Nel's New Day

April 15, 2020

DDT Wants Hydroxychloroquine, Needs Drug for Anti-Narcissm

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 11:10 PM
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 (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Satirist Andy Borowitz has written several pieces about Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) within the past few months; this humor deals with DDT’s need for an anti-narcissism drug:

Stating that “time is of the essence,” Dr. Anthony Fauci is imploring the nation’s pharmaceutical companies to fast-track the development of a drug to treat narcissism.

Acknowledging that narcissistic-personality disorder has historically been resistant to medication, the esteemed virologist said that a breakthrough drug was “urgently needed.”

“I have seen the toll that narcissism takes, day in, day out,” Fauci said. “The human cost is incalculable.”

Without offering scientific evidence or data, Fauci argued, “Successfully treating one narcissist could substantially reduce the misery and suffering of millions.”

The epidemiologist said that, as soon as a promising anti-narcissism drug is developed, he would “personally mastermind” its clinical trials.

For the purpose of those trials, Fauci said, it would be optimal to manufacture the drug as a pill or anything else “that could be easily crushed and dissolved in a Diet Coke.”

Asked about the use of hydroxychloroquine on CBS’ Face the Nation, Fauci responded, “In terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say it works.”

A major problem for people who want to keep living is DDT’s incessant promotion of a dangerous drug as a magical cure for COVID-19.

“What do you have to lose?” DDT frequently says about his pushing the drug. For DDT, the answer is donations. He’s received millions of dollars in political support from the founder of a pharmaceutical industry-funded group pushing him to promote hydroxychloroquine. The latest COVID-19 hot spot, South Dakota, which refuses to shut down the state, is using federal money from the $2.2 trillion bill for the drug. Billionaire Home Depot co-founder Bernard Marcus, also founder of the Job Creators Network and promoted by DDT at one of his press briefings (campaign rallies), gave more than $7 million through outside groups for DDT’s 2016 election. Marcus’ Network has been funded by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), that includes Novartis, Teva Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer—manufacturers of DDT’s favorite drug. Network’s hydroxychloroquine campaign also partners with Physicians for Reform which works with the Koch brothers’ FreedomWorks to deregulate healthcare policies.

The Network partners with nonprofit Physicians for Reform, which works with FreedomWorks to promote deregulatory health care policies. FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group that was founded by the Koch brothers, also receives money from PhRMA. According to tax documents PhRMA gave $100,000 to FreedomWorks in 2018.

The FAA prohibited pilots from flying if they have used chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine within 48 hours for COVID-19 prevention before reporting for flight. Pilots with arthritis have limited exceptions to take small doses of the drug if they meet other criteria and taken an eye examination. The FAA guidance states that there is “no satisfactory scientific evidence that use of these medications decreases the severity of the virus” and noted “there is no standardized protocol,” such as how much and how frequently to take the drug. Three U.S.-based cardiovascular groups warned doctors to consider “potential serious implications for people with existing cardiovascular disease” if prescribing the treatment. Dr. Penny Giovanetti, the director of the Medical Specialties Division within the Office of Aerospace Medicine, signed the order. Giovanetti has special diplomas from the American Board of Preventive Medicine.

Some CIA leaders agree with the FAA and Fauci. On March 27, a CIA website for employees warned that hydroxychloroquine could have dangerous side effects such as “sudden cardiac death.” The CIA added, in boldface, “Please do not obtain this medication on your own.” The post was put on the website after an employee asked about taking the drug without a prescription.

In addition to small failed studies in France, Sweden, and Brazil, a study of 150 patients in China shows that DDT’s drug of choice doesn’t help patients more than standard care but has problem with side effects. Researchers think that anti-inflammatory effects helped alleviate patients’ syndromes. A later French study that compared over 180 patients in 12 hospitals and public research institutes found almost identical outcomes between those with hydroxychloroquine. Researchers reported:

“These results do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized for documented Sars-CoV-2-positive hypoxic pneumonia….

“In conclusion, we found that hydroxychloroquine did not significantly reduce admission to ICU or death at Day Seven after hospital admission, or acute respiratory distress syndrome in hospitalized patients with hypoxemic pneumonia due to COVID-19. These results are of major importance and do not support the use of hydroxychloroquine in patients hospitalized for a documented Sars-CoV-2 pneumonia.”

