Bloomberg Said U.S. Should Deny Treatment To Old People With Chronic Disease

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If Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg was 95 years old and had prostate cancer, he could afford advanced and extreme medical care to improve and extend his life.

But if a 95-year-old non-billionaire has prostate cancer that requires medical treatment using taxpayer dollars, Bloomberg said in 2011 that he should be denied treatment.

“If you show up with prostate cancer and you’re 95, we should say ‘go and enjoy, have a nice day, live a long life.’ There’s no cure and we can’t do anything. If you’re a young person, we should do something about it,” said Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor.

Bloomberg warned that society was not yet willing to make hard choices with respect to treating older Americans and this is “going to bankrupt us.”

Bloomberg’s 2011 statement surfaced as he released a proposed health care plan to improve retirees’ lives, from giving low-income workers access to government-provided retirement savings plans to bolstering Social Security. Bloomberg said he would limit out-of-pocket drug costs and provide federal coverage for long-term care costs.

Do Bloomberg’s Statements Constitute Age Discrimination? Yes. Without a Doubt.

Dr. Robert N. Butler, M.D., (1927-2010), who coined the term “ageism” in 1968, said generations throughout history have justified the futility of granting the aged access to health care due to unfounded ageist beliefs. Butler defined ageism is ‘a process of systematic stereotyping, prejudicial attitudes and direct or direct discrimination against people because they are old.” 

In his book, Age-ism: Another Form of Bigotry, Butler writes: “Age-ism reflects a deep seated uneasiness on the part of the young and middle-aged – a personal revulsion to and distaste for growing old, disease, disability; and fear of powerlessness, ‘uselessness,’ and death.”

Scapegoating Older Americans

Moreover, Bloomberg’s 2011 ramblings while sitting Shiva with a Jewish family also seem profoundly misguided. There are many other criteria that seem just as likely to bankrupt the United States.

The U.S. health care system is notoriously inefficient and outrageously expensive. It costs four times more to run the U.S. health care system than Canada’s single-payer system. Why is America saddled with a failed system? The U.S. Congress has failed to act in the face of intense lobbying by insurers and pharmaceutical companies.

And why is aging singled out as opposed to other conditions, such as obesity? Some 40 percent of American adults aged 20 and over are obese, a condition that can lead to coronary heart disease and stroke.

The Centers for Disease Control states that coronary heart disease and stroke cost the U.S. health care system $199 billion per year and cause $131 billion in lost productivity on the job.

 Why doesn’t Congress address America’s “new national epidemic” and enact sound policy changes, such as limiting unhealthy foods at schools and restoring “gym ” for all students. Congress could tax products that contribute to obesity or require informative labeling of food products  Many blame lobbying by the mammoth food production and retail industries for Congressional inaction.  

Generational Competition

Butler, the founding director of the National Institute on Aging, also said inter-generational tension causes ageism and discrimination. He said both groups compete for public funding. Older Americans seek support for health care and Social Security, while young people are struggling to get an education and buy a home.

Interestingly, one of the reasons that Butler became interested in age discrimination was his experience as a medical student. when he noticed medical practitioners treated older patients with disdain and distaste.

Butler’s research showed the ageing process did not cause senility, which instead resulted from disease, neglect and stagnation. He worked with consumer advocate Ralph Nader on an investigation into the poor care offered by nursing homes. His 1975 book, Why Survive? Being Old in America, won a Pulitzer prize.

Coronavirus arrives in UK as two people test positive for deadly disease

More than 200 people have died from coronavirus, all but one in Hubei province where the virus is believed to have originated

More than 200 people have died from coronavirus, all but one in Hubei province where the virus is believed to have originated (Picture: EPA)

The first case of deadly coronavirus that has so far killed more than 200 people in China has been confirmed in the UK.

Two patients in England, who are members of the same family, have tested positive for the virus, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty said.

The Department of Health has declined to say where in England the patients are from but it is understood they are being treated at a hospital in Newcastle.

It is understood that they travelled to the UK from China in recent days, had been staying at a hotel in Yorkshire.

Yesterday a StayCity hotel was put on lockdown near the Barbican Theatre in York after a Chinese national was taken to hospital after falling ill.

He was taken to hospital by medics on Wednesday night and it is not currently known if it is related to today’s confirmed cases.

In a statement, Mr Whitty said: ‘The patients are receiving specialist NHS care, and we are using tried and tested infection control procedures to prevent further spread of the virus.

‘The NHS is extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections and we are already working rapidly to identify any contacts the patients had, to prevent further spread.

‘We have been preparing for UK cases of novel coronavirus and we have robust infection control measures in place to respond immediately.

‘We are continuing to work closely with the World Health Organization and the international community as the outbreak in China develops to ensure we are ready for all eventualities.’

Today, more than 80 British people will land in the UK from Wuhan, the central Chinese city considered to be the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Hospital waiting room evacuated over coronavirus fears
Where Brits will be quarantined for coronavirus
Last flight out of Wuhan brings Brits home
Where is coronavirus in the UK?

