Archive for Health

Humanizing Jonathan Gruber [Update] [Update]

I will not publish the video because it opens automatically, but it can be viewed here

It begins with the well-known stupidity of the American voter riff, which is infuriating. He then shifts the topic to “the Oregon study” which apparently doesn’t support the belief that health insurance leads to better health results. With one exception: mental health. It is a very interesting discussion, and well worth a trip to the link. You also get a better perspective of him as a man, as a human being.

It is completely obnoxious that the entire administration, and the democrats in Congress, lied to us in order to pass this bill. It deserves to be dismantled. I only hope (and I recognize that many of our readers disagree) that the final language continues to include the requirement that all Americans can purchase insurance, no matter what their health status, and that there are no lifetime limits to coverage. Too many of us know and love people with impaired health.

Update: REALLY go to the link. He also discusses the fact that if health care costs shoot up faster than inflation, people in the 3x poverty rate income level could end up paying 17% of their income (as opposed to roughly 9.5%) This could happen over the next decade. Money quote: “That’s sort of a bit of a time bomb hidden in this law.”

Update, Update: “Olympia Snow’s staffer was an idiot” riff. This is solid gold, guys. Gruber really knows how to make friends.

And to complicate the apparent ethical confusion, here is a clip of Jonathan Gruber lying on MSNBC:

And here’s the proof that he is lying.

In the first clip, he says that the language about state run exchanges are just typos. But there are other instances of him stating that the law was written that way in order to force states to implement exchanges. The second link goes to one of those instances. Personally, I’m kind of a bad liar; it is obvious when I lie. So I am just in awe of people like Gruber and Obama who can look you straight in the eye and lie, calmly.

– Aggie

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Good News on the Ebola Front!

If you’re Liberia, and even then, only sorta:

Untitled

Ebola cases are continuing to rise “frighteningly quickly” in areas of Sierra Leone, an international campaign group has said.

The Africa Governance Initiative (AGI) found that in rural parts of the country the virus is spreading nine times faster than two months ago.

In Liberia, however, the rate of new cases appears to have slowed.

Though Sierra Leone’s rural areas have been worst hit, the group says the spread of Ebola is also increasing in the capital Freetown – which is recording six times more cases per day compared to two months ago.

It’s like Whac-E-Bola! Everything we’re doing in Liberia is being undone Sierra Leone.

I say Guinea overtakes Liberia by New Year’s. Any takers?

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Obama’s Immigration Policies Kill And Cripple US Kids

BTL has already covered this, but it is so disturbing it needs to be repeated.

The deadly EV-D68 enterovirus epidemic, which struck thousands of kids this fall, was likely propelled through America by President Barack Obama’s decision to allow tens of thousands of Central Americans across the Texas border, according to a growing body of genetic and statistical evidence.

The evidence includes admissions from top health officials that the epidemic included multiple strains of the virus, and that it appeared simultaneously in multiple independent locations.

The question can be settled if federal researchers study the genetic fingerprint of the EV-D68 viruses that first hit kids in Colorado, Missouri and Illinois to see if they are close relatives to the EV-D68 viruses found in Central America.

Officials ”have to do the genetic analysis” to disprove or prove the link, Nora Chapman, an enterovirus scientist at the University of Nebraska, told The Daily Caller.

But there’s already more than enough statistical evidence for American citizens to demand that scientists test the viruses to see if Obama’s progressive border priorities spread the dangerous contagion throughout the country during 2014.

So far, that virus has been found in nine American kids who died from illness, has apparently inflicted unprecedented polio-like paralysis in roughly 50 kids, and has put hundreds of young American kids into hospital emergency wards and intensive care units throughout more than 40 states.

Go to the link, but I’ll provide a quick overview. When a virus strikes, there is typically a geographical pattern. The flu season might begin in the South, but quickly spread north, for example. On the other hand, this charming virus, which kills and cripples children, has popped up in clusters, rather then moving in a geographical wave. That implies that it was planted in those communities (Kansas City, Chicago, New Jersey, Colorado, Arkansas, California, etc.) The timing matches the release of tens of thousands of undocumented youngsters from Central America into various parts of the United States. And this virus is known to be a problem in Central America.

