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July 27th, 2021|

David Leonhardt asks an important question in his July 27’s “The Morning” NYT newsletter. Conservative supreme court justices retire by their 80s. Some liberals don’t. Why not?

July 14th, 2021|

I applaud the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA), The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), and the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists (SIDP) for producing their consensus statement recommending that:

“COVID-19 vaccination should be a condition of employment for all healthcare personnel. Exemptions from this policy apply to those with medical contraindications to all COVID-19 vaccines available in the United States and other exemptions as specified by federal or state law…

Prior experience and current information suggest that a sufficient vaccination rate is unlikely to be achieved without making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of employment.

The statement is consistent with federal law and regulations.”

The panel conducted an eight-week review of evidence on the three vaccines authorized for use in the United States, vaccination rates, and employment law to develop the statement.

Primum non nocere.  I believe that we in health care have a moral obligation to do all we reasonably can to protect our patients and fellow workers.

 

Recommended:

• Paul Krugman, writing in the NY Times on personal freedom as an excuse for vaccine hesitancy:

Once you understand that the rhetoric of freedom is actually about privilege, things that look on the surface like gross inconsistency and hypocrisy start to make sense.

Why, for example, are conservatives so insistent on the right of businesses to make their own decisions, free from regulation — but quick to stop them from denying service to customers who refuse to wear masks or show proof of vaccination? Why is the autonomy of local school districts a fundamental principle — unless they want to require masks or teach America’s racial history? It’s all about whose privilege is being protected.

Yup.

• Another terrific column from Ezra Klein, writing in the NYT: “What if the Unvaccinated Can’t Be Persuaded?”  I particularly liked this line:

Over and over again throughout this pandemic, the same pattern has played out: We haven’t done enough to suppress the virus when we still could, so we have had to impose far more draconian lockdowns and grieve far more death, once we have lost control. For this reason among many, I urge those who object to vaccination passports as an unprecedented stricture on liberty to widen their tragic imagination.

Highly recommended…

• Kristen Panthagani PhD (now completing her MD) has put together a nicely done blog. “You Can Know Things,” that serves as an explainer and fact checker, mostly for things COVID.  Check it out here.  Well done, Kristen!

Two nice examples:

Pandemic Contradictions  and this animated graphic of US Covid related deaths and vaccinations:

• Do read Elizabeth Kolbert’s Under a White Sky. Accessible, enjoyable, well-written, but terrifying in the sense of foreboding/inevitability it provokes.  Everyone should read this book and then do what they can to support efforts to mitigate climate change.