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Following the Politics instead of Following the Science
Healthcare providers and others are making critical medical decisions about masking based on a political football.
Politicians told us they would “follow the science” but what is happening is that even scientists, doctors, and hospitals are now FOLLOWING THE POLITICS!
The evidence is all over the news, typically coming from the hospital spokesperson directly to the reporters, clearly stating that they are not basing their mask protection protocols on any medical concerns or ethical concerns, they’re basing medical decisions on a political football - the ending of the National Public Health Emergency declaration.
Rolling backwards in Madison Wisconsin
SSM Health will no longer require universal masking at its hospitals and clinics beginning Wednesday. Lisa Adams, a spokesperson with the healthcare provider, said as the National Public Health Emergency around COVID-19 is set to expire early May, SSM Health is taking steps to roll back some of the mitigation strategies they put in place during the height of the pandemic.
SSM Health verbatim states their rolling back mitigations is adjunctive to National Public Health Emergency expiring politically. So no science needed for this decision and no medical considerations, let alone the public health concerns of the community?
Politics over People in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
“Questions and comments about mask wearing are strongly discouraged,” UIHC responded to a list of frequently asked questions. “Members of the university community are expected to be respectful of one another’s personal decisions. Whether or not to wear a mask is a personal decision that each person must make for themselves and for their own reasons.” Wearing or not wearing a mask has become something of a political statement in addition to a means of reducing infection.
UIHC believes wearing masks is a political statement and it’s about personal decisions. They admit that it’s also a means to reducing infection - which means they’re stating that’s not their priority. Their priority is political.
If I were a patient of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics I’d check to find out what personal choices their surgeons make. Can they operate unmasked? Refuse to wash their hands first because maybe they’re personally against handwashing? Can their clinicians choose to use the same tongue depressor or speculum in all patients one after another based on political convictions?
What happens if someone decides to make disinfecting bedpans a political issue? Would doctors and hospital administrators be okay with patients being given their roommate’s used bedpan? If that sounds ridiculous, so should personal decisions about masks in healthcare settings. Because without masks, the clinicians or other people could potentially give you, the patient, a disease that puts you out of work on permanent disability, or puts you into the grave. When all that was needed to prevent that was a mask.
Patients seek care to improve their health. Healthcare providers have an ethical responsibility to DO NO HARM and ensure that they do not expose patients to COVID.
And what about the harm to the healthcare workers, the providers who will be unavailable to treat patients because of covid absences, disability, or worse? The healthcare workers have a higher rate of exposure to begin with and it is preventable.
This isn’t some small potatoes of deciding whether or not to wear a scarf today. And you don’t even get the option not to wear pants in most public settings. No shirt, no shoes, no service. Just add masks. It’s eminently practical.
What’s next? Will they say it's a personal choice to drive drunk, not use a child safety seat, smoke indoors, or carry bombs, knives, and guns onto airplanes? Nobody with sense would seriously assert these nonsense things in a modern society. So what is going on here?
What happens in Las Vegas… belongs behind a mask
Patients and staff have been required to wear masks inside Sunrise Health hospitals for nearly three years. But Wednesday, that mandate was lifted. "We have been waiting three long years to lose masks, so to see the beautiful faces of my coworkers, I can't even tell you what it does inside," said Jina Dick, intensive medical care coordinator at Southern Hills Hospital.
Here the intensive medical care coordinator at Southern Hills Hospital in Las Vegas justifies making safe care inaccessible to the high risk, and putting lives in danger, by citing waiting “to see the beautiful faces of my coworkers, I can't even tell you what it does inside." Las Vegas is known for sexual innuendo, but these are really unacceptable comments to hear from a person in management in a medical workplace.
Even putting the creep factor aside, healthcare worker management personnel wanting to see beautiful faces is NOT scientific, and it’s not evidence based medicine. It’s especially offensive regarding the Intensive Care department of a hospital where the most vulnerable of patients will be exposed when the coordinator’s potentially asymptomatic infected team are unmasked and spewing the virus throughout the ICU corridors and patient rooms.
