NO DEMOCRATS AT STIMULUS SIGNING

Scan0046This is a photo opt of the president and all of his King Pins signing the 2 trillion dollar relief bill for the victims of the Coronavirus.

What’s missing from this photo? Not a single member of the Democratic leadership was invited for the photo signing. Yet it is Trump who blames the Democrats for lack of partisanship with his administration.

One would think in a time of crisis in this country our fearless leader would try to unite this country instead of pulling us apart.

Not only did he ignore the Democrats he mentioned the only way states would receive aid was , “they must be good to me.”

What the Hell do we have here; a man willing to allow Americans to die because the governor of a state was “not good to him?”

What does it take for Trump followers to understand this is a “what’s in it for me” president. Those who friend him get the bonus, those who oppose his weak ideas, get punished. Is this the new American way

The other day, again with Americans dying for lack of health equipment, he bitches about the price of ventilators.  Here with a man who has a record $2 trillion dollar deficit. Go figure.

We now hold the record for the most cases of the virus, mainly because Trump sat on his but and denied the virus existed. He was smarter than the world scientists even his own stating when warmer weather came the virus would disappear. 

Explain that logic to those who died in insolation whose families never had the chance to say goodbye to their loved ones. 

 

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FRANKLY SPEAKING: LIVING WITH DIALYSIS

 

LIVING WITH DIALYSIS

Throughout my life I have enjoyed eating, evidently the wrong food. Being Italian, the son of a great mom and great cook along with my dad were raised on pasta, that was our main menu. And growing up with my parents struggling, it was the cheapest food to put on the table. Mom made her sauce, or gravy as the northern Italians call it, by the pot full, then froze the sauce in jars making it handy for a meal any day of the week.

This diet was aided by a Sussex County diet when I married my first wife who died after our 43 year marriage from the combination of poor eating. She too was a good cook. I was privileged to have beef and dumplings for the first of many times to come during those years, plenty of mashed potatoes, fired chicken along with my steady diet of pasta, recipes Carolyn learned from mom. You get the idea.

During these years of my life your family doctor was your only doctor. Specialists came further in life. What led to heart problems, diabetics, hypertension was something you might have over viewed in some news paper article.

It wasn’t until much later in my marriage my primary doctor had me take a blood test, a panel of tests to determine my health. Well, you may have well thrown the medical book at me. Everything in my body was off the charts as far as being in the health range.

For my diabetics, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure was prescribed pills which I thought would take care of all my problems. I made no restrictions with my diet. Continued tests brought worse results.

Medications were increased to no avail. Finally, at the age of 55, the insulin needles came into my life, four times a day. Blood pressure, diabetics, and cholesterol, couldn’t be controlled.

Specialists came into my life by the numbers as well as education. I knew what my ailments were, but I wasn’t aware of what all of these symptoms were doing to my body. I was still, robust, and very active; invincible, I thought.

But I wasn’t invincible.

Tests came back showing decreasing kidney function, so my primary doctor sent me to Dr. Antonio Padro a kidney specialist (nephrologist). By then I was already in stage 3 kidney failure. During those early years with Dr. Padro my wife developed liver disease.

I thought you had to be a heavy drinker to have a bad liver, but it was her diet that would eventually do her in even after a liver transplant. All my attention centered on her. Her health deteriorated so quickly she was moved from the bottom of the transplant list to the top.

Finally the call came, a donor had been found. Transplant went perfectly, she must have dropped 50 pounds of fluid the first night. Released from the hospital to a rehab in Milford. But her appetite had disappeared even when she was in the hospital.

Her temperature spiked when she came home, so back to the hospital. Apparently her liver unlike when the body rejects an organ their is medication to cure the problem. But her organ rejected her body, and there is no hope for survival. She was put in a coma, passed within a few days.

Medial diagnosis, cause of death; Graft versus Host Disease, a one in a million cure.

