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?
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.
Kara Swisher has an excellent opinion piece in the NY Times where she discusses DJT’s very lame lawsuit against Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. An excerpt:
“Since then, Mr. Trump has been casting around for a replacement: first via a lame blog that sputtered out and then by dribbling out rumors that he was building his own social network. As that has turned out to be complicated, his latest scheme — and it is a scheme, all right — is to file a class-action lawsuit with himself as lead plaintiff, alleging that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have violated his First Amendment rights.
It’s clear that Mr. Trump’s ability to communicate the way he likes — loud, unfettered — has been hindered by his exile, even if his most pernicious lies about election fraud have managed to crawl, like misinformation slime mold, into a large part of the body politic. And part of me thinks he actually had gotten addicted, like a lot of us, to erupting at any time, day or night, with whatever message popped into his manic mind.”
Similar misappropriation of the 1st Amendment is perfectly encapsulated by this comic from Randall Munroe’s excellent XKCD:
It seems a good time to reflect on some of Lincoln’s words at Gettysburg:
“-that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”
Of, by and for the people – not just the privileged few.
I thought these sentences, written by George Packer in The Atlantic, pretty much said it all about Rumsfeld:
“Wherever the United States government contemplated a wrong turn, Rumsfeld was there first with his hard smile — squinting, mocking the cautious, shoving his country deeper into a hole. His fatal judgment was equaled only by his absolute self-assurance. He lacked the courage to doubt himself. He lacked the wisdom to change his mind.”
Another from David Leonhardt’s NYT The Morning; collated data showing new Covid case rates by county and corresponding vaccination rates:
Get vaccinated; it’s not just for your benefit, but also for your friend’s, neighbor’s, family’s, country’s, and world’s.
Some collated information from AP that should resonate – but will it?
“An Associated Press analysis of available government data from May shows that “breakthrough” infections in fully vaccinated people accounted for fewer than 1,200 of more than 853,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations. That’s about 0.1%.
And only about 150 of the more than 18,000 COVID-19 deaths in May were in fully vaccinated people. That translates to about 0.8%, or five deaths per day on average.”
“Ross Bagne, a 68-year-old small-business owner in Cheyenne, Wyoming, was eligible for the vaccine in early February but didn’t get it. He died June 4, infected and unvaccinated, after spending more than three weeks in the hospital, his lungs filling with fluid. He was unable to swallow because of a stroke.
“He never went out, so he didn’t think he would catch it,” said his grieving sister, Karen McKnight. She wondered: “Why take the risk of not getting vaccinated?””
Why indeed. We are really bad at comparing relative risks, aren’t we? The Dunning Kruger effect in action…
•Pay attention to what Tom Friedman says in his NYT opinion piece, “The Trump G.O.P.’s Plot Against Liz Cheney — and Our Democracy.” An excerpt:
“In effect, the Trump G.O.P. has declared that winning the next elections for the House, Senate and presidency is so crucial — and Trump’s ability to energize its base so irreplaceable — that it justifies both accepting his Big Lie about the 2020 election and leveraging that lie to impose new voter-suppression laws and changes in the rules of who can certify elections in order to lock in minority rule for Republicans if need be. It is hard to accept that this is happening in today’s America, but it is.”
And be very afraid.
Gina Kolata has an interesting story in the Times – Imagine, Surgery Without a Scar. The researchers, in an article published in the April 23 Science, found that inhibiting Engrailed-1 activation in fibroblasts remarkably inhibits scarring after wounding in mice. If similar results are found in humans, this would be a great boon for many patients.
From the paper:
Wounds in adult mammals typically heal by forming fibrotic scars. Mascharak et al. found that a specific population of skin fibroblasts (Engrailed-1 lineage–negative fibroblasts) activate expression of Engrailed-1 and turn on profibrotic cellular programs in response to local tissue mechanics in wounds (see the Perspective by Konieczny and Naik). When mechanical signaling was inhibited in these cells (using either genetic deletion or small-molecule inhibition), skin wounds in mice no longer formed scars but instead healed by regeneration, restoring skin with normal hair follicles and glands, extracellular matrix, and mechanical strength.