Month: April 2020

LaBoyteaux 2020–Testing and Restarting the Economy

In order to restart the economy, we need to be able to quickly detect and stamp out new Covid-19 brush fires and that depends on widespread testing.  Otherwise we risk, almost assure, another widespread outbreak, hundreds of thousands of lives lost and further collapse of economic activity.  Even if the relief payments were enough to keep families going, which they are not, we cannot support our population on borrowed money, so the path forward requires we do two things at once, carefully reopen key businesses while keeping tight control of the virus.  The states need Federal funding for sufficient medical materials to do greatly increased testing.  We should not be arguing about this.  It is most distressing to hear, argument in some quarters that the economy is more important than increased loss of life.  Some groups are at greater risk from the disease, who should be sacrificed?  We must do both and we must come together as a nation to do it.  Childish blame gaming and political posturing don’t get it done.  As president, if I gotta eat crow, I eat crow but we get on with expanded testing to get Covid-19 under control until treatment and cure can be found.

A national shout out to all our hospitals and care providers, some working under difficult and dangerous conditions, treating cases of Covid-19.  A shout out to those research institutions working 24-7 to find effective treatments.

And lastly, blaming the Chinese and de-funding the World Health Organization is just senseless at this stage.  Human error is inevitable.  The World Health Organization is also working to prevent so many diseases in poorer nations.




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LaBoyteaux 2020–The Most Difficult Decision??

The most difficult decision of his Presidency?  About reopening the country,  is this another one of these teasing games, who are we kidding here?  All 50 states have declared an emergency.  It is clearly too early to relax shelter in place requirements.  The curve may be flattening in New York and Seattle but Covid-19 is still expanding into rural areas.  And if the death toll is less that 100,000 he did a good job!! Who needs this garbage??

And continued firing of career civil servant Inspector Generals for doing their jobs.  The intelligence IG who reported suspected wrong doing (Ukraine) to congress.  The Department of Defense IG with oversight over virus relief spending.  The HHS IG who surveyed hospitals across the country to determine their needs.  None of this makes any sense other than vendetta and a desire to avoid any oversight or criticism.

Wisconsin and the primary election, the decisions of our Supreme Court seem to me more and more removed from the people on main street.  Surely they could have found some way to extend vote by mail balloting in this time of national emergency.  There is no widespread voter fraud or threat of such fraud.  Only very small numbers of people try to cheat and seem to get caught.

We need to redouble our efforts at social distancing until Covid-19 is clearly under control.  The disease can be passed just by talking and associating with other people, even people who have no symptoms.   I am thankful for religious leaders all over the country to have found ways to conduct Easter Services on line, or on television in order to maintain the social distancing needed to protect the country at this time.

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LaBoyteaux 2020–Covid19

President Trump has doubled down on his belief that Hydroxychloroquine is effective against Covid19.  There appears to be no proven medical data to support his belief.  Hydroxychloroquine is used to treat Lupus patients.  The drug has serious side effects for some people and at least a couple have died taking too much or without a doctor’s prescription.  Just learned the FDA has issued emergency approval for doctors to prescribe Hydroxychloroquine for Covid19 patients.

We’d all like to find a quick cure for Covid19 and numerous drugs are being evaluated with the plasma treatment, based on blood from persons who have recovered from Covid19, being tried on a few actual patients.  I have a close relative with terminal lung cancer and we have tried some off-label drugs.  I understand the desire to try unproven treatments.

So what of Presidential leadership in this situation?  How to provide hope without raising unrealistic expectations?  I would talk, or better ask those with more knowledge to talk, about all the research being done to find a cure and ask that research be accelerated.  I cannot place my personal belief about a silver bullet above that of all the medical professionals.

Also in the news this morning, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly has said the captain of the aircraft carrier was “naive or stupid” in asking for help with a Covid19 outbreak on his ship.  Sailors live in very close quarters with specific duties that do not allow social distancing.  Chain of command is very important in the military but the captain was not wrong in concern for the health of his crew.  At most, some corrective discipline after the fact might be appropriate.  The Navy is removing all the sailors from the ship.  In my opinion Secretary Modly is more concerned about how this is playing in Washington.



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