Although many of these infections began to appear a week or two before the beginning of the school year, they escalated after the school year began. Some hospitals have had to turn away routine ER patients because their beds are filled with kids sickened this this virus.

Furthermore, researchers refuse to comment, presumably because they are dependent on the Federal Government to keep their labs open. So we will formally never know for sure, but it is looking likely that the idiotic Obama administration policies caused the deaths and paralysis of children across the country.

– Aggie

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I Was Wr…Wr…Wro-o-o-on-n-n….

Wrong:

Of the 68,541 unaccompanied illegal alien children who entered the U.S. in fiscal year 2014, none were reported to have the enterovirus, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

CNSNews.com asked, “Just to clarify, you’re saying that none of the unaccompanied minors who have entered the U.S. had the enterovirus?”

“There were none reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement,” Kenneth Wolfe, spokesman for the Administration of Children and Families for the Department of Health and Human Services, told CNSNews.com in an emailed response.

I said that the enterovirus outbreak was caused by these kids without medical screening being scattered across the country. I said I would stick by that belief until it was proven otherwise.

I’m almost there:

However, evidence buried in peer-reviewed medical journals provides support for the argument enterovirus D-68, or EV-D68, in the United States was a relatively rare disease. The EV-D68 epidemic occurred only after the surge this year of unaccompanied alien children illegally crossing the border from Latin America, a region where the virus is more prevalent among young children.

Jane Orient, M.D., of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, responded to the Centers for Disease Control’s denial of a causal link between the virus and the surge of illegal-alien minors.

“Keep in mind that Latin American children likely have some immunity and may not be sick, while still contagious,” she told WND.

The concern is that Latin American children in the U.S. might be carriers of EV-D68 even if they display no symptoms of the disease. It can be spread, the study said, by sneezing, coughing and the poor bathroom hygiene commonly found among Latin American unaccompanied alien children. The disease can be transmitted by “feces-to-mouth” contact between an infected person showing no symptoms and a previously uninfected person.

WND reported last week, a peer-reviewed article by German medical doctors challenges a key CDC assumption regarding Ebola, concluding patients who show no symptoms can still transmit a virus like Ebola to another person by a sneeze or a cough.

“Some serious work needs to be done to get to the bottom of this,” Orient said, suggesting a Freedom of Information Act request of CDC confirmations of EV-D68 patient records might reveal important information about how the disease is being contracted in the current epidemic.

I have no evidence that kids raised in the Guatemalan health care system (hah!) are infecting American kids with enterovirus (though TB is another matter). But the blanket statement that not one of the 68,541 abandoned alien kids had the virus? Please. Stop.

That’s the same “settled science” that led to Thomas Eric Duncan infecting two nurses in Dallas. For the love of God, please stop lying to us.

Then I’ll admit I was wr…wro…mistaken.

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CDC: Ebola Can Spread Through Sneezing

Just in time for flu season!

Ebola is a lot easier to catch than health officials have admitted — and can be contracted by contact with a doorknob contaminated by a sneeze from an infected person an hour or more before, experts told The Post Tuesday.

“If you are sniffling and sneezing, you produce microorganisms that can get on stuff in a room. If people touch them, they could be” infected, said Dr. Meryl Nass, of the Institute for Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.
Nass pointed to a poster the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly released on its Web site saying the deadly virus can be spread through “droplets.”
“Droplet spread happens when germs traveling inside droplets that are coughed or sneezed from a sick person enter the eyes, nose or mouth of another person,” the poster states.
Nass slammed the contradiction.
“The CDC said it doesn’t spread at all by air, then Friday they came out with this poster,” she said. “They admit that these particles or droplets may land on objects such as doorknobs and that Ebola can be transmitted that way.”

Dr. Rossi Hassad, a professor of epidemiology at Mercy College, said droplets could remain active for up to a day.
“A shorter duration for dry surfaces like a table or doorknob, and longer durations in a moist, damp environment,” Hassad said.

