Sarah Lee


Three prominent doctors, noting hospital layoffs and a lack of patronage by patients for health care needs other than coronavirus, are warning if the country remains closed much longer the health consequences could be severe.

Simone Gold, M.D., an emergency medicine specialist in Los Angeles, has been helping other physicians and health care professionals like herself, concerned about empty hospitals in areas not hit hard by coronavirus, to speak out.

Gold says in her hospital 50% of lower level technicians were recently laid off and she’s worried not many people understand what’s happening on the ground at health care facilities that have seen far fewer cases than virus hotspot areas like New York or New Jersey. And she’s not sure Americans, who are trying to be responsible during the pandemic and so are staying home when they should be going in for treatment, understand what’s happening.

“There is a very big disconnect between what the average American thinks is going on and what’s actually going on,” Gold said Tuesday.

And what’s going on looks a great deal like what’s outlined in this piece detailing the precipitous drop in patients at many hospitals across the country as patients who need treatment for maladies other than coronavirus are staying home, to their disadvantage and to the detriment of the American health care sector.

While big hospitals in places such as New York City, Detroit and New Orleans have been overwhelmed with a massive surge of COVID-19 cases, Williamson Memorial is one of hundreds of rural hospitals across the nation that have suffered from an altogether different crisis: a massive drop in patients.

The struggling 76-bed hospital in this rugged Appalachian coal country town of residents was forced to close down last month after the global coronavirus pandemic hit just as administrators were trying to climb out of bankruptcy and work out a deal for another hospital to take over.

The only hospital in Mingo County, a remote pocket of West Virginia, Williamson Memorial did not treat any patients with COVID-19 — so far, the county of 23,400 residents has confirmed just three cases and one death. But the hospital’s net revenue was slashed in half as administrators halted nonessential procedures and visits to the emergency room plummeted from about 800 to 300 a month.

And so this former mining town, nestled in a narrow valley surrounded by hills of poplar and oak, has lost the hospital that served its people for more than a century.

Steven Giannotta, M.D. Chair of the Neurosurgery department at the University of Southern California, said analysis of RAPID Scan data of stroke patients across the country is proving that people may be literally sitting at home after having suffered a stroke rather than accessing their health care system.

“People are afraid to access the health care system” Dr. Giannotta says because they believe a COVID-19 diagnosis “is the worst possible outcome.”

Robert Hamilton, M.D., a private practice pediatrician in Santa Monica, says the affect the lock down has on children — who he affirms are not the “super spreaders” some have made them out to be — should be of great concern to parents. He notes that vaccination rates are way down across the nation.

“What we’re doing, because of fear of potential infection of COVID-19, [is] ignoring [our kids] maintenance,” Hamilton says. He also notes that the emotional and psychological effects of the lock down — everything from depression, suicide, despair, and paranoia — are equally damaging to the nation’s youth.

“Friends are important,” Hamilton says. “Education is important, too.”

All three physicians are calling for reasonable fear of the virus but declare a need to begin reopening the country so patients will begin showing up for treatment again.

“We need to keep our focus on our initial goal,” says Gold, referring to early efforts to ensure hospitals aren’t overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.

“Not only are they not overwhelmed,” she says, “they’re underwhelmed”

Author: Sarah Lee

Source: Red State: Some Doctors Warning If Country Remains Closed, Health Consequences Could Be Severe

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell has reportedly begun making moves to convince the Trump administration to consider cutting intelligence ties to nations that criminalize homosexuality in an effort to prompt them to change their views. Meanwhile Trump’s probable opponent in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, has recently accepted endorsements from groups whose members hail from those same countries.

Grenell, who is thought to be the first openly gay member of a presidential cabinet according to The Hill, told the New York Times the effort speaks to the value the U.S. places on civil rights and says he has “the president’s total support.”

“We can’t just simply make the moral argument and expect others to respond in kind because telling others that it’s the right thing to do doesn’t always work,” Grenell said in an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday. “To fight for decriminalization is to fight for basic human rights.”

“This is an American value, and this is United States policy,” he said.

Nearly 70 countries criminalize homosexuality, including U.S. intelligence partners like Egypt, Kenya and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, a group called Emgage — which calls itself the largest Muslim PAC in the country, is backed by progressive billionaire George Soros, and has partnered with Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated groups in the past — has recently endorsed Joe Biden for president after Bernie Sanders left the race.

Emgage has collaborated with a Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated group on events that in recent years attracted speakers who openly opposed LGBT rights and supported terror groups. Last year, Emgage became an official cohost of Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) conferences. ISNA was previously revealed to be part of the Muslim Brotherhood network—though it claims it is no longer associated with the group.

The 2018 ISNA conference featured an array of homophobic speakers. One was Omar Suleiman, an imam who has called homosexuality a “disease” that will “destroy your children.” Another, former ISNA president Muzammil Siddiqi, said he “supported laws in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death.” Imam Shamsi Ali, an attendee who was described as a “moderate” on ISNA’s website, has stated that homosexuality is an “unbearable plague.”

Meanwhile, ISNA has disinvited pro-LGBT groups Muslims for Progressive Values and the Human Rights Campaign, because they “don’t fit in.”

