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Pandemic amnesty and pandemic justice
The Friday Pulse Check
Good morning and happy Friday. Welcome to the Friday Pulse Check.
In the news:
Is pandemic amnesty just political pandering?
Ron and I discussed a debate on the pages of the Atlantic and the National Review this week about pandemic amnesty. Pandemic amnesty is essentially the concept we should forgive and forget the mistakes some leaders made during the heights of the pandemic. We weren’t the only ones who shared a hot take. One fellow Substack-er took to the pages of her publication to say arguing for pandemic amnesty is just political pandering to white, suburban women who are reportedly leaning Republican in the upcoming midterm. I don’t agree with her, but we’re committed to open debate so I encourage you to read her column. I have more to say about pandemic amnesty and pandemic justice below. Read more on Relamination.
New RSV vaccines are coming
NBC News has referred to a possible “tripledemic” several times in the last few weeks and they are talking about the possibility of hospitals being overrun by people who have the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (aka RSV). Scientists at Pfizer say they have developed a new RSV vaccine that is given to pregnant mothers so that their child is protected at birth. Read more in Vox.
Quarterly earnings are out; who’s up and who’s down?
The publicly traded drug manufactures released their quarter three earnings this past week. Moderna (MRNA 0.00%↑) is reporting a $1 billion (or 69%) loss in net income over 2021’s third quarter. Eli Lilly ( LLY 0.00%↑ ), Merk (MRK 0.00%↑), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK 0.00%↑), and Johnson and Johnson (JNJ 0.00%↑) all reportated gains. Read more in Becker’s Hospital Review.
Ron and I decided to do a hot take on this idea on the FLATLINING Podcast this week. One the one hand, most of us want to move on from the pandemic and get on with our lives. The pandemic was long, arduous, and completely changed our lives. It makes sense to move on.
I understand the other side too, though. There were definitely mistakes made and it is human nature to want to correct those mistakes, sometimes with justice. Deservedly or not, however, those who are pushing extremely hard for “pandemic justice” (I’ll trademark that) are also the people who, from the beginning, were contrarian to every piece of guidance that came from anyone in power.
I generally agreed with Emily Oster’s take in the Atlantic. She, like many sensible people, acknowledged that mistakes were made and that some of them were deadly (ie. putting COVID-19 positive patients in nursing homes). Ms. Oster also recognizes that this constant contrarian attitude, this desire to constantly prove to others they’re wrong and tear them down is dangerous to our country.
President Biden thinks our democracy is at stake; he has said so repeatedly as he stumps for the Democrats ahead of next week’s midterm. The president believes it is because of Republicans who think the 2020 election was stolen. I believe that the greater threat comes from the extreme, bipolar conversations taking place in left and right-wing media, in universities, and even in our families.
Let me know what you think in the comments below or Tweet me (I won’t be leaving just because Elon Musk owns it). I’m @radioHandley on Twitter.
Also on the podcast, Ron and I discussed Medicaid enrollment numbers and what patients and providers need to be prepared for during the (now ongoing) Affordable Care Act open enrollment period.
Check it out wherever you listen to podcasts.
Ukraine’s health minister, Ihor Kuzin, is warning the world that the war in their country is hindering their ability to control a polio outbreak. Vaccinations for polio and other diseases were suspended in the early days of the war leaving many children unprotected against severe diseases. Additionally, an oral polio vaccine has been used in lieu of the inability to inncoulate children via an injection. That oral vaccine is a live virus vaccine and could be the cause of the current Ukrainian outbreak. Read more in the World via MSN.
Last week I told you about a (big) oopsie from Michigan Health. Four employees fell for a phishing scam and more than 33,000 patients’ personal health information may have been compromised. Now the Senate Intelligence Committee is warning about just how vulnerable US healthcare facilities are to cyber attacks.
The report claims that personal health information can be more valuable than credit card or banking information on the black market with some data be sold anywhere between $10 to $1,000 per record. The congressional committee also called for a government “reinsurance” program to help insurance companies recover from cyber attacks. It is possible the report will trigger some campaigning to strengthen HIPPA further.
Have a good weekend and don’t forget to set your clock back an hour on Saturday night and vote on Tuesday.