Friday, September 17, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Health Care Rationed In Some States

Health care is being rationed in some Western states because of hospitals being overwhelmed with patients amid the ongoing Covid-19 surge driven by the delta variant. Idaho, which a week earlier had begun rationing health care in the northern part of the state, expanded it to entire state yesterday. A hospital in Helena, Montana, St. Peter's Health, also enacted "crisis standards of care" yesterday, as did Providence Alaska Medical Center, Alaska's largest hospital, earlier this week. Under crisis care standards, scarce resources like ICU beds are given to patients most likely to survive. Other patients get less effective treatment, or in the worst cases, just given pain relief and other palliative care. Idaho Department of Welfare Director Dave Jeppesen said in statement, "The situation is dire -- we don’t have enough resources to adequately treat the patients in our hospitals, whether you are there for Covid-19 or a heart attack or because of a car accident."

➤FRANCE, E.U. UPSET ABOUT BIDEN'S INDO-PACIFIC ALLIANCE WITH U.K. AND AUSTRALIA: France and the European Union were angered by the new Indo-Pacific alliance announced Wednesday between the U.S., U.K. and Australia to counter China. The E.U. nations are feeling left out and some see it as a sign that President Biden is in some ways continuing former President Donald Trump's policies of the U.S. going on its own. France is particularly angered because the alliance means it will lose a nearly $100 billion deal to build diesel submarines for Australia, since under the new agreement, the U.S. and U.K. will help Australia build nuclear-powered subs. France's foreign minister called it a "stab in the back" Thursday. But the U.S. dismissed the complaints, with White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki saying, "There are a range of partnerships that include the French and some partnerships that don’t, and they have partnerships with other countries that don’t include us. That is part of how global diplomacy works."

Firefighters in California yesterday (September 16th) wrapped the base of the world's largest tree, the General Sherman Tree, in a fire-resistant blanket, as they tried to protect it and other famous sequoias in the Sierra Nevada from wildfires. In addition to the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park’s Giant Forest, some other sequoias, the Giant Forest Museum and other buildings were also wrapped in aluminum protection. The Colony Fire, one of two that's burning in Sequoia National Park, is expected to reach the Giant Forest grove of 2,000 sequoias within days. The General Sherman Tree is 275 feet high with a circumference of 103 feet at ground level.

➤DURHAM GRAND JURY INDICTS LAWYER, ALLEGING LIED TO FBI: Special counsel John Durham, who was directed by the Trump administration to investigate the FBI’s role in the 2016 presidential campaign, announced Thursday that a cybersecurity lawyer had been indicted on one charge of lying to the FBI in September 2016. Michael Sussman is accused of telling the FBI he wasn't representing a client when he was acting on behalf of Hillary Clinton's political campaign. This was when he talked to the FBI general counsel relaying concerns from cybersecurity researchers about potentially suspicious contacts between a Russian bank and a Trump Organization server. The FBI looked into it, but didn't find evidence there was a secret back channel. But Sussman denies doing so, and his attorneys blamed him being charged on, quote, "politics, not facts," stating, "The Special Counsel appears to be using this indictment to advance a conspiracy theory he has chosen not to actually charge." This is the only the second prosecution brought by Durham after two-and-a-half years of investigation, both involving false statements.

  The U.S. is holding more than 9,000 people under a bridge near Texas, as a surge of migrants, mostly from Haiti, overwhelms the border patrol. The temporary camp near Del Rio, Texas, has grown with staggering speed in recent days, from just a few hundred people earlier in the week. The authorities and city officials said they expected thousands more to cross the ankle-deep river between Mexico and Del Rio in coming days.
Gabrielle Petito, the Blue Point, Long Island native reported missing while on a cross-country road trip with her fiance, tearfully admitted striking him in an interview with Utah authorities last month, according to police body camera footage released Thursday. The one hour, 17-minute video, obtained by Newsday through a public records request, showed Petito, 22, and her fiance Brian Laundrie, 23 — who lived together in North Port, Florida — telling Moab police officers on Aug. 12 that they had been arguing and got into a physical altercation.

