Politics, Science, and Other Assorted Musings

I love helping people understand issues and look at them from a different perspective. In this blog, I hope I can offer you some new insights—bridging the gap between basic science and your medicine chest—as I am still a practicing physician, as well as having had broad clinical research experience. I'm interested in developing new medicines and treatments, as well as caring for patients—and explaining these topics for you.

As medicine has evolved, so have my interests. I have also become increasingly interested in health disparities, social justice issues, and ethics. I invite you to join me as we explore a variety of territories. I hope that reading these posts will encourage you to learn, engage, and above all, work for the forces of good.

If there are topics you'd like to see me cover, please let me know—I welcome your input as to what you would like us to discuss in this column.

Coronavirus - COVID19

Please note that I will be posting Coronavirus Tidbits of news here. You can sign up for updates by clicking the box at the right and subscribe to Covid, Politics, and Science. All Covid posts will go here, and I will upload back issues as I have time. Please share w friends. Thanks!

I’m going to have a reference file here for articles I have found particularly worthwhile, and will update this here as we learn new information. Click on the COVID-19 Resources, below, to expand that.

If you see something terrific, please share. We’re all in this together.

Coronavirus Tidbits #94 10/25/20

By Judy Stone | October 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: Apologies to my fans. Sorry this did not send on Sunday as intended. Do you think DeJoy’s reach has extended to MailChimp??? First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I have been immersed in #GOTV efforts. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. My latest Forbes post:  Polio Eradication Program Key In Covid-19 Response on how the infrastructure designed to eradicate Polio is now being used for Covid-19 https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2020/10/24/polio-eradication-program-key-in-covid-19-response/#1c08ef9447a8 News  ~ ~ ~ This is a shameful political choice by this administration: ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Mike Pence, head of Coronavirus task force, is out campaigning, falsely claiming that is “essential” work, despite his Chief of Staff and 4 others (so far) now testing positive. ~ ~ ~ Recommended reading/training: Choose Democracy How to Beat an Election-Related Power…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #93 10/21/20

By Judy Stone | October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I have been immersed in text banking and GOTV efforts. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  ~ ~ ~ Twitter removed tweet from Trump’s Covid Advisor, Scott Atlas, for misleading info: ~ ~ ~ And on the idiocy of promoting herd immunity: ~ ~ ~ Who Are the Scientists Behind the Great Barrington Declaration? — All three have advocated against lockdown measures since the start of the pandemic The Great Barrington Declaration, a statement written by three public health experts from Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford, encourages governments to lift lockdown restrictions on young and healthy people while focusing protection measures on the elderly. This would allow COVID-19 to spread in a population where it is less likely to be deadly, the…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #92 10/17/20

By Judy Stone | October 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I’m preoccupied with #GOTV efforts in Swing States. That’s been quite gratifying, and I would encourage others to join in. https://www.mobilize.us/ is a good place to start, or email me for other specific groups I like. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  Very useful new Risk Calculator – mycovidrisk.com  see Tips for more info ~ ~ ~ New Covid cases surge in Midwest as weather cools and resistance heats up Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Nebraska and Wisconsin have seen a greater than 25 percent increase in coronavirus cases in the last two weeks compared to the two weeks before. Minnesota has reported more than a thousand new Covid-19 cases for six days in a row, something that hasn’t happened since the start…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #91 10/15/20

By Judy Stone | October 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Tidbits will likely be a bit shorter and a little less frequent for the next little bit. I’m preoccupied with #GOTV efforts in Swing States.That’s been quite gratifying, and I would encourage others to join in. https://www.mobilize.us/ is a good place to start, or email me for other specific groups I like. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News: Immune cell activation in severe COVID-19 resembles lupus In severe cases of COVID-19, Emory researchers have been observing an exuberant activation of immune cells, resembling acute flares of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease. Their findings point towards tests that could separate some COVID-19 patients who need immune-calming therapies from others who may not. They also may begin to explain why some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 produce abundant antibodies against the virus, yet experience poor outcomes. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-10/ehs-ica100920.php ~ ~…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #90 Growing insanity

By Judy Stone | October 11, 2020 | 2 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum” “In an unprecedented move,” the New England Journal of Medicine has published an editorial “condemning the Trump admin for its response to the Covid-19 pandemic – and calling for the current leadership in the US to be voted out of office.” …Our leaders have failed that test. They have taken a crisis and turned it into a tragedy. The magnitude of this failure is astonishing…Why has the United States handled this pandemic so badly? We have failed at almost every step. We had ample warning, but when the disease first arrived, we were incapable of testing effectively and couldn’t provide even the most basic personal protective equipment to health care workers and the general public. And we continue to be way behind the curve in testing…number of…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #89 10/7/20 COVITA special

