Some Dumb Stuff

Some Dumb Stuff


Leonard Zwelling 

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page was replete with stupidity issues on Tuesday, July 13.

The first op-ed was called “A Cancer Patient’s Brutal Commute” by Ateev Mehrotra and Barak Richman. It tells the story of a lung cancer patient from New York who is being treated both locally in Ithaca and at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. During covid, the Boston visits were done using telemedicine. Now that covid has lessened as a threat, the third party payers are not paying for care across state lines unless the treating doc is licensed in the state where the patient is physically located. Thus, the patient has to drive across the New York-Massachusetts state line to have her video visit with her doctors in Boston.

After the wide spread utilization of telemedicine, you would think it is about time that state medical licensing boards allow for reciprocity so that people in remote locations can have access to places like the Dana-Farber. But, no! This is not the case. It ought to be.

Gerald Barker writes about “Vaccine Polarization Is Partisanship At Its Dumbest.” His thesis is that if the mRNA vaccines had been approved for widespread use before the 2020 election, Trump might have won and the liberal media would have blamed every sore arm on Operation Warp Speed instead of giving the Biden Administration all the credit for rolling out the vaccinations. Barker also notes how ludicrous it is for the right to bad mouth the vaccine as “experimental” and deny its efficacy after millions of doses have been safely administered. Now, neither side trusts the government and we are all poorer for the doubt. The vaccines work and the Trump Administration ought to get full credit for Operation Warp Speed and the lessening of the threat of covid should also be credited to the Biden Administration’s push to vaccinate everyone over 12. When has public health become a partisan issue? How stupid is this! And, you have to add that the push against vaccination is raising medical costs in the caring for the unnecessarily sick and exposing many Americans to the virus needlessly.

Finally, at the bottom of the page is a brief insert about Michael Avenatti. You remember him. He was Stormy Daniels’ lawyer who was everywhere on television a few years ago and has just been sentenced to 30 months in prison for trying to extort Nike. The mainstream media thought he was a presidential contender in 2018. In 2021, he’s a felon.

To me the lesson is all about the media and how little the media can be trusted to present the honest truth for either side. I am astounded when I watch the Nightly News on NBC how poorly Lester Holt explains the complexities of the stories, particularly the ones around the vaccine. Guilliame-Barre is a rare complication of the J and J vaccine, but you can bet that people will decide not to take it for fear of a complication that may be no more common in the vaccinated population than it is in those who are not vaccinated.

People, we have to use our judgment if the mainstream media will not.

Crazy things are being touted out there. We must resist believing them. As for who is a reliable source? I have no idea. I trust The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. But how wise is that?

2 thoughts on “Some Dumb Stuff”

  1. Having devoted time in the past decade to the development of telehealth systems for vascular disease, I support your suggestion that ALL states should allow licensed practitioners of any state to advise a patient in another. My wife performs psychiatric telehealth visits with patients who have moved to other states, a service SO critical to their continued well being. Let’s continue to shout out for telehealth!

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