➤MORE THAN HALF OF NATION'S SCHOOLS HAVE 'SEVERE' BUS DRIVER SHORTAGE: Children are returning to classrooms this fall, but there aren't enough bus drivers to get them there. More than half of the nation's school districts have a bus driver shortage that they describe as "severe" or "desperate," according to a nationwide survey. CBS News explains that many drivers retired during the pandemic, and others are scared of driving buses full of children potentially infected with the coronavirus. Massachusetts came up with a solution of having National Guard personnel drive school buses and Pennsylvania is considering following their example. The crisis doesn't look to be ready to let up soon, since a commercial driver's license is required to be a bus driver, which requires months of training.

Men traditionally buy more guns than women, but since 2019, nearly half of first-time gun buyers have been women, according to the Wall Street Journal. The pandemic and social unrest have been driving sales, with a record high of 21 million background checks for gun purchases carried out in 2020. According to the 2021 National Firearms Survey, an estimated 3.5 million women and four million men became new gun owners between January 2019 and April of this year. The survey also found that new gun owners have become more racially diverse in recent years.

➤HOUSE REPUBLICAN WHO VOTED TO IMPEACH TRUMP WON'T RUN AGAIN, CALLS TRUMP 'A CANCER': Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump after the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, said yesterday that he won't run for reelection next year. Gonzales, a former NFL player who's in his second term, cited his two young children, saying he wanted to build what he called "a fuller family life," but also named, quote, "the current state of our politics, especially many of the toxic dynamics inside our own party." The 36-year-old, who was censured by the Ohio Republican Party for voting for impeachment, also called Trump a "cancer for the country," in a New York Times interview announcing his decision. He would have faced a Trump-endorsed primary opponent, Max Mller, if he ran.

➤MAYIM BIALIK AND KEN JENNINGS TO HOST JEOPARDY! FOR THE REST OF 2021: Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will host Jeopardy! for the remainder of 2021 as the search permanent talent continues. According to Sony Pictures Television, Bialik was already set to be behind the podium for three weeks, starting Monday but will now continue through Nov. 5th. At that point, she and Jennings will trade off hosting duties as their schedule allow through the end of the calendar year.

➤'LATE NIGHT' TO BRING THEIR AUDIENCE BACK: Late Night with Seth Myers will be shot in front of a studio audience for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, starting on October 11th. Late Night executive producer Mike Shoemaker told Deadline, “Seth really found a good voice to speak to the home audience, he found a specific way to do it, he was able to speak through the lens. But he also did seven years the other way. It will be fun and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

➤STUDY..COTTON TOWEL BEST OPTION FOR HOMEMADE FACE MASKS:  If you’re making your own face mask to protect you from COVID-19 you should use three layers of cotton towel fabric. Researchers in India found that a mask made from three or more layers of cotton towel fabric stitched together can “suppress aerosolization significantly.” They also found these types of masks remained effective even after 70 washings. The scientists also confirmed that N95 and surgical masks are most effective, but that when those aren’t available, the layered cotton towel fabric can be made into an effective makeshift face mask.

➤STUDY..ADULTS AGES 50 TO 69 MOST LIKELY TO REPORT ‘LONG COVID’:  Long COVID-19 is no joke. An observational study done in the U.K. finds that adults ages 50 to 69 reported “long COVID”, or symptoms months after initial COVID-19 infection, at the highest rates compared to all other age groups. In that age group specifically, 12.5 percent reported symptoms 4-8 weeks post-infection, and 5.8 percent reported symptoms 12-16 weeks post-infection. At the same time, participants ages two to 16 saw the lowest reporting rates of symptoms at 12-16 weeks. Other findings: there was a slightly higher prevalence of long COVID reported among females compared to males, as well as among people with underlying medical conditions versus those without health conditions. Researchers acknowledge that since this study was observational, it “is not possible to say with certainty whether symptoms reported after a positive test for coronavirus were caused by COVID-19 or something else.”