Ambulance crews arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire this morning, 31 January 2020, as it prepares for a return flight from Wuhan, China. Eighty-three Britons and 27 foreign nationals who were trapped in Wuhan - the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak - are on a flight back to the UK. The Foreign Office said medics are also on the flight, which is due to land at RAF Brize Norton at 13:00 GMT. On arrival, the UK passengers will be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral and quarantined for two weeks.

Ambulance crews arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire where the Brits flying back from Wuhan will land (Picture: SWNS)

Ambulance crews arrive at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire this morning, 31 January 2020, as it prepares for a return flight from Wuhan, China. Eighty-three Britons and 27 foreign nationals who were trapped in Wuhan - the Chinese city at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak - are on a flight back to the UK. The Foreign Office said medics are also on the flight, which is due to land at RAF Brize Norton at 13:00 GMT. On arrival, the UK passengers will be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral and quarantined for two weeks.

83 Britons and 27 foreign nationals who were trapped in Wuhan will be on board the flight landing at RAF Brize Norton (Picture: SWNS)

At least 213 people have died in China due to the outbreak – most in Hubei province – with almost 10,000 cases nationally.

Another 98 cases have been confirmed in 18 countries outside China, eight involving human-to-human transmission in Germany, Japan, Vietnam and the US.

Last night, the World Health Organisation declared coronavirus a global health emergency.

Following the announcement, British medical officers increased the risk level in the UK from low to moderate.

More than 80 Britons on the evacuation flight out of Wuhan – the epicentre of the outbreak – are due to land in the UK this afternoon.

After several delays, the flight – chartered by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) – left China at 9.45am local time on Friday, carrying 83 Britons and 27 non-UK nationals, mostly from EU countries.

The flight is expected to arrive at the Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire around 1pm, the FCO said in a statement.

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Students were seen being marched out of the London School of Economics on Thursday night by people in white hazmat suits

Students were seen being marched out of the London School of Economics on Thursday night by people in white hazmat suits – it is not know if they were suspected of having coronavirus

Bristol Uni coronavirus fears

Similar scenes were captured by worried students at Bristol University (Picture: Twitter)

Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside which is understood to be where the British nationals from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan in China, will be quarantined after they arrive back into the UK on Friday. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 30, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Those flying into the UK from Wuhan will be kept in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral (Picture: PA)

From there, the British passengers will be taken to an NHS facility on the Wirral for a quarantine period of 14 days.

It is understood they will be taken to a former student accommodation block in the grounds of Arrowe Park Hospital, where passengers will have access to the internet in order to contact relatives.

After the British passengers disembark in the UK, the flight will continue to Spain, where EU countries will process the non-British evacuees.

The government previously warned that those showing symptoms of coronavirus would not be allowed to board the plane for the UK.

Some UK citizens stranded in Wuhan with their families said earlier this week that they were faced with the gut wrenching decision of staying in the virus-hit city or leaving spouses behind.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by CHINE NOUVELLE/SIPA/REX (10540795k) Members of the medical team of the Second Military Medical University receive praise from a patient at Hankou Hospital in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province. Coronavirus Outbreak, Wuhan, China - 27 Jan 2020 The medical team from the Second Military Medical University helps Hankou Hospital on problems concerning the capability of the hospital and the serious shortage of medical staff. The medical team plans to set up respiratory wards and two 78-bed wards at Hankou Hospital.

Chinese authorities put Wuhan on lockdown in a bid to contain the virus, with many Brits trapped (Picture: Rex)

Passengers with protective masks at Heathrow Terminal 4 as signs have been installed around the terminal warning passengers of the symptoms of the new Wuhan coronavirus outbreak. The coronavirus virus has infected more than 10000 people across Asia in the past few weeks Photo credit: Alex Lentati/LNP ?? Licensed to London News Pictures. 26/01/2020. London, UK.

Some 1,561 people are now known to have entered the UK from Wuhan since January 10, including airline crew, although some have since left again (Picture: LNP)

TOPSHOT - French citizens arrive and settle aboard of an evacuation plane with destination southeastern France, before departure from Wuhan Airport (WUH), China, on the night between January 30, 2020 and January 31, 2020, as they are repatriated from the coronavirus hot zone. - The nearly 200 passengers repatriated are expected to arrive in France on January 31, 2020 and will be put in solitary confinement for 14 days in a holiday center in Carry-le-Rouet, near Marseille, southern France. Some 7,700 cases have been confirmed in China, its country of origin, with at least 170 fatalities. The virus has spread from the city of Wuhan across China to more than 15 countries, with about 60 cases in Asia, Europe, North America and, most recently, the Middle East. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Other evacuation planes have taken European and US citizens out of Wuhan (Picture: AFP)

Distraught dad Jeff Siddle, from Northumberland, will be catching a flight back to Britain without his wife Sindy after she was not offered a seat because she is a Chinese national.

Both the British Embassy and Foreign Office claimed the Chinese government has imposed restrictions on their own nationals, trapping them in the country in a bid to stop the virus spreading.

Mr Hancock said officials ‘could not be 100%’ certain the virus is not spread by people who are not displaying symptoms.

This week, China opened the doors of a new 1,000-bed hospital specifically to treat coronavirus victims.

The Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre started receiving patients at 10.30pm last night after workers spent just 48 hours converting it from an empty building.

TOPSHOT - A woman wearing a protective facemask returns from a market in Wuhan on January 26, 2020, a city at the epicentre of a viral outbreak that has killed at least 56 people and infected nearly 2,000. - China on January 26 expanded drastic travel restrictions to contain the viral contagion, as the United States and France prepared to evacuate their citizens from the quarantined city at the outbreak's epicentre. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)

Pictures of deserted streets have emerged from Wuhan in recent days as people are told to stay at home (Picture: AFP)

Alamy Live News. 2APPJF6 Wuhan, China's Hubei Province. 24th Jan, 2020. Chief nurse Ma Jing holds a patient's hand to comfort her in the ICU (intensive care unit) of Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Jan. 24, 2020. By Thursday midnight, Hubei Province in central China reported 549 cumulative confirmed cases of the new coronavirus pneumonia, with 495 in Wuhan, the provincial capital. Credit: Xiong Qi/Xinhua/Alamy Live News This is an Alamy Live News image and may not be part of your current Alamy deal . If you are unsure, please contact our sales team to check.

Brits returning from Wuhan to the UK have been told to ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days even if they have no symptoms (Picture: Getty)

More than 500 construction workers, electricians and police worked around the clock to open the hospital in the Huangzhou District.

It was originally intended to be a hospital that would open in May, but faced with the growing threat of the spread of the virus they managed to complete the task much sooner.

Meanwhile work is rapidly moving on a new hospital being built in Wuhan which is expected to be fully completed just 12 days after diggers first moved in.

New aerial pictures revealed how much thousands of workers have managed to get done on the hospital, which will open on February 3.

Wuhan Coronavirus – is there a vaccine and what are the symptoms?

The novel coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has a population of 11m people, in December.

It has led to large parts of China being placed under quarantine, with flights and transport being grounded and Lunar New Year celebrations being cancelled as China attempts to prevent others from becoming infected.

Cases have also been reported in other parts of the world including Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Canada, the US, France and Germany.

Is there a vaccine for coronavirus?

A man wearing a face mask walks past a Coronavirus notice at Heathrow Airport in London

There is no current cure for the Wuhan Coronavirus, with scientists working on a vaccine (Picture: EPA)

At present there is no vaccine for coronavirus – although several different organisations are working to create one.

Those reported to be working on a potential vaccine include National Institutes of Health as well as other private companies including Inovio, Novavax, Johnson and Johnson and Moderna – the latter working directly with US government health agencies.

Despite all the combined efforts it could still be a while before a vaccine against the current coronavirus is ready.

A spokesman for the Institutes said that it could be a few months before the first clinical trials get underway, and a year or more before it’s available.

Meanwhile Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, who are also reported to be working on a vaccine, have said that if one were developed it would most likely be given to healthcare workers first due to their exposure to patients suffering from coronavirus.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

Coronavirus structure

The coronavirus causes respiratory tract infection and can cause pneumonia in more severe cases (Picture: Science Photo Library)

The early symptoms of the virus include a dry cough, a fever, shortness of breath and a sore throat.

While many of those affected have shown only mild symptoms, some have gone on to develop fluid in the lungs consistent with viral pneumonia.

The virus is more likely to progress into a severe illness or prove fatal among older patients or those with weakened immune systems.

There is no specific cure for the coronavirus – as it’s a viral infection, antibiotics won’t help.

The World Health Organisation has suggested avoiding close contact with anyone suffering from an acute respiratory infection and ensuing that coughs and sneezes are covered with disposable tissues or clothing.

They also recommend regular hand-washing as well as  avoiding unprotected contact with wild or farm animals.

NYPD cop Michael Valva taunted son for being cold before died: lawyers

A heartless NYPD cop and his wicked fiancée starved and tortured his autistic 8-year-old son, even mocking the child as he collapsed from the hypothermia that would claim his young life, officials said Friday as the Long Island couple was charged in the boy’s murder.

Michael Valva, 40, a 15-year officer assigned to the transit bureau, and fiancée Angela Pollina, 42, tried to make it look like they were as idyllic as the Brady Bunch, living with Valva’s three sons and Pollina’s three girls — each from previous relationships — at the couple’s home in Center Moriches, but their sitcom veneer hid a sinister secret, a former nanny said.

“It’s sad. They wanted to give the impression they were the ‘Brady Bunch’ family when it was more like a home crashing,” Amanda Wildman, who babysat the family from 2017 to 2018, told The Post.

“There was always screaming. The boys were constantly being yelled at. There never was a day where somebody wasn’t screaming and the boys would just sit there quietly and take it.”

On Friday, Valva and Pollina were arrested and charged with second-degree murder for the Jan. 17 death of Valva’s son Thomas, who died of hypothermia after being exiled to a “freezing” unfinished garage at the couple’s home on Bittersweet Lane the night before — when temperatures outside plummeted to a bone-chilling 19 degrees, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart told reporters.

New York state’s Office of Children and Family Services recorded…

“We believe certainly that Thomas was kept in the garage overnight preceding his death,” the commissioner said.