Now living alone, depressed, I don’t recall what I ate. I existed for a couple of years.

Then I met my current wife who had lost her husband who had similar medical conditions as me, but worse, and he lost his battle.

She began attending doctors visits with me, and she educated me to what was happening with my diet. She inhaled every word and warning Dr. Pedro said to me.

Diet changed, drastically, she ate what I ate, we ate healthy. Pasta was a rare treat, once in a while I could cheat. But it was too late. I went into stage 4 kidney failure, dialysis was in my future.

In the meantime I had a heart attack and a stroke which I recovered from both thanks to a stay at Health South in Salisbury. Both took a hit on the kidneys. I was really ready for dialysis but wouldn’t give in.

But for some reason I thought I could beat my kidney problem. I walked around like a zombie, no pep.

My wife and I spent a day at the U of MD with others to see if I qualified for a transplant. Because of my health problems, and age, I did not qualify. However I could use the exchange system, finding a donor, who donates a kidney who finds a donor, exchanges, so on, or now they have donors with HIV, which with treatments are ok to use.

I figured with my age, knowing what my first wife went though, the rejection medicines at my age, not knowing how much longer I will be on this earth, after much discussion with my wife, I declined and decided if and when I needed kidney treatment, it would be dialysis in a clinic.

Their are different ways to have dialysis, the two most popular are in a clinic, Hemodialysis, or at home, Peritoneal Dialysis. I chose the clinic because at home treatment is 7 days a week, vs. 3 in the clinic; nurses and aids available if anything goes wrong, less change of infection; home treatment usually involves another person to assist with the hook-ups.

My life is dependent on a 5ft tall machine that filters my blood through an artificial kidney, which is attached to a machine. A very small amount of blood is removed and returned to one of my veins, which has surgically been adapted for this. (Fistula)

There will only be about one cup of blood outside of my body at any time during the procedure. Hemodialysis cannot do all the work my kidneys did, as healthy kidneys work all day. 24-7.

For the 4 hours I sit in a recliner, each of us has a TV to watch. We have one arm free to read, use our phone, or take a nap. The one the machine is hooked to, has two 1” needles in my vein. Movement could dislodge the needle, and with the machine pumping, blood could shoot out of your arm like Old Faithful.

The nurse and techs constantly monitor our machines, and if we are cramping, nausea, they can adjust the flow to lessen those problems.

Dr. Pedro convinced me I was nearing dialysis so we agreed to have a Fistula procedure done at Nanticoke by Dr. Stephen Carey. Because this procedure takes 6 months to ‘cure’ ready for dialysis. A small incision is made below the wrist. The first attempt did not cure as intended after 8 months.

A second attempt was made, this time above the elbow in the muscle area. A fistula directly connects an artery to a vein. The vein stretches over time, allowing the two 1” needles to be put in when the treatment is done. Fistulas are the best way to get access to the bloodstream for hemodialysis.

A Graft is also available. A graft is a tube, usually made of plastic, that connects an artery to a vein, allowing needles to be put in it. Grafts are the second best way to get access to the bloodstream for hemodialysis.

When my kidneys were near failing, I had to give in to dialysis. Since my second procedure for the Fistula did not have time to ‘cure’ a catheter was implanted in my chest for treatment. My first treatment was in the hospital immediately after the catheter procedure.

Then my whole way of life changed overnight. Whereas before dialysis I was urged to drink fluids till I exploded. Whereas salt was forbidden before dialysis, it was important I had no salt because salt would retain fluids, since my kidneys no longer discharged fluids as quickly, retaining fluid could make my dialysis treatment uncomfortable.

I would now be limited to 32 oz of fluid per day. I must avoid foods with lots of water like gelatin, soup or frozen foods, such as ice cream, sherbet, or even ice cubes; water melon which we all love. Salads, only with romaine lettuce, ice berg lettuce has water.

