Tag Archives: medicine
Best Quotes of the Week – May 22, 2021
“Holy crap. Perhaps a U.S. Senator shouldn’t suggest that the Russian military is better than the American military that protected him from an insurrection he helped foment?”
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, responding to a Tweet by Sen. Ted Cruz criticizing the U.S. military’s diversity endeavors
“We can’t even imagine the thinking behind Gov. Abbott’s callous decision to strip the remaining federal unemployment insurance benefits out of the pockets of Texas working families. If he took the time or had any interest in understanding the challenges working people face, Gov. Abbott would see clearly that folks across Texas desperately need these funds as they try to navigate their way through the economic carnage of the pandemic.”
Rick Levy, president of the Texas AFL-CIO, reacting to Gov. Abbott’s decision to opt out of federal unemployment benefits extensions
“The Big Pharma fairy tale is one of groundbreaking R&D that justifies astronomical prices. But the pharma reality is that you spend most of your company’s money making money for yourself and your shareholders.”
Rep. Katie Porter, to Richard Gonzalez, CEO of pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, about increasingly high costs for prescription drugs
During the U.S. House Oversight Committee hearing, Porter also declared, “You lie to patients when you charge them twice as much for an unimproved drug, and then you lie to policymakers when you tell us that R&D justifies those price increases.”
Gonzalez’s 2020 total compensation topped USD 24 million.
Filed under News
Best Response to a Stupid Question – May 1, 2021
“I’m sorry, I have to compose myself. There’s not a vaccine with a tracking device embedded in it that I know of … exists in the world. Period.”
Dr. Clayton Chau, in response to Rep. Don Wagner asking if the COVID-19 vaccine has embedded tracking devices
Chau is director of the Orange County, California health care agency.
Worst Quotes of the Week – April 10, 2021
“When a group of sad, disenfranchised people who have been left out of the modern economy show up at your office, you don’t have to listen to their complaints. Not for a second. Why would you?”
Tucker Carlson, in a mocking rant about the January 6 Capitol Hill riots
April 6 marked exactly three months since the event. Carlson added: “For those of you are not good at dates or don’t have calendars, this is the day that we pause to remember the White supremacist QAnon insurrection, that came so very close to toppling our government and ending this democracy forever.”
“We have a major under-incarceration problem in America. And it’s only getting worse.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, presenting his solution to rising crime in the U.S.
The U.S. has approximately 2.3 million people incarcerated, or roughly 698 people per every 100,000; the highest rate in the developed world.
“They simply let me use it as a security retreat because they knew the threat that I was under. And I was basically under presidential threat without presidential security in terms of the number of threats I was getting.”
Wayne LaPierre, executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association, describing how he often sought refuge on a friend’s yacht after notable mass shootings
LaPierre made the revelation in a deposition during the NRA’s bankruptcy hearing.
“When I see people walking outside, often alone with no one anywhere near them, wearing a mask, my primary reactions are disappointment and sadness. I am disappointed because I expected better from my fellow Americans. I never thought most Americans would be governed by irrational fears and unquestioning obedience to authority. I have come to realize that I had a somewhat romanticized view of my countrymen.”
Dennis Prager, expressing frustration that so many people continue to wear masks
He also declared: “If you wear a mask, you do so in the belief that you are protecting yourself (and others) from COVID-19. So, then, why do you care if I don’t wear a mask?”
Filed under News
Most Alarming Quote of the Week – April 3, 2021
“When I first started at CDC about 2 months ago, I made a promise to you: I would tell you the truth even if it was not the news we wanted to hear. Now is one of those times when I have to share the truth, and I have to hope and trust you will listen,” she said. “I’m going to pause here, I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, on the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
100,000 Dead and Still a Circus
“When the final bulb pops alight, and the smoke and sparks dissipate, it is finally legible, this elaborate incandescent sign. Leaning to your left to gain a better view, you can see that it reads: Le Cirque des Rêves. Now the circus is open. Now you may enter.”
– “The Night Circus”, Erin Morgenstern, © 2011
On Wednesday, May 27, the COVID-19 death toll here in the United States achieved a brutal milestone: 100,000. Globally, some 5.6 million infections have been confirmed, with more than 353,000 fatalities. Bearing only 5% of the world’s population, the U.S. has roughly one-third of deaths directly related to the COVID-19 scourge and about 1.7 million infections. Sometimes being first isn’t such a good thing.
About 300 municipalities in the U.S. boast populations of about 100,000. We have sports arenas that can seat 100,000 people. Despite the viral carnage, many cities across the U.S. are moving towards a re-opening; albeit with a few restrictions. The limitations appear subjective. Some restaurants, for example, remain delivery or curbside pick-up only, while others allow a small number of patrons indoors, with tables kept at least six feet apart. Most demand employees wear masks and latex gloves at all times, but don’t require the same of guests. Then again, it’s sort of difficult to imbibe in food and beverages with one’s mouth ensconced in a piece of cloth – no matter how fashionable it might be.
Is this the new normal? And who designates what is or is not normal?
For me social distancing and frequent hand-washing have been normal since color television was still a novelty. Yes, I am that…mature and I was that precocious! But, for some people, washing their hands after they pick up dirty laundry or take out the trash is a catastrophic lifestyle change. Hence, my social distancing predilection.
Such habitual alterations aside, I can only shake my head at the blatant disregard some people have for their neighbors – what I also call downright stupidity. Am I sadistic in chuckling at the thought of moronic infidels perishing in the morass of their viral incompetence? I view it merely as being practical – in a Darwinian frame of mind. Among lower mammals, those that cannot maintain pace with the herd are sacrificed to the course of nature. Among humans – at least in democratic societies – even the stupid are afforded some level of sympathy.