Prosecutors revealed at Valva’s arraignment that he and Pollina even taunted Thomas for being cold on the morning he died — after keeping him in the freezing garage all night.

Thomas was “face-planting” on the floor because he was hypothermic, Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe said, citing audio recordings taken from an extensive home-security system in the house.

In the recording, a child can be heard asking why Thomas cannot walk.

“Because he’s hypothermic,” Pollina replied, according to Newcombe. “When you wash with cold water and it’s freezing out you become hypothermic.”

Later, Pollina put the same question to Valva.

“Do you know why he’s falling?” Pollina asked Valva about Thomas, Newcombe said, citing recordings.

“Because he’s cold. Boo f–king hoo,” Valva callously responded, according to the prosecutor.

When Pollina apparently walked into the garage and asked Valva what he was doing, Valva said: “I’m f–king suffocating him that’s what I’m doing,” prompting Pollina to say, “Take your hands off his mouth. There are people everywhere,” according to Newcombe.

Authorities responded to the home at 9:40 a.m. that day, after Valva reported that his son fell in the driveway while waiting for the school bus an hour earlier.

Valva, who was immediately suspended without pay and stripped of his guns, told cops his son lost consciousness after the fall, according to Hart.

“When officers arrived, Michael Valva was performing CPR on his son in the basement,” she said.

Medics rushed the boy to Long Island Community Hospital and when he arrived there, his body temperature was just 76 degrees, according to Hart. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Valva allegedly put the boy’s body in a warm bath in order to raise his body temperature before calling cops, a police source told The Post.

An investigation “revealed inconsistencies in timing and nature of the child’s injuries as reported by the father,” said Hart, who noted that police determined that the boy was never in the driveway that morning.

Thomas suffered head and facial injuries “that were not consistent with” Valva’s account, and the medical examiner ruled the boy’s death a homicide “with a major contributing factor of hypothermia,” Hart said.

The Suffolk County source told The Post that Valva got angry with Thomas and beat the boy the day before his death.

As punishment, Thomas was ordered to stay in the garage, the source said.

Hart noted that the investigators reviewed audio and video surveillance of Valva and Pollina from outside and inside the home and the recordings “show the pair was closely monitoring the activities and conversations of their six children.”

Prosecutors said that nearly every room in the home was equipped with surveillance cameras that were labeled according to the child’s name and room.

The camera located in the garage was eerily labeled “kids room.”

The devastated mother of the innocent 8-year-old whose veteran NYPD…

Investigators believe Thomas, as well as his 10-year-old brother, Anthony, were subjected to punishment, including “food deprivation and exposure to extremely frigid temperatures,” Hart said, adding, “We are still investigating the extent of the abuse and if it extended to all of the children.”

Home surveillance footage captured Thomas and Anthony sleeping on the concrete floor of the garage and “shivering” two nights before Thomas died, prosecutors said.

“They are on cold concrete. There are no pillows, no blankets, no mattress,” Newcombe said.

Hart noted that authorities did a welfare check at the residence in May 2019, but the family was not home at the time.

“This case has hit our department hard, even our most seasoned detectives,” the commissioner said.

Thomas and his 6- and 10-year-old brothers lived at the home along with Pollina’s three daughters — 11-year-old twins and a 6-year-old girl, authorities said.

Child Protective Services removed all five surviving children from the home after the parents were arrested, Hart said.

Thomas’ brothers were with their biological mother, Justyna Zubko-Valva, 36, on Friday.

Zubko-Valva, who says she “unlawfully” lost custody of her three children in 2017, claimed that her kids were abused at the hands of their dad for years and ignored by those with the authority to help.

“There are so many people responsible for this tragedy,” Zubko-Valva, who is divorced from Valva, told The Post.

“The institutions that are supposed to protect the children protect the abusers,” said Zubko-Valva who claimed that she reported to law enforcement and child protective agencies and judges about the alleged abuse of her three young boys.

Thomas had autism and his 10-year-old brother, Anthony, has a learning disability, the mom said.

Zubko-Valva said she warned judges over the years during various court proceedings that, “My children are gonna die from the sadistic and abusive care of Michael Valva and Angela Pollina.”

The helpless mother even detailed the alleged abuse on a Twitter account she created in January 2018 under the name “StandAgainstChildAbuse.”

Veteran officer Michael Valva, 40, had three boys from a…

In one tweet, she posted what appears to be a 2018 report from the East Moriches School District detailing how Thomas and Anthony, were being neglected by Valva and Pollina.

“Biggest concern is that Mr. Valva and his fiancée Angela do not understand the depth of Anthony and Thomas’s disabilities,” reads the letter, written by a school psychologist.

The letter went on to say that “both Anthony and Thomas come into school hungry and frequently say they did not eat breakfast because they did not ask for breakfast or got in trouble.”

Another apparent school letter posted to the account states: “Anthony and Thomas have stated that they were not allowed to eat breakfast because they did not use their manners, say ‘good morning’ to Angela or were doing nothing. They have come in crying because of this.”

The school district refused to comment on the documents.

Valva and Pollina pleaded not guilty at their arraignments and were held without bail.