The CDC did not respond to a request for comment.

Is the CDC a JV Team?

– Aggie

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Different Strokes

You mean there is a way to allow American citizens to travel to and from plague-stricken lands? While protecting the rest of us from potential infection?

Do tell:

Australia came under fire on Tuesday from health experts and rights advocates after it issued a blanket ban on visas from West African nations affected by the Ebola outbreak, making it the first rich nation to shut its doors to the region.

Australia has not recorded a case of Ebola despite a number of scares, and conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott has so far resisted repeated requests to send medical personnel to help battle the outbreak on the ground.

The decision to refuse entry for anyone from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, while touted by the government as a necessary safety precaution, was criticized by experts and advocates as politically motivated and shortsighted.

“The government has strong controls for the entry of persons to Australia under our immigration program from West Africa,” Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told parliament on Monday.

“These measures include temporarily suspending our immigration programe, including our humanitarian program from Ebola-affected countries, and this means we are not processing any application from these affected countries.”

All non-permanent or temporary visas were being cancelled and permanent visa holders who had not yet arrived in Australia will be required to submit to a 21-day quarantine period, he added.

Maybe it’s an overreaction, but how many infections/deaths do you need before it’s not? Shouldn’t Australia be praised for doing this before a single case, and not after an epidemic has begun? What “rights”
do Guineans have in Australia?

Is America’s protocol (whatever protocol rules on any given day) really better? Thomas Eric Duncan lied repeatedly to get here. Who wouldn’t? Let he who is without fever cast the first stone.

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BOO!!!

Gotcha, suckahs!

The GOP is outright fear-mongering over a handful of infections. Sadly, it’s working — and just before Election Day.

The GOP’s lack of interest in news must be the explanation for why they continue to whip up fears about Ebola, right? For example, during Thursday’s U.S. Senate debate in New Hampshire, Republican Scott Brown mentioned that, “There is a rational fear from citizens in New Hampshire” that “people with diseases are coming through our border.”

Of course, Brown didn’t cite even one example of an Ebola-infected person sneaking into the United States. But hey, facts don’t matter when scaring voters.

[W]hy are the Republicans continuing with their one-two punch of “Ebola is going to get you” and “Obama is failing to protect your family?” Simple. Fear is the GOP’s modus operandi. We have seen the GOP use it effectively in the past regarding gay marriage, Muslims, blacks and Latinos. They scare voters into voting for them because frankly it’s much simpler than discussing complex issues—like creating jobs, immigration reform, or health care.

And here’s the worst part: Two polls released this week indicate it’s working again. A Politico poll released Monday found that nearly one-third of respondents said they were either losing or have no confidence in the federal government’s handing of the Ebola outbreak.

Add to that a survey released Wednesday that finds that the GOP’s fear-mongering has taken hold of Americans. Almost 46 percent said they were deeply concerned Ebola would spread widely across the country despite the fact that only two people contracted the disease on U.S. soil.

This couldn’t have played out any better for the GOP. First, they scare everyone. Then they position themselves as the guardians of the galaxy who will save us all from this dastardly threat.

Guilty as charged. What gave us away?

Just one small correction for this liberal, elitist hater of Mr. and Mrs. America. They were already scared.

Those few of them who still believed anything this government said compared the reality in the news with the effluvium excreted in news conferences, and came to their own conclusions. They were just looking for someone to represent their views. Republicans dutifully stepped forward (joined by more than a few Democrats, it must be said).

I think we’ll probably survive Ebola as a nation. The Obama regime is a much dicier proposition.

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Third Time’s the Charm

You know the evolution timeline chart?

Well, the CDC’s got an evolution chart of its own. On how to dress safely around Ebola:

Progressing to:

Before they finally got it right:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines on Monday for health care workers caring for patients with Ebola.

The new guidelines “provide an increased margin of safety,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in a conference call with reporters.

Frieden added that they represented a “consensus” by the health care workers who have treated people with Ebola in the United States, including those workers at hospitals in Atlanta and Nebraska that have treated Ebola without further transmission.

