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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 13,363

Journal Archives

Medical databases show 1 in 10 hospitalized middle-aged coronavirus patients in U.S. do not survive

The coronavirus is killing about 1 in 10 hospitalized middle-aged patients and 4 in 10 older than 85 in the United States, and is particularly lethal to men even when taking into account common chronic diseases that exacerbate risk, according to previously unpublished data from a company that aggregates real-time patient data from 1,000 hospitals and 180,000 health-care providers.

Allscripts, through its subsidiary CarePort Health, released the data collected from multiple electronic health record companies across the nation. It does not identify patients by name.

Allscripts said it was repurposing the data to help hospitals better understand the nature of covid-19 and the needs of patients who are discharged but will need follow-up care.

“Never in the history of the world has there been something that operated at this scale, and never have we had the ability to track it electronically the way we can today,” Allscripts CEO Paul Black said Saturday.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/medical-databases-show-1-in-10-hospitalized-middle-aged-coronavirus-patients-in-us-do-not-survive/2020/04/11/284485a2-7bfe-11ea-b6ff-597f170df8f8_story.html

The second-most-dangerous contagion in America: Conservative irrationality

The most dangerous contagion we now confront is the coronavirus, which has killed more than 20,000 Americans and thrown more than 16 million out of work. The second-most-dangerous contagion is the conspiracy-mongering, hostility to science and outright irrationality promulgated by President Trump and his loudmouth media enablers. It will take intensive contact tracing to follow the spread of crackpot ideas: Is Trump infecting the cable news hosts, or are they infecting him? Suffice it to say, the president and his media fans are both afflicted with perilous misconceptions that are making the threat from the coronavirus far more acute.

At first, both Trump and his media toadies dismissed the threat from the coronavirus, claiming it was no worse than the flu and that it would miraculously disappear by April. Any suggestion that Trump was mishandling the threat was dismissed as a “hoax.” Then on March 13, Trump finally declared a national emergency, and the tone among the Fox News propagandists instantly changed — from deriding concern about the coronavirus among liberal bed-wetters to lauding Trump’s heroic wartime leadership.

The new resolve did not last long: Within days, the drum beat on the right evolved into “the cure cannot be worse than the disease.” Conservative talking heads argued that the economy had to be reopened even if it meant sacrificing the lives of the aged and infirm who are most vulnerable to covid-19. Trump was listening: On March 24, he announced that he would “love” to restart the economy by Easter.

Thank goodness Trump did not follow his instincts: Can you imagine how much devastation would have ensued if the economy were being reopened just as the United States was overtaking Italy for the most confirmed coronavirus deaths on the planet? Mercifully, after being shown models predicting that millions of Americans could die from a premature reopening, Trump agreed on March 29 to extend his social distancing guidelines until the end of April.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/12/second-most-dangerous-contagion-america-conservative-irrationality/

Fauci Refuses to Say When It Would Be Safe to Reopen Trump's Mouth

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)— In a televised interview on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci refused to say when it would be safe to reopen Donald J. Trump’s mouth.

Fauci was responding to a question from CNN’s Jake Tapper, who asked if the esteemed virologist had a timetable for when Trump’s mouth could be reopened without endangering public health.

“The problem, Jake, is that, when his mouth is closed, we start making progress,” Fauci said. “Keeping his mouth closed is the one thing we know that works.”

“We don’t want to make the mistake of getting overconfident, reopening his mouth, and creating even worse problems than we have now,” Fauci added.

Attempting to pin down the epidemiologist, Tapper asked, “For the sake of argument, could you see reopening his mouth in the summer? In the fall?”

“In an ideal world, my answer would be never, Jake,” Fauci said.

https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/fauci-refuses-to-say-when-it-would-be-safe-to-reopen-trumps-mouth

James Comey: We know what good leadership in a crisis looks like. This isn't it.

The Queen of England recently spoke to her people about the novel coronavirus pandemic and offered a master class in leadership.

She was calm, dignified, and above all, candid about the present, yet optimistic about the future. These are very hard times, she said, but we have been through hard times together in the past, and we will be okay if we unite around the values that have long sustained us.

“Using the great advances of science and our instinctive compassion to heal, we will succeed, and that success will belong to every one of us. We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return. We will be with our friends again. We will be with our families again. We will meet again.”

People crave leadership when they are afraid. But leading well during a crisis does not mean “faking it so people don’t freak out.” It doesn’t mean promising people all will be fine or lecturing them for being frightened.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/11/james-comey-people-crave-leadership-when-they-are-afraid-they-arent-getting-it/

How the Virus Transformed the Way Americans Spend Their Money

The coronavirus has profoundly altered daily life in America, ushering in sweeping upheavals to the U.S. economy. Among the most immediate effects of the crisis? Radical changes to how people spend their money.

In a matter of weeks, pillars of American industry essentially ground to a halt. Airplanes, restaurants and arenas were suddenly empty. In many states, businesses deemed nonessential — including luxury goods retailers and golf courses — were ordered closed.

“This is the sharpest decline in consumer spending that we have ever seen,” said Luke Tilley, chief economist at Wilmington Trust.

All of the charts in this article are based on a New York Times analysis of data from Earnest Research, which tracks and analyzes credit card and debit card purchases of nearly six million people in the United States. While the data does not include cash transactions, and therefore does not reflect all sales, it provides a strong snapshot of the impact of the virus on the economy.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/11/business/economy/coronavirus-us-economy-spending.html

'We're Going Down, Down, Down, Down, Down'

The federal government is struggling to deliver financial aid to faltering employers — and workers are suffering the consequences. Roughly 10 percent of American workers filed for unemployment benefits in the past three weeks, a wave of job losses that has no precedent in modern American history. Millions more are struggling to submit unemployment claims to overwhelmed state agencies. And still more face the loss of their jobs in the coming weeks.

