Bye, Bye: President Terrible

Commentary.

We knew it was coming, didn’t we, a long time ago? No, not impeachment No. 1. No, not impeachment No. 2. I’m talking the arch of his character crash merely days before his final exodus. Did it begin in the 1970s in the Big Apple with rash and in your face developer Donald Trump, who talked trash against anyone, women especially. Or the last four years as he belittled anyone who opposed him, who failed repeatedly in carrying out promised policy, like healthcare, the futile mess of the coronavirus, and other ineptitudes, and thousands of falsehoods leading to the denial of losing the presidency, amid a cascade of untruths that the election was rigged, tainted and simply wrongly counted, in ways he roused his followers to destruction and death at the Capitol. In many ways, Trump stood in the mirror of his sharpest attacks against others: nasty, terrible, loathsome , despicable, no good, in the view of many.

When Trump wouldn’t disclose his tax returns, when he embraced the wrong side at Charlottesville, when he talked about hurricanes with a Sharpie, when he, when he, when he, ……….

Remember he was going to promulgate the greatest healthcare ever. Remember when he was going to knock the coronavirus on its collective butt, yet didn’t bother wearing a mask as even a symbol to help people, and when the number of deaths soared, he disappeared, and the logistics of vaccines vanished in the maze of this presidency. Speaking of vanishing — when — where were those taxes of his anyway?

Remember when he said would not lose votes even if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue.

Remember he’s the President of the United States who has made about 20,000 false or misleading statements, according to the Washington Post.

Remember he’s the guy who said “love you” to those who erupted and trashed through the U.S. Capitol, in a riot that left 5 people dead. When his Vice President Mike Pence could have been in danger from the hoodlums, extremists and zealots, – did Trump try to intervene, and say he was sad?

He’s the one-term who’s now been impeached twice, he is Super Hit 1 in the gallery of impeachments.

He’s Super Hit Worst President.

The sad thing is, he got away with his terribleness for too long, too many of his followers looked away, too many Republicans stood by his side, and the first Democratic led impeachment process a year ago was a fiasco in its too many bungled accusations buried in legalese, and trumped by former AG Barr.

For the health of all of us, — yes even the 71 million who voted for Trump (what were they thinking?) – Wednesday shines bright, a new day. A day that Donald Trump will leave the White House.

Joe Cantlupe – Health Data Buzz

A Shaken Country

America trembled tonight.

This evening, inside the Capitol in Washington D.C. as lawmakers tried again to count the electoral college votes to reaffirm Joe Biden as the next President of the United States, there was oratory from the mouths of lawmakers covered with masks.

They were shaken. The turmoil of the Trump presidency is not flagging. Through Trump’s entreaties, chaos ruled today as his supporters attacked and rushed inside the Capitol, causing destruction, resulting in injury and even a death.

The stain on our democracy won’t be erased, said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, senator of New York.

Too many people believed in Trump over truth, said Sen. Corey Booker of New Jersey.

There was no theft of the Trump presidency as his mob of supporters thought. Instead, Trump is stealing our soul.

We live in the shadow of the COVID-19, which reached its highest daily death count yesterday. The crowds will result in even more illness and death.

Today, even covid seemed secondary.

Our mental health, our psyche was cracked by this attack in DC.

“A house divided against itself cannot stand,” said Abraham Lincoln.

It can’t.

— Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

2021: Walking Backward

It’s over, done, but I never knew as 2020 slogged on, the pandemic year, that I would want to hold on to it, a bit more.

When many people think of 2020, it may have been a bit easier to think of gratitude and less so of happiness.

Happiness seems to crush the reality of 2020, it seems for many many people, especially those who lost loved ones because of COVID-19.

For me, too, not because of covid. My wife died a few weeks ago of cancer and yet I hold on to 2020. Only weeks before, I was drafting a story to write off 2020 as a complete disaster. Now I miss most of 2020, of course.

In her journals over the years, and in her life, Michele, an education writer, held on to moments of gratitude and happiness that she searched and lived for, and embraced with her many friends and family members. These are things I’m trying to learn.

A decade ago, she wrote: “Happy New Year and New Decade!!!!”

“I have so much to be grateful for. I can walk, jog, think, talk, connect, sing, I can learn,” she wrote.

She mentioned about being grateful for her family and even a 22-inch snow, and to “be able to shovel snow from that snowfall!”

