By Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD |
These days more and more apparently intelligent people seem to upspeak. That’s the irritating “Valley Girl” inflection where every sentence sounds like a question. Don’t these people trust their own thoughts and words?
Perhaps upspeakers’ brains are fried after being fed a steady diet of DEI, ESG, and BIPOC. For the uninitiated, these initials stand for “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion”, a corporate stock/investment rating based on Environmental awareness, Social justice and (right-minded) Governance to enhance the lives of “Black, Indigenous, People of Color.” “Privilege” gets the full word. White people must “check their privilege at the door” and shut up under the current era of Stalinesque cancel culture.
Black American slaves used to have some version of Simon Legree as their master. Now the woke white liberals have assumed that role. Even views BIPOCs as helpless morons whom only the government can rescue.
Of course, little BIPOCs are the perfect unsuspecting targets. Despite parental objections, new school curricula include Marxist inspired critical race theory that teaches children to hate others based on skin color. Instead of learning the 3 Rs, kindergarteners are encouraged to explore their gender identity and question the family structure . The latest data show that only 35 percent of 4 th graders are proficient in reading and 41 percent are proficient in math. Instead of learning the necessary skills to race to the top of the ladder of success, they have the tools to win the victim triathlon. The prize: dependency on government resources.
COVID-19 added a new ingredient to the melting pot. Brown-skinned Americans fare more poorly with COVID than whites. Some reasons are sociological , such as crowded living conditions, working in service jobs that cannot be done from home, and inconsistent access to health care. Some reasons may be physiological. Studies have shown racial differences in the body’s ACE-2 receptors. These receptors help control inflammation, especially in cells lining the blood vessels . These are the sites where the “spike” protein of the SARS-Co-V-2 virus (that causes COVID-19) enter and infect healthy cells throughout the body. Notably, there may be more ACE-2 receptors in patients with hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease—conditions plaguing black Americans . Moreover, people with brown skin have lower levels of Vitamin D, a factor in the risk of contracting a SARS-Co-V-2 infection and the severity of COVID-19.
Knowing the higher risk, the DEI folks should have launched an education campaign informing BIPOCs about non-prescription supplements like quercetin, zinc, and vitamin D, as well as prophylaxis or early treatment with inexpensive medications ( hydroxychloroquine , ivermectin , and fluvoxamine , among others) that can significantly reduce symptoms and prevent hospitalizations and deaths.
Instead, the public health gurus waited for vaccines. The guise of “ vaccine equity ” drew attention away from legitimate concerns about the shots. Despite the increased susceptibility to COVID-19, black Americans remain skeptical of the shot. Folks still remembered the instances where the underserved were “helped” by the government. The 1932 Tuskegee syphilis study denied a group of black men treatment for 40 years. Without informed consent, an experimental measles vaccine was administered to babies starting in 1987. After too many African and Haitian children deaths to ignore, the program was halted.
Able to read, BIPOCs learned about the serious side effects that include sometimes fatal blood clots, facial paralysis, possible menstrual problems, heart inflammation , among others. They wondered why the less effective Johnson & Johnson vaccine was sent to underserved neighborhoods. They wondered why the government had to offer $116 million in prizes , trucks, and customized firearms to encourage people to get the shot. They wondered why the government was going door to door to find BIPOCs to whom to give shots.
In order to swoop in to the rescue, the government-pharmaceutical complex could not allow the 34 million Americans who have had documented COVID-19 or a SARS-CoV-2 infection to depend on their natural immunity . Like a virus escaping from a lab or jumping from a pangolin to infect humans, the government control expanded from BIPOCs to privileged white folks.
What are we to do about the tension between addressing real health disparities and recognizing that racial disparities are used as a cover for manipulating society? Together we rip off the mask of benevolence. As ethical physicians, we pledge to treat all individuals with dignity and respect. We will explain the risks and benefits of their options and let patients decide. As active citizens, we demand prophylaxis, treatments of our choice, and the freedom to choose to receive or decline the shot. We take advantage of the law. A number of courts have been on the patient’s side.
