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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Trump Bogeys The Whole ‘Open-Up-The-Churches’ Thing

The Duffer-in-Chief Makes His Priorities Clear, Choosing the Back Nine Over Pew and Pulpit
By Terry H. Schwadron, DCReport Opinion Editor

By Steve SackStar Tribune
I looked to find which church Donald Trump went to on Sunday, but couldn’t find it because he didn’t go.

Instead, he played golf, as the country approached has reached 100,000 coronavirus deaths. 

And he spent the rest of the day insulting women on Twitter over their looks, weight and made unsubstantiated charges of murder against commentator Joe Scarborough – you know, acting on anything but the Spirit of Godliness and rather in the worship of self.

While I have nothing special against playing golf, particularly as a break for this exercise-needy president, this is the same guy who was demanding that governors open churches immediately because we have too many liquor stores and abortion clinics declared essential, and not enough prayer.  

Actually, at this moment, I don’t have much against liquor stores either or abortion clinics – women’s health facilities by whatever name.

This church act was just another cry for outward political support from a friendly evangelical movement.

But I do have a big problem with hypocrisy in public places.

So after all the hullabaloo last week about churches, it turns out that churches around the country also did what they have been doing – deciding one at a time whether they thought it was safe enough to open, to mask congregants or to simply ignore that there is such a thing as coronavirus.

And Trump played golf – like Barack Obama before him – but at what feels exactly the wrong time, and after demanding that churches be opened.

So, what the incident has cemented for many of us is that this whole church act was just another cry for outward political support from a friendly evangelical movement.

Anti-maskers in history

VIDEO: Playing through

 As of today, 100,000+ HAVE died.
To watch this video on YouTube:

We need more PPE now and for the second wave

Brown physician-scholar testifies on COVID-19 before U.S. House committee
Brown University

How to protect health workers now: WHO COVID-19 briefing | World ...In a U.S. Congress briefing held virtually, a Brown University medical expert urged federal lawmakers to ramp up the manufacturing and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) for essential workers and health care professionals on the front lines of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Megan Ranney, an associate professor of emergency medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School and emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital, addressed the nation’s legislative leaders on a panel of medical professionals, first responders, grocery store workers, drivers, custodians and others who have provided essential services during the coronavirus pandemic.

RI Hospital physician-researcher published in New England Journal ...
The panelists offered testimony from their homes and offices as part of a Thursday, May 21, briefing titled “Heroes of the Coronavirus Crisis: Protecting Frontline and Essential Workers During the Pandemic.” 

They spoke at the invitation of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, convened earlier this year from within the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

In her remarks, Ranney shared details of her own experience treating COVID-19 patients, underscoring the challenging conditions that face medical workers and other essential service providers who face shortages of adequate PPE. 

At Rhode Island Hospital, staff began to stockpile PPE in January, as soon as the risk of an impending crisis became clear. By mid-March, as positive cases mounted in New England, they were running dangerously low on supplies, she said.

“The supply chain had completely dried up,” Ranney said. 

“Overseas manufacturing had been diverted other hotspots like Italy. We internally had not ramped up our U.S. production on time. I have innumerable colleagues across the country who have been infected — some have died.”

Trump declares 100,000 dead are his great achievement

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And he tweets this to "celebrate" his great achievement:

Thank you, Donald Trump

New on-line course on marketing weed

First-of-its-kind online program aimed at multiple positions in cannabis industry

Beyond CBD: Exploring the Health Benefits of CBN in Cannabis ...The University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy plans to offer an online undergraduate certificate program in therapeutic cannabis studies, responding to the growing demand for skilled workers in one of the nation’s fastest growing industries.

At a rate of 22% a year, job growth in the therapeutic cannabis industry is exploding, and is anticipated to create more than 500,000 jobs by 2022. The rapidly expanding industry requires a skilled workforce with a specialized knowledge base. URI’s online, four-course program — the first of its kind in the nation — aims to meet that need. The online delivery model will allow for the flexibility necessary to accommodate students nationwide, as well as working professionals.

