From Julia Carrie Wong at The Guardian we learn how hydroxychloroquine became a coronavirus "miracle cure." It began in March with a study out of France that didn't draw treatment and control groups from the same population and didn't ensure that physicians didn't know which treatment they were giving out -- that's basic science, you know -- plus they gave some-but-not-all patients an additional antibiotic (at which point you don't really know whether the drug did its work or not!), plus they used a tabulating loophole to be able to claim a "100% cure rate" that didn't exist. Then a drama king study co-author made a viral social media video, fellow drama king Elon Musk tweeted about it to his 33 million followers, and drama king right-wing news outlets (including Fox News) banged the saucepan about it. And then our drama king President (who, not incidentally, has a small financial interest in a corporation that makes the drug) jumped on the bandwagon. Not for nothing, but not only have folks have killed themselves taking this drug, but other patients who need the drug for its intended purposes have less of it now, proving, again, that it's too short a walk from government stifles the individual to only I matter!
From Eileen Applebaum and Rosemary Batt at Naked Capitalism we learn "What Wall Street Doesn’t Want You to Know About Hospital Emergency Rooms." This will explain -- better than anyone else has, I think -- why you get all those surprise medical bills from your ER visit! A doctor might work in a hospital emergency room, but her employer will be a "physician staffing firm" that the hospital contracts to run the ER -- and that "physician staffing firm" will likely be out of your health insurance corporation's network, hence the surprise bills. Hey, guess what you wouldn't have to worry about if Medicare covered all Americans? Networks, that's what. But if you think BIG GUMMINT!!!1111 shouldn't run health care, you would have to explain why you think hedge fund managers should -- or you'd have to come up with an alternative that isn't "the free market," since "the free market" got us into this mess. In the meantime, you should look at TeamHealth's firing of Dr. Lin (for blowing the whistle on equipment shortages and bad hospital safety practices) as, well, exactly the sort of thing that happens in a totalitarian state. And then ask yourself whether you can vote out, or put popular pressure on, hedge fund managers the way you can do on our elected officials.
From Suze Wilson at The Conversation we learn how New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Arderns's handling of the coronavirus pandemic "is giving most Western politicians a masterclass in crisis leadership." As often happens, a lot of leadership is messaging -- "stay home to save lives" puts the action and the goal pretty succinctly -- but it's also about having a plan early, sticking to it, and getting people to buy in without threatening the Heavy Hand of Law Enforcement (that latter tool a favorite of those leaders who don't get it right early). And it's also about being genuinely accessible to your bosses, the people, which for Ms. Arderns happens in daily briefings that don't go completely off the rails, as well as in live Q-and-A sessions on Facebook. And where American punditoids flail about demanding a "date certain" when they can go back to their favorite coffee shop again, New Zealand stands virtually alone among Western nations in setting a goal to eradicate COVID-19, instead of just hoping we get through it. In short, I couldn't blame you for turning this into a big "Goofus and Gallant" strip with Ms. Arderns as Gallant and our President as a diaper-loaded Goofus.