Canada announces ‘presumptive’ 1st case of deadly coronavirus in Toronto | CBC News

Canada announces ‘presumptive’ 1st case of deadly coronavirus in Toronto

Canada has confirmed its first “presumptive” case of the deadly coronavirus in Toronto as the number of infections worldwide surpasses 1,400 cases.

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Public health officials announce first diagnosed case at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital

Canada has confirmed its first “presumptive” case of the deadly coronavirus in Toronto as the number of infections worldwide surpasses 1,400 cases.

Public health officials announced Saturday afternoon the confirmed case —  a man in his 50s who had travelled to Wuhan, China — was found at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.

The man flew out of China and arrived back in Toronto on Jan. 22. Upon arriving, he said he felt ill and 911 was contacted. Paramedics were fully protected when they picked him up, and he was taken to Sunnybrook, said Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health.

Officials say lab results were received Saturday afternoon. The man is currently in stable condition.

Officials are now trying to determine exactly how much contact the man would have had with others since his return to Canada, but believe it would have been limited to members of his household. 

Anyone who lived with the man is in “self-isolation,” said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, director of Communicable Disease Control & Associate Medical Officer of Health for Toronto Public Health.

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre is caring for a patient who has a confirmed case of the novel coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China.<br><br>The patient is in stable condition and has been admitted to an isolation room. More info: <a href=””></a>


So far, there have been 41 reported deaths attributed to the virus globally.

The majority of infections have been inside China, where the virus has mostly been concentrated in Wuhan city, although there have been confirmed cases reported in Shanghai and Beijing, along with Hong Kong and Macao.

Outside of China, cases have been confirmed in France, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam, Australia and Malaysia,

Confirmation of a Canadian infection comes just one day after Williams said it was only “a matter of where and when” the virus would arrive in Canada.

“Ontario is ready, our systems are ready,” Williams said in a press conference Friday. “We’re light years away of where we were in 2003,” he said, referring to the SARS outbreak that killed 44 people in the Toronto area.

Dr. Peter Donnelly, CEO of Public Health Ontario, said Friday the province has testing that lets medical professionals know within 24 hours whether an illness is this new coronavirus type.

Coffeyville, Kansas medical debt: County in rural Kansas is jailing people over unpaid medical debt – CBS News

There is at least one issue a divided electorate can come together on this election year: A recent poll finds 90% of those surveyed agreed on the importance of making health care more affordable.

Millions of Americans remain uninsured.

As Meg Oliver reports in partnership with ProPublica, some people are even going to jail because they’re squeezed by a system that’s putting new demands on overburdened incomes.

Tres and Heather Biggs’ son Lane was diagnosed with leukemia when he was five years old. At the same time, Heather suffered seizures from Lyme disease. 
“We had so many — multiple health issues in our family at the same time, it put us in a bracket that made insurance unattainable,” Heather Biggs said. “It would have made no sense. We would have had to have not eaten, not had a home.”

Tres Biggs was working two jobs but they fell behind on their medical bills, then the unthinkable happened.

 “You wouldn’t think you’d go to jail over medical bills,” Tres Biggs said. 
Tres Biggs went to jail for failing to appear in court for unpaid medical bills. He described it as “scary.” 

“I was scared to death,” Tres Biggs said. “I’m a country kid  — I had to strip down, get hosed and put a jumpsuit on.” 

Bail was $500. He said they had “maybe $50 to $100” at the time. 

In rural Coffeyville, Kansas, where the poverty rate is twice the national average, attorneys like Michael Hassenplug have built successful law practices representing medical providers to collect debt owed by their neighbors. 

“I’m just doing my job,” Hassenplug said. “They want the money collected, and I’m trying to do my job as best I can by following the law.” 

That law was put in place at Hassenplug’s own recommendation to the local judge. The attorney uses that law by asking the court to direct people with unpaid medical bills to appear in court every three months and state they are too poor to pay in what is called a “debtors exam.”

If two hearings are missed, the judge issues an arrest warrant for contempt of court. Bail is set at $500.

Hassenplug said he gets “paid on what’s collected.” If the bail money is applied to the judgment, then he gets a portion of that, he said. 

“We’re sending them to jail for contempt of court for failure to appear,” Hassenplug said. 

In most courts, bail money is returned when defendants appear in court. But in almost every case in Coffeyville, that money goes to pay attorneys like Hassenplug and the medical debt his clients are owed.

“This raises serious constitutional concerns,” said Nusrat Choudhury, the deputy director of the ACLU. “What’s happening here is a jailhouse shake-down for cash that is the criminalization of private debt.”

CBS News went to court on debt collection day. They wouldn’t allow our cameras in, but we watched more than 60 people swear they didn’t have enough money to pay, and only one of them had an attorney representing them. 

Michael Hassenplug continues to operate.

The Chinese Doctor Who Tried to Warn the World About Coronavirus Has Died

The doctor who tried to warn the world about coronavirus in December and was silenced by Chinese authorities has died.

Li Wenliang, 34, was an opthamologist working at Wuhan Central Hospital in December when he saw test results that showed that seven patients from a local market had been diagnosed with an unknown illness that looked a lot like SARS, the virus that killed 774 people across Asia in 2003.

He tried to raise the alarm among friends in a private messaging group in late December. The police ordered him to keep quiet. He went back to work on the front lines fighting the virus and, like tens of thousands of others, ended up contracting it himself.

On Thursday, he died.

Li is survived by his parents, both of whom are infected, and his wife, who is pregnant with their second child, and has also contracted coronavirus, according to local media reports.

On December 30, Li sent a message to his medical school alumni group on the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat telling them to privately warn their families. Instead, a screenshot of his warning was posted online without his name being blurred out, and it went viral.

Within hours, Li was summoned by officials at his hospital to explain how he knew about the tests, and days later he was ordered to appear at his local police station, where he was warned to stop spreading “rumors” and forced to sign a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanor” and promising not to commit further “unlawful acts.”

READ: ‘Of course we’re panicking:’ Here’s what it’s like inside Wuhan’s coronavirus quarantine zone

“We solemnly warn you: If you keep being stubborn, with such impertinence, and continue this illegal activity, you will be brought to justice — is that understood?” the statement said, the BBC reports.

On Jan. 10, Li unwittingly treated a patient with coronavirus. Two days later the 34-year-old began coughing and was admitted to hospital. His condition deteriorated and days later he was admitted to intensive care. He was diagnosed with the coronavirus on Feb. 1.

In his final post on Weibo before he died, on Jan. 30, Li asked: “I was wondering why (the government’s) official notices were still saying there was no human-to-human transmission, and there were no healthcare workers infected.”

Wuhan Central Hospital announced Li’s passing on its official Weibo account: ”In the fight against the pneumonia epidemic of the new coronavirus infection, our hospital’s ophthalmologist Li Wenliang was unfortunately infected. He passed away after all the efforts we’ve taken to resuscitate him. We deeply mourn his passing.”

At the time Li raised the alarm in late December, there were very few reports about the outbreak, and the authorities were eager to keep it that way. The police announced on Jan. 1 that it had “taken legal measures” against eight people who had recently “published and shared rumors online” about the pneumonia-like illness and “caused adverse impacts on society.”

READ: China is now admitting ‘shortcomings’ in its response to coronavirus

“The internet is not land beyond the law … Any unlawful acts of fabricating, spreading rumors, and disturbing the social order will be punished by police according to the law, with zero tolerance.”

The outbreak has so far killed at least 566 people and infected more than 28,000. Experts believe the real figures and order of magnitudes higher.

Cover: Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, one of the eight whistleblowers who tried to warn other medics of coronavirus outbreak, died of coronavirus on Thursday in Wuhan. (Photo: Twitter)

Tick Control: How a Flock of Chickens May Be Your Best Bet
All photos: Daphne Cybele
Tick Control
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What is the most effective and natural tick control in your yard?

Tick control is important.

With tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease and Powassan virus, and the fact the tick population is growing and spreading annually in the United States (particularly in the Northeast and the Midwest), many people want to learn more about getting rid of ticks.

One way to control ticks is to let your chicken flock patrol your yard in search of pests and ticks. Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggests your chickens are more than effective at tick and pest control.

Anecdotal Evidence That Chickens Are Good at Controlling Ticks:

Scientific Studies on Tick Control with Chickens:

A 1991 scientific study showed that chickens who scavenged for 30 minutes to an hour among tick-infested cattle in Kenya had eaten significant numbers of ticks. Each chicken had 3-331 ticks in its gizzard, with an average of 81 per chicken.

Although the appetite of each individual chicken may vary, overall, chickens are a good natural predator of ticks on cattle. It remains to be seen whether chickens can be used for tick control on deer and mice (or moose!) since there are so few studies.

Chicken or Guinea for tick control?

Guinea hens also have a good reputation for eating ticks, but their main drawbacks are noise and a tendency to wander further. If you are considering getting guineas, watch a video to see what they sound like before you may a final decision. Guineas are LOUD.

Chickens may be just as effective as guinea hens in controlling pests like ticks. As a benefit, chickens are very effective at finding and eating grubs and worms, snakes, moles, and mice.

One of my roosters catches mice and tosses them up in the air and then swallows them on the way down.

What else can you do to control ticks?

What more can you do to avoid a tick bite in addition to letting your chicken or guinea flock free range in the yard? Here are some tick management tips:

  • For best results, pick a chicken breed known for good foraging ability. Birds that have good forage skills are more likely to find and eat ticks.
  • Keep grass clipped short on the areas where you spend time
  • Reduce or avoid leaf litter, which ticks love to hide in (clean up yard debris). Clean up, keeping in mind that ticks love high humidity and lurk just above the soil surface or in brushy or taller grass areas, as well as in leaf litter and ground covers.
  • Get medical attention if you find a tick attached longer than 24 hours, or if you have a headache, a fever, or joint pain after a tick bite.
  • When you do remove a tick, flush it down the toilet. Why not the trash bin? Ticks can crawl out of trash.

There are many tick eaters that should be considered above and beyond chickens. We talked about guinea hens but what about other species of birds? Wild turkeys also eat ticks! If you have a tick problem then a pasture of all three types of poultry is a perfect fit. This is the way to decrease the spread of Lyme disease and the number of ticks.