We have a dietitian who meets with my group each week, and a social worker, who helps us plan vacations because we must find a hospital nearby that will continue our treatments. Within a week without dialysis, the fluid build up in your body could end your life.

If you use the home treatment, the social worker will arrange for your medical supplies needed during your time away from home to be shipped to your vacation destination.

Accepting dialysis is difficult for some, some even refuse treatment, and stop treatment after time. They usually live for a short time after.

I accepted my treatment as better than the alternative. I’ve been pretty much assured I won’t die of kidney failure, but my heart will give out first. A few dialysis patients get ill, I have done well. I have more energy, can do more outside work, not short of breath, and except for the three days a week I spend hooked up to my dialysis machine, life is normal, life is precious.

I believe to my disappointment, my wife Becky has gotten the worse part of this new lifestyle. We had planned to travel more, but when you take three full days from a week for treatment at another hospital, you don’t have much time left to enjoy your vacation. Treatments take 4 hours, add another half hour for hook up and unhooking….

We made plans for week-end trips nearby just to get out some. Some may be day trips, some overnight.

Her shopping for groceries takes twice as long as she must now read labels to watch for foods with too much phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and to make sure I don’t eat too much protein.

Preparing a balanced meal is also tough for my lovely bride. I have a target weight. I weigh in before dialysis, which determines how much fluid the clinic must take off. Too much pulling, and I am more tired, the less fluid they have to pull off, the better I feel.

I receive a report card each month from the dietitian on the foods in my system. I, or I should say my wife has received a ‘perfect’ report card each month since I have been on dialysis.

I owe her my life. I’m hoping to live till 100, provided she is still around, then take it one day at a time.

HOW THIS RECESSION IS DIFFERENT THAN 2008

SUBMITTED BY POLITIFACT

How the 2008 and 2020 recessions will be different, and why that matters

With the likelihood of a recession caused by the coronavirus outbreak, lawmakers have begun talking about remedies that will sound familiar to anyone who lived through the Great Recession of 2008: stimulus checks, assistance to hard-hit businesses, and moves by the Federal Reserve.

But economists say the upcoming recession is actually quite different from the Great Recession — and that will have consequences for the policy response.

What are the differences between the 2008 and 2020 recessions?

Experts told us the 2008 recession was caused by a lack of demand after the bursting of the housing bubble sent construction plummeting. By contrast, the current crisis was not caused by pre-existing economic weakness. Instead, the impending recession stems from a health problem and the fear of contagion.

This is an important distinction for several reasons:

It’s a rare cause for a recession, so there’s no ready game plan. The last time this happened was the recession that followed the Spanish flu of 1918. But the times were very different in terms of the economy, medical knowledge and technology. So there is no ready model for policymakers now to follow.

The contraction is happening with unusual speed. In the recession of 2008, a slowdown in the housing sector began as early as late 2005. In the current crisis, the shutdown of big parts of the economy is happening over just a few weeks.

Social distancing has a unique effect on the economy. The response to the coronavirus has been to keep people physically apart, which makes it difficult if not impossible to spend money, at everything from shops to restaurants to theaters to travel-related industries. Even people who have kept their jobs are likely spending less.

More businesses in more economic sectors may fail now. In 2008, no sector of the economy had to completely shut down. The current crisis, however, has left service-oriented businesses, such as restaurants, with no customers.

The current downturn has the potential to be temporary. There’s still deep uncertainty about how quickly the pandemic will pass, especially if second and third waves of infections emerge, requiring future rounds of social distancing. But once the epidemic passes, there will be pent-up demand. This offers hope for a better scenario than what played out after the Great Recession.

How do these differences affect the economic solutions?

The economists we interviewed offered these ideas for responding to the coronavirus crisis.

Short-term payments. We found widespread support among economists for cash payments to people and businesses, though also a clear-eyed understanding of the limits of that approach. In a conventional recession, handing out stimulus money helps people spend quickly. But there are limits to how effective giving out cash can be at a time when people are required to stay in their houses most of the time.

