The President Who Cried Wolf

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Before I write anything else, I’d like to first extend my honest warm wishes for a full recovery to President Trump and the First Lady. I’d also extend this to anyone else who is symptomatic or who tests positive for covid-19 who came in contact with them, their staff, and to any of the Senators, Judge Barrett and her family. With a virus so unpredictable once you contract it, it can add to the stress of being sick in the first place. The unknown is often a scary place.

That said, I was on Twitter until the wee hours of the morning, about 3AM, reading, getting updates, laughing at inappropriate jokes, although none were really too bad or personal. I was also not the only one who thought the report of the president and first lady testing positive was another one of his lies, another distraction from her horrifying comments about Christmas and migrant children in cages, a way to ignore the NY Times story of his tax and bank fraud, a way to move beyond his horrendous performance at Tuesday’s debate, or any of the other fifty or so things that hit the news wires yesterday before the news of his positivity became the only story of the night.

After spending six months calling the virus racist nicknames, and clouding his response in what he termed a Democratic hoax and scare tactics, I didn’t think he would claim the virus if he wasn’t actually sick and/or infected.

It also wasn’t a Friday night news dump.

He also skipped out on a phone call with NY’s Governor Andrew Cuomo this afternoon, which I take to mean that he wasn’t up to it.

Sadly, I don’t trust the news that Mike Pence is negative. He, of course, will have to be tested again.

Their constant lying for three and three-quarters years have made any statement they make suspect.

Mitch McConnell continuing his farce of the confirmation of the Supreme Court seat only exacerbates the idea that this is a distraction that they are using to their advantage.

Mitch McConnell is one of many GOP Senators who were at Judge Barrett’s roll out last Saturday, and Senator Mike Lee of Utah, who was there, not wearing a mask, shaking hands, and hugging people tested positive today. The entire Senate needs to quarantine for fourteen days as does Judge Barrett and her family.

And all these people need to wear masks.

All the damn time.

Nancy Pelosi needs to be kept in isolation to keep safe the line of succession.

This is a national security emergency.

According to NBC News the President of Notre Dame, who was at the nominating ceremony at The White House has tested positive for covid-19 and Judge Amy Coney Barrett was diagnosed with covid-19 earlier in the summer, which puts her at greater risk for reinfection according to studies within the WHO.

I’m glad that the President and First Lady have made public their tests and having the coronavirus. We should also be hearing from the White House doctor which twice daily updates on the President’s condition. This is not a time for hiding things; it is a time for transparency. 209,000 Americans have died. Now, maybe the third of the country ignoring this pandemic and this very contagious and very dangerous virus will finally come to their senses and listen to the science – wash your hands, wear a mask, social distance.

Being tested does not prevent you from contracting the virus. The test is a moment in time. You could be negative this morning and the virus then sheds this afternoon and you’re positive and don’t know it. The GOP are being very irresponsible by forcing the Senate to convene, especially in small groups of committees and not requiring masks at all times at the Capitol and the White House is dangerous to the non-political staff including Secret Service, food service, journalists, and guests.
It’s irresponsible and reprehensible.

Podcasts – Ongoing, Information, and Interviews with Experts (Updated 4/12/20)

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Epidemic. Hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder and former Ebola response Coordinator, Ronald Klain. New episodes every Friday.

America Dissected: Coronavirus with Dr. Abdul el-Sayed. New pods will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays. (added 3/13/20)

NEW Coronovirus: Fact vs. Fiction (CNN)

In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt

Here’s the Deal with Joe Biden (the presumptive Democratic nominee for President) (first episode includes Ron Klain)

What a Day – 15 minutes of news and politics, including current covid-19 information. Hosted by Gideon Resnick and Akilah Hughes

Interviews with Ron Klain

Campaign HQ with David Plouffe

Interviews with Andy Slavitt

Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara

The Al Franken Podcast

Who to Follow on Social Media

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Updated 3/31/20

Twitter

Dr. Celine Gounder

Ronald Klain
Dr. Scott Gottlieb (added 3/9/20)

Dr. Tom Frieden (added 3/31/20)

Dr. Abdul el-Sayed (added 3/13/20)

