Tag: COVID

Join host Joe Selvaggi and Pioneer’s Bill Smith in a conversation with Hannah Mamuszka, expert in diagnostic medicine, on why the U.S. lacked adequate early testing, what current testing looks like in the Commonwealth, and where testing technology needs to be to support public gatherings in the future.

Hannah Mamuszka is Founder & CEO of ALVA10, a healthcare technology firm. Hannah has spent her 20+ year career in diagnostics – both in pharma and at diagnostics companies, in the lab and on the business side. She believes that the challenges of diagnostic technology fully impacting patient care are more commercial than technical, and conceived of ALVA10 to create a mechanism to pull technology into healthcare by aligning incentives through data. She regularly speaks on issues regarding advancement of technology in healthcare, is on the Board of Directors for two diagnostic companies and writes a column on the value of diagnostics for the Journal of Precision Medicine.

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Perhaps you remember this story in The Atlantic a few weeks ago, as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced his state was going to begin reopening towards the end of April following a gubernatorial-led national shutdown of our economy. This paragraph is notable: Kemp’s order shocked people across the country. For weeks, Americans have watched the […]

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We Cannot Survive Without Risk

 

playgroundIn strange times, what was once commonplace now seems bizarre. I was walking the dogs earlier this week and a couple of kids on bikes in a nearby park stuck with me. I watched as the boy and girl – probably around 11- or 12-years-old rode their bikes through the grass and down a slope steep enough that in winter makes for a black-diamond sledding hill. Neither child wore helmets nor shoes. The girl’s long, golden hair carried by the breeze was the last I saw as the pair peddled furiously out of view. I looked around. No parents. No nanny. No park overseer waiting to scold them for enjoying a sunny afternoon with such reckless abandon. I smiled at the thought that even in this time of modified police state, there were these two kids unaware of the cynical, fearful world beyond the park. Then it made me sad. I wasn’t mournful in a sense of lost nostalgia, but I realized these kids were an endangered species. And if the government had its way, they would be extinct.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control released statistics showing the US birthrate fell to the lowest level since the data was collected in 1909. And 2019 births numbered approximately 3.75 million – the lowest level in 35 years. Experts attribute the decline to women waiting to start families later in life, after they establish a career and lifestyle. But there is another layer. Americans are losing the faculty for risk. We have long enjoyed the reputation and benefit of a society willing to join the fray up to the point of near brashness and unbridled enthusiasm for venturing into the unknown. We leveraged a font of freedom combined with ingenuity and liberty that created a great nation of unlimited opportunity.

What greater risk is there than to carry on a new generation despite a guaranteed level of uncertainty? There is no perfect time to start a family, just the gratitude of having the miracle of life bestowed to us. But the current social climate of mitigating risk at all cost is stifling the American Spirit, and the COVID pandemic is making this painfully obvious. When reports out of China and Europe blasted grim headlines detailing mass carnage, overrun hospitals, and the high unknown effects of the virus, it was a reasonable reaction to follow the guidelines of our elected leaders, whom we assume have access to information to make at least semi-informed decisions in our best interest. We complied. Americans watched as field hospitals were built, as companies switched manufacturing capabilities to churn out personal protective equipment and ventilators. But outside of New York City, the impending run on body bags for the average American adult never materialized. Instead we saw carnage of another sort: record-breaking unemployment, nationwide school closings, alarming spikes in mental health problems, and holds on necessary ‘nonessential’ medical procedures.

A ‘Patchwork’ Approach to Normalcy

 

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck a fatal blow to Governor Tony Evers and his “Safer at Home” plans. Evers, and secretary-designee of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Andrea Palm, first issued an Emergency Declaration in March, followed by the “Safer at Home” orders that were set to expire on April 24. Shortly before that expiration, Evers and Palm extended the “Safer at Home” orders until May 26. Republicans in the state legislature sued, in part because Palm — not an elected official, but a political appointee — did not have the authority to impose criminal penalties through that order. The 4-3 decision called Palm’s order “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

The Evers administration was, unsurprisingly, displeased with the state Supreme Court’s ruling. In a call to reporters, Evers accused the state Republicans of being “unconcerned about…massive confusion that will exist without a statewide approach” with the media calling it a “patchwork approach.”

In this episode, Host Joe Selvaggi is joined by Pioneer Research Analyst Rebecca Paxton to get reactions to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s phased reopening, from the leaders of two statewide business organizations, NFIB and Retailers Association of Massachusetts. The guests share their concerns and disappointment with Gov. Baker’s plan, contending that good policy requires us to trust business leaders to protect the needs and safety of their clientele.

Guests:

Pennsylvania, Meet Florida: Startling Facts About COVID-Related Nursing Home Deaths

 

Pennsylvania, meet Florida.

You’re smaller than Florida, with a population of 12.8 million compared to some 21 million in Florida. And Florida’s population is proportionately older; 20.5 percent of Florida’s residents are over age 65, compared to 18.2 percent in the Keystone State.

Then comes coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19. Nasty bugger, that.

