Impeachment II

There is no lack of opinions on this topic. I’ll be brief. I am against the second impeachment. The Senate will not get the 66 votes needed, so acquittal is inevitable. Can they strip Donald Trump of his right to run again? A number of constitutional scholars have said no.

So, the “can” part is shaky. The question of whether Trump’s actions merit impeachment, I contend, is also very weak. To encourage people to fight for what they believe in, is not the same as to incite a riot. Trump did not tell the people to go to the Capital and break in. He said to his followers that he knew they had plans to march on the Capital. He said a lot of things in support of their protest of the election results. It makes no difference if it was the truth or lies. You can not convict an elected official because they lie, particularly in off-hand comments to a group of protesters. And absolutely you can not convict an elected official for supporting a protest rally, which is exactly how this began.

Further, more evidence is coming to light that the break-in of Congress was in many ways planned in advanced. The organizers brought rope, and ladders to break-in. No one will be able to show Trump caused the attack on the Capital to occur. His defenders will point clearly to two sentences in his tirade in front of protesters on January 6:

“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country. “

Trump message was very simple – that he won the election honestly, and the Democrats rigged the election to show that he lost it. That was his narrative. The villains of the day included Mike Pence who he wanted to act in an illegal manner to refuse certification. Rudy Giuliani probably was more guilty than Trump of inciting violence, but I think he’s got a number of legal problems going forward.

I felt the House should have passed a motion of censure, which they could have gained the support of many Republicans. Trump’s speech on January 6 did encourage violence, and censure would have been appropriate.

It is what it is, my good friend says. Get ready for a lot of speeches in February, calling the impeachment unconstitutional and defending Trump and his right to free speech. Legal experts will testify that Trump can’t be impeached, and this whole Senate trial is a sham. And they will focus on one word he said on January 6 “peacefully” as proof that the impeachment is without merit.

Stay tuned,

Dave

There are so many links on the internet, including the transcript of Trump’s Jan 6 speech to the protesters. I use the word protesters or Trump’s supporters so I don’t characterize everyone assembled in front of the White House as participating in the attack on the Capital.

Covid-19 Vaccinations in Florida – January 16

I got my first dose of the vaccination on January 14, 2021. I live in Miami, Florida. The big challenge was getting an appointment. It means one has to type very fast the moment appointments open up. Every second counts. I used the portal set up by Miami-Dade County.  I knew when the appointment portal was going to be open based on my online subscription to the Miami Herald.

The appointment went very well. There were just 10 people waiting in front of the clinic when it open. I was asked if I had any allergies. I filled out the consent sheet, and soon after, a nurse gave me the Moderna vaccine. Very importantly, I was told to wait at least 15 minutes after the injection, before leaving the clinic in case there were any side effects. I felt some slight side effects including dryness in my mouth. This is standard operating procedure at all vaccination sites based on CDC guidelines.

Now, I am concerned about my second dose. I was given a card that stated I needed to take the second dose on February 11, exactly 28 days after this first dose. They said they will contact me by email and tell me at what time to return.

Although they already had my email address through the first reservation, they asked me to write it down again. This isn’t good because transcription errors (from handwriting to the computer) can result. When I I made the first appointment, the email address is typed in and  then repeated back in the confirmation notice. Most likely, the first appointment scheduling system makes some quick checks on the address validity. It appears that the scheduling system for the first and second appointments are not well linked together.

The Washington Post reported last night there was no reserved stockpiles for second doses. It looks bad. Data from the Florida Department of Health, based on the entire state are not encouraging:

So, right now 66% of all first dose people made it back to their second dose on time and 34% so far have not.   The 61,151 vacinees (those who got vaccinated)  who were on time for their final shot on Jan 12, would have been injected on December 22, 2020, with the Pfizer vaccine with a 3 week interval.  Unlikely, it was Moderna, because the EUA approval for this vaccine came on December 18.   

I believe the overdue percent is rising, because people aren’t receiving timely appointments to return to the clinics.  If the supply isn’t enough to cover both new and returning residents, who do you chose to vaccinate?  It looks right now, it’s about 9:1 on the new rather than returning, in rough numbers. so, around 50,000 to 70,00 new doses, and to the 7,000 to 9,000 second doses.   In terms of who is getting the second doses right now, it’s mostly in the age group between 16 to 64 years old (around 25% complete), rather than the 64 years old plus group (1 to 2% complete).  I think this is due to the fact that when the Pfizer vaccine first came out, it went to many medical professionals and first responders.   

Supply is the problem, and deciding who to give priority to is a very vexing question.   Our governor pitched a “Seniors First” program, and the Food and Drug Administration decided not to stockpile additional vaccines for the second doses.  There are approximately 500,000 people over 65 years of age, who in the next four weeks or less, will need their second shot, based on the latest DOH statistics.  Adding a lot of locations where one can be receive injections, doesn’t help when the supply is the limiting factor.  We need to add new refrain to the old song, “Yes, we have no bananas, we have no bananas today” which goes, “Yes, we have no bananas, and yes, we have many more fruit stands today.”

How much risk is there if they don’t get the second shot?   Without a second dose, people do not have maximum protection from the vaccine.  The second shot is added insurance that there is s sufficient immune response.    I suspect there is a tendency for people to engage in more risky activities – like travel, get social events and go out to eat once they have the first shot.  And that can worsen the spread. 

Stay tuned,

Dave

Links:

Vaccine reserve was exhausted when Trump administration vowed to release it, dashing hopes of expanded access

Washington Post article of January 15 – I hope non-subscribers can open it although the title pretty much summaries the article.

FL DOH  Covid-19 Vaccine Report

This link will only provide the most recent link.    Everyday, the DOH overwrites the prior report with a new one.  We will maintain copies of all reports. I will be adding a new page with all Florida reports. 

 

Going Forward

Thirteen days to go. Time to fix windows and doors and get the Capital ready for January 20, 2021 inauguration day. I want no impeachment inquiry or silly talk of removing Trump by the 25th Amendment. The future of our country is with good leaders from both the Republican and Democrat parties, and this kind of talk is divisive and unproductive.

Some fine Republicans made excellent speeches of how it was high time to acknowledge the winner of the 2020 election because the people had chosen. Mitt Romney rose to the occasion with the simple words of “Let’s tell the people the truth.”

The first three priorities of 2021 must be Covid vaccine, Covid vaccine and Covid vaccine – in that order. Vaccines are the only way out of the health crisis. I live in Florida, and a new virulent strain of Covid-19 is gaining strength. I’ve spend every day searching a place I can make an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccine.

In Florida, I should have priority as I am over 70 years old. But I’m finding it impossible to make an appointment for a vaccination.

Miami-Dade County: Registration is currently closed. Please check back periodically as additional vaccines become available.

Jackson Hospital: We have booked more than 12,000 vaccine appointments. Currently all of our COVID-19 vaccination appointment slots have been filled, and we are not taking any new appointments at this time. Please return to this page routinely for ongoing updates as we receive additional vaccines.

I’ve read the same message for over a week. No Appointments!

Remember how we were promised that 20 million doses by the end of December would be administered in the US. The latest numbers from CDC are that of the 17.3 million doses shipped, only 5.3 million doses have received their first shot. I’m really afraid it is about to get worse, as availability of appointments could drop in half as the returnees for the second shots are given priority.

This should be treated as a national emergency. Donald Trump leaves in 13 days, with a disastrous vaccine rollout program. I am glad that Operation Warp Speed contributed 1.3 billion dollars to AstraZeneca, to produce the best vaccine available. We should be moving heaven and earth to get at least some of their vaccine in the US.

Stay tuned,

Dave