The certificate program offered through the College’s Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences department is delivered by leaders in natural product research, including phytocannabinoids such as CBD. 

Tips on how to stay safe as states reopen

An expert explains how to assess risk when reconnecting with friends and family
Ryan Malosh, University of Michigan

People shop at the re-opening of the Farmer’s Market in
Manhattan Beach, Calif. on May 12, 2020.
 Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images 
Editor’s note: Now that states are relaxing social distancing restrictions, people desperately want to see friends and family, go to a restaurant and let our kids have play dates. Even grocery shopping sounds fun. But how can you do that and still stay safe? Here, an epidemiologist who is immune-compromised himself, walks you through some decision making.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally released new guidelines for businesses, bars and schools that are considering reopening. 

Although following these guidelines should help, it’s frustrating there hasn’t been more clear, concise communication about the risk of infection. And without strict guidelines, it will be up to us to minimize our own risk and the risk of everyone around us.

In large part, this is because there is still so much we scientists and physicians don’t know about the new coronavirus. The pace of new research on the virus, SARS-CoV-2, and the disease it causes, COVID-19, is truly astonishing. 

There are also times when the science and the necessity of the moment are in conflict; a prime example is the confusion about using face masks while a worldwide shortage of personal protective equipment exists.

And the pattern of disease is extremely localized. Michigan’s outbreak looks different from Iowa’s, which looks different from Colorado’s. Even within states, outbreaks are very distinct. 

The outbreak I’m experiencing in southeast Michigan is not like the one my grandparents are experiencing two hours north of here. As a research scientist, I study herd immunity and vaccine effectiveness. As we slowly begin to return to normal life – albeit a new normal – I can tell you there are ways we can minimize our risk.

As a survivor of leukemia and a bone marrow transplant, I am part of a high-risk population, so my risk calculation is likely different from yours. As my state starts to relax restrictions, I will continue to limit my interactions with others as much as I can. Here are things you can consider.

Monday, May 25, 2020

It is not in the national interest to have a crazy president – at any time, but especially in a crisis

There’s Still Time To Stop Him
We Can Prevent a ‘Darkest Winter,’ Or We Can Remain Hostages to Trump’s Worsening Mental Condition
By Dr. Bandy X. Lee

The One-Percenters Convincing Themselves Trump Isn't CrazyRick Bright publicly underscored that if we accept a president’s wishful narrative over medical expertise “2020 could be the darkest winter in modern history.”

Mental health experts have been trying to inform the public that not even a nuclear winter could be ruled out.

Dr. Bright, a top government virologist, in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives last week described the very consequences we anticipated.

Bright testified the totally disastrous handling of the pandemic led to a level of death and tragedy and an unprecedented economic collapse that did not have to be.

From our perspective, this is the natural consequence of having a mentally impaired president. Like a cascade, psychological disturbance in the high office progresses into social, cultural and geopolitical dangers.

Trump's Memorial Day message


Watch Food Bank's virtual town hall, try their Sweet Potato Brownie recipe

COVID-19 Update

Watch the Food Bank's Virtual Town Hall

Click on the pre-recorded video below for an update on our response to the increased demand for food as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. CEO Andrew Schiff is joined by Kate Brewster, Executive Director of the Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, a member agency of the Food Bank, to discuss the challenges both organizations face as we ensure no one in Rhode Island goes hungry. 

Watch the whole video or fast forward to:
  • Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff: 2:28- 9:32
  • Jonnycake Center Executive Director Kate Brewster: 9:34-16:25
  • Narrated Slideshow: 19:07-26:25
  • Questions and Answers: 26:27-56:05

Increase SNAP benefits to end child hunger 

The Providence Journal recently published a "My Turn" commentary piece by Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff. As food insecurity increases during the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time to implement long-term solutions like increasing SNAP benefits to ensure no families are hungry.

Click here to read the commentary.  