“Today, I’m grateful for too much work because that means I have some!” I can see her excitement in the curls of her words, the exquisite penmanship.

In a Happiness Project journal, several years later, walking still brought and continued to deliver much joy for her. “I know I shouldn’t keep writing about my walks,” Michele wrote, but they were certainly a highlight.

For me, I’m grateful for those in healthcare who worked like crazy not only for my wife but for others, during this pandemic. I’m also grateful for the cascade of cards and letters, from people who expressed sympathy and echoed reminders of the joys of being together, with her.

On a national level, I’m grateful for the glimmer of hope in the presidential election as the harsh mirage of Donald Trump eventually escapes as the pandemic will itself, and the vaccines take hold. Grateful.

Happiness, well, I’m not there.

“Times does not heal,” observed a former colleague, a wise editor who lost his wife 33 years ago. “ If anything time numbs the memories.”

As Michele would say, it’s time for a walk. – Joe Cantlupe, HealthDataBuzz

No Goodbyes

I knew I was running late, and virtually sprinted to the doctor’s office, on the second floor. I had a small card, a symbol of thanks, in my hand. I wanted to see the doctor and tell her, just to look into her eyes as my wife did for years, looking for hope, even the illusion of it, which I had none.

The doctor’s office was closed, and I was despondent and headed to the elevators. Then the door opened slightly, and I recognized the secretary, who let me in. I was welcomed into the waiting room where I sat down and saw the doctor and she waved that she would come by soon.

They all tried, for a long time. My wife didn’t want extraordinary measures at the end, and waved off the doctors. There was a small oxygen mask, and the breathing ritual still haunts me, it seems like she needed to work too hard.

The metastatic breast cancer moved seemingly everywhere, the liver, the brain. When it hit the brain, the constant light of confidence in Michele’s eyes noticeably dimmed. My wife became more frail as the months went on, but she kept working, and even wondered herself why she did. She held her laptop and wrote away, until she was too tired for another word.

I still need to process all that went on, her battle with cancer over the years, how it went away and we were so joyous for that time, and how it returned and did so with a vengeance. She had these pains in her back and thought it was rheumatoid arthritis, and scans showed differently, the cancer had spread. “Devastating,” she said. Still, she didn’t fold. The end came, last Saturday.

As cancer works its march, the headlines over the past year turned to the major healthcare concern of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, that still drops bombs everywhere.

A month ago, she was a cancer patient facing the prospect of not only being in the hospital, there was the concern and worry over treatments, and the haunting spectacle of the coronavirus was there. There were rumors, then whispers that someone on the staff had the virus and had to stay away from work. A patient down the hall had it too.

So that confounded the fears, certainly, about the cancer sickness. Was covid also part of the growing concern? It was not, inevitably, but there was worry and stress.

In her final hours, as she struggled to talk, no words came out, just a flurry of gestures. Her grip remained strong, and that gave me hope, silly me. The nurses were remarkable, checking on her comfort levels, talking to her gently, asking if she needed anything. They were doting, loving friends to her, even at the end. It could have been another day and they would be having coffee.

When I saw the doctor, she told me how they had a nickname for her, the “little sparrow,” how she continued to bring joy and meaning with every visit, as she became more frail.

The great French singer, Edith Piaf, had that nickname. It was a culture and language that Michele embraced. “Non, je ne regrette rien,” Piaf sang, “no regrets.”

Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

Health care officials’ plea for Trump to share vital COVID-19 info with Biden team to save “countless lives.” Sorry, busy tweeting..

President Donald Trump goes to his bunker, his twitter account. He crows about the election, I won, damn it, I won.

Trump keeps tooting his unmusical tunes. Now 250,000 Americans have died because of COVID-19, which is ravaging the country. President Elect Joe Biden’s transition team is trying to coordinate with the White House to begin getting a handle on this virus. He’s being shut out.

Trump stays out of sight unless on the golf course. His team is shying away from being responsible, from officials of the Department of Health and Human Services to the General Services Administration.

Concerned health advocates are asking the Trump Administration to share “all critical COVID-19 information” with Biden’s transition team, which it has refused to do. Typically whiny kindergartners, some of the Trump bunch. Give me my candy, give me my candy.

A letter from the American Medical Association (AMA), American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Nurses Association (ANA) expresses “fears about the rising number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths that will increase greatly through the holiday season.”

