Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Former City of Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr Leana Wen, "It Will Take 10 Years To Inoculate 80% of Americans."

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 According to American physician and op-ed columnist with the Washington Post Dr. Leana Wen, at the current rate of COVID-19 vaccinations, it will take the United States 10 years to inoculate 80% of Americans. 10 years! According to the CDC, 2.1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered over the past two weeks. I know that sounds like a lot, but it is really not. It is estimated that 80 to 85% of Americans need to be vaccinated in order to reach herd immunity. According to Dr. Leana Wen, "80 % of the American population is around 264 million people, so we need to administer 528 million doses to achieve herd immunity. At that rate, it would take the United States approximately 10 years to reach that level of inoculation."

It was only a week or two ago that the federal government stated that every American would be able to have the vaccine by approximately June. According to Dr. Wen, the only way to achieve that goal is to have 3.5 million vaccinations a day, and it sure looks like that is not going to happen. 

Hang in there everybody. This is going to take a while.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

On The Flint Water Crisis: Contributed To Purple Walrus Press By Flint Water Crisis Activist Melissa Mays.

Photo Purple Walrus Press.

I have been asked repeatedly since August 2020 what I think about the proposed settlement of $641.2 million from the State of Michigan, City of Flint, Rowe Engineering and McLaren Hospital for the personal, property and business damages to Flint residents due to the ongoing Flint Water Crisis. I have been very clear that of course the amount of money isn't enough, but it is a start. We need to hold these Defendants accountable and push for the remaining Defendants: the EPA/Federal Government, Veolia & LAN to do the right thing and settle as well. I have been very clear and steadfast with my concerns that the money is not enough to dramatically change anyone's lives or pull people out of the poverty that's stricken half of our City BUT we need to ensure that the money that the Flint residents receive will not force them to lose any of their stability and State programs like Medicaid, SSI, food benefits, housing vouchers, childcare, Autism services, Rides to Wellness, mental health services, educational services and more.

The residents in Flint deserve to be paid for their losses and suffering. We have been patient. We have been civil. We have gone through nearly 5 years of litigation, including 15 appeals and we have won. Our speaking out about the injustices in Flint have helped save people from being poisoned from their own tap water in countless cities. Flint residents and Allies speaking up is what forced the changes so far. Nothing was accomplished through silence. I am EXTREMELY grateful for my team of amazingly compassionate, tough, supportive and understanding attorneys who trust me to speak the truth about what is happening in Flint and who support the voice of the people they represent. THANK YOU to Michael Pitt, Cynthia Lindsey, Bill Goodman, Julie Hurwitz and the attorneys who have stood up for me and Flint residents and fought side-by-side to get justice for Flint residents. THANK YOU for giving up 5 years of your lives and career for a City that many officials and attorneys have painted as not worth it. Thank you for listening to us, even when we are angry, and supporting our fight in and out of the courtrooms.
Today is a big day for Flint as we may finally begin to personally see some justice and acknowledgement that what has been done TO US in Flint is wrong and that we deserve the supports and resources to eventually recover from the past 6.5 years of trauma inflicted upon us and hope that it will lead to even more reparations from the remaining Defendants.
Here is an interview I did back in August and I still stand by my words and in gratitude for my close legal team who never treated me as the opposition.
"Somebody had asked me, “Why don’t you demand trillions?” Well, then there’s also the reality of the situation that we’re supposed to have a two or $3 billion state deficit and a budget deficit next year, so where’s that money going to come from? And then, also, they’re not the only defendant. We still have the EPA and the federal government, we still have the city, we still have the private engineering firms, Veolia and Len, They don’t have to worry about state budget and they were just as hands-on in this as the rest of them. Depositions are still ongoing, information is still being uncovered, guilt is still being made clear.
And they should take the state’s lead and say, “Okay, well, it’s the state who has fought us tooth and nail for years on this lawsuit over, and over, and over again.” Mays v. Snyder has bounced from federal Supreme Court multiple times, and then state Supreme Court, the County Court of Claims state court, federal court, it has been all the six circuit court of appeals. And there’s like 15 different appeals and we’ve won every one of them. And so, this has been an ongoing process of almost, yeah, so five and a half years, four and a half years of just legal back and forth and delay and deny. So if the state, who fought us the hardest, is saying, “Okay, it’s time to settle and give these people justice.”
And it’s not enough, it’s not ever going to be enough, no number is going to be enough. But these private firms, they don’t have to worry about state budgets and they do have money, and they should do what’s right by us. And also the federal government, of course, who knows what’s going on with that right now, they need to do what’s right too and stop dragging us through because all they’re doing is continuing to traumatize us and tell us that we aren’t worth it. And we wear the shirts that say Flint Lives Matter because they’re telling us by their actions and their words that they don’t, and that you can poison 100,000 people, and ruin futures, and kill people, and get away with it if you’re in the government. And because we’re poor, we’re a majority black city, and so they’re just like, ” You don’t matter.” So we fought back to prove they’re wrong."