Join Jim and Greg as they react to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr stepping down from his committee post as the FBI investigation deepens into his coronavirus-related investment decisions. They also assess why Joe Biden keeps moving far left even though he has the Democratic nomination wrapped up. And they recoil as those quick-response COVID tests used by the White House and other places are found to deliver false negatives anywhere from 33-48 percent of the time.

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I still have not received the coronavirus bailout check. (Was that the “CARES” Act?) Fortunately, I do not need it. My wife and I remain employed and both of us already work from home. Probably we would have gotten the money by now if we’d gone in the IRS website and given them our bank […]

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James R. Copland joins Brian Anderson to discuss how America’s uniquely cumbersome regulatory system impeded the national response to the Covid-19 crisis and how costly litigation could damage the economy even further.

The FDA and CDC’s administrative failings in the early days of the crisis proved costly. The federal process for reviewing and approving drugs and medical devices, writes Copland, still leaves much to be desired. And a wave of coronavirus-related lawsuits poses a serious threat to future business viability.

Join Jim and Greg as they’re glad to see New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo finally changing the rule that required nursing homes to accept recovering, yet contagious, COVID-19 patients. They also cringe as Dr. Fauci confirms there will be no vaccine or treatment in time for the start of the new school year, sparking all sorts of discussion about what school might look like in the fall. And while the media focus on Trump’s clash with the media on testing and blame for China, Jim says the real story is China’s actions and it’s aggressive propaganda efforts.

Ricochet COVID Symposium: The Grief of COVID

 

[Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of contributions from our members and friends about the hidden costs of the COVID crisis. You can read more about our symposium and how to contribute here.]

Right now, I am sitting on my sofa, a cup of tea, and my laptop in front of me. There is not much to do on a Saturday night in Milwaukee these days. Bars, restaurants, and movie theaters remain closed under Governor Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” orders, which may or may not expire May 26. We’re waiting on a ruling from the Wisconsin Supreme Court challenging the authority of Wisconsin’s Department of Health and Human Services to implement and enforce the shelter-in-place orders that have ground the economy, and life as we knew it, to a halt.

COVID Congratulations!

 

Congratulations should be in order. The public health leadership asked us to give them time, to change our lifestyles to slow the progression of the disease.  At great personal and social cost, we successfully flattened the curve. We bought time for the medical and research professionals to catch up. Outside of the New York City DeBlasio Debacle, we did what everyone was asking of us, and the results are showing it. This should be a time to start relaxing the lockdown, as it has succeeded outside of NYC. Tim Carney speaks for me here.

What’s utterly infuriated to me is that a lot of people are trying to claim this is a failure.

Two good martinis and one very bad one as we head into Mother’s Day weekend. Join Jim and Greg as they marvel at how well Florida has done thus far in warding off  virus that’s particularly rough on the elderly. They also shudder deeply as the U.S. lost a stunning 20.5 million jobs in April and the unemployment rate soared to 14.7 percent. And they welcome news that the percentage of positive COVID tests is declining at testing ramps up.

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Morning radio talker Hugh Hewitt also writes an opinion column for the Washington Post, one of only two bonafide conservatives (the other being Marc Thiessen) to do so. I am a great admirer of Hugh, despite being an Ohio “homer” and incessant Cleveland sports fan. His columns are a nice extension of his thoughtful, intelligent, […]

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Eating Out in a Restaurant in the Age of Covid-19

 

The city where I am staying is slowly coming back to life. On Friday, some small retail stores that have been tightly shuttered had their doors open, so I went shopping. When I walked into the first store, a clothing boutique with a chalked sign proclaiming “Made in the USA” out front, I promised the lady hovering behind the cash register that I’d keep my “social distance.” With an accent that only exists where people are grown on sweet tea and biscuits, she loudly proclaimed, “You’re the only one here, baby girl! Get on in! I’m thrilled to see you!”

Let me tell you. I didn’t need anything. I didn’t really want anything. I normally hate shopping, but this was gloriously fun. By the time I was done, my American Express was at the point of melting. But I justified the bags in my mind because my husband and I had decided to go out on a date and get dinner at a restaurant since restaurants now have permission to open their dining rooms under certain guidelines.

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A friend of mine sent me this link to a video of a Dr. Judy Mikovits.  I looked her up on Wiki and immediately saw the word “discredited”, so I knew I had to watch.  Yes, she alleges a conspiracy theory, but she certainly sounds credible.  I never heard of her until I got the […]

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I decided to write this after reading “Government is Not Done Screwing This Up” by JesseMcVay. I volunteer at an equine rescue center which is under the umbrella of the largest animal rescue organization in this area. It’s very large; we are finally down to under 100 horses (including a few donkeys and mini horses) after […]

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This week on Hubwonk, Host Joe Selvaggi is joined by Pioneer’s Bill Smith, Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences, and Dr. Peter Kolchinsky, Harvard-trained virologist, biotech investor and author of the new book, The Great American Drug Deal, to learn how the SARS-CoV2 works, what a vaccine may look like, and how we might produce it to scale.

Guest:

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You can read their press release here. They’ve also created a helpful video. Based on available research, the experience in China reflected by the Shanghai expert commission, and their decades-long professional experiences in Intensive Care Units around the country, the five experts strongly urge fellow physicians to immediately adopt a change in strategy by delivering […]

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