Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Anderson Cooper rips Trump for hijacking coronavirus briefing

DACA Recipients Helping to Fight the Corona Virus

This column looks at the demographics of DACA recipients who are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 response, highlighting three inextricably linked industries and occupation groups identified as “essential critical infrastructure workers” by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
o   More than 200,000 work on the front lines of a coronavirus response; this includes an estimated 29,000 health care workers🏥
o   States with the most DACA recipients are also home to the largest number of DACA recipients working in health care occupations: California (8,600), Texas (4,300), New York (1,700), Illinois (1,400), Florida (1,100), Arizona (1,000), and Washington (1,000) are all home to sizable numbers of these frontline health workers.
o   Across the United States, 14,900 DACA recipients are among the hundreds of thousands of teachers who have pivoted from the physical to the digital classroom, including 4,300 in California, 2,800 in Texas, and 1,000 in Illinois.
o   4,700 DACA recipients work in food-related wholesale trade, and 8,800 DACA recipients work in food warehousing, transportation, and delivery.
o   Another group of essential food-related workers are those keeping grocery stores open and operable. That includes 14,900 DACA recipients, employed in roles such as cashiers (6,000); stockers and laborers (2,900); and supervisors (1,200).

Monday, April 6, 2020

Sacramento Company to produce thousands of Ventilators

With the coronavirus pandemic worsening, a little-known Sacramento manufacturer announced a deal Monday to dramatically ramp up production of inexpensive ventilators that could help overwhelmed health care workers treat COVID-19 patients.
Vortran Medical Technology of Sacramento said it has licensed its ventilator design to tech giant Xerox Holdings Corp. 
Vortran had been criticized by some on social media after the Los Angeles Times reported that the Sacramento company had refused to hand over its design to a pair of Army veterans on the East Coast who thought they could mass-produce the Vortran models and help overwhelmed emergency room doctors and others.
A spokeswoman for Vortran, Elizabeth Wise, declined to respond to the Times story but said the Sacramento company “has been approached by numerous parties” about its ventilator design.
In a joint announcement, Vortran and Xerox said the technology-licensing agreement will enable Xerox to mass-produce the Vortran ventilators at its plant near Rochester, N.Y. Financial terms weren’t disclosed. Vortran, which is based in Natomas and has been making medical equipment since the 1980s, will continue to make the units as well.
“Assuming a stable supply of essential parts, the companies will be rapidly scaling up production from approximately 40,000 ventilators in April to between 150,000 and 200,000 ventilators a month by June,” the companies said. “Together, Xerox and Vortran could produce as many as 1 million ventilators in the coming months.”
They said the Vortran unit, known as a GO2Vent, isn’t a replacement for the high-end ventilators found in hospital intensive-care units. Instead, they are “widely used in emergency situations, inter-hospital transport and MRIs. Given the shortage of ICU-grade ventilators, medical professionals are utilizing tools like this and other technology to support patients.”
They said the GO2Vent is a gas-operated unit that can provide breathing assistance for a single patient for up to 30 days. The unit is disposable.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom and his cohorts around the country have been appealing for more ventilators as COVID-19 spreads. Earlier Monday, Newsom announced that the state is loaning 500 ventilators to the nation’s stockpile to help hard-hit states such as New York.
“The partnership with Xerox has one clear goal — to help save as many lives as possible,” said Vortran’s co-founder and chief executive, Dr. Gordon Wong, in a prepared statement. “With Vortran’s proven technology and Xerox’s ability to hyper-scale manufacturing, we believe we can supply health care providers (with) as many as 1 million ventilators in the coming months. For all of us, this will be the most important thing we ever do.”

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article241803771.html?#storylink=cpy

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Congress Must Pass the Boldest Piece of Legislation Ever-Sanders

Let’s Stop the Bailout Fraud Before It Starts

Let’s Stop the Bailout Fraud Before It Starts
Bill Moyers interviews Neil Barofsky, who as Special Inspector General uncovered rampant corruption in the $700 billion 2008 Wall Street bailout.

Bill Moyers: Listen to these headlines I brought with me. Washington Post: “Coronavirus stimulus package spurs a lobbying gold rush.” The Guardian: “Washington lobbyists in frenzied battle to secure billion dollar Coronavirus bailouts.” The Wall Street Journal: “Lawmakers pack federal stimulus bill with pet provisions.” New York Times: “Fine print of stimulus bill contains special deals for industries.” I mean, that happened after the first bailout, right? And it’s happening all over again.

Neil Barofsky: And we unfortunately, we should not be surprised. Right? I mean one of the realities of our system is that corporate America has a large influence on how these bills play out. And, again, we saw it maybe on miniature last time because it was really one industry that was part of this process.