Loans or other assistance to businesses. These payments could be aimed broadly, or at certain sectors that are particularly hard hit. But if businesses get aid, experts said, it needs to be targeted for the benefit of workers, rather than executives.

Federal Reserve moves. The Federal Reserve can use several levers in a crisis. We go into greater detail on those levers here; they include signaling about future interest rates, asset purchases, and helping financial institutions with loans or guarantees.

Housing cost relief. One idea now being tried in hard-hit European countries is pausing all payments for mortgages, rents, and utilities. For most people, the cost of housing and utilities makes up a significant share of their disposable income. If what they owe drops significantly, then the financial pressure from getting laid off declines, particularly if the unusual nature of this recession means that something approaching normal returns quickly.

The Latest from PolitiFact

  • The National Guard is not coming to quarantine you: A widely shared text message says that the federal government is “preparing to mobilize the national guard,” “dispatch them across the US with military” and “announce a nationwide 1 week quarantine for all citizens.” This is False. State and local governments retain the power to quarantine Americans within their own borders. On the federal level, the Department of Homeland Security can screen and quarantine individuals reentering the U.S. from other countries. But forced quarantines are historically rare, and most infected people are allowed to self-quarantine.
  • How long the coronavirus survives on surfaces: The 2019 coronavirus can live for “up to 3 hours in the air, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard up to 3 days on plastic and stainless steel,” says a recent Facebook post. We rated that Mostly True. Aside from air, the worst surface for the virus is copper; researchers could only detect viable virus particles there for up to four hours. On cardboard, they could not detect any after 24 hours. The coronavirus lives the longest on plastic and stainless steel — up to three days. This research is still being studied, however.
  • Is there a link between COVID-19 and blood type: A research report showing a possible link between blood type and the likelihood of contracting coronavirus has been written up in various mainstream news publications, and it’s getting some play on social media, too. The basic claim is that people with blood type A are more likely to contract the novel coronavirus. We’re leaving the statement unrated for now — the study that is the basis for the claim was not peer reviewed or published in a scientific or medical journal. Experts caution against immediately accepting the its conclusions.

PolitiFact Behind the Scenes

Like you, we’re worried about our loved ones right now. Most of us are working from home. We’re avoiding large gatherings. Some of us are trying to figure out child care. And yeah, we’re feeling a little stir crazy.

Like you, we want accurate information so we can make smart decisions during the coronavirus pandemic. But we know it’s hard to come by on your social media feed.

The good news is we’re in a position to help separate the good information from the bad. Our journalists are here to help — and trained to vet information in a crisis. We partnered with Facebook long before the outbreak to fact-check hoaxes. That work has never been more important as fake coronaviruscures, false news reports and conspiracy theories continue to spread.

When misinformation is rampant, and secret algorithms are built to keep our adrenaline pumping, we’re here. What’s more, our fact-checking is free for everyone in the community to read and share freely.

SOUTH AMERICA AHEAD OF U.S. WITH FINANCIAL AID PACKAGE FOR VIRUS VICTIMS

South America, a socialist country also hit with the virus is way ahead of this country in aiding the workers and small businesses suffering losses from the recent flue epidemic.  

Getting a phone call from a cousin on my dad’s side of the family she mentioned a stimulus package has long passed her country giving stipens to families, with more to come is the epidemic continues, and has bolsted stuggling businesses. 

Meanwhile this countries goverment is stalled between political infighting; Republicans as usual, want to protect the wealthy, giving millions to corporations with no guarentees to pay it back, or not to purchase buy back stocks as they did in the tax bill, using up cash needed now they don’t have, also no gurarentee they will hire back those laid off, money to the curise industry who don’t have accounts in this country, their money is in off shore banks where they pay no taxes to the US, all areas the Democrats don’t approve.