By Catherine Barrett |
Following the dissatisfaction with the education system last year, the Superintendent of Public Instruction race this year is bound to witness a huge turnout of parents and taxpayers. The recent school closings have been a source of frustration for many parents since they have coughed up a significant amount of money to keep their children in school.
The education system has not been kind to the parents due to the coronavirus outbreak, which forced all schools closed in order to avoid putting students at risk of contracting the virus. However, the education sector has not been resilient in its work and should have invented preventive measures to ensure that students returned to learning after a short period. The closing of schools indefinitely caused the taxpayer’s money to be wasted as money was already dispersed to the Department of Education to cater to education needs.
The general public is disappointed by the fact that around 7.1 billion dollars were spent on education, yet schools remained closed for a more extended period than deemed necessary by some.
Most working-class parents have been frustrated by the closures since their children needed extra care than they would have if schools were opened. Some financially unstable families also depend on schools for childcare and food for their children. The parents were forced to spend more to cater to their children’s welfare when they had already paid for school fees and taxes to keep them in school. This was a extra burden as some parents lost their jobs during the pandemic, and some had to close their business permanently. With more than 124,000 schools closed, many children were affected, and some were forced to drop out of schools after they reopened due to challenging financial situations their families faced.
Catherine Barrett, an Arizona Master Teacher, has been called “the bravest teacher advocate in the state” by educators and lawmakers. She holds Masters degree in Education and had been teaching for 19 years.
After two federal agencies recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced on Friday it is advising providers to resume use of the one-dose vaccine.
The ADHS announcement follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory expressing confidence that the vaccine is safe and effective in preventing COVID-19.
The two federal agencies had recommended a pause in use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine based on six reported U.S. cases, out of 6.8 million doses administered nationally, of a rare and severe type of blood clot in vaccinated individuals. The ADHS determination said available data suggest the chance of this reaction is very low, though the CDC and FDA said they will remain vigilant in continuing to investigate this risk.
So far in Arizona, 226,300 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been allocated, of which approximately 122,000 have been administered.
Information provided with the vaccine will advise patients about extremely low potential for thrombosis-thrombocytopenia syndrome, which involves blood clots and low blood platelet counts. This very rare syndrome was identified primarily in females between the ages of 18 and 49.
Information about all vaccination sites across Arizona can be found at azhealth.gov/findvaccine.
By the Free Enterprise Club |
Vaccines should always be voluntary and never be forced. But COVID-19 came in like a wrecking ball last year, and perhaps its most significant contribution to the world has been an overwhelming growth in government overreach.
From the abuse of emergency orders to the senseless “mask mandates,” some government officials have leapt at the chance to dangle the carrot of “normalcy” in the faces of their citizens in order to take away more of their freedoms. Unfortunately, many have taken the bait. And now, we find ourselves at a crossroads.
The latest promise to return to normal comes in the form of “vaccine passports.” This ridiculous concept would serve as “proof” that a person has been vaccinated so he or she can have access to all the freedoms they should already be able to enjoy as an American citizen. As you would expect, Big Tech is first in line to team up with the government on such an initiative. And New York has already implemented the “Excelsior Pass” so that its citizens can “be a part of [the state’s] safe reopening.” (Given Governor Cuomo’s handling of the pandemic, what could go wrong?)
But nothing about this is normal.
It’s not normal for companies to collect the private health data of individuals. And it’s certainly not normal to force American citizens to submit to certain medical procedures as the price of doing business.
Thankfully, some of our lawmakers here in Arizona have not fallen asleep on this issue. Earlier this month, Congressman Andy Biggs introduced his No Vaccines Passports Act. This piece of legislation would prevent federal agencies from issuing any standardized documentation that could be used to certify a U.S. citizen’s COVID-19 status to a third party, such as a restaurant or an airline.
And just a few days ago, Arizona became the sixth state to ban COVID-19 passports when Governor Ducey signed Executive Order 2021-09. This prevents state agencies, counties, cities, and towns from issuing measures that require an individual to provide documentation of their COVID-19 vaccination status in to order to enter a business, building, or area to receive a government service, permit, or license. It also prevents businesses that contract with the state to provide services to the public from requiring documentation.