Excellent in depth interview.

Friday, April 3, 2020

What Is Next? Covid 19

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Earlier this week, Dr. Bob Wachter, a professor and chair of the University of California, San Francisco’s department of medicine, told us about what trends we should be paying attention to in the coronavirus crisis now.

Today, we’re looking a little further out.

As the chief health officer of Santa Clara County, Dr. Sara Cody announced the first case of coronavirus in the Bay Area in January. Last month, she led the rollout of the nation’s first shelter-in-place order.

My colleague Thomas Fuller talked with Dr. Cody about what lies ahead for California. Here’s their conversation, lightly edited and condensed:

A question about the future: Flattening the curve is a short-term solution. It slows down the first wave, the rate of infections and death, but it doesn’t eradicate the disease by any means. What’s the longer-term solution?

This is extraordinarily challenging. We look at the options before us and none of them are particularly shining and bright — none of the options looks great. We are trying to optimize and do the very best we can given the circumstances.

For example, we do not have widespread testing.

We don’t yet have a widely available antibody test in order to be able to pair someone who is immune and put them out on the front line for all the essential work that needs to be done. We have a shortage of personal protective equipment. We need to be very careful about how we assess our supply, how we estimate what our demand and burn rate is going to be.

Do I hear from you that it’s been so difficult that you haven’t had time to think about how to handle the next waves?

We are already thinking about that. But I’d be lying if I told you that we had exquisitely detailed plans.

There are phases. The very first phase was containment. That was when every single case we had, we absolutely went to the mat. We found every single contact we possibly could. Every case was quarantined under a strict legal order, every case was isolated under a strict legal order. We followed them carefully, their symptoms, visits, tests.

Then at some point the rocket ship takes off and you need to shift strategies. And that’s when we moved to mitigation. That’s when we started doing things like the first order to ban gatherings greater than 1,000, and then moving to gatherings greater than 100, and then finally to the first shelter-in-place order.

The idea is that we slow the train down for a couple reasons. The top level reason is to preserve the capacity of the health care system to care for people who get sick. But the other is if we bend the curve and are able to reduce the case count then we can go back to more refined containment strategies and marry those with the mitigation.

With more testing available, can the shelter-in-place orders be lifted and as soon as an outbreak is identified, a rush to contain it? Are you hoping that’s what comes next?

That’s exactly right. We started out with containment, we are now in very broad-based mitigation.
Eventually if we slow it down enough, when we put together more resources and the numbers are less than 1,000, then we could do some more of the individual case investigations, rapid isolation, and that would be another way to slow things down.

All of this we’re doing while there’s a race to develop a vaccine.

But we don’t know if a vaccine will come or not. We’ve had mixed results with previous coronaviruses.

There’s this paradox that the better you are at managing the first wave of the virus, the more vulnerable you are to the second wavebecause you have so many people who are not immune. Is there a fear for the second wave, that the initial success will not lead to any permanent solution short of a vaccine?

My hope, and I’m generally an optimistic person, is that if we had just a few more tools at the ready we could focus our resources in a more precise way.

Mnuchin Is Now Trying to Destroy Airline Workers’ Job Protections

Mnuchin Is Now Trying to Destroy Airline Workers’ Job Protections

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Support the Nurses

National Nurses United 

As politicians grandstand on television, promising time and again that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) is on the way, there is one question on far too many nurses’ minds: “Where is it? Where is the PPE?”
Too many nurses and other health care workers are still going without the equipment we desperately need to protect ourselves and our patients from COVID-19.
That means those of us on the front lines of this crisis are going to work every day wondering when we’ll contract the virus, when we’ll pass it to a patient, or when we’ll bring it home to our families. We have been sounding the alarm since January. We cannot continue to wait for PPE. All of our lives are on the line.
Help us make even more noise: Tell the White House that we cannot delay any further — use the Defense Production Act to get PPE to nurses NOW.
Add your name »
On Friday of last week, President Trump used the Defense Production Act of 1950 to order ventilators from General Motors needed for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. It’s a step in the right direction, but as one nurse recently put it: "Without this PPE, we won’t need the ventilators, because none of us will be around to run them."
It is the responsibility of our employers to provide a safe workplace, including proper PPE, to all their staff. And it is up to our elected officials to make sure our government is doing everything in its power to dramatically expand production and distribution of the equipment we need to protect nurses, other health care workers, and our patients.
The Defense Production Act gives President Trump the authority to direct U.S. manufacturers to mass produce N95 respirators and other critical protective equipment for health care workers. But so far, he has refused to do so.
Please, demand that President Trump immediately exerciseuse his full authority under the Defense Production Act to ramp up production and rush supplies to nurses on the front lines of COVID-19.
We must make our voices impossible to ignore. All our lives depend on it.
In solidarity,
Deborah Burger, RN
Zenei Cortez, RN
Jean Ross, RN
Council of Presidents, National Nurses United

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How to Stay Sane When the World Seems Crazy

How to Stay Sane When the World Seems Crazy
Stop and take a breath. The world will keep spinning.