What’s the matter with Kansas hospitals?
HCA Midwest Health provided a statement, saying: HCA Midwest Health has updated its universal masking policy based on the low COVID-19 Community Levels. Our policy is in alignment with Centers of Disease Control guidance that the intensity of COVID protection strategies should be based on the level of COVID-19 activity in the local community.
This is false because to be in alignment with the CDC guidance they would be using Community Transmission, NOT Community levels.
To allow for earlier intervention to prevent a strain on the health care system, the guidance recommends health care facilities use data on COVID-19 community transmission rather than COVID-19 community levels to guide certain practices.
HCA Midwest Health didn’t even read the CDC guidelines correctly. If I were a patient of this healthcare system, I’d want to know what other guidelines they’re misinterpreting where lives are on the line.
If community COVID-19 levels shirt to the high category, the hospital will likely announce it will shift back to stronger masking guidelines.
Lawrence Memorial Hospital also doesn’t know they’re supposed to look at Transmission because both Douglas County and Jackson County are rated at the HIGH category on the CDC Community Transmission scale.
There’s a reason to use Community Transmission and not Community Levels. Nobody who actually wants to prevent infections would use Community Levels as they are based on hospitalizations. It makes it even stranger that hospitals would use those because one would think they would already be aware of the hospitalization levels and would be using the data more relevant for prediction rather than to tell them what’s already happening at their own hospital.
Community transmission “is the metric currently recommended to guide select practices in healthcare settings to allow for earlier intervention, before there is strain on the healthcare system and to better protect the individuals seeking care in these settings,” the CDC said.
Do these hospital administrators even know what data they’re looking at and why? I get the feeling they’re just going through the political motions in citing any data at all.
Thanks to declining COVID-19 infection and hospitalization rates in Wichita and across Kansas, Wesley Healthcare today is lifting masking requirements and visitor restrictions at Wesley Medical Center and Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER, as well as at Wesley’s freestanding emergency rooms in West Wichita and Derby.
Wesley Healthcare claimed declining infection rates, and I can only assume they’re unaware that there is no higher Community Transmission level than High.
Because Wichita is in Sedgwick County where the Transmission status is High.
Over 40% of the United States is a HOT ZONE in March 2023.
“Community Levels” don’t tell you Community Transmission
It’s worse than just the confusion over Community Levels or Community Transmission. Even if they were using Transmission, that’s not exactly great science either considering that the data, even for that, is no longer robust. So even removing masks based on Community Transmission is based on flawed data.
The CDC’s current policy relies on the Community Transmission map, which grossly underestimates COVID-19 infection rates. Back in September 2021 the CDC estimated that only 1 in 4 COVID cases were reported. And in New York, for example, a spring 2022 study suggested that infections were underestimated by a factor of 30. This is because far fewer people are testing for COVID now that much required routine testing has ended, federal funding for COVID testing has diminished, and most home tests are not reported. Further, most low-wage workers don’t have paid sick time, and therefore many are incentivized or compelled to go to work with COVID, or to avoid testing.
I have heard a rumour that the CDC is being pressured to roll back transmission reporting even further. Then even the Community Transmission map such as it is, will be even less helpful in determining anything about the prevalence of the severe respiratory virus SARS-COV-2.
California makes sharp right turn into anti-mask
Masking in high-risk and health care settings: Beginning April 3, masks will no longer be required in indoor high-risk and health care settings. This includes health care, long-term care and corrections facilities as well as homeless, emergency and warming and cooling centers.
This sounds like they’re admitting that they don’t care if people in healthcare, long-term care, corrections facilities, and homeless centers die or become seriously ill from a preventable disease. Because they’re not saying people are no longer high-risk. They’re not saying these settings are no longer high-risk. They’re just no longer interested in protecting anyone.