Sweet Potato Brownie Recipe

Follow our Healthy Habits instructor as she makes a delicious recipe for Sweet Potato Brownies.

Try it at home with your kids and help them learn their way around the kitchen. Click here to get started. 

Our mailing address is:
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Ave
Providence, RI 02907-3150

Presidential leadership and the fight to end polio

What do you think FDR would do about COVID-19?
 Thomas Doherty, Brandeis University

President and Mrs. Roosevelt enjoying after-luncheon conversation
with patients of the Warm Springs Foundation.
Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images
Throughout much of the last century, a lethal and terrifying virus besieged America. Then, as now, the fear of contagion gripped ordinary Americans

And then — unlike now — a president displayed decisive leadership in fighting the virus, maintaining an unfailingly good humor and leaving the immunology to the experts.

The scourge was infantile paralysis, or polio, and the president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was its most famous victim. 

First clinically described in the late 19th century and persisting deep into the 20th century, the virus invaded the nervous system and destroyed the nerve cells that stimulate muscle fibers, resulting in irreversible paralysis and sometimes death.

The tally in heartbreak and death was staggering. In “Polio: An American Story,” the historian David M. Oshinsky chronicles the loss. 

In 1949, of the 428 cases recorded during an outbreak in San Angela, Texas, 84 victims — most of them children — were left paralyzed and 28 died.

In 1946, there were 25,000 reported cases across the country. By 1952, the figure had jumped to 58,000. 

Unlike the Spanish flu, whose special horror was to strike down the healthy in the prime of life, and COVID-19, which places the elderly at greatest risk, polio targeted children mainly, crippling and killing with what seemed an almost premeditated malice. 

Who looks more presidential?

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Why are veterans being hit so hard by COVID-19?

Part of it is age-related but much of it has to do with how we treat veterans
Jamie Rowen, University of Massachusetts Amherst

U.S. war veterans’ graves at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery,
San Diego, California. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images 
As the nation takes a day to memorialize its military dead, those who are living are facing a deadly risk that has nothing to do with war or conflict: the coronavirus.

Different groups face different degrees of danger from the pandemic, from the elderly who are experiencing deadly outbreaks in nursing homes to communities of color with higher infection and death rates

Veterans are among the most hard-hit, with heightened health and economic threats from the pandemic. These veterans face homelessness, lack of health care, delays in receiving financial support and even death.

I have spent the past four years studying veterans with substance use and mental health disorders who are in the criminal justice system. This work revealed gaps in health care and financial support for veterans, even though they have the best publicly funded benefits in the country.

Here are eight ways the pandemic threatens veterans:

RI’s smart phone-based way to do contact tracing

The Crush COVID RI app is trying to navigate the line between public health and privacy rights

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo introduced Crush COVID RI, “the state’s pandemic response mobile app with a privacy-first focus.” 

The app is designed to provide Rhode Islanders “easy access to all of the resources required during the public health crisis, including a location diary that helps users identify the people and places they are in contact with and a symptom checking survey.”

Governor Raimondo called the app “a tool that’s going to really help Rhode island… We are one of the first few states in the country to roll out a one-stop app of this kind.”

But privacy rights advocates have some concerns.
“We… applaud the Governor for keeping privacy concerns front and center in the development of this app,” writes Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island

“However, deployed incorrectly, the app has the potential to interfere with public health efforts, undermine trust, and violate individuals’ rights.” 

Among the many features of the app, which will allow users to easily access information about COVID-19 and resources to deal with the pandemic, “the app will prompt you once a day to take a ten second survey. How are you feeling today? What are your symptoms? Do you have a fever? If everybody does that, we, over time, are going to get a good view, across the state” of pandemic hot spots, “and act quickly,” said the Governor.

Privacy advocates are wary of yet another app that will collect personal information, and Governor Raimondo seemed aware of this. 

A “key feature” of the app is the Location Diary, an opt-in feature that will create a map of places you’ve visited and spent ten minutes or more.