By Allie Volpe
·       Published March 23, 2020Updated March 30, 2020

Our constant, relentless exposure to news and headlines has a way of inspiring near-constant dread. As distressing news continually filters to the top of our feeds, phones and TVs, it isn’t uncommon to feel more than a little nervous about the state of the world.
And often, many people are. Over 50 percent of Americans want to stay informed on current events but say following the news is a source of stress, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2019 “Stress In America” survey. More broadly, Americans are among the world’s most stressed people, with 55 percent of adults saying they experiencing stress during “a lot of the day” prior, according to a Gallup poll.
It’s easy to turn on the news and believe the world is ending. When a large-scale news event — say, a pandemic — affects many groups, people want to discuss it more widely and frequently, said Dr. Kathleen Smith, a therapist and author of “Everything Isn’t Terrible: Conquer Your Insecurities, Interrupt Your Anxiety, and Finally Calm Down.”
This constant conversation can lead to a snowballing of negative thoughts. Catastrophizing, or a pattern of thinking that jumps to the worst-case scenario, is an evolutionary response to threat, Dr. Smith said.
“Humans are able to imagine the worst-case scenario, which is a trait most other animals do not have,” she said. “That ability to do that and plan ahead has helped us survive. It has gotten in the way because we have a lot of reality-based problems today that need solving.”
There are ways to cope when things are rough — and ways to remind yourself the world will keep on spinning.
Why we catastrophize
“When people catastrophize, in many ways, it’s a maladaptive way of trying to regain control,” said Dr. David Rosmarin, the founder and director of the Center for Anxiety and an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

We try to regulate our emotions when life feels out of control, Dr. Rosmarin said. But anticipating ultimate doom and gloom as a means of taking control in uncertain times is not particularly effective. Jumping to worst-case scenarios breeds poor decision-making, he said: People tend to adopt a “who cares” attitude, which can contribute to hopelessness and despair.
Sometimes the catastrophic thoughts can become self-fulfilling prophecies, Dr. Smith said. For example: A widespread panic about a toilet paper shortage indeed resulted in a mass of shoppers rushing to buy toilet paper, thus creating a shortage. “We think we need to fix the problem, whether it’s based in reality or not,” she said.
Accept uncertainty
Although recent history may paint a tumultuous picture, we live in relatively safe times, Dr. Rosmarin said. Less than a century ago, he said, real, consistent threats of war were a reality in ways to which we’re now unaccustomed. (And constant news updates weren’t even present to perpetually stoke fear.)
Because of that general feeling of security, we’re not used to dealing with uncertainty, Dr. Rosmarin said. To better accept the unknown, we have to relinquish control, he said, and maintain trust that the powers that be are working to solve large-scale issues — which is what we subconsciously do any time we use public transit and airplanes, for example.
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“When the cabin door to the cockpit closes and I’m not the one inside,” he said, “I’m happy because I don’t know how to fly a plane and you don’t want me flying a plane.”
Stick to the facts
Anxiety makes us feel powerless, said Dr. Steven Stosny, a therapist who coined the term “Headline Stress Disorder,” or the feeling of stress borne from the news. A sense of powerlessness then breeds fear that we won’t be able to handle the consequences of a terrible event, whether unemployment or sickness. However, we tend to exaggerate the severity of the threat and underestimate our ability to cope, he said.
“We cope better than we think we will,” he said. “And that’s survival.”
Instead of feeling powerless, evaluate what you know to be true in this moment — and don’t exaggerate — to help ground you. Think: I have my health, I have my family, I can still make delicious meals.
Take stock of your reality by asking yourself straightforward questions, like, “What are my responsibilities to myself, my family and the larger community?” and “What reality-based problems do I need to solve today?” Dr. Smith suggested.
“To me, that’s being very responsible because you’re responding to reality and not the nightmare, which is easy to,” she said. “If you jump to the worst-case scenario it doesn’t equip you to help yourself in any way. You freeze up because it becomes unmanageable.”
Avoid all-or-nothing thinking
When news and facts are constantly changing, it can be easy to jump to conclusions and fill in the blanks, Dr. Smith said. However, we shouldn’t rush to process current events with black-and-white thinking. Absolutist, or all-or-nothing, thinking, isn’t a healthy way to cope, and is common among those with depression, researchers found in 2018.
To avoid this thought pattern, give the circumstance nuance. Just because a handful of events were canceled, for example, doesn’t mean the world is tumbling into isolation — it means our leaders care about our safety and are taking precautions. Dr. Smith suggests writing down such nervous thoughts or giving anxiety a name. “I call my anxiety Carl,” she said. “Carl says the world is probably going to end — and that makes me go, Carl probably doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Sometimes adding a little bit of humor can help.”
Take care of yourself
Research has shown anxiety impacts our decision-making skills, and in frenzied times, you want to make the most informed decisions for yourself and your family. Keep yourself in tiptop shape with elements of self-care: Studies have shown that exercisedeep sleep and social interactions — even if it’s just a phone call or video chat — diminish stress and anxiety. You may also want to step back from social media or find ways to make the experience less nerve-racking.
Perhaps most importantly, cut yourself some slack.
“Don’t beat yourself up for worrying,” Dr. Stosny said. “That’s only going to make you worry more.”
Even if group gatherings aren’t feasible, take part in one-on-one video hangouts, FaceTime calls and text threads, Dr. Rosmarin suggested. “Just because we’re socially segregated doesn’t mean we need to be socially isolated.”
But remember to turn off the tech eventually. In times of crisis, Dr. Rosmarin advised avoiding phones and other news sources at least an hour before bed.
Get involved
Donate or volunteer with an organization you feel is making positive contributions, whether locally, nationally or internationally. Not only does volunteer work lower the risk of depression and gives participants a sense of purpose, it also may reduce stress levels.
“Anything you do proactively will help,” Dr. Stosny said. “It helps ward off some of the powerlessness or anxiety, even if it’s small.”
And it’s OK if those charitable efforts end with a virtual happy hour or dessert as a reward.
A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2020, Section B, Page 5of the New York edition with the headline: Staying Sane When the World Seems CrazyOrder Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Monday, March 30, 2020

Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Trump Coronavirus

I accuse.

Over 100,000 will die.  Perhaps millions.
Our economy will be set back again- worse than 2008-2012, that will
cost homes, lives, careers, families,  and more.
By a virus that began in China and has now spread world wide.
The U.S. has more cases than any other nation on earth, including China.
Why ? In part the incompetence of the Trump administration. 

The U.S. was not prepared. When the Trump administration first knew of the virus they hid the information to continue to promote Trump.  Then, they misdirected and lied to avoid blame, all the time the problem was growing worse.  Masks, ventilators, safety equipment should have been placed on emergency orders by Feb 1- it was not.  People will die.  Brothers, sisters, grandchildren, parents will die. 
The CDC bumbled the initial testing production, adding to the crisis and the lack of ability to respond. 

Austerity, promoted by Republicans nationally and in the states, and some governors,  under funded  public health systems.  We need a positive, ready, public health system.  We do not have one. (Mostly a state and local level responsibility). These were budget choices.

Thousands, perhaps millions will now die in the richest country in the world due directly to incompetence by the Trump cabal and the underfunding of public health choices.
Now, many of us will die.  Our children, our grandchildren will die. 

There are many guides to dealing with the virus.  Here is the CDC.  Also, check your local, regional county or state government sites.

Duane Campbell, Sacramento

See. This Is Barbarism post below.

Friday, March 27, 2020

DSA - This is Barbarism

Choosing Democracy: DSA - This is Barbarism: This Is Barbarism Over 100 years ago, in the midst of the death and destruction of the First World War, German socialist leader Rosa...

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

"Which Side Are You On?" New Bernie Sanders video

The Bill Is a Step: But, Not Good Enough

Last week we asked you to call congressional leaders and members of Congress to demand they fulfill their moral and constitutional responsibilities to the American people and expand the emergency provisions to care for us all and enact our Moral Agenda immediately.

You let your voices ring out throughout the Capitol, and our leaders responded.

Because of you, the Senate was forced to reconsider and make some amendments to a stimulus package that favored corporate bailouts over the cries of 140 million poor and low-wealth Americans who need immediate assistance and access to quality health care, paid leave and living wages

But our work far from done there is so much work to do. This bill is still not the kind a response necessary to help poor and low wealth communities We ask that you continue to demand that our leaders present long-term solutions to the ever-present crisis of systemic poverty and its interlocking injustices of systemic racism, ecological devastation, war economy amidst this pandemic.

We won’t be silent anymore. And together, we will make a difference.

Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, President of Repairers of the Breach

Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, Director of the Kairos Center

Co-Chairs of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival