“Here comes the MEV - the midterm election variant. Democrats will do anything to cheat during an election, but we won’t let them,” proclaimed Rep. Ronny Jackson, R-Texas, who is likely best known for the Saturday Night Live parody of his absurd fawning over Donald Trump’s medical report when he was the White House physician.
If this whole thing really is a ploy by the Democrats to maintain control of the House of Representatives, it’s a doozy. And I sure wish they’d call it off.
On Monday, it was announced that a 50-year-old man living in Texas became the first American to die from this new variant. Sadly, he won’t be the last.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that omicron has replaced the delta variant, which has caused so much death and illness during the past year, as the most dominant version, accounting for 73 percent of all new infections last week. That was a six-fold increase in its percentage of all cases in just one week.
Experts say the new variant is about twice as contagious as the delta, and four times more than the original version. And that has led to a distressing and painful increase in cases and hospitalizations.
It almost feels like March, 2020 all over again. The National Hockey League announced last week that it would take its Christmas break early, because more than 15 percent of its players have either tested positive or been in close contact with somebody else who has.
Locally, the New Mexico Department of Health announced Monday that there had been 37 new deaths in the state caused by COVID-19, bringing our death toll up to 5,614 since the start of the pandemic.
In a recent column published by the Sun-News, Dr. Erin Philpott of the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington eloquently described the frustration and heartbreak felt by health care workers worn down by caring for those who would not care for themselves: “People - so many unvaccinated COVID-19-positive people - slip away; eerily lucid and aware of their demise to the last minute.”
More than 5.3 million people have died from exposure to the virus since the start of the pandemic, and more 800,000 in the United States, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
It is estimated that only about 61.5 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated. Unlike other nations, we have enough vaccines to provide every resident with full protection. But, collectively, we don’t have enough sense to take advantage of that fact.
It seems obvious now that the virus will continue to mutate, and it will require a constant effort to keep up. Further vaccines may very well be needed in the future.
As a graduate of the University of Texas Medical Branch and a former physician to the president for both Barack Obama and Donald Trump, Jackson surely knows that much better than I do. Which makes me wonder how he could say something so stupid. Jackson has only served in Congress for a year, but it didn’t take long to fully transform from physician to politician.
My fear is that his credentials may lead some folks to give credence to his nonsense.
Walter Rubel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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