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell Releases Christmas Eve Statement And It Is Not A Happy One.


 Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) today released the following statement after presiding over Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s unanimous consent request to provide $2,000 survival checks for Americans.


“It is Christmas Eve. But it is not a silent night. All is not calm, and for too many, nothing is bright,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “Donald Trump doesn’t give a damn about people. He’s sowing fear and tossing kerosene on a fire. This morning, we gave House Republicans a chance to provide Americans with $2,000 survival checks this holiday season and they turned their backs. It was shameful behavior that would make Scrooge proud.”

Saturday, December 19, 2020

COVID-19 Pandemic: Reports Out Of Britain Saturday Are Alarming To Say The Least.

 By Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

As much as I hate to say it folks, there is alarming news regarding the COVID-19 pandemic Saturday morning coming out the United Kingdom. Health officials in the UK are warning of a new COVID-19 strain that apparently spreads faster. Cases are surging in England at an ever-increasingly alarming rate. According to Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a quickly organized press conference, "The spread is being driven by the new variant of the virus. It appears to spread more easily and may be up to 70% more transmissible than the earlier strain." According to Professor Chris Whitty, who is England's chief medical officer, the new variant of COVID-19, "Can spread more quickly than previous strains of the virus." 

These reports out of Britain are not only alarming for the UK, they are equally alarming for the United States and the rest of the world. With vaccinations just beginning here in the United States Michael Smerconish asks the obvious question. Are we turning a corner or miles from nowhere?

Monday, December 14, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccinations Began Today At Michigan Hospitals.


Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

According to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, frontline health care workers at two Michigan hospitals today were the first people in the state to receive the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first COVID-19 vaccine, produced by Michigan-based Pfizer, and today’s initial vaccinations mark a historic milestone in the world’s unprecedented cooperative mission to control and end the COVID-19 pandemic. The vaccinations at Michigan Medicine and Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital begin the journey toward the eventual safe full reopening of Michigan’s economy, schools and communities. Additional Michigan hospitals are expected to begin vaccinating health care staff later this week, according to MDHHS.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer thanked the state’s hospital and other health care workers for “tireless dedication, bravery and strength” in caring for the tens of thousands of residents who have fought the virus – and for being first-in-line for vaccinations.

“This is a great day for our families, frontline workers, small businesses, and Michigan as a whole. Here, in the state built on innovation and grit, a safe and effective COVID vaccine is being manufactured by Michigan workers at a Michigan business,” Governor Whitmer said. “Our frontline essential hospital workers have gone above and beyond to save lives – including stepping up today to receive vaccines. And we have residents across the state doing their part to eradicate the virus and keep our communities safe. Remember: it will take some time for the vaccine to be widely distributed to everyone. That’s why it’s so important that we all do our part by masking up, practicing safe social distancing, and avoiding indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person. This is a historic day in Michigan. We will get through this together.” This according to a press release from MDHHS.

