Some Republicans really don’t care if millions of Americans die

Republican Senator Ron Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.”

He added that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less…”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 329 million Americans. If, to use the senator’s phrasing, the coronavirus were to kill “maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population,” that would mean the death of over 9 million Americans. If the 3.4 percent figure is high, and it turns out that the virus is fatal to 1 percent of the population, that’s still over 3 million American deaths.

Just in case you were missing out on the essential Republican concern over national disasters.

Grandmother misdiagnosed, sent home to die!

A New York grandmother who spent two years in in-home hospice care and on morphine is suing a hospital for misdiagnosing her with cancer, a lawsuit says.

Ramona Jimenez, 85, of Long Island says she was wrongly diagnosed with stomach and lung cancer at Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, bluntly told she had two months to live and sent home to in-home hospice care…

After two years, during which she became addicted to the morphine, Jimenez’s family finally took her for tests at Stony Brook University Hospital where doctors told the astounded family they found no evidence of any cancer.

“This is everyone’s nightmare,” said Andrew Siben, who is preparing a multimillion-dollar malpractice lawsuit for Jimenez against Brookhaven.

This is a classic case of misdiagnosis … a calamity of errors. This woman’s whole life has completely fallen apart…”

In November 2008, Jimenez went to Brookhaven with a bad stomach ache, was tested and told she had “stomach and lung cancer and had just two months to live,” Siben said…

“When I started taking all the drugs, I went out of my mind,” Jimenez said. “They gave me a lot of morphine. I couldn’t remember who I was.”

Last May the family took her for tests at Stony Brook.

“They looked at Brookhaven’s pictures and couldn’t see any cancer either,” Jimenez’s daughter Brunelda Morua said.

“When they told me I didn’t have cancer, it was like a miracle. They took me off the drugs, except the morphine,” said Jimenez, who is now on a treatment to wean her from the painkiller. “My mind cleared up.”

Brookhaven is silent about the whole affair. They deserve the worst – given that another hospital reviewed Brookhaven’s own X-rays, etc, and found nothing.

Another great reason to get a second opinion right off the bat – when you get negative medical news.

‘Dr Death’ sells euthanasia kits in UK for £35

Testing kits that allow people to check the strength of drugs they have bought in order to commit suicide are to be sold in the UK by one of the world’s leading advocates of euthanasia.

Dr Philip Nitschke, an Australian physician known as Dr Death for his enthusiastic promotion of a person’s right to take his own life, believes the UK is a suitable place to run a trial of the kits, which he has been developing in his laboratory. But Nitschke’s actions have revived concerns that healthy elderly and vulnerable people will end up killing themselves in the belief that they have become a burden to their families.

Why should the reason matter? Freedom to choose is the question.

Last autumn, Nitschke’s organisation, Exit International, provoked uproar in the UK when it held workshops giving people advice on how they could end their lives. One workshop in Bournemouth was cancelled after the council stepped in. However, a similar event went ahead in central London and was reported to have been well attended.

But now Exit is provoking further controversy with its plans to sell the barbiturate-testing kits here. In the latest issue of its magazine Deliverance, Exit explains how it created a purpose-built laboratory to test “end-of-life options”. The article continues: “Calibration of the chemicals involved is essential so that those using the test will be certain that the drugs they test will give them a peaceful and reliable death.

“The kit is scheduled for release in the UK in May and will be available internationally shortly after that.”

Bravo! The good doctor will now have to suffer through months of harassment. Here in the U.S. he’d run the additional risk of imprisonment – for talking about his beliefs. Not directly, of course. Our political establishment is too sophisticated for that. But, they’d work at it.

If smoking is so bad for you, who still does it?

Smoking is bad for you, and by now, most of us know it.

To recap: Smoking exponentially increases your risk of developing lung cancer (and other lung diseases, like emphysema and chronic bronchitis) and puts you at higher risk for cancer of the mouth, throat, larynx, esophagus, bladder, pancreas, kidney, cervix and stomach. Smoking also elevates the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and insulin resistance. And, as if all that weren’t bad enough, it causes wrinkles…

So, who exactly — in the face of all the mounting scientific evidence, social stigma and legal bans — still lights up?…

“The demographics have changed so much that now, more often than not, it’s the disadvantaged who are still smoking compared to the highly educated, highly trained people,” Hurt said. “It is pretty clear that the prevalence of smoking in groups of people is related to education status, which is a surrogate for income status. … When you go down the income ladder, the smoking prevalence rises. Some groups of severely disadvantaged people have smoking rates of 30 to 40-plus percent.”

Hurt says that there is also a much higher prevalence of smoking among people with mental health disorders like depression, alcoholics, drug users and schizophrenics.

Which brings us back to the inescapable fact that, worldwide, an estimated 4 million adults die each year of tobacco-caused diseases. Said Hurt, “This is only product that I know on the face of the Earth which, if it is used as recommended by manufacturer, kills 60 percent of its customers.”

I started smoking when I was 12. Stopped when I was 22 years old. At the time, I smoked more than 2 packs a day – and quit in the middle of a pack, in the middle of a carton.

One of the two smartest things I did at that tender age.