While this is certainly a step in the right direction, Governor Ducey’s executive order still allows for businesses, schools, and health providers to ask about an individual’s vaccine status.
That’s why lawmakers should consider additional action on this issue. One option being considered is HB2190. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Bret Roberts (R-LD11) and Sen. Kelly Townsend (R-LD16), would prohibit a company that conducts business in Arizona from refusing to provide everyday services, transportation, or admission because a person does not divulge whether they have received a particular vaccine. It would also prohibit a state, county, or local government entity from offering anyone a special privilege or incentive to receive a vaccine.
Currently, HB2190 is awaiting action in the senate, and negotiations are underway on potential amendments to the bill. Regardless of what those amendments are, Arizona lawmakers need to work toward stopping vaccine passports. They are a serious threat to our civil liberties. And while we all want to return to normal, we must remember that “normal” shouldn’t come with a price tag.
By Terri Jo Neff |
An effort by the Arizona Legislature to craft permanent legislation to prevent a person from being denied access to businesses, government facilities, and even their child’s school unless they showed proof of being vaccination for COVID-19 was pushed aside Monday when Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order about the issue.
Under Executive Order 21-09, most private businesses in Arizona will be free to refuse service to “a customer” who does not provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Only companies which receive state funding to provide services to the public are banned from inquiring about someone’s status, although Ducey’s order does not protect those citizens who cannot receive a vaccine for a medical reason
“While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not mandated in our state — and it never will be,” Ducey said in announcing his latest COVID related executive order. “Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government.”
Daycares, schools, colleges, and universities would still be able to ask about a student’s vaccination record as already allowed by law, but parents could not be asked about their own vaccination status if the educational program receives any state funding.
In addition, hospitals and other healthcare facilities can inquire about the vaccination status of patients, prospective patients, vendors, visitors, and staff, even if the organization receives state funds.
There was initially some confusion Monday morning about what EO 2021-09 encompassed, as Ducey’s official Twitter account read “I’ve issued an Executive Order banning ‘vaccine passports’ and preventing state and local governments from requiring Arizonans to provide their #COVID19 vaccination status to receive service or enter an area.”
Many took the first sentence to mean businesses could not impose a vaccine requirement on customers. However, that misinterpretation was quickly corrected by the rest of the governor’s comments.
Ducey noted in the executive order that no person should be compelled to disclose their private health information -including their vaccination record- to a government entity as a condition of receiving services, obtaining a license or permit, or entrance to a public facility unless state law already requires proof of vaccination.
He added that federal and state laws allow individuals to refuse to be vaccinated, and that “it is not and will not be mandated in the State of Arizona.”
EO 2021-09 also prohibits any other state subdivision -including cities towns, counties, and state agencies- from adopting a policy or ordinance that contradicts the governor’s order. This ensures cities, towns, and counties cannot demand proof of vaccinations for people to use public parks and other public recreational and entertainment amenities.
Rep. Bret Roberts (R-LD11) first introduced legislation to ban such “vaccine passports” in Arizona. His effort was taken up by Sen. Kelly Townsend on March 28 in the form of HB2190, which would have protected Arizonans from having to divulge their vaccination record to shop, dine, or do most everyday activities.
HB2190 hit a snag in early April over concerns that it did not allow healthcare providers nor business owners to inquire about vaccination status of their employees. Negotiations have been underway all month on possible amendments to Townsend’s bill.
For his part, Roberts announced his support for EO 2021-09, noting Ducey’s “reasons for doing so are sound.” But he went on to note that many of those sounds reasons “also apply to the private sector.”
“No one should be required to give up their medical history to participate in commerce,” Roberts tweeted Monday morning. “When all businesses require it the individuals choice is lost. Allowing private business to do this amounts to segregation.”
Roberts also expressed concern that executive orders are intended to be temporary. After the governor’s announcement, Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-LD4) said SB2190 should be voted on in the coming days as it “solves the issue with businesses requiring vaccine mandates.”
Also on Monday, Ducey rescinded a section of his EO 2020-51 which had directed K-12 schools to require masks.
“We will continue to work with public health professionals and Arizona’s schools as more students return to the classroom and our state moves forward,” the governor said.