With the conclusion of California’s COVID-19 pandemic emergency last week, the state’s Public Health Department unfurled a number of changes to once cemented health mandates related to the endemic virus.
Health mandates for the pandemic and endemic virus. These mitigations were in place for both pandemic and ongoing respiratory disease spread. So either way, nothing has changed in the medical science of disease spread. It’s a political decision.
So much for science! Backwards and darker, even in sunny California.
The VA - protecting some, but not all veterans
Officials said Friday the department will still require masks in facilities where transmission risk is considered high, and masks also will remain mandatory in areas where COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to vulnerable patients, such as inpatient medical and surgical units, intensive care, chemotherapy, dialysis and post-transplant units.
I haven’t researched this, but just the fact that VA patients are by definition veterans who at some point were on active duty in the military, probably means that the population has a higher percentage of patients in high risk categories. Institutions failing to care about what preventable calamity befalls veterans is unfortunately nothing new, but I expected better of the VA on following the science.
Bold claims that infection is safe in Denver, Colorado
I’m no lawyer but to me this sounds like some kind of lawsuit waiting to happen.
Why are mask mandates at UCHealth being lifted? COVID-19 is now endemic and people will continue to contract the virus. But the change in masking policies at health care facilities should give people confidence that we can live with the virus and can go on with normal life. “We consider it safe to lift mask mandates,” said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control for UCHealth and one of the top infectious disease experts in Colorado.
They are claiming incorrectly that covid is endemic - that’s not what any scientific body says - the pandemic is not over since the virus is still spreading with worldwide outbreaks continuing. But even if it was endemic, that’s generally a bad thing, and all the more reason to keep masking. Nobody would argue doing away with mosquito nets because malaria is endemic.
But more shockingly, they claim that people will continue to contract the virus but it is safe to not have masks and allow that to happen. And the reason they say it’s safe - because they changed the policy! That’s not how reality works. Things don’t magically become safe because the hospital policy changed or a government policy changed. They’ve got it backwards.
It certainly sounds like they are falsely asserting that nosocomial infection in UCHealth facilities is safe. That getting covid in their hospital will not lead to illness, long term disability, or death? It sounds like they are promising consequence-free hospital acquired covid infection. A very bold claim to make!
Nosocomial infections not being reported may hide some of the fallout of dropping masks in healthcare settings
Unfortunately the amount of nosocomial spread happening in these facilities, or anywhere else, is not being reported by the U.S. government. So it's a dice roll to trust anything they say.
“Not knowing what the likelihood of getting transmission in the hospital really impacts an individual’s ability to quote unquote ‘make a personal decision’ on their risk levels,” said Mia Ives-Rublee, a disability rights advocate who has a lung condition that makes her more susceptible to Covid. Over the four weeks ending June 19, U.S. hospitals reported an average of 1,457 patients per week had caught Covid during their stay, according to a POLITICO analysis of data from the Department of Health and Human Services. That follows a record month in January when more than 3,000 patients each week were infected while in the hospital.
I hope at least there are some hospitals actually following the science. I’m sending the People’s CDC Masks in Healthcare advocacy letter to Geisinger, the healthcare system I use, and also to my representatives in government, to insist on keeping safety measures like masks in healthcare settings since evidence shows that the threat remains.
It’s clear by words and actions that many healthcare institutions are not concerned about nosocomial spread in their facilities. Hospitals that drop masks, to seemingly promote hospital acquired covid, seem unconcerned about patient care in a way that’s very disturbing considering the horror shows we’ve heard about in past outbreaks during this ongoing pandemic. This hubris and delusional behaviour needs to be reigned in.
Without this data on SARS-CoV-2 nosocomial infection people do not have complete information. This lack of transparency makes it impossible to make fully informed decisions about healthcare risks, prevents people from pursuing medical care, and damages hospitals’ reputations by appearing to want to hide this data.