Dr. Robin Armstrong, medical director of the Texas City (TX) extended care nursing home, is giving hydroxychloroquine to his patients. At “The Resort,” 87 people have tested positive for COVID-19, currently one of the biggest outbreaks in the state. Armstrong lies about DDT’s drug of choice having “virtually no side effects” and told a reporter that “some” of the 39 patients on the drug show signs of improvement. He has only anecdotal evidence with no random trial for his claims: he just pops pills, even to patients with dementia who cannot consent. He also didn’t tell families, and in some cases the patients, what he was doing. About notification of giving new medication, he said, “It’s not required.” His justification comes from studies from Europe and China, many of which have failed.

At the most recent inspection by the state Health and Human Services on July 25, 2019, the nursing home received 14 violations of state standards including lack of proper care for residents needing special services such as injections, colostomy, ureterostomy, ileostomy, tracheostomy care, tracheal suctioning, respiratory care, foot care, and prostheses; lack of storage, preparation, and provision of food in a clean and safe way; and lack of design, construction, equipment, and protection for the health and safety of residents, workers, and the public.

In a series of political roles, Armstrong, who got his drugs during a shortage by calling GOP Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, is Vice Chair of Texas’ GOP. Patrick is known for saying on Fox’s Tucker Carlson Show, that old people should volunteer to die so that the wealthy in the United States can keep their way of life.

Anti-narcissism medication might help people other than DDT. The stupidity and arrogance of South Dakota’s first-term governor, Kristi Noem, is also killing people. She will give no shelter-in-home order because it represents a “herd mentality.” People should have the right, according to Noem, to work, worship, play, and even stay at home. Her solution for the virus is to stop watching national news because—as other conservative governors claim—the state is not New York. Thanks to Noem’s blindness, her city of Sioux Falls faces one of the largest COVID-19 clusters in the nation: 640 people connected to a Smithfield Foods plant have confirmed cases. The plant, supplying five percent of the pork eaten in the U.S., employs 3,700 people who have no restrictions to keep them safe. It is closed for two weeks.

Noem’s only move to protect people is a shelter-in-place in two counties for people over 65 and with underlying health conditions. All other people are encouraged to demonstrate “personal responsibility” and “resiliency.” And take hydroxychloroquine. She is spending her money from the $2.2 trillion disaster relief law to buy the drug. Her advisers have warned her that up to 70 percent of her residents can be infected with the virus by its peak. Mayors in cities such as Rapid City try to enforce stay-at-home restrictions, but businesses consider the order unfair because the state doesn’t have the mandate.

With a population of only 885,000, South Dakota is 15th from the top in confirmed cases per one million people.

Residents and health officials in Nebraska, South Dakota’s southern border state, are angry with GOP Gov. Peter Ricketts for the surge of confirmed cases and the lack of stay-at-home orders. The 197 cases in one town, Grand Island, are six times per capita as that of the state, and the area has four deaths. Testing shows a positive rate of 20 to 25 percent in three nursing homes.

DDT’s senior counselor Kellyanne Cnway is also badly in need of an anti-narcissism drug. Since her interview on Fox & Friends this morning, people debate whether Conway is stupid or just desperately trying to appeal to DDT’s base. Blaming the World Health Organization to make DDT happy, she said that WHO should have learned from the first 18 strains of COVID—because it’s called COVID-19. The name comes from 2019, the year that COVID-19 was first identified. “People should know the facts,” she concluded her idiocy. That goes for the entire DDT administration.

On April 15, the U.S. has 587,155 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 28,529 deaths, as well as countless other unidentified cases and deaths. DDT wants restrictions lifted, making the number of hospitalizations and deaths skyrocket.

October 12, 2015

Time for Native American Day

Today is Columbus Day. The federal holiday has caused millions and millions of children to be taught myths as truth because President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the Knights of Columbus a gift of a federal holiday honoring a Catholic man. Evidence shows that Leif Eriksson led a band of Vikings to North American five centuries before 1492 and established a settlement before the indigenous peoples drove them off. It is also thought that Irish monks, the Chinese, Africans, and others “discovered” the continent before Columbus—a place already discovered by the people who had moved to the New World across the Bering Land Bridge 10,000 to 15,000 years earlier. Even when Columbus died, 16 years after he landed on the island, he thought he had found a path to Asia, his original purpose. But still, the United States celebrates Christopher Columbus.

The first Columbus Day celebration in the United States was in New York in 1792 to honor Oct. 12, 1492, the day that Columbus and his ships first made landfall on an island in the Caribbean Sea. It was to honor Italian-Americans because people believed Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy, instead of Spain’s Catalonia region. One-hundred years later, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation asking people to celebrate the day with patriotic festivities to mark the 400th anniversary of the voyage. In 1971, the national holiday established in 1937 was moved to the second Monday in October as the U.S. decided three-day weekends are important.

