My Conversation with Joe Biden Today

I got an email from Joe today: “I’m personally asking you, Chauncey:”

He said to me, “It could not be more clear that Donald Trump is unfit to be our president. Right now, our country is in the midst of a public health emergency that has profoundly impacted how we live our lives today and what things will look like in the future. This crisis has illuminated how important the next 201 days are for our country. Our health, our safety, and our economy are on the line, and this president simply isn’t up to the task….”

…blah, blah, blah, plus a request for money. So I replied:

Just in case someone is listening here …
For the first time in 50 years in 2016 I ended financial support of the party when Hilary could not resist the temptation to argue with DT in every moment, rather than talking about the country and where we need to go. I pray you don’t make the same mistake, but this is a good example of a ferociously bad start. The problem of this country and the world in this moment is NOT DT. Yes, he is a fool, shallow, a narcissist, childish, and a buffoon, but he is bloody good at playing certain games in the media. When you speak the way you are speaking here, you play directly into his game, and draw our attention away from what matters at this moment in time.
If you want my support, talk about the situation in the country and what you are going to do about this, not DT. I’m willing to bet that I’m not the only one with that kind of opinion, and I suspect that you are not organized in a way that will allow you to listen to me speaking here.
Chauncey Bell

N95 Masks? Critical information for medical professionals!

Bloomberg March 20, 2020: US Strategic Stockpile Deliveries Delayed; Face Masks Run Short, Showing Snags in U.S. Medical StockpileFace Mask Shortage: US Strategic Stockpile Deliveries Delayed ...

N95 masks are critically important for doctors, nurses, and medical professionals in the line of fire all over the world with the coronavirus pandemic. Under the best of circumstances, we will not have anywhere near enough of them. A vast number of N95 masks that could be decontaminated are effectively hiding in plain sight.

Around the middle of March, my colleague Dana Conklin noticed something strange. She discovered that three respected hospitals in the US had developed protocols for decontamination of N95 masks. She then discovered that the protocols were not widely disseminated. She contacted friends at six major hospitals across the country. None of the six had any idea that the masks could be decontaminated. Five of the six were already out of or rationing N95 masks.

Realizing that the people who should be wearing N95 masks did not have them available, Dana forwarded links for the protocols developed by three hospitals for N95 decontamination to several hundred hospitals in the US and put up a website (click here for Dana’s website) that included links to the protocols. (Dana is a finance professional; this mask situation is not her line of work. She noticed the word was not getting out about decontaminating masks. She watched the deaths of doctors and nurses in Italy and committed that she would not simply stand by and watch it happen here.)

On March 30, a consortium of 60 academics and researchers put up a website that promised to research the same three methods and to publish scientifically valid reports about the efficacy of the methods that had been developed. ( So far these researchers and academics have avoided speaking directly on their website about the actual protocols that hospitals have been using, citing their concerns for releasing scientifically imperfect information or for appearing to endorse one protocol over another. On their website they cite pros and cons of the three protocols, important issues with the protocols, and have referenced their existence, but have not actually published the protocols as used by the hospitals using them. The house is on fire. While there are risks that the protocols could be imperfect (and certainly they will be found to be so), they offer far better protection than no masks at all, and the N95 masks have proven to be critical PPE for this virus. Dana got the protocols from the hospitals that are using them and put them on her website, but she does not have nearly as large an audience as should be hearing about these protocols.

Using these decontamination protocols would effectively increase