Democrats want the out of workers to be fairly reembursed to help carry them through these difficult times, grants to small businesses which they only pay interest on the grant for a short time then the grant is forgiven, with the promise they also will rehire their layed off helf, and money to large corporations which have to be paid back to the government. 

 

HOW TO GET AMERICA BACK TO WORK

A Plan to Get America Back to Work

Some experts say it can be done in weeks, not months — and the economy and public health are at stake.

By

Opinion Columnist

OPINION A SUBMITTED ARTICLE

These are days that test every leader — local, state and national. They are each being asked to make huge life and death decisions, while driving through a fog, with imperfect information, and everyone in the back seat shouting at them. My heart goes out to them all. I know they mean well. But as so many of our businesses shut down and millions begin to be laid off, some experts are beginning to ask: “Wait a minute! What the hell are we doing to ourselves? To our economy? To our next generation? Is this cure — even for a short while — worse than the disease?’’

I share these questions. Our leaders are not flying completely blind: They are working off the advice of serious epidemiologists and public health experts. Yet we still need to be careful about “group think,’’ which is a natural but dangerous reaction when responding to a national and global crisis. We’re making decisions that affect the whole country and our entire economy — therefore, small errors in navigation could have huge consequences.

Of course, because this virus is potentially affecting so many Americans at once, we need to provide more hospital beds, treatment equipment for those who will need it and protective gear like N95 masks for the doctors and nurses caring for virus-infected patients. That is urgent! And we need to immediately rectify the colossal failure to supply rapid, widespread testing. That is urgent!

But we also need to be asking ourselves — just as urgently — can we more surgically minimize the threat of this virus to those most vulnerable while we maximize the chances for as many Americans as possible to safely go back to work as soon as possible. One expert I talk to below believes that could happen in as early as a few weeks — if we pause for a moment and think afresh about the coronavirus challenge.

 

FACT-CHECKING THE PRESIDENT ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

President Trump has made a lot of promises about actions that his administration is taking to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Not all of them have been exactly on the mark — and some have yet to pay off as advertised.

Naval hospital ships

The president announced on Wednesday that the Navy would dispatch its two hospital ships, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, to help treat patients and free up land-based hospitals for coronavirus patients.

“So those two ships are being prepared to go, and they can be launched over the next week or so,” Trump said, calling the ships in “tip-top shape.”

Well, not so much.

The Navy said that the Comfort was actually undergoing repairs in Norfolk, Va., and it would be weeks before it would be ready to sail to New York. And the Mercy, based in San Diego, would take several days before it was staffed with doctors and nurses and be ready for deployment somewhere on the West Coast.

Although the deployments may still go ahead, the ships likely won’t sail right away.

FDA drug approval

On Thursday, Trump touted that the Food and Drug Administration had “approved” use of an anti-malaria drug called chloroquine to treat patients afflicted with the coronavirus.

The president sounded excited.

“We’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately,” Trump said, calling it “a tremendous breakthrough” and a potential “game-changer.”

But FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn tried to tamp down Trump’s enthusiasm, saying that “a large, pragmatic clinical trial” would be needed first to determine the drug’s usefulness before making it available to coronavirus patients.

Hahn said he couldn’t “speculate about a timeline” for the drug’s availability.

Trump’s enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine spilled into another press conference on Friday, when he again described it as a potential wonder drug.

And again, a public health official — this time, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top immunologist on the White House’s response team — tried to rein in the optimism by echoing the need for clinical proof that it would make a difference.

On Thursday, Trump said another drug, Remdesivir, had “also been approved, or very close to approved” by the FDA for treating patients coronavirus. In fact, that drug is undergoing a clinical trial and is months away from being ready for use.

The website

Last Friday, Trump said at a Rose Garden news conference that Google has 1,700 engineers developing a new website that would help Americans determine whether they should seek testing for the coronavirus.