CDC – I have serious concerns about the information coming out of the CDC based on Dr. Brix’s false statements this week. Please be wary and use good judgment. (added 3/27/20)

CDC-Emergency
NIH
WHO (World Health Organization)

Richard Engel

Epidemic Science & Health list on Twitter compiled by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (added 3/5/20)

Chef Jose Andres – he’s on the frontline of getting food to the people in disaster relief

Andy Slavitt

Asaf Bitton

NY Governor Cuomo

Speaker Nancy Pelosi – for updates on coronavirus related legislation

Meet Dr. Fauci (Updated 4/20/20)

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Dr. Anthony Fauci receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush, 2008. Getty Image. (c)2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci is the director of the NIAID, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, a part of the NIH, the National Institute of Health for the US Government. He has been in that position since 1984 and has worked as Director successfully with six Presidents, both Democrats and Repulicans. You may have seen him at various press conferences, coronavirus task force updates, and in television interviews. Here are a few more things if you want to read about him and his response and outlook for this unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. He has been serving in a public health capacity for over fifty years.

The Atlantic

Axios

A Conversation with Dr. Fauci (at Regis HS President’s Dinner)
Facebook Live with Mark Zuckerberg

The Atlantic

Politico

Washington Post

Science Magazine

Interview with comedian, Desus Nice

A Reflection Written by Anthony Fauci (how his faith informs him as a doctor) (Photos on a Twitter timeline)

Interview with Dr. Fauci on MSNBC (aired April 12, 2020)

Vanity Fair: Anthony Fauci on the New Rules of Living with Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update

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(This will also be added to original Coronavirus post that is linked at the top of my home page)

I recommend you follow Dr. Scott Gottlieb on Twitter. He is not currently a part of this Administration, but is the former head of the FDA and Harvard professor and offers good, thoughtful advice on dealing with this epidemic.

His USA Today op-ed: Take Smart Steps to Slow the Spread of the coronavirus

This is a transcript of his interview on CBS’ Face the Nation

Coronavirus Resources Update

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Talking Point Memo’s Josh Marshall has compiled a list of Twitter accounts giving real time updates and accurate information. If you’re on Twitter, check the tweet here, or go directly to the Epidemic Science & Health link, and follow these folks.

There is also a Coronavirus Live Update Website from Worldometer (h/t to actor Jim Beaver for the link) with statistics and numbers. However, please be aware that the number of cases is based only on those tested. Here in the United States, we are well behind the testing, so our numbers may be higher than reported. This also doesn’t include people who are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic.

I received an email from my health insurance company with their current policy on coronavirus testing. Check with your own health insurance provider to find out when and if you should get tested and how that procedure would work for your specific situation.

I will add this to my original post (link is at the top of my home page) which will continue to receive updated information as I discover it.

COVID-19 INFORMATION HUB (UPDATED: 3/20/20)

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Here’s the first update for the new Coronavirus Information Hub. The whole post will change over the next week. Judging by today’s publishing fun, it will take at least two hours to get these posts set up by categories. As they are published, they will be easily found through the COVID-19 category tag.

What to Do in Isolation/Quarantine (UPDATED 3/21/20)(NOW WITH EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES)
Where Can I Help? (UPDATED 3/21/20)

THIS POST WILL CONTINUE TO RECEIVE UPDATES AS INFORMATION CHANGES.

SARS-CoV-2 is the official name of this strain of the coronavirus. The respiratory disease the virus causes is abbreviated COVID-19. My intention in this post is to be apolitical, but after watching the press conference naming Vice President Pence as the coronavirus response coordinator and then their blocking the doctor (Dr. Anthony Fauci) from appearing on news programs this weekend, I’m not sure that this Administration is taking this epidemic seriously.

For one thing, according to a HHS whistleblower and reports in The New York Times and elsewhere, DHS employees were instructed to interact with repatriated quarantined Americans without protocols or protective gear. In one case, a DHS employee was forced to return to work before their 14-day quarantine was over, which they did. Another employee stayed at a hotel, and then took a commercial flight home with no precautions. There are currently three community based coronavirus transmissions in California and Oregon. There are reported positive tests also in Utah and Texas.

For those of us who are legitimately worried about contracting the coronavirus, we need to dispel the misinformation and out and out lies coming from this Administration, and get actual facts from experts and medical professionals.