Science organizations and organizations full of scientists take cues from political decisions
It’s not just hospitals that are following the politics instead of established science. My local astronomy club now changed from requiring masks to recommending them - likely because the college observatory where the meetings take place made that change. And the college likely made the change in March because of the ending of the public health emergency declaration 2 months in the future. None of that is scientific.
Furries, often associated with being largely into tech & STEM, are also following the politics. Furry Weekend Atlanta is directly stating changing their covid protocols is not based on safety or science but based on financial considerations around the end of federal funding, citing that “paying for tests out-of-pocket would be cost-prohibitive for both attendees and the convention itself.”
I’ve heard of other venues also changing their mitigation requirements based solely on the end of the emergency declaration with no elaboration.
It’s similar to how most people were voluntarily masked at public places around Scranton Pennsylvania in March 2022. But then a Trump appointed judge in Florida sided with an anti-masker’s legal claim, and voila, the public transportation mask requirement was dropped, and some airplanes told people to take off their masks in mid-air exposing unwilling passengers. Later that week masking in northeastern Pennsylvania public places plummeted - even where people voluntarily masked before without complaint - very few people were masking anymore. Some people openly stated they believed it must be safe to unmask if airplanes, trains, and buses don’t even require it anymore! They never heard that the decision was NOT made based on science, but based on a political football being kicked around by a Trump appointed judge rated “not qualified” to even be a judge by the American Bar Association, let alone to be qualified in determining medical and public health matters.
Some people have even mentioned the PHE declaration ending by just saying the pandemic itself is slated to end in May, or that the threat of covid will no longer exist after May 11th. It seems preposterous that people don’t understand that the virus - and also reality - just don’t work that way, but I have a suspicion those people are not thinking things through.
The government is no longer addressing danger - surely that means there’s no longer danger???
For all the griping people have done about people’s faith in government being gone, they honestly seem to have a lot more blind faith in political cultism. And it wouldn’t be the first time a civilization abandoned good science by following a political cult movement - that’s exactly what seems to have happened to some city states of the Mayan civilization in Yucatan.
Auto Transcript: Bill Ringle: perhaps a better way to think about it is a political ideology and of course it had religious overtones - cult's perhaps the wrong word because it suggests something kind of small-scale and extra-governmental this was political ideology front and center George Bey: the maya knew about droughts they were probably a civilization designed to respond not only to managing rainwater but managing a lack of rainwater too it's not a surprise they left what becomes the question for us is why they don't come back Narrator: so why didn't stairway's residents and the king of Kiuic survive these droughts as they clearly had in the past the extreme intensity of these droughts was disastrous making a carefully managed response their only hope but bey and ringle speculate the north's political establishment was falling into disarray distracted by the cult of the feathered serpent Bill Ringle: the collapse in the northern mile apparently began during the 9th century and that's also the time period during which this feathered serpent ideology was introduced and this undoubtedly led to rivalries with respect to power brokering Narrator: Ringle thinks the political situation may have become so extreme that there was no longer any governmental system capable of organizing their return. with a stable government the northern maya might have survived but it wasn't to be and within a century the major cities and towns of the north just like the south were left in ruins today the empty jungles of the yucatan serve as a reminder that even great civilizations can fail
Science was politicized into a religion and cities fell into ruin when elites turned to clout chasing rather than maintaining infrastructure.
“When you boil all of this down, what you get to is an inevitable conclusion that these men do not want any real meaningful government action in the face of the pandemic. That it should be left to individual choice and the choice of businesses and the private sector. That is fundamentally when you take all their statements and you look at them, that’s what it is. And I’m sure that they’ll deny that and say, “Nope, that’s not what we’re advocating,” but you know.”
— Walker Bragman on Debunk the Funk with Dr. Wilson, talking about the Great Barrington Declaration aligned people testifying in Congress in February 2023
Today’s elite feathered serpent cult is individualism and they worship The Economy.