The scale of the economic damage is breathtaking. In one recent poll, more than half of all Americans under the age of 45 said that they had lost their jobs or suffered a loss of hours.

Some businesses may survive the crisis by shedding workers now, but they face long-term costs, too: the loss of trained and experienced workers, the uncertainties of hiring new ones.

The federal government was slow to react to the pandemic. Local officials began ordering businesses to shut down weeks before Congress moved to provide those businesses with the lifeline they so obviously needed. Timely action by itself could have saved millions of jobs.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/10/opinion/coronavirus-unemployment-small-business.html

The Secret Service has protected Trump family members on 4,000 trips in three years

One of the most common criticisms of former president Barack Obama during his two terms in office was that he and his family took an exorbitant number of vacations. Donald Trump, then a private citizen, liked to use Obama’s trips as a critique.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/413762618243833858
Once Trump took office, his position on trips (and on Obama’s golf habit) shifted dramatically, though the rhetoric of many of his supporters didn’t. While the media tracked Trump’s regular trips to his privately owned properties in Florida and New Jersey, Trump’s supporters regularly defended Trump by pointing to the frequency and cost of Obama’s trips.

Data compiled by the Treasury Department, which oversees the Secret Service, shows the distribution of protected trips within the administration from 2010 to 2016. The figures, obtained and published by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, show that Obama, then-first lady Michelle Obama and their family took about 4,700 trips from 2010 to 2016. Just under 1,000 of those were for members of the president’s family, excluding Michelle. Most of the protected trips that were taken over that period were by former officials, including former presidents and their families.

(The Secret Service defines a protected trip as “any instance that an individual protectee spends time within the jurisdiction of a single USSS field office, other than the protectee’s home district.”)
The data obtained by CREW extended into Trump’s own term in office. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, members of the presidents’ family took 4,560 trips — the bulk of them in the past two years.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/10/secret-service-has-protected-trump-family-members-4000-trips-three-years/

GOP leaders refuse Dems' coronavirus demands, won't negotiate over small business lending program

Source: Washington Post

The top GOP leaders in Congress said Saturday they would not negotiate with Democrats and instead insisted that lawmakers approve more money for a small business lending program for firms impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) released a joint statement Saturday morning saying they would not agree to any compromise with Democrats that changed their proposal to add $250 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program, which is being run by the Small Business Administration.

“Republicans reject Democrats’ reckless threat to continue blocking job-saving funding unless we renegotiate unrelated programs which are not in similar peril,” the joint statement said. “This will not be Congress’s last word on COVID-19, but this crucial program needs funding now. American workers cannot be used as political hostages.”

Their statement appeared to deepen a stalemate over Congress’ next steps to address the nation’s economic misery.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2020/04/1

Southern Governors Argue Covid-19 Good Christian Virus That Wouldn't Dare Spread During Church

TALLAHASSEE, FL—In a bold affirmation of faith during a time of widespread global pandemic, the governors of several Southern states confirmed Thursday they have exempted religious services from their shelter-in-place orders, arguing that Covid-19 is a good Christian virus that wouldn’t dare to spread during church.

“As far as I can tell, this coronavirus is an upstanding and righteous disease that knows better than to continue its deadly outbreak within a house of God,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement later echoed by Govs. Bill Lee of Tennessee, Greg Abbott of Texas, and Tate Reeves of Mississippi.

“If we were talking about some sort of secular, atheistic virus, churchgoers might have cause for worry. But I believe in my heart this highly communicable pathogen will show respect during services and not do anything to harm the Lord’s flock on our day of rest. Now, what the virus does to the wicked, sinful people in our community—that’s between it and God.”

At press time, sources confirmed Southern governors had taken steps to ensure all mosques would be closed indefinitely.

https://politics.theonion.com/southern-governors-argue-covid-19-good-christian-virus-1842665057

The coronavirus doesn't discriminate along racial lines. But America does.

THE NOVEL coronavirus, as far as we know, does not discriminate along racial lines. But America does — and the data so far show that black people are dying at a disproportionate rate. The first thing to do about it? Get more of that data, and fast.

The numbers trickling in from cities, counties and states in recent weeks are alarming: Chicago’s population is about 30 percent black, but so are nearly 70 percent of those in the city killed by the virus. Milwaukee County looks worse: Black people make up 26 percent of the population, and a whopping 73 percent of covid-related deaths. In Michigan, it’s 14 and 41; in Louisiana, it’s 32 and 70. Maryland has a 30 percent black population and reported Thursday that black residents account for 40 percent of the state’s deaths.

We don’t know the federal statistics yet, because there aren’t any. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention typically tracks the location, age and race of those affected by disease outbreaks — but this time it has left out the last of the three. Several members of Congress have sent a letter exhorting Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to change that. He should. Those numbers are essential to understand what’s happening in some of this country’s most vulnerable communities.

There’s the possibility of a race gap in testing and treatment: Medicine is far from immune to implicit biases, and doctors worry the subjective criteria for coronavirus care amid shortages will lead to similar dismissals, to deadly effect. There’s also the possibility that preexisting inequities are making this crisis’s impact unequal. Black people already suffer lopsidedly from obesity, diabetes, asthma and hypertension, all likely associated with worse outcomes from a lung-attacking coronavirus. This reality isn’t an accident but, rather, a result of economic and environmental conditions imposed on minorities over the nation’s long history of discrimination.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-coronavirus-doesnt-discriminate-along-racial-lines-but-america-does/2020/04/10/08420e46-79c9-11ea-a130-df573469f094_story.html
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