It is important to note that I am NOT a doctor. I do NOT work in the health care field. I have carefully researched and vetted the links that follow, and in the case of podcasts have personally listened to them in order to be able to recommend them to you. Any advice I give further down the post is “mom-advice” that I am giving my own family, and following myself. It is not medical advice. IF you are an immuno-compromised individual, contact your doctor for the steps to keep yourself healthy and safe from this outbreak. Obviously, washing your hands, etc. is something you can do, but it’s best if you check on your individual situations with a medical professional who knows your specific circumstances.

I can’t believe that I have to debunk this, but you will not get COVID-19 from drinking Corona beer or eating Chinese food. In fact, we’re eating Chinese take-out tonight for dinner. Another point of necessary debunking is that coronavirus “is just like the flu”. It is not. At the lowest level of the range, deaths from the regular flu (influenza) is .02%. Deaths from Coronavirus is 2%. That makes the coronavirus 100 times more deadly than seasonal flu.

While there are fifteen confirmed cases in the US (origin to the US), there are over fifty including those repatriated from Japan and the cruise ship as well as the new unknown origin transmissions that I mentioned above. Despite assertions to the contrary, this virus will spread. It is already spreading.

In 2014, President Obama appointed Ronald Klain as the coordinator for the Ebola response. One thing I will say is that under Obama and Klain, I did not miss one night’s sleep. I did not give Ebola a second thought; I knew it was being handled. Mr. Klain was and is not a medical professional, but he was able to hear from all the various departments and disseminate the appropriate information to the appropriate agencies. He never restricted what the CDC and the NIH told the public. He also had briefings twice a day from the CIA and national intelligence agencies. As with ebola, coronavirus is a global problem. I mention all of this because this does not appear to be the procedure the Trump Administration is following. In fact, in 2018, President Trump eliminated the pandemic team which leaves us starting practically from scratch today.

Mom-Advice:

If you are able, get a flu shot. This will keep you from getting the flu and lowering your immune system. It will NOT prevent the coronavirus.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water several times throughout the day. After using the bathroom, before and after eating, arriving at work and returning home.

Equally important is to dry your hands thoroughly. This is something I learned as an Early Childhood Teacher/Specialist. (added 3/9/20)

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. I know, I know, you’re doing it now. I understand.

When coughing or sneezing, cover your nose AND mouth. Even if covering with a tissue or fabric, wash your hands after with soap and warm water.

Do not share food or drinks with anyone. ANYONE. Do not share straws also.

Resources for you:

First and foremost is the new podcast, Epidemic. It is hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder and former Ebola response Coordinator, Ronald Klain. The first episode is out now, and is incredibly informative. They will be releasing new episodes every Friday.

NEW PODCAST: America Dissected: Coronavirus with Dr. Abdul el-Sayed. New pods will be broadcast on Tuesdays and Fridays. (added 3/13/20)

The Rachel Maddow Show from February 27, 2020. The first 45 minutes focuses exclusively on the coronavirus.

Rachel Maddow’s show transcript from March 11, 2020 or listen to the same on her podcast (added 3/13/20)

Rachel Maddow’s show from March 12, 2020 (added 3/13/20)

Transcript of Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s interview on CBS’ Face the Nation (added 3/9/20)

CDC (Center for Disease Control)

CDC-Coronavirus 2019
NIH (National Institute of Health)

Scientific American: Preparing for the Coronavirus to Strike the US
Coronavirus Symptoms

Wash Your Damn Hands (from Vox)

Take Smart Steps to Slow the Spread of the coronavirus (added 3/9/20)

Preparing for an Outbreak (Coronavirus) (from Vox)

Explainer: Coronavirus reappears in discharged patients, raising questions in containment fight

Cancel Everything (Social Distancing) from The Atlantic (added 3/13/20)

Flattening the Curve, Isolation, Quarantine (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

How Fox News Misled Viewers about Coronavirus – important to keep up with and recognize the misinformation (CNN Business) (added 3/13/20)

How Trump Set Up his White House to Fail (relates to information access) (The Atlantic) (added 3/13/20)

9 Charts that Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic (from Vox) (added 3/13/20)

Coronavirus Live Update Website (added 3/5/20)