The CDC is, of course, reacting to what happened at Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, where two nurses caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, contracted the virus.

“The [old] guidelines didn’t work for that hospital,” Frieden said.

Because of the lessons learned, the CDC said it was implementing three new recommendations:

— First, they will make sure that health care workers dealing with Ebola patients are “repeatedly trained,” especially when it comes to learning how to put on and take off their personal protective equipment.

— Second, the equipment used should leave no skin exposed.

— Third, these regulations should be monitored by a “trained observer” or site manager, who watches each employee take on and off their personal protective equipment.

“All patients treated at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and the NIH Clinical Center have followed the three principles,” the CDC said in a press release. “None of the workers at these facilities have contracted the illness.”

Well, thanks for sharing. Finally! What’s it been, a month? Good thing our Ebola Czar reports for duty tomorrow. Finally!

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Ebola Ain’t No Thang

What, me worry?

Ron Klain, the man appointed by President Barack Obama on Friday to head up the government’s response to the Ebola virus in the United States, will not clock in on his new job until Wednesday.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters in Chicago on Monday that it isn’t unusual for it to take weeks or months for an appointee to complete the “onboarding process,” The Washington Examiner reports.

“It is not that long of a lapse,” Schultz said.

No, of course not. Ebola must be scared [bleepless], if you’ll pardon the pun, by this guy’s dogged determinism.

Press reports already have noted Klain missing two meetings with the president on Ebola since his appointment was announced. And he won’t testify on Friday before a Republican-led House hearing, because, Schultz said, “That will be day three of his tenure.”

Can’t he appear and just take the 5th, like Lois Lerner?

I just hope Ebola does the sporting thing and gives Klain the chance to set up his desk: fill his stapler, open his desk calendar to the correct date, get the right mix of coffee and Cremora. No fair infecting more nurses, Ebola! (Though Ebola has good taste; they’re cute!)

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Congratulations Nigeria!

We’re used to losing to Africans in marathons, but we thought we had them beat in medicine.

I blame our “coach”:

Nigeria has been declared officially free of Ebola after six weeks with no new cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

WHO representative Rui Gama Vaz, speaking in the capital Abuja, said it was a “spectacular success story”.

Nigeria won praise for its swift response after a Liberian diplomat brought the disease there in July.

The outbreak has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone.

An estimated 70% of those infected have died in those countries.

The WHO officially declared Senegal Ebola-free on Friday.

Senegal? Senegal’s medical system bested ours? Words fail me…

The WHO can declare an Ebola outbreak over if two incubation periods of 21 days pass with no new cases. The last reported case in Nigeria – Africa’s most populous country – was discovered on 5 September.

The BBC’s Will Ross in Lagos says the nightmare scenario of Ebola spreading through Nigeria’s 170 million people has been avoided and the nation is heaving a collective sigh of relief.

I would have bet (someone else’s) money that once Ebola hit Lagos, it was goodnight Nigeria.

How’d they do it?

Officials credit tighter border controls, good patient-tracking and other medical practices, and just plain luck with keeping Ebola confined mostly to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea since the outbreak was first identified nearly seven months ago.

Senegal did so well in finding and isolating a man with Ebola who had slipped across the border from Guinea in August that the World Health Organization on Friday will declare the end of the disease in Senegal if no new cases surface.

Nigeria is another success story. It had 20 cases and eight deaths after the virus was brought by a Liberian-American who flew from Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital of 21 million people, in July. Nearly 900 people were potentially exposed to the virus by the traveler, who died, and the disease could have wreaked havoc in Africa’s most populous nation.

Border closings may also be helping halt the spread of Ebola.

Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, all of which share borders with at least one of the three most affected countries, have closed those borders.

Nigeria initially banned flights from countries with Ebola but relaxed the restriction once it felt that airlines were competent to take travelers’ temperatures and follow other measures to prevent people with Ebola from flying.

Nigeria has teams taking the temperature of travelers at airports and seaports.

Another factor is luck. All it takes is one infected person to slip around guards at a border post or get aboard a plane.