➤PET STORE PUPPIES MAY BE PASSING DRUG-RESISTANT BACTERIA TO PEOPLE:  Pet store puppies might be making humans very sick. Researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say they investigated 168 cases of C jejuni infection linked to pet store puppies. This infection cannot be treated with any common antibiotics and is considered an increasing public health threat. Researcher Dr. Mark Laughlin says, “Data indicate these extensively drug-resistant C jejuni strains have been circulating for at least 10 years, and no sources other than dogs have been identified.” Researchers note the infections were not from any particular breed, transporter, distributor, store or chain, and that both cats and dogs can carry C jejuni and other germs that can make humans sick. Laughlin adds, “When choosing a puppy or dog, pick one that is bright, alert and playful.” 

    Tom Brady gets a lot of respect and some amazement that he's still playing as well as he does at his age, currently 44, most recently winning the Super Bowl for the seventh time in Feburary at age 43. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback apparently doesn't think he's close to being done yet. With the new season having just begun and Tampa Bay winning the game that kicked off the season, Brady is saying he thinks he can play until he's 50. Appearing on a YouTube show produced by the Buccaneers with teammate Rob Gronkowski yesterday (September 16th), called, Tommy and Gronky, Brady said of the question, "I think I can, I think it is a yes. . . . Fifty. I don't find it so difficult. Plus, in Florida, it's kind of a retiree state." The oldest-ever player in the NFL was also a quarterback, George Blanda, who was 48 in his final game in January 1976.

🏈WASHINGTON TOPS GIANTS 30-29 AFTER GETTING SECOND SHOT AT FIELD GOAL: The Washington Football Team defeated the New York Giants 30-29 last night at home, getting the win when kicker Dustin Hopkins got a second chance and kicked the game-winning, 43-yard field goal. He got another attempt at the kick after an offsides penalty was called on the Giants' Dexter Lawrence during Hopkins' first attempt, which wasn't good. The penalty not only gave him a second shot, it moved him five yards closer. Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke made just his second regular-season start and his first since 2018, filling in for an injured Ryan Fitzpatrick. The 28-year-old threw for 336 yards and two touchdowns, however a costly interception set up a Giants field goal that put them ahead 29-27 with two minutes left. But then Heinicke got them close enough for Hopkins to get it in with his second kick.

⚾OHTANI HAS SORE ARM, MAY NOT PITCH AGAIN THIS SEASON: The Los Angeles Angels' two-way star, Shohei Ohtani, has a sore right arm, and may not pitch for the rest of the season, manager Joe Maddon said before last night's game against the Chicago White Sox. Ohtani, who has a 9-2 record, felt soreness while playing catch Wednesday. However, the arm soreness won't stop him from continuing to play as a designed hitter. He is third in the major leagues with 44 home runs.

⚾ROYALS' PEREZ TIES BENCH'S CATCHERS' SEASON HOME RUN RECORD: The Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez broke Johnny Bench's season home run record for catchers with his 45th in a 7-2 loss to the Oakland A's yesterday (September 16th). Bench set the 45 homers record in 1970. Perez is now tied with the Toronto Blue Jays' Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the major league lead in homers. He's also leading the majors with 112 RBIs.

⚽LLOYD TIES U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM RECORD WITH FIVE GOALS IN ONE GAME: Carli Lloyd tied the U.S. women's national soccer team record for most goals in a game with five in a 9-0 win over Paraguay yesterday (September 16th). Lloyd scored the fifth goal in the 61st minute of the match, and had a hat trick in the first half and got the fourth goal in 38 minutes. The hat trick was the ninth in her career, breaking a tie with U.S. soccer legend Mia Hamm for the most in U.S. women's national team history. The 39-year-old Lloyd will retire after two more matches in October.

No comments:

Post a Comment