“Confronting the challenges of the pandemic is imperative to saving American lives,” they wrote to the Trump administration. “Real time data and information on the supply of therapeutics, testing supplies, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital bed capacity and workforce availability to plan for further deployment of the nation’s assets needs to be shared to save countless lives.”

Haunting chants before Thanksgiving, a day of sharing and giving.

Our country was built on that premise. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving holiday in the midst of a terrible Civil War.

Again, we are at war, against the virus. Sorry, the president is busy tweeting. — Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

Unmasked Man Hiding in ‘The People’s House’

The White House is also known as the “People’s House,” – us, the U.S., Americans. We vote the presidents in, and then we vote them out.

We voted Trump out. He’s dilly-dallying. It’s been days now, and he can’t get around to saying he lost. It’s just not in him. He can’t do it. The longer it takes, I would think the harder it would be. He’s in some hole. It’s like when Clarence Thomas didn’t say anything year after year on the Supreme Court. At what point, what’s that key moment where you jump in, and say, “Hey, I’m here.” It’s almost like the kid in geography class who sat in the back, ducked being called on, never raised his hand, and then suddenly emerges and says, “I know the capital of Alaska! You know?!!!!”

Remember Trump wore a mask sometimes after he came down with COVID-19. It didn’t seem he liked it much. He often went to events over these last nine months not only not wearing a mask, but mocking the idea of having to cover one’s face with one.

The thing is, there are people who respect leaders like the President and follow his example, no matter how wrong it is. Too many people don’t wear masks when they are close to other people, and that fosters the spread of COVID-19.

More than 242,000 people have died in the U.S., and there are more than 10 million cases. Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predict there will be 260,000 to 282,000 coronavirus deaths by Dec. 5.

Tonight, I got this message from “Trump, Pence Make America Great Again!”

“Joseph, As I have long said, the success of a coronavirus vaccine would only be announced after the Election.”

“Pfizer and the others probably didn’t have the courage to to make this HISTORIC announcement before Nov 3rd, because they hoped it would keep me from WINNING BIG.”

“The truth is if Joe Biden were president, you wouldn’t have the vaccine for another four years….”””……….

lalalalalalalaalalalaal and on and on.. garbage.

President -Elect Biden is starting to put a team together to deal with COVID-19 as a top priority. Trump is having trouble getting out of the people’s basement.

Trump can help save people. He can’t save face by winning another term. But he can save people. Tell people to cover their faces with masks.

“People, wear a mask,” he can say. — Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels

Say it’s so Joe: Biden thumps Trump

Joe Biden can go home again. Born in Pennsylvania, the state lifted him to victory.

For a long time Donald Trump derided Biden, the former vice-president, as “Sleepy Joe.” Trump has made his presidency a litany of awful, terrible comments about people. Sleepy Joe is one of the least harsh.

Today the man Trump described as Sleepy Joe gave him a rude wakeup call.

Biden became the 46th President, winning the White House and making Trump the first one-term president in more than 25 years.

And it’s also made Trump what he really hates:

A loser. — Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

Trump: Hazardous To Our Health

In a few days from now, maybe it just won’t seem to matter. He may be considered a lame duck on the public dole.

Or not.

The head-spinning, out of bounds presidency of Donald Trump, the babbling pseudo-tycoon with the laser lies, may come to a near halt.

Or not.

I keep thinking about a few weeks ago as Trump stood outside the White House, taking off his mask, chillingly looking like a dictator as he stared down the cameras, then smiled, and waved. He was just released from the hospital after being treated for three days because of the coronavirus. The disease that is wracking the country and the world meandered through the bloated body of the leader of the free world.

After Trump was cleared to go out on the campaign trail, I had this tiny bit of hope that Trump may have had some thoughts about consequences and ramifications of that disease, and it would slow down or reduce his lying and replace it with humility. Of course not. That did not happen. He is still the manic mauler of facts, the ultimate spinmeister. It’s scary to think of him in the White House for four more years. One of our very worst presidents. Tear up the history books. Put Warren G. Harding aside.

Trump got COVID, is on the mend. Yet he continues to deny science, and the pandemic itself, lashes out at doctors. No hint of any kindness in his body, no remorse for failing to properly lead, for misstating the facts, or saying, “Hey, everyone should have worn masks a long time ago.”