Follow on Twitter:

Dr. Celine Gounder

Ronald Klain
Dr. Scott Gottlieb (added 3/9/20)

Dr. Abdul el-Sayed (added 3/13/20)

CDC

CDC-Emergency
NIH
WHO (World Health Organization)

Richard Engel

Epidemic Science & Health list on Twitter compiled by Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo (added 3/5/20)

As more information comes to light, I expect to either add to this post or create new ones. I will put a link on my home page so the information can be easily found.
[Originally titled: Coronavirus – SARS-CoV2-COVID-19 with latest update 3/13/20]

On Demand, Without Apology

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I listened to an amazing podcast last week from the women of Hysteria, who drop a pod every week with their perspectives on what’s going on in the news and the world. They are part of the Crooked Media family. I know, I post so much of Crooked Media’s media that I seem to be a stan, and to be honest, I am. I listen to most of their stuff, don’t agree with absolutely everything, but I always learn something.

This episode of Hysteria was called Abortion On Demand, No Apologies, and it is where I got the title for this post from. Erin Ryan and Alyssa Mastromanoco begun wuth a conversion about last week’s news and outrage and then Erin is joined by Grace Parra, Megan Gailey, and Dana Schwartz who all share very personal, and very poignant stories of their experiences with abortion and reproductive health. It is something that affects all of us every day. It’s very emotional for the podcasters as well as for me the listener. I was transported alongside them and I was touched deeply by their words.

I’m pro-choice, but that is all I will offer by way of my own opinions. The women of Hysteria really lay their experiences on the line. I’ll leave it to them to share their stories. 

One thing that was said however that I do want to share, and it stems from the Me, too movement, Times Up, Male politicians who know nothing of women’s bodies regulating them and passing laws that are not only Draconian, but also physically impossible to enforce (reimplanting an ectopic pregnancy in the uterus is one example). Whenever a man, and it is almost always a man, decides that an embryo is more valueable than a real live women, women all across this country need to rise up, protest, and in doing so are forced into a retraumatization of their original hell, whether that is rape, incest, abortion, or any other trauma faced. They are expected to bare their souls, and then they are often ridiculed and the men are often astounded that what happened to them is real, and they are sorry, but not sorry enough to let women control their own bodies.

I really don’t know which is worse – the original trauma or the reliving each and every time a politician decides that women need their help in making medical decisions. They relive the trauma, and there is no apology for them in their living nightmare.

Please hear these women.

On Demand, Without Apology Link to Podcast, originally airing May 23, 2019..

Stroke Awareness Month – Risk Factors

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There are many factors that go into whether or not you will have a stroke. The following list of risk factors, increased risk factors, and additional risk factors comes directly from the CDC (the Center for Disease Control).​

  • Race/ethnicity. African Americans have almost two times the risk of white people of having a first stroke. Hispanic Americans and American Indian/Alaska Natives are at greater risk than whites are for having a stroke but are at less risk than African Americans. African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than whites to die after having a stroke.
  • Age. Stroke risk increases with age. Three-quarters of strokes occur in people ages 65 and older.
  • Geography. The highest U.S. death rates from stroke occur in the southeastern United States.
  • Gender. Men are more likely than women to have a stroke.

Certain lifestyle factors and conditions also increase the risk for stroke. The most important of these include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease (such as atrial fibrillation)
  • Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack
  • Cigarette smoking

Additional risk factors include:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Overweight or obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Family history of stroke
  • Drug abuse
  • Genetic conditions, such as blood-clotting or vascular disorders (for example, Factor V Leiden or CADASIL)
  • Certain medications (such as hormonal birth control pills)
  • Being pregnant
  • Menopause

Lesser risk factors include:

  • Head and neck injuries
  • Recent viral or bacterial infections



    National Stroke Awareness Month

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    May is National Stroke Awareness Month. According to the National Institute of Health, 795,000 people in the US have strokes. Of those, 137,000 die. The vast majority are first strokes. Survivors will have another stroke within five years.

    In this first of four posts, the main thing I want to get out to you are the signs of a stroke. One easy way to remember is the word FAST, which stands for FACE, ARMS, SPEECH, TIME.