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Showing posts from August, 2021

Politics and the Pandemic - Progress Denied

Over the course of this pandemic, we have learned a lot about the country, our leaders and ourselves – and not all of it has been good.  One thing we have learned is that anything can be politicized.  Will anyone be shocked, for example, if a protest movement develops demanding that that Mother’s Day either be abolished or renamed?   Overall, Governor Mike DeWine has provided sober guidance and directives here in Ohio.  I think that his performance during the pandemic will be an important reason why he will be reelected in 2022.  Interestingly, although he is a bonafide conservative, he will face primary threats from the right in a state that Trump handily won in the past 2 presidential elections.  As we all have learned in November 2016, anything can happen. But, DeWine, like every other political leader considered the political impact of public health decisions. Governor DeWine Understands the Pandemic and Politics. In April 2020, he issued a mask mandate for customers and empl

Biden Botches Afghanistan - Where Does the Buck Stop?

 We have all witnessed the debacle from our clumsy and precipitous withdrawal of our military from Afghanistan.  The humanitarian and moral disaster was as astonishing as it was avoidable.  Not only do our allies and our adversaries correctly point out our incompetence, but so do members of the the president’s own political party and administration.  Perhaps, this is an issue that might unite the Democrats and the GOP.  Indeed, the record contradicts President Biden’s claim that no military experts warned him that his plan risked chaos and catastrophe.   All of us certainly heard the president reassure us only weeks ago that the Taliban were unlikely to prevail in the short term and there would certainly not be a ‘Saigon moment’, recalling an iconic and humiliating scene from 1975. The president also claimed that he was handcuffed to withdraw troops as he needed to honor the prior agreement between the Taliban and the former administration.   This is malarkey!   First of all, Presi

How Much Do You Know About Covid? Test Your Knowledge!

 There isn’t a person, a pet or a plant in this country who is not aware of COVID-19.  With regret, but not surprisingly, the pandemic has struck back as it successfully targets the unvaccinated community.  We have to hope that this outbreak will be the last gasp of the pandemic and not that of many ailing Americans. The nation has been deluged with information, misinformation and disinformation.   We confront facts and alternative facts.   Even legitimate public health experts are not consistently singing from the same hymnal. So, I thought this was an apt opportunity to test your knowledge on the novel coronavirus with ten True or False questions – no multiple choice or essay.   What could be easier?   And there is no penalty for guessing.   Answers appear at the foot of this post.   Good luck.   Let the games begin. How Much Do You Know?   The Delta variant is so named since this strain was brought in from overseas by a Delta airline pilot. CNN, a leading cable news sta

How Do We Reach Herd Immunity Against COVID-19?

Last week I conjectured that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) obfuscated when they recently recommended that vaccinated individuals resume indoor masking under certain circumstances.  My speculation was that the policy was justified but that the CDC was not forthcoming in explaining the rationale for the policy revision. The revised re-masking recommendation, as with every other aspect in this pandemic, has only further polarized a nation that seems to be trying very hard not to heal itself literally and politically.   I predict that our collective political affliction will long outlast the coronavirus plague.   I routinely ask patients if they have received the COVID-19 vaccine.   Recently, a patient replied that has not received one.   I asked what his concerns were and he firmly responded that he would never get vaccinated against the coronavirus.   Not much space for dialogue here. The CDC and public health experts admit that masks are not the antidote.  

CDC Reverses Indoor Mask Policy - Are We Getting the Whole Truth?

Depending upon your politics, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has either shamelessly reversed course or simply issued a new guideline in response to new medical evidence. Indeed, many are hostile to the agency’s recent 'new & improved' recommendation that those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 mask up when indoors in regions where the Delta variant is highly prevalent. The dissenters point out that this directly contradicts very recent CDC and public health expert advice that clearly stated that those vaccinated could be safely liberated from their face masks.  In fact, this demasking was offered as a direct incentive to those who remained hesitant to roll up their sleeves.  The CDC and its supporters maintain that their new policy on masking the vaccinated is based on a sound review of recent data, which they tarried in releasing.  I am a rationalist who practices gastroenterology guided by medical evidence.   Despite some missteps, I have la