Remember Trump was impeached? It seemed eons ago, no? For enlisting the assistance of Ukraine in his past campaign. It seems like an asterisk.

Yet Trump’s dismissive actions about the coronavirus probably cost tens of thousands of lives, and for that alone, he should be removed from office. Everyone with pre-existing conditions, seriously, can you believe this guy will help you? There will never be a TrumpCare. There is a Trump-Doesn’t-Care. Except for himself.

Donald Trump is like a burning cigarette, hazardous to our health.

Do we take one more drag on this filthy, odorous presidency, or stomp it out? – Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz

Our pre-existing condition

It was as if a couple of guys in their 70s were at the dinner table, ready to bang heads over just about anything. And of course, it was usually Uncle Don who interrupted, throwing a fork of lies into the spaghetti and meatballs, slobbering himself. His mouth was full of venom. Nowhere to turn, nowhere to hide. Said Uncle Joe, “C’mon Man!”

The debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was that crazy dinner table. Nixon-Kennedy, geez, they were nice. Remember when it appeared that Nixon was sweating and it cost him votes. Ah, a simpler time. I asked someone if she watched the debate, and she read a bit about it as it was going on, and just went to bed. She didn’t want to interrupt her sleep. They were shouting, and I was listening on the car radio. Later I forced myself to take glimpses of it on my computer screen. Numbers kept jumping up at me despite the turmoil and vitriol, those health-related figures. We’ve got only so many days before we either oust Trump or elect Biden.

The name of this blog is Health Data Buzz and as one of my kids tells me, “Dad, too often it’s not about the numbers.” He is right.

The numbers:

One million.

One million people have died around the world from COVID-19. Tragic, terrible, awful. Sorry, that was a few days ago. It’s now at 1,010,147. according to the Johns Hopkins Data Center. There are 206,494 deaths in the U.S.

There are a mind-boggling 33,785,178 covid cases around the world. It’s been well documented how sluggish and stutter-stepped our response has been. Finally, there is a consensus: wear a mask. Wear a mask. That’s not the only final answer, but its helpful. Our president and some of his — yes, even health officials — don’t wear masks all the time.

Pre-existing conditions

Many people in this country have pre-existing health conditions. They might have cardiovascular problems, diabetes, sleep apnea, any of the long-term or chronic conditions. Medicine and pills are their steady companions as they lean on advice from their doctors. And then they worry as the medical bills arrive. To get better, they are told to reduce stress, breathe deeply — then the medical bills pile up.

Biden says about 100 million people have pre-existing health conditions — and these people could lose their health insurance should the Affordable Care Act be eliminated. Trump says that isn’t the case. The numbers appear to be in the middle, from 53.8 million to 102 million, according to NBC News. citing different studies. The thing is, if the Affordable Care Act is wiped out — and nothing put in its place – millions will lose health coverage, and now at the time of COVID-19, that’s pretty devastating. Trump says he would protect pre-existing coverage, but supports a lawsuit trying to overcome the Affordable Care Act.

COVID-19 has been devastating to Black Americans. Biden cited a figure that 1 in 1,000 African-Americans have been killed because of the coronavirus. Vox confirmed the numbers, referring to a report from the APM Research Lab.

Covid testing, for one thing, has been not equal, which is inexcusable, and that is costing too many lives. And there’s Trump. Having a real chance to condemn white supremacy. He opened his mouth. He could have done it. He didn’t.

For years, the Affordable Care Act was simply called Obamacare because it was enacted under the Obama administration.

I wonder if the name is truly and deeply one of the main reasons why Trump detests the law so much. Just a thought.

$750

And, another nagging number, just rolling around my brain. $750.

If I was another Joe — Biden, that is — I would stamp that $750 all over the place as a campaign slogan. Don’t Trump supporters care about that $750?

Of course, $750 represents the amount of taxes that President Trump paid the year he was elected president. For most of the last two decades he’s paid zero taxes, according to The New York Times.

Yes, the Art of the Tax Avoidance.

There are other kinds of avoidances, too, even deadlier.

In Bob Woodward’s book “Rage,” the famed journalist discloses contents of 18 recorded interviews with Trump.

Trump, in his own words, said that he knew about how bad the pandemic was, but downplayed it — not revealing it until it was too late, according to Woodward’s book.

It’s an outrage. – Joe Cantlupe, Health Data Buzz