While the civil rights angle Grenell is pursuing may have detractors that question what exactly cultural differences have to do with sharing intelligence in an increasingly connected world, it’s clear some of the nations on Grenell’s list have been the ones most openly hostile to the U.S. in the past, a reality that is apparently not as much of a concern to Biden.

Author: Sarah Lee

Source: Red State: Trump Admin May Cut Intel Ties With Countries That Criminalize Homosexuality (While Biden Is Endorsed by Their Affiliates)

In January 2017, shortly after President Donald Trump took office and almost immediately following his inauguration, millions of women participated in marches (many organized by Planned Parenthood) in cities across the country to express their firmly held belief that this new administration was the enemy of women.

Progressive activist organization American Progress even published an issue brief titled, “100 Days, 100 Ways The Trump Administration Is Harming Women And Families” that contained this paragraph:

This renewed activism comes at a critical time. Nearly 100 days into the Trump administration, there has been little talk of concrete policy actions that will help women and families. Despite repeated promises that President Trump and his administration would invest in and empower women, President Trump’s actions have made it clear that he and his team are completely out of touch with the needs of today’s working families.

A year later, in January 2018, following the advent of the #MeToo movement a representative of NARAL Pro-Choice America told The Guardian that the administration was, indeed, the nadir of when it came to women’s rights and concerns, particularly abortion.

“This administration is the worst we’ve ever seen for women and families,” said Kaylie Hanson Long, a spokeswoman for Naral Pro-Choice America, a pro-choice advocacy group.

“Its attacks on reproductive freedom are relentless, under the radar and aren’t supported by the majority of Americans who believe abortion should remain legal.”

While there’s no doubt the Trump administration has its sights set on rolling back the flagrantly disturbing rate of abortion in the U.S. — even issuing a rule in February 2019 that revamped Title X and effectively stripped Planned Parenthood of millions in federal funding — the notion the administration is disastrous for women and families is increasingly fallacious. The economic numbers for women, in fact, couldn’t be more encouraging.

According to the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF), a small business advocacy group supportive of Trump administration policies such as the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, women are actually thriving in the Trump economy. Some of their data is astonishing when it comes to the economic strides of women since 2014.

  • From 2014-2019, women-owned businesses grew by 21 percent (compared to 9 percent for all firms), employment of women-owned firms increased by 8 percent (compared to 1.8 percent for all firms).
  • 42 percent of businesses in the United States are now women-owned, up 2% from 2018. In 1972, women only owned 4.6 percent of businesses.
  • Women, Minority-owned businesses saw a 42.8 percent increase in number of firms from 2014 to 2019; revenue during the same time increased by 38.5 percent; employment increased by 29.8 percent.
  • Women “sidepreneurs” (or part-time entrepreneurs) grew by 32 percent from 2014 to 2019, while all entrepreneurs only grew by 9 percent.

JCNF President Elaine Parker said that people may not always agree with how President Trump says things, and that this may be a reason many women were initially thrown by his administration, but there’s no denying that women are benefitting economically in the almost four years since he took office.

“When you look at the number of new businesses, the rate of unemployment, the revenue generated from women entrepreneurs, the number of women re-entering the workforce, almost every economic measure,” Parker said. “Women are flourishing.”

Parker pointed to two policy changes she thinks have made the most difference for women: the push for deregulation in the early days of the Trump presidency and the Tax Cut and Jobs Act doubling the child tax credit.

The combination of the looser regulatory regime and more money “back in the pockets” of all Americans thanks to the tax cuts — particularly women who saw a $2000 tax savings per child, with $1400 of that amount refundable — gave women the freedom to take risks and explore entrepreneurship, something it turns out they may be better suited for than their male counterparts.

“The Kaufman Foundation released a study that showed that women are about half as likely as men to start a business,” Parker said. “ but also that they are more prudent risk takers and maybe better entrepreneurs.”

The Trump economy capitalizes on that datapoint, she said.

Rose Morris, who started her company Abram’s Nation 10 years ago, has seen positive changes in her economic outlook but is still waiting for her home state of Pennsylvania to adopt some of the health care guidelines coming out of the Trump administration.

Morris, who developed a “safety sleeper” for her toddler son who fell on the autism spectrum, began marketing her company out of a desire “to help people and save lives” for everyone between “autism and Alzheimer’s,” she said.

“I remember after the Tax Cut Act we actually got money back and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’” she laughed. “We went from barely being crushed the year before to using that refund to fix an HVAC unit in our new building. It was great.”

However, she said, while she thinks much has been accomplished in the last few years that makes small business ownership a more attractive option, she said that states need to make sure they’re availing themselves of some of the new regulatory freedoms made available under the Trump administration such as the option to offer association health care plans.

“I am still trying to figure out how to pay for health insurance for my employees, and I know that option exists if the state wants to take it,” Morris said.

Despite the lingering challenges, Morris said she agrees with Parker: the Trump economy has been good for women.

“I hear overwhelmingly now from other women that they have access to things — tax credits, programs — that they never had before,” she said.

Sarah Lee is a freelance writer and policy wonk living and working in Washington, DC.

Author: Sarah Lee

Source: Town Hall: Trump’s Economy Is Benefitting Women

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