Category Archives: Healthcare

Mainstream Is Catching Up With Mercer On Masks, N95 & Surgical

Argument, Healthcare, Intelligence, Journalism, Media, Pseudoscience

I try to tell people This Column is always ahead of the curve, in war and peace, and that, sometimes, they ignore the analysis offered here at their peril. Alas, most covidiots I know insisted on relying on their “smarts,” refusing to delegate their thinking.

The covidiots insisted that, because the “experts” had said so, masks were futile. But on March 5, this column unpacked the lies and illogic underlying the contention that masks (surgical & N95) were worthless:

While the coronavirus is indeed minuscule, smaller than 0.3 microns (likely between 0.1 and 0.2 microns), COVID-19 is delivered in a larger medium of bodily fluids or spray. Certainly, some barrier to the spittle in which the coronavirus is dispersed is better than none.

No surprise then, that world health authorities can’t seem to get their story straight on masks. At times, they concede “that N-95 face masks are protective.” More frequently, they scratch the proverbial proboscis (ostensibly a sign of lying) and say “No, of course, they’re ineffective.” In other words, “they work for me, the healthcare worker, but not for thee.”

For honesty’s sake, the country’s health-care functionaries might appeal to consumers on the ground of dire shortages. But on the basis that no protection is better than some protection? Please! …

THERE’S MORE. READ on:  “Unmasking Statist, Socialist Propaganda About ‘Face Masks,’” March 5.

What do you know? Mainstream is, 23 days later, catching up. Writes the New York Post: “Experts say face masks can help slow COVID-19, despite previous claims.

As my mom likes to say, “Good morning, Elijah.”

The expert always knew this to be true, they just misled the Covidiots, who willingly partook in the charade. (Who will hold the liars accountable?)

Pandemic Preparedness And America’s Mañana Mentality

Debt, Economy, Free Markets, Healthcare, Political Economy, The State

The dynamics of state regulation and ownership aside, there is no ignoring our American mañana mentality. Consume in the present; worry not at all about tomorrow’s supplies.

Doesn’t that epitomize the state of America’s coronavirus pandemic reserves?

Via the LA Times: “A disaster foretold: Shortages of ventilators and other medical supplies have long been warned about.”

The nation needed larger caches of standby medical supplies and hospitals that were better prepared to handle a surge of infected patients.

A decade later, the coronavirus crisis is exposing many of the same gaps. Inadequate supplies of protective masks, ventilators, intensive care beds and other medical resources are forcing mass closures of schools and businesses and restrictions on everyday activities as public officials rush to slow the virus so America’s medical system isn’t overwhelmed.

the Government Accountability Office … the federal government’s leading internal watchdog, has issued a steady stream of reports about poor pandemic planning. …

The GAO, public health experts and others issued a steady drumbeat of warnings that America would sooner or later face a widespread infectious disease outbreak or a major bioterrorism attack and was woefully unprepared. …

… In both 2018 and 2019, U.S. intelligence agencies issued insistent warnings in their annual Worldwide Threat Assessment.

“We assess that the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support,” the 2019 report noted.

AND, Making the case for investments in material and hospital planning has long been challenging as most people have difficulty envisioning a major disaster, acknowledged Dr. Eric Toner of Johns Hopkins University, an authority on pandemic preparedness.”

Hospitals also are under pressure to keep margins thin and eliminate spending on staff and supplies that aren’t used all the time.

And, in government-regulated hospitals, which are the majority in the US,

The budget crunch represents a particular challenge for so-called safety-net hospitals, institutions that serve many uninsured patients and those covered by Medicaid, and consequently collect less revenue. These same hospitals are now expecting a large surge in coronavirus patients but have limited resources to ramp up staffing and add intensive care beds if needed.

“Cash is very limited,” said Charlie Shields, chief executive of Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City. Shields said the finances are under even more stress since the hospital canceled elective procedures and shut down its dental services to prepare for the pandemic, moves that reduce hospital revenue.

In case you imagine the US has a free-market in medicine, here are a few statistics that’ll shock you, via The Economist:

The country has over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 or so are private for-profit institutions; the rest are non-profit or government-run. The lack of an overt profit motive has done little to rein in prices …

In any event, the defining characteristic of the Unites States is debt—public and private, macro and micro. America is a debtor nation. A natural shift must take place in the economy from a credit-fueled, consumption-based economy, to one founded on savings, investment and production.

US Has Over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 Are Private For-Profit Institution

America, Capitalism, Free Markets, Government, Healthcare

If you imagined America has a free market in medicine, read “Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”:

The country has over 6,000 hospitals. Only 1,300 or so are private for-profit institutions; the rest are non-profit or government-run. The lack of an overt profit motive has done little to rein in prices, however. Hospital costs have risen at an annual rate of close to 5%, compared with below 1% for drug prices. … Nor has a charitable mission dampened the ambition of bosses at big hospital chains; seven-figure salaries are not unheard of at those with revenues exceeding $500m a year. They have also been on an acquisition binge. The number of deals has jumped from around 55 a year between 2002 and 2009 to 90 or more these days. Since 2018 non-profit hospitals have been the acquirers in three-quarters of the transactions.

How do government-run or subsidized hospitals engage in the capitalistic act of mergers?  They do so on the backs of taxpayers. Profits are privatized; losses are socialized. This is the stuff of cronyism.

Free market medicine we do not have. Before Coronavirus, Trump was looking to reform the nation’s hospitals.

MORE:

“Diagnosis: opaque: Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices”

* Image courtesy The Economist.

UPDATED/LETTERS (3/21): NEW COLUMN: In Which I Cover WuFlu, And Bitch Slap Less Evolved Life Forms

Anti-Semitism, China, Environmentalism & Animal Rights, Globalism, Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Israel, Russia

NEW COLUMN is one in which WuFlu is covered at length and in depth, but in which I am forced to deal with forms of life less evolved than the coronavirus.

Indeed, more novel than coronavirus, in this column, is being forced to bitch slap some, “Little Men—minnows, reptilian brains, who hide behind their email handle, nipping at my heels in fractured, mangled sentences, using nothing but ad hominen and Jewy conspiracy.” These organisms have dogged the Mercer Column on the Unz Review for too long.

Read “#WuFlu: One Foot In #Wuhan, One Foot In the Grave (Via Washington State)” Then, scroll down to the “Marginalia” section. Enjoy.

Excerpt:

 …. Writing for the Times Literary Supplement, a liberal gentleman named Anthony St. John wrote, “I would run for my life if I saw Ilana Mercer coming my way! Does she eat nails for breakfast?”

And billionaire investor Victor Niederhoffer—such a fun, eccentric man—said this: “You can’t win an argument with this woman. I’ve tried and failed.”

One day, time allowing—after all, there is so much life to live—I might just take some extremely unkind cuts to each “Little Man” who hounds me on this thread, never making sense, and so often emitting scary threats.

Little Men have a big decision. Is it worth hounding Mercer? Can the “Little Man” collective afford it? Do these “Little Men” want to lose face, when they are already lacking in the proverbial male bits? I don’t think so.

And that’s the mildest part. MORE in: “#WuFlu: One Foot In #Wuhan, One Foot In the Grave (Via Washington State)”

It’s on WorldNetDaily.com, too, minus the viral load.

*Image is by Rudmer Zwerver

UPDATE (3/20): Letters loved this column–especially The Bitch Slap. A smattering:

From: Charlie
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 5:13 AM
To: ilana@ilanamercer.com
Subject: Unz column

Ms. Mercer,

Your bitch slap of these individuals was long overdue. I bow (in respect, not flaccidly) in the presence of my new libertarian slay queen. I look forward to more.

From: Roey
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 9:35 AM
To: Ilana Mercer <ilana@ilanamercer.com>
Subject: Re: NEW COLUMN: In Which I Cover WuFlu, And Bitch Slap Less Evolved Life Forms

Wonderful column! Stay safe!

From: rocket
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 8:48 AM
To: Ilana Mercer <ilana@ilanamercer.com>
Subject: Bitch Slap-Happy

You make me smile!

From: dark S
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2020 7:42 AM
To: ilana@ilanamercer.com
Subject: WOW

If  ONLY the powers that be felt the way that you do…THEN we might have a chance…Good job…

UPDATED/LETTERS (3/21):

From: Gene
Sent: Saturday, March 21, 2020 3:53 AM
To: Ilana Mercer <ilana@ilanamercer.com>
Subject: yes. WOW. (Latest column)

 Read it in 10 minutes, on a break at work.

Truly a staggering piece.  Had to immediately hit the donate button.

Gene