Does your chicken flock help control ticks? Let us know in the comments below!

All photos courtesy of Daphne Cybele

This post was originally published on May 10, 2019.

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China’s lab for studying SARS and Ebola is in Wuhan, the outbreak’s center | Daily Mail Online

December 31 2019: Total of 27 suspected cases

The WHO China Country Office was informed of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Around 27 suspected cases were reported in the month of December.

January 1 2020: Total of 27 suspected cases

A seafood market was closed for environmental sanitation and disinfection after being closely linked with the patients.

January 5 2020: Total of 59 suspected cases

Doctors ruled out severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as being the cause of the virus, as well as bird flu, Middle East respiratory syndrome and adenovirus. Meanwhile, Hong Kong reported suspected cases.

January 9 2020: Total of 59 confirmed cases, one death

 A preliminary investigation identified the respiratory disease as a new type of coronavirus, Chinese state media reported.

Officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission reported the outbreak’s first death on January 9, a 61-year-old man.  

January 13 2020: Total of 42 confirmed cases, one death

A Chinese woman in Thailand was the first confirmed case of the mystery virus outside of China. The 61-year-old was quarantined on January 8, but has since returned home in a stable condition after having treatment, the Thai Health Ministry said. 

January 14 2020: Total of 42 confirmed cases, one death

 The WHO told hospitals around the globe to prepare, in the ‘possible’ event of the infection spreading.

It said there is some ‘limited’ human-to-human transmission of the virus. Two days previously, the UN agency said there was ‘no clear evidence of human to human transmission’.

January 16 2020: Total of 43 cases, two deaths

 A man in Tokyo is confirmed to have tested positive for the disease after travelling to the Chinese city of Wuhan.

A second death, a 69-year-old man, was reported by officials at Wuhan Municipal Health Commission. He died in the early hours of January 15 at Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan city having first been admitted to hospital on December 31.

January 17 2020: Total of 44 cases, two deaths

Thailand announces it has detected a second case. The 74-year-old woman had been quarantined since her arrival on Monday. She lived in Wuhan.

Scientists at Imperial College London fear up to 4,500 patients in Wuhan may have caught the virus. A report said if cases are this high, substantial human to human transmission can’t be ruled out.

John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK), San Francisco International Airport and Los Angles International Airport (LAX) will start screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, US officials said. 

January 18 2020: Total of 48 cases, two deaths 

Thailand steps up monitoring at four airports receiving daily flights from Wuhan. Airports in Japan, Malaysia and Singapore are also screening passengers from Wuhan, authorities said.

Four more cases have been identified in a viral pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan, bringing the total to 45 in the city alone. 

January 19 2020: Total of 65 cases, two deaths

China reported 17 more cases of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus strain had been found in Wuhan. It takes the city’s total to 62, including two deaths, and the global total to 65.

All of the cases to this point involved people either living in Wuhan or who have travelled to the city. 

Public Health England and Britain’s chief medical officer said they would not be introducing screenings at UK airports at this point. 

January 20 2020: Total of 222 cases, three deaths.

China reported a sharp rise in the number of people infected with a new coronavirus over the weekend, including 136 more cases in Wuhan city, taking its total to 198.

The outbreak spread across China; five cases in Beijing, 14 in Guangdong, and one in Shanghai.

South Korea confirmed its first case – a 35-year-old woman arriving at Seoul’s Incheon airport tested positive for the virus. She had been in Wuhan the week prior. This took the total cases outside China to four.

Details were not revealed about the third death. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping said saving lives was a top priority, adding that information about the disease was being released in a ‘timely manner’. 

China’s National Health Commission team confirmd the virus can spread between humans.

Two patients in southern China also caught the virus from infected family members, according to local media. 

The WHO announced it would hold an emergency meeting to debate whether the outbreak should be declared an international public health emergency. 

January 21 2020: Total of 308 confirmed cases, six deaths

On this day, the death toll rose to six.

The fourth person had died on January 19, an 89-year-old man who developed symptoms, including severe breathing difficulties, on January 13.

The mayor of Wuhan announced two more victims of the lethal infection – a 66-year-old man, known only as Li, and a 48-year-old woman, known only as Yin. Both died from multiple organ failure.

Authorities also said 15 medical workers in the city were included in the confirmed cases. There is also one other suspected case. Of the infected staff, one was in critical condition.

The first American – a man in his 30s – was confirmed to have the new coronavirus outside Seattle in Washington state. 

Washington officials said he was in ‘good’ condition but was in isolation and being closely monitored at Providence Regional Medical Center – Everett, near his home in Snahomish County. 

The CDC announced that all passengers arriving to Wuhan from direct or connecting flights would be re-ticketed and rerouted through the three airports with screening already set up and two additional airports, Chicago O’Hare and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta. 

A Brisbane man is being held in isolation over fears he may have contracted the deadly coronavirus while in Wuhan.

Queensland’s chief medical officer Dr Jeannette Young confirmed the man has been tested for the illness when he presented with flu-like symptoms after returning home. The results are still unknown.  