However, it’s tough for me to sympathize with many of our elected leaders, including the psychotic, discombobulated clown the United States calls its president – Donald J. Trump. The alleged liberal media has noted the president’s distortion of facts regarding the COVID-19 pandemic – from his pronouncement that April heat will kill off the virus to his suggestion that injecting basic household cleaning chemicals into one’s corpus is good preventative medicine.
One hundred thousand is not just a number – it represents human beings; lives lost to a disease that, oddly enough, has a low fatality rate. The U.S. death toll to COVID-19 is equal to the number of fatalities in this country to the 1968 Hong Kong flu, which killed roughly 1 million people globally. One would think a nation as developed and affluent as the United States would be able to confront any scourge as influenza. But looks are often deceiving. The U.S. has been good at developing weapons of destruction. Our military is the most highly-trained and well-prepared fighting force in the world. Yet health care issues always seem to be relegated to a Neanderthal-style the fittest shall survive type of mentality.
And it goes back to what political structure is in place at the time of the crisis. Forty years ago, when AIDS arrived on the world stage, the U.S. was beset by the ultra-conservative Ronald Reagan – a half-ass actor cum political assailant. While contemporary conservatives deify Reagan and tumble into near-orgasmic frenzies at the mere mention of his name, the rest of us clear-headed folks understand what an incompetent dolt he was. And not just because he turned his back on the working folks of America! As a social conservative, he and his minions felt justified in categorizing people into those who deserve to live and those who don’t. With his banshee of a wife beside his feeble body and mind and an attorney general who thought waging war on the adult film industry was a noble cause, the Reagan Administration ignored the very real calamities of a growing crack-cocaine epidemic and the burgeoning AIDS crisis. Thus, thousands died, while Reagan uttered a few quaint phrases that cemented his aw-shucks persona as adorable to his legions of blind disciples.
I see much of the same happening now with COVID-19. As thousands fall ill and the economy sinks, Donald Trump is more engaged with his Twitter account and continues propagating the myth of rampant voter fraud. Now we have 100,000 dead from this novel coronavirus – and growing – with more than 1 million infected. And despite that low morbidity rate, just recovering from the ailment seems to be a slow ride through the fires of Hell wearing tissue paper-thin clothing soaked in lighter fluid. Moreover, scientists still aren’t certain of the long-term effects of COVID-19. Most people recover, yes, but at what cost? How will the disease impact their health years from now? What of their cardiovascular system? Respiratory system, metabolism, digestive tract, immunity? Like AIDS forty years ago, COVID-19 is fresh off the virological boat. We just don’t know.
I do know, however, that a conservative ideology is bad for health care. Like the schematics for the Titanic, everything looks great on paper – until it slams into something, and we see what happens. No one knows what the hell to do! Except pass judgment and make light of the matter.
That’s what Reagan and his ilk did during the AIDS mess: toss around cruel jokes and tap-dance on the graves of the fallen. And it’s pretty much what Trump is doing now. He’s not exactly making jokes – his presidency and leadership have taken the top awards on that. But he’s not providing any true direction. He did order some manufacturers to being producing much-needed medical supplies. But even that came with some arm-twisting!
Think about that number, however: 100,000. What number of dead do we have to see before everyone takes it seriously? When is it no longer just a very bad day? What price is a life?
Images: Alejandro De La Garza
Filed under Essays
Best Quote of the Week – April 24, 2020
“We live in a country where skin color is hazardous to one’s health and mortality is not determined by one’s genetic code but instead by one’s ZIP code. We appeal to you to channel treatment and resources to those areas in our body politic that have suffered the most from this national infection that has allowed this virus to spread disproportionately.”
– Rev. Frederick Douglass Haynes III, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas.
Haynes signed a letter calling on the Trump Administration to address the racial and economic inequality that is making non-White communities more vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Worst Quote of the Week – April 10, 2020
“It is being used in Germany as a mist. Health care workers go through a misting tent going into the hospital and it kills the coronavirus completely dead not only right then, but any time in the next 14 days that the virus touches anything that’s been sprayed it is killed.”
– U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, (R-TX), claiming that German scientists had developed a powder that – mixed with water – will kill the COVID-19 virus on contact.
In response, Dr. Jörn Wegner, a spokesman for Deutsche Krankenhausgesellschaft, the German Hospital Association, stated, “What your congressman said is absolute nonsense. There are no such tents and there’s no powder or magical cure.”
Gohmert continues to embarrass both my home state of Texas and the United States in general by spouting out such idiotic and ridiculous statements as this “misting” cure. Why the people of his district continue to let Gohmert stay in office is mind-boggling. Then again, if you knew East Texas, like I do, you’d understand – somewhat.
Best Quote of the Week – March 20, 2020
“We’ll be thankful that we’re overreacting.”
– Dr. Anthony Fauci, on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
I’ve been listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci for several years now and know that he tells it like it is and doesn’t care about political ideology or shy away from controversy. Nearly four decades ago, he warned the burgeoning AIDS crisis posed a serious threat to the American health care system. But the right-wing idiots in the Reagan Administration still perpetuated the myth that only “Those People” could get sick with HIV. Now, we have another pack of right-wing dumbasses in the White House, and the same bullshit is spewing out. As far as I’m concerned, Fauci should be the most trust person in America right now.