed or mocked or pushed into doing anything.”

With religious exemptions from mandated vaccinations growing popular, Arkansas’ hospital system Conway Regional Health System now gives those exemptions only to people who swear off medications and other vaccinations with the same issues as the COVID vaccine. Their objection to put a substance with fetal cell lines into their bodies also applies to over-the-counter medications including Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, aspirin, Lipitor, Senokot, ibuprofen, Maalox, Benadryl, Sudafed, Claritin, Zoloft, etc. People signing up for religious exemptions to COVID vaccines are also prevented from vaccines such as those for measles, mumps, and rubella. All these medications/vaccines and more were developed using fetal cell lines. A religious exemption also lasts as long as it takes the person time to get another job.

The number of people objecting to vaccine mandates is shrinking. Across the U.S. between 53 and 61 percent of people want proof of vaccination for restaurants, hotels, offices or work sites, events with large crowds, and flying, percentages all up from April.

One reason people say they won’t get vaccinated is that it leads to sterility and sexual disfunction. Studies, however, show they are wrong; instead, contracting the virus causes problems in pregnancy, menstrual cycles, erectile performance, or sperm quality. Pregnant women will get infected more quickly without vaccinations. So not getting vaccinated leads to the sexual problems they fear as well as possibly death.

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