Australia began screening passengers arriving from a Chinese city in a bid to stop the spread, Brendan Murphy, the chief medical officer for the Australian government, said.

The Philippines also announced that it was investigating its first potential case of the coronavirus. A five-year-old child arrived in the country on January 12 from Wuhan and has since been hospitalised with flu symptoms. 

Taiwan reported its first confirmed case. Health officials announced the woman, thought to be around 50 years old, worked in Wuhan. She is currently in hospital receiving treatment, according to local media.

Stock markets in China and Hong Kong dipped today amid fears tourists will refrain from travelling. But shares in firms which make surgical face masks have surged. 

Coronavirus is spread through the EYES making surgical masks useless, expert claims

AN expert has claimed deadly can be spread through the EYES after he contracted the disease, despite wearing a protective mask.

Dr Wang Guangfa has now theorised the similar may be transmitted through the eye after testing positive following an eye infection.

Dr Wang Guangfa has theorised the virus may be contactable through the eye

Mr wang was a leading was a leading figure in the fight against SARS virus that gripped China in 2003.

The doctor now says he believes he contracted the virus due to not donning protective eyewear.

He was criticised by some when he contracted the virus two weeks ago after saying it could be prevented and controlled.

However, despite his best efforts he fell ill.

Mr Wang said: “At that time we were highly vigilant and wore N95 masks.

“But then I suddenly realised that we didn’t wear protective glasses.”

After returning to Beijing from visiting fever clinics in Wuhan – where the virus originated – he developed conjunctivitis in his left eye within hours.

It comes as…

  • China has placed a lockdown on the Hubei province, the centre of the outbreak
  • Fourteen people in the UK have been tested for coronavirus with five confirmed negative and nine still awaiting the results
  • Authorities are monitoring the virus with fears millions of people will travel for the Lunar New Year
  • The World Health Organisation is yet to declare a global public health emergency

The doc was then struck down with a fever, but says he assumed he had the flu after seeing no evidence linking eye infections to the disease in  his research.

But when flu meds failed, Mr Wang opted for a coronavirus test that came back positive.

The expert claims the most likely explanation for this is the respiratory disease is contactable through the eye.

China’s National Health Commission expert, Li Lanjuan advises medical staff who regularly come in contact with coronavirus patients to wear protective eye gear, but the general public should be fine with just face masks.



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The disease has now spread across the globe, with over ten suspected cases in the UK.

And there are fears it could strike 350,000 in Wuhan alone as deaths mount.

The death toll now stands at 26 with more than 800 confirmed cases of the deadly mutating bug.

Alamy Live News

Medical staff are now advised to don protective eye gear[/caption]


The top doc thinks he contracted the virus via his eyes[/caption]


The news comes as warns a simple surgical mask may not be enough to dodge the deadly disease[/caption]

Harvard Professor, BU Researcher Among 3 Charged With Illegal Ties To China

BOSTON (CBS) – Three people tied to universities and a hospital in the Boston area were indicted on charges they lied about their ties to China or tried to help the Chinese government. Among them was Dr. Charles Lieber, the chair of Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

Prosecutors said Lieber had a contract with Wuhan Institute of Technology. He also ran a group that had contracts with the Department of Defense and National Institutes of Health.

Federal agents said Lieber lied about his ties to China when he bid on those contracts.

“It appears China paid Lieber hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years for his involvement with the Chinese entities and for his work on research for Chinese gain,” said U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Andrew Lelling.

Lieber was arrested at his Harvard University office and then placed on administrative leave. He will not be able to participate in his teaching or research roles, the university said.

A Harvard spokesman issued a statement on Lieber’s arrest:

The charges brought by the U.S. government against Professor Lieber are extremely serious. Harvard is cooperating with federal authorities, including the National Institutes of Health, and is initiating its own review of the alleged misconduct.  Professor Lieber has been placed on indefinite administrative leave.

Dr. Charles Lieber. (Image Credit: Harvard University)

The second indictment is a Chinese national who was working as a researcher at Boston University. Lelling said Yanqing Ye is a lieutenant of the Chinese military, but failed to disclose that while applying for a U.S. visa. Ye is currently in China and has not been arrested.

“A border search of her electronic devices showed that Ye had complied information for the People’s Liberation Army about two U.S. residents with expertise in robotics and computer science,” said Lelling.

Boston University said Ye left the school in April 2019 and they are fully cooperating with the investigation.

The third indictment is Chinese national Zaosong Zheng who was sponsored by Harvard and working as a researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He was allegedly caught at Logan Airport in December trying to smuggle biological material out of the country.

Beth Israel Deaconess released a statement of its own:

We are deeply proud of the breadth and depth of our research programs. Any efforts to compromise research undermine the hard work of our faculty and staff to advance patient care. We are grateful for the diligence and professionalism of federal law enforcement in this case and are fully cooperating with the government’s ongoing investigation of this matter.

“Boston is an especially attractive target for this kind of exploitation. Universities, research institutions and tech companies in this area must become sensitized to this type of threat,” said Lelling. “This is not an accident or coincidence. This is a small sample of China’s ongoing campaign to siphon off American technology and knowhow for Chinese gain.”