About the Taino people who Columbus encountered, he wrote, “With 50 men they could all be subjected and made to do all that one might wish. [They were] fit to be ordered about, to sow, and do everything else that may be needed.” A former slave trader, Columbus captured “seven head of women, young ones and adults, and three small children” to take back to Spain.

Columbus’ journals of his voyages document graphic acts of rape and brutality. He and his men chopped off the hands of Taino slaves who failed to get a daily quota of gold, and female slaves were forced to leave their babies on the road sides. Spanish conquistadors bet who could chop a Taino body in half with just one blow. In 1499, Columbus was arrested, chained up, and brought back to Spain.

History has described Columbus as “self-centered, ruthless, avaricious, and racist,” and he left a legacy of death, pillage, and rape of the land filled with colonialism, enslavement, discrimination, and land grabs. Thanks to people who followed Columbus, one-third of Native Americans died of disease—chicken pox, measles, cholera, malaria, typhoid, bubonic plague, etc.

People who think that the indigenous people in the United States no longer suffer as they have in the past need to consider what the government is doing to them in the 21st century. Native Americans didn’t get the right to vote in 1924 because the Fourteenth Amendment excluded Indians. Yet states found ways to keep Indians from voting for most of the 20th century through methods such as literacy tests. Despite lawsuits, some states refuse to recognize tribal IDs for voting and will not set up satellite polling locations on reservations, forcing Indians to drive as far as 163 miles or even to fly to a polling place. No access to early voting makes the process even more difficult.

White men are still allowed to abuse Indian youth. Last year, 57 Lakota students between 8 and 13 were rewarded for academic achievements by attending a hockey match in Rapid City (SD). At the game, a group of men in an executive suite poured beer over their heads and shouted, “Go back to the Rez!” Only one perpetrator faced criminal charges, and he was acquitted when a judge declared that the beer was just sprayed in excitement over a goal. The children are afraid to leave the reservation now.

Until last April, South Dakota’s Department of Social Services routinely placed Native children in white foster homes while denying Indian parents and guardians any due process rights in the hearing process. Parents were not allowed to examine evidence or cross-examine witnesses in hearings that sometimes lasted less than one minute, on average less than five minutes. One judge, Jeff Davis, ruled against Indian parents every time. Judges also told parents that their jurisdictions could ignore the law. An average of 740 Indian children was taken from their homes each year, some of them sexually abused in their foster homes.

Years ago, Indian children were taken from reservations and sent to “schools” where they were forced away from their culture. Putting children into white foster homes serves and same purpose, and white entitlement in the United States supports this “assimilation.” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), currently a GOP presidential candidate, said that if Native Americans were “assimilated,” that it would take only a decade for them to “probably be doing as well as the rest of us.” That’s his excuse for taking all the reservation lands and forget the way that white people refused to “assimilate” to the native culture of the country where they committed genocide.

Governments are still taking land away from Native Americans. For example, a section in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act transferred the San Carlos Apache tribe’s sacred area of Oak Flat in Arizona’s Tonto National Forest to mining company Resolution Copper. The land had been protected since 1955 when President Eisenhower declared it closed to mining because of its cultural and natural value, and President Nixon’s administration renewed the decree in 1971. Mining will destroy the area, but Arizona GOP Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake supported the land grab after they received contributions from Rio Tinto, mining company’s parent corporation. Flake was also a paid lobbyist for Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium in Namibia before being elected to Congress.

When Phil Stago of the White Mountain Apache Tribe protested the removal of his tribe’s land, Arizona’s 4th District Rep. Paul Gosar told him, “You’re still wards of the federal government.” Gosar was repeating the position that Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall took in the 1830s. Although Congress controls Indian affairs, tribes are known as sovereign nations. The Bureau of Indian Affairs’ website describes the federal government as trustee of Indian property, not the guardian of all American Indians and Alaska Natives.

McCain has a history of taking Indian land. In 1974, Senator John McCain wrote the 1974 Relocation Act which moved over 14,000 Navajo and 100 Hopi from their homelands to the site of a uranium mining accident in Chambers (AZ) where they developed lung cancer and their babies were born with birth defects. The excuse was to settle a land dispute between the two tribes, but the real purpose was to exploit mineral resources by creating two of the biggest coal strip mines in the nation. Ceasing operations in 2005, the mine left a 273-mile abandoned coal-slurry pipeline and 325 million tons of climate pollution in the atmosphere.

The state of Michigan wants to give 13,000 acres (about 20 square miles) of Native American treaty land to a Canadian company to develop a limestone mine. The state will get $4.53 million. It’s not a done deal yet, but Native Americans must fight for their land.