“God has been merciful we haven’t reported a case in Kenya, but we really need to up our disaster preparedness,” said Dr. Nelly Bosire, an official with Kenya’s main medical union.

“The fact we stopped doing the West African flights had an impact. On that part I think we got it right. But it still has more to do with luck.”

Luck is the residue of design, the saying goes. Meanwhile, we still haven’t cleaned up the residue where Thomas Eric Duncan hurled.

But we’ll get there! Look out, Senegal, we’re right behind ya!

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Coming to America

You don’t need a brain as big as this guy’s to know that travel from West Africa is a bad idea right now—but as long as he has one anyway:

[A]ccording to the head of a research institute in Cambridge, the new restrictions might still not go far enough.

Yaneer Bar-Yam leads the New England Complex Systems Institute, and for years he’s been arguing that in cases of severe infectious disease outbreaks, the best policy might be to prohibit travel from afflicted countries altogether.

“At the global level, I do think transportation should be curtailed from, but not to, West Africa,” he says.

Bar-Yam is trained as a physicist. His research primarily focuses on the behavior of complex systems, like, for example, the way an infectious disease moves through a population. In 2006 he coauthored a paper with Erik Rauch, a computer scientist at MIT, called “Long-range interactions and evolutionary stability in a predator-prey system.” The title is a mouthful, but the paper’s implications for the current Ebola outbreak are stark. Bar-Yam and Rauch used mathematical models to simulate the spread of an infectious disease; their analysis suggests that even small amounts of travel between regional populations may be enough to allow an infectious disease to jump from one country to another. “Even if significant mixing already exists,” the authors write, “a small amount of additional mixing may cause extinction.” And in this case, extinction means us.

And we all know how liberals love models. Sounds like “settled science” to me.

“Severe pathogens . . . can be stopped by the very fact that they’re destructive,” he says. “If they kill off their host, whatever’s going to happen is going to happen locally.” In other words, epidemics burn out on their own when the disease has no one left to infect, provided they’re not able to hop across oceans on airplanes.

One of the biggest arguments against travel restrictions is the sense that our health care system can handle isolated Ebola cases as they crop up here. Bar-Yam thinks that confidence is misplaced, a view which has gained some currency as it’s emerged that a Dallas hospital misdiagnosed and released Duncan when he first showed up for treatment.

Doctors trace the severity of an outbreak by the average number of people become ill after contact with an infected person. If the number is one or less, the outbreak is stable or declining. If it’s greater than one, it’s spreading. Thomas Eric Duncan infected two people (that we know of), trained nurses, in a “health care system can handle isolated Ebola cases as they crop up here”.

If you weren’t soiling your drawers before, now’s a good time to start. If you were, you should get checked out. It’s a symptom.

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Whose Ass to Kick?

Uh-oh, first the Gulf oil spill, then the IRS (phony) scandal—Obama is angry again!

On the surface, even in his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama is urging calm when it comes to the Ebola crisis, but people behind the scenes say that he is becoming more frustrated and even angry with how his administration has been handling the United States’ response.

For example, during his cabinet meeting on Wednesday, people briefed on the event said he was angry about medical information that was turning out to be wrong, including how to categorize Ebola patients, reports The New York Times.

Obama reportedly complained that the response, particularly from the Centers for Disease Control, was “not tight.”

But being in command without stoking panic is a challenge, said David Axelrod, a former close adviser of Obama’s.

“It’s not enough to doggedly and persistently push for answers in meetings,” Axelrod told The Times. “You have to be seen doggedly and persistently pushing for answers.”

Again with the “optics”!

Obama is about nothing if he’s not about the optics:

President Obama is hitting the links on Saturday, joined by ESPN commentator Tony Kornheiser after a hectic week for the White House in response to the Ebola outbreak.

Kornheiser is a well-known expert in the field of infectious diseases. His monograph on beri-beri is still considered the last word on the subject.

One last point: isn’t “angry” one of those “dog whistle” words when applied to black men? I could have sworn it was. Shame on the New York Times for wallowing in racial stereotypes.

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