By Judy Stone | October 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  Trump rollercoaster includes hospitalization at Walter Reed, Rx w Remdesivir, Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody (made with embryonic tissue). Decadron was added–that’s given for folks w pneumonia and is not consistent w “mild” disease. No mention of Hydroxychloroquine. Decadron can cause agitation, delirium, etc…it can also => depression, coming off the high it gives some people. He then staged his joy ride to meet his fans (the white supremacist Proud Boys), endangering his Secret Service Agents force to be with him in an enclosed space w minimal ventilation. Trump claimed that “Covid is no big deal” and people should not let their lives be dominated by it…ignoring the 200,000 dead here alone. Facebook has deleted a post in which President Trump had claimed Covid-19 was “less lethal” than the flu. Then yesterday (10/5) he insisted…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #88 10/4/20 Rose Garden Superspreader special

By Judy Stone | October 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  In Cleveland, wearing a mask in nonresidential indoor spaces is required Also, Three White House journalists tested positive for COVID-19 today (10/2) per WHCA president @ZekeJMiller….11 cases stemming from pre-debate planning and set-up as of 8 pm, 10/2 WH announcing Trump’s Covid and going to Walter Reed 4 years to the day that Trump mocks Hillary Clinton over her pneumonia outbreak ~ ~ ~ Timeline of Trump’s Covid: fr Derek Thompson This means: Trump was infected (and likely knew and hid that when he debated Biden in Cleveland, exposing the Bidens (among many) to Covid)   Positive Weds and does not tell Biden, Pelosi, or staff.                       Attorney General Barr “chooses not” (aka refuses) to quarantine despite possible exposure to Covid-19 and…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #87 9/30/20

By Judy Stone | October 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. We’re coming up on the anniversary of the birth of my book, Resilience: One Family’s Story… I began furiously writing it in 2016 because of the divisiveness and hate-mongering, as a warning to where that would lead…and here we are, with unmistakable parallels to 1930s Germany and the rise of fascism. In this final push before the election, please do everything you can to help people register, verify their registration, educate others, and find volunteers for poll workers and election judges. We need a massive turnout if we are to have a prayer of overcoming the voter suppression.   News  After news of Trump’s tax dodges, only paying $750 in each of 2 years, and nothing in >10 years, a good proposal: ~ ~ ~ Despite rising cases in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) moved…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #86 9/27/20

By Judy Stone | September 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Quick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. News  Scientists Discover Genetic and Immunologic Underpinnings of Some Cases of Severe COVID-19 New findings by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and their collaborators help explain why some people with COVID-19 develop severe disease. The findings also may provide the first molecular explanation for why more men than women die from COVID-19. The researchers found that more than 10% of people who develop severe COVID-19 have misguided antibodies?autoantibodies? that attack the immune system rather than the virus that causes the disease. Another 3.5% or more of people who develop severe COVID-19 carry a specific kind of genetic mutation that impacts immunity. Consequently, both groups lack effective immune responses that depend on type I interferon, a set of 17 proteins crucial for protecting cells and the body from viruses. Whether these proteins…

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Coronavirus Tidbits #85 9/24/20

By Judy Stone | September 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

pQuick links News     Diagnostics     Drugs    Devices    Epidemiology/Infection control     Tips     Politics    Feel good du jour     Comic relief     Perspective/Poem     Bits of beauty Announcements: First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting. Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that. What a week from hell…besides RBG’s death and the sleazy response to that, I’m not going to post each piece of travesty from this regime…I wrote 2 posts on Forbes that I will refer you to.  1) an overview of political interference at the CDC, FDA, and EPA–agencies that are suppose to protect our health. Politics Around The CDC And FDA Is Eroding Trust In Their Covid-19 Recommendations  and then a post 2) specifically in vaccine uptake and what that means for our outlook. Public Trust In Covid-19 Vaccines Is Being Eroded By Politics News  Question from @BrianKarem 9/23/20: Do you commit to making sure there is a peaceful transfer of power? Trump: We’re going to have to see what happens. Pressed on it again: Trump: “Get rid of the ballots, we’ll have a…

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