The president sought to cast his own project as a triumph compared with the initial failure of President Barack Obama to roll out a website as part of the changes to the health care market enacted in 2009.

“Google is helping to develop a website,” Trump said. “It’s going to be very quickly done — unlike websites of the past — to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.”

Within hours, Google attempted to clarify the president’s comments. It said an affiliated company, Verily, was working on the project but on a limited scale only for people in the San Francisco area.

“Verily is in the early stages of development,” Google said, “and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time.”

The website is now functional in “select counties in the Bay area.”

Medical supplies

On Wednesday, Trump met with a group of nurses at the White House, telling them that the administration had arranged for a major new supply of the type of respirator in high demand during the pandemic.

“We’ve ordered 500 million N95 masks to drive private production,” Trump said. He also said that construction companies were being asked to donate unused masks. The next day at a briefing, Vice President Pence stated: “We’ve vastly increased the supply of medical masks.”

But hospitals continue to report that they are running short of masks, as are pharmacists. Authorities are taking donations from unlikely sources, including financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs.

Loose-fitting surgical masks aren’t appropriate for dealing with the pandemic authorities say; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a graphic detailing the important differences between a surgical mask and an N95 respirator.

Trump acknowledged the shortfall in supplies on Friday when he said he had invoked the Cold War-era Defense Production Act, which permits him to direct production of essential items.

“We are using it,” Trump said, “for certain things that we need,” citing ventilators and masks.

It still isn’t clear how much equipment is needed to respond to current and future patients in the pandemic beyond what’s in hand today and when or whether the demand will be met.

Testing

One of the most frequent exaggerations coming from the administration is the availability of coronavirus tests.

When he visited the CDC in Atlanta earlier this month, Trump claimed that “They have the tests. And the tests are beautiful. Anybody that needs a test gets a test.”

Pence made a similar claim last week, saying that “a million tests are in the field” and that “by the end of this week, another 4 million tests will be distributed.”

Even so, anecdotal reports abound about Americans who feel sick struggling to be able to confirm a diagnosis with an actual test. Fauci acknowledged that there clearly is a gap between the supply and the demand.

At the same time, he echoed assurances by Trump and Pence that the situation is improving.

“I get the same calls that many of you get … for one reason or another they can’t get [tests],” Fauci said on Friday. “That is a reality that is happening now. Is it the same as it was a few weeks ago? Absolutely not.”

The anecdotal nature of the accounts means it’s difficult to assess what the spread might be between the testing capacity available now, or set to come onstream soon, and the pool of people who satisfy the administration’s guidelines to request one.

Trump and Pence say they don’t want every American — particularly those who are feeling well — to be tested. It still isn’t clear, however, how big the gap remains between requests for tests considered valid under Trump’s and Pence’s conditions — and the capacity to support them.

FRANKLY SPEAKING: VIRUS TRICKERS GUN SALES

What has the Coronavirus have to do with the increase in gun sales. Apparently plenty. 

Gun sales have spiked to an all time high since 9-11 mainly because of fears of home break ins because so many have lost their jobs, and the fear of many resorting to desperate means to land their hands on money. 

It is indeed an unsafe time in the world, our country. People are helpless with no site this virus outbreak will end soon. 

I have a friend, a retired Marine officer for 25 years, who has never owned a gun since his discharge. He recently purchased a gun for home protection. His selection at the gun store was limited since the owner said he had sold 60 guns the day before. 

My wife and I went for a short ride yesterday to pick up ice cream cones from a drive-in. On the way home we passed a local gun store where I usually see one or two vehicles on any given day. This time the parking lot was filled with cars apparently doing the same thing my friend did the day before. 

We have a security system, but I also know desperate people do desperate things; if they want to break in a home they will. We keep no cash at home, making our purchases with credit cards or making major purchases online. 

Owning a gun, not yet, but I must admit the idea of owning one is on my mind daily. 

A difficult time to rob a store since so few are open. The next option if your home.