Like other minorities, Native Americans are victimized by the U.S. justice system with an incarceration rate 38 percent higher than the national average and four times the rate of white men. Native Americans are more likely to be killed by police than any other racial group and fall victim to violent crime at more than double all other citizens. While Native American women are incarcerated at six times the rate of white women, 88 percent of violent crime committed against Native American women is by non-Native perpetrators. Native American youths are 30 percent more likely than whites to be referred to juvenile court than have charges dropped.

A movement to honor Native Americans on October 12 has been growing in the past decades. Both Hawaii and the Bahamas call October 12, “Discovery Day,” and South Dakota began to use the term Native American Day in 1989. In 1992, Berkeley (CA) changed the name to Indigenous Peoples Day. Nine cities—including Albuquerque, Portland (OR), and Olympia (WA)—have followed suit. It’s not much, but it’s a start to recognize white entitlement, the belief that nothing has value or exists unless a white man is in charge. That’s a belief that may become more predominant in states such as South Dakota, which not longer requires Native American history to be taught in the public schools. Schools that do teach Indian history treat the subject as if Native Americans are gone—that they no longer exist. But that’s what many white people want.

December 9, 2012

Christians Support Violence, Theocracy

It’s another Sunday and time for a roundup of religious oddities.

The word of God must not be enough to bring people to worship in the 21st century: several churches are now offering concealed firearms training. Pastor James Miller of Heights Baptist in San Angelo (TX) explained, “We’re about 150 miles from the border with Mexico and we’re very unsure about our insecure borders–about what’s coming into our cities. Personally, I feel more secure that should our worship time be interrupted by a life-threatening intrusion, that we would at least stand some kind of a chance in stopping either a mass killing or terrorizing experience.” Miller added, “Jesus advises his disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. He instructed his people to be prepared to defend themselves.”

Not everyone agrees with the gun approach as shown by this sign next to the church in Marengo (OH) that teaches classes necessary to get a concealed weapons permit.

111211-news-concealed-carry-church-1-662w-at-1x

While churches provide secular training,  South Dakota’s legislature advocates Bible study in public schools. One supporter said it was a tiny step toward “taking back the heritage of our country.” The minority said, “It sends the message that other religious texts are not as important as the Bible, which I think is probably a dangerous path for us to start down.” A Republican added that the state should let “the church regulate church things.”

The federal government has been regulating “church things” in marriage for almost two decades. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is so intent on keeping same-sex couples from marrying that he’s paying lawyers to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that defends marriage only for heterosexual couples. Having spent over $1.5 million of taxpayer money, he’s planning more expenditures in the Supreme Court. Now he’ll have to explain how he has “standing” and show how he’s been personally hurt by marriage equality.

Taxpayer money continues to promote Christianity in the military. Last week Blake Page quit West Point five months before graduation, citing mandated Christian involvement at the military academy in New York state. “I do not wish to be in any way associated with an institution which willfully disregards the Constitution of the United States of America by enforcing policies which run counter to the same,” he wrote in his letter of resignation. He described routine prayers at mandatory events and awarding off-campus passes and credit to students who take part in religious retreats and chapel choirs, activities which foster “open disrespect of non-religious new cadets.”

Christian requirements at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs were criticized in 2005 when evangelical cadets received preferential treatment. and the promotion of religious proselytizing. In 2010 people raised concerns that the war in Afghanistan would be viewed as a Christian crusade because the the Pentagon used gun sights engraved with Bible verses.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council (FRC) showed Christianity at its worst when he praised Uganda’s commitment to Christian faith and “national repentance” in that country’s determination to kill LGBT people. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill introduced in Ugandan Parliament in 2009 included a provision of the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality.”  The Speaker of Parliament has promised the bill’s passage as a “Christmas gift” to the people of Uganda.

The praise of the FRC for dictator Yoweri Museveni’s dedication of his nation to God shows FRC’s desire for theocracy in America. FRC states that it does not support the death penalty for homosexuality but does oppose “the suggestion that gay and lesbian acts are universal human rights.” They have said nothing about other provisions in the proposed legislation including long prison sentences and punishment for people who don’t report people who engage in same-sex relations to government officials.

Tomorrow is International Human Rights Day. Eleanor Roosevelt, civil rights leader, helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted on December 10, 1948. She wrote:

“Where after all do universal human rights begin? In small places close to home. So close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world.”

Each one of us occupies one of these “small places.” It is our choice to lead the world toward human rights awareness and action.

 

 

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