In the face of the most massive vaccination effort our world has ever seen, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, expressed her confidence in the first approved COVID-19 vaccine.

“The significant impact of COVID-19 has led to unprecedented, worldwide collaboration among scientists, medical doctors, health and government officials, and manufacturers,” Khaldun said. “The arrival of this vaccine in Michigan signals that the end of this pandemic is near.  However, it will take several months before we are able to have enough vaccine to widely distribute it to the general population. Until then, and even for individuals who receive the vaccine, we should all be doing our part to slow the spread of this virus by wearing masks, avoiding large gatherings, and washing hands.”

According to MDHHS, Brian Peters, chief executive officer of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, said the medical, support and executive teams at the state’s hospitals have been on the frontlines treating COVID-19 patients from the start of the pandemic and now “stand proud and grateful to lead the state’s public health and economic recovery from a virus that has devastated far too many lives, families, businesses and communities.”

“As vaccinations start today with the health care heroes at hospitals statewide, Michigan is now on course to move out of the darkness of pandemic to economic and public health recovery,” Peters said.

In the coming days and weeks, vaccine doses will arrive at additional Michigan hospitals and other medical centers across the state. The first Michigan citizens to be vaccinated will be priority hospital and health care workers, and staff and residents of long-term care facilities.

Even with COVID-19 vaccinations starting in Michigan and worldwide, MDHHS and doctors urge everyone to continue to practice preventative measures such as properly wearing masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing to reduce the spread of the virus until the vast majority of people have been vaccinated.

People with questions about vaccines – including the COVID-19 vaccines – should consult a credible source with answers based on medical science. Sources for vaccine information based entirely on medical science include IVaccinate.org, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and the CDC. A comprehensive set of questions and answers about COVID-19 can be found at Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.

Michigan Medicine

COVID-19 vaccines started arriving and being administered today at Michigan Medicine. Pictured are Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services alongside University of Michigan President Dr. Mark S. Schlisse.

Friday, December 11, 2020

The FDA Has Issued Emergency Use Authorization For Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine.


Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

Good news, and this is big. The FDA has authorized the COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use in the United States. Very soon shipments of doses of the Phizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine will be sent to hospital systems across the country. Vaccinations for healthcare workers should begin within days from now.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Congresswoman Dingell Medical Marijuana Research Legislation Passes House.

Editor in Chief & Publisher Jeff Brown.

 According to a press release from the office of Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, today, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation led by Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (D-MI) that would eliminate barriers on the legitimate research of medical marijuana.


“Antiquated laws written during the War on Drugs have built blockades to urgent research that could help us better understand the physical and mental health impact of marijuana,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “With the Medical Marijuana Research Act, we can empower the researchers who will educate the public about any and all potential benefits and risks of marijuana use. It is time to move our nation’s drug laws into the 21st century, and this legislation is a critical piece of that process.” This according to the press release.


The Medical Marijuana Research Act would:

  • Amend the Controlled Substances Act to establish a new, separate registration process to facilitate research with marijuana for medical purposes;
  • Encourage the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reduce the wait time for approval research registration applications;
  • Direct FDA to issue guidelines on the production of marijuana from authorized researchers and manufacturers; 
  • Make available marijuana from state authorized marijuana programs; and
  • Ensure all medical marijuana researchers are in compliance with FDA drug development standards.


According to Wednesday's press release, currently, the Federal government only allows researchers to use marijuana provided by the University of Mississippi. According to researchers, the marijuana provided by the University of Mississippi more resembles hemp than the medical or recreational marijuana produced by state-licensed providers. This has hindered researchers ability to understand the full extent of the medical benefits of marijuana. 


According to a recent report, the U.S. has spent roughly $1.5 billion on marijuana research from 2008 to 2019. The vast majority of that research was focused on the potential harm, not medical potential, of marijuana.