The U.S. Supreme Court (Mal)Practices Medicine


As we approach 900,000 Americans killed by COVID-19, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided the ongoing pandemic is not a safety or health issue, so the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can’t address the epidemic. It’s medical malpractice committed by a bunch of lawyers. What happened was President Biden directed the U.S. Occupational Safety and…

In a painting titled “In My Dreams I Can Fly,” Spinney depicted the traditionally flightless Big Bird soaring above the countryside.CreditCody O'Loughlin for The New York Times

A Brief Message to Ted Cruz


U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas), a man on the shortlist for Most Embarrassingly Ignorant Man in America, recently tweeted: Background: Big Bird, the iconic Sesame Street character, has been urging children get vaccinations since at least 1972. Big Bird’s tweet last week about the recently-approved COVID-19 vaccination for children was just the most recent…

Oh, Deer


There are two recent studies, one out of Michigan and a more recent one out of Iowa, showing that White-tailed Deer in those states have high levels of antibodies for COVID-19. That strongly implies a human-to-deer jump of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in humans, SARS-CoV-2, as well as transmission between deer. In the Michigan…

Choosing Your Excuse for Your Ignorance


WC, who is well past the 65-years old eligibility, has just received his Pfizer booster shot. It’s the socially responsible thing to do. Idaho hospitals don’t need any more patients, and WC’s aging immune system needed a hand to keep the evolving coronavirus at bay. Idaho’s vaccination rate remains at a miserable 41%. That’s the…

Ignoring the Lessons of History


According to the Center for Disease Control, the C.D.C., the Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920 killed “about 675,000 in the United States” and about 50 million worldwide. It was the worst pandemic of the 20th Century, and one of the worst in American history. Not the worst any more. The COVID-19 pandemic has an official…

Let’s Apply Swift’s Solution


Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal might be the most famous sustained pice of satire in the English language. But it provides the seed for a solution to the problem Idaho and other states are suffering as the Delta variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus packs our health care facilities with critically ill unvaccinated and unmasked citizens.…

COVID Vaccines: The Facts


WC understands that most folks refusing to get vaccinated for COVID-19 don’t have rational reasons.1 But on the chance that facts can overcome irrational behavior and unreasoning fear, WC wants to point readers to the data. WC shares with Washington Post columnist Kate Cohen the faint hope that simple numbers can move people to get…

Is Remdesivir a Remedy?


WC is 70 years old, and by reason of age, if nothing else, highly interested in remedies, or at least treatments, for COVID-19. So WC was pretty intrigued when the Food & Drug Administration approved Gilead Lab’s remdesivir (the brand name is Veklury). Remdesivir is a previously developed general anti-viral. The drug was run through three…

Corona virus particle. Credit: technologworks.com

Knock, Knock


Knock, knock. Who’s there? Corona. Corona who? And that’s the point, isn’t it? The failure of the federal government – the failure by the Executive Branch of the federal government – to provide adequate coronavirus test kits in the face of the pandemic, means we don’t know who may be infected with the virus. Because…

Remdesivir molecular structure

Call It a Hopeful Sign


It’s Remdesivir. It’s not a magic bullet. It doesn’t cure COVID-19. It’s certainly not a prophylactic for COVID-19 (although we can expect President Trump to claim it is). What it does do is reduce the amount of time for recovery. By about 30%, based on a limited clinical trial. Remdesivir was developed as a treatment…

Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room at the White House, Washington, U.S., November 22, 2019. REUTERS/Tom Brenner

Trump, Swine Flu and Vaccines


WC has long since given up trying to refute the constant stream of lies vomiting from Donald Trump. As WC’s grandfather would have said, “It’s a mug’s game.” You might as well try to sip water from a fire hydrant. But this lie is so absolutely filthy that WC cannot let it pass without comment.…

Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

An Utter Failure of Leadership


Donald Trump, the president of our country in this time of plague, is the worst possible person to have in charge. Trump is incapable of admitting error. He is numb to empathy, even to sympathy. He is completely narcissistic, even in the face of the worst health crisis in more than 100 years. He seems…

Child coffin, 2020

Seeing Children As Property


Idaho has child protection laws. If there are reports by police, teachers or neighbors that children are being badly abused, the State of Idaho has the power to remove the children from their parents of guardians. A judge can even order medical treatment necessary for the health of the child. Unless the children are dying…

Medical bill-driven bankruptcies

Breaking News: Cancer Causes Bankruptcy


WC is indulging his penchant for irony, of course. We’ve known since the seminal 2005 studies by then-Professor Elizabeth Warren and her colleagues that the largest single reason Americans file bankruptcy is medical bills. The paper has since been attacked – often by researchers funded by the health insurance industry – but WC’s personal observations,…

A recovering victim of the Tallywhacker

Why We Can’t Have Nice Things


If you’ve been following this blog long, you know WC has a puppy, Tali, whose tail is such a menace we’ve given it a separate name, “the Tallywhacker.” Well, the Tallywhacker nailed our collapsible wooden loon basket last night. You can see the freshly glued crack at the curve of the loon’s neck. The Tallywhacker…

Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Clostridium tetani endospores and vegetative cells, Gram-positive, anaerobic, endospore-forming, rod prokaryote.

Children Are Not Property


At the start of WC’s legal career women and children were still property of men in many states. Women have made great progress in erasing that historic detritus. Kids, not so much. And no where is it more evident than in the childhood vaccine debates. If a parent mistreats his or her children, the state…

Influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital near Fort Riley, Kansas in this 1918 file photo (AP Photo/National Museum of Health)

Another Unhappy Centennial


The centennial of the end of World War I was observed with all due ceremony, even if President Trump embarrassed himself and the United States by his churlish behavior. World War I killed perhaps 16 million people, counting both soldiers and civilians. A nearly unimaginable number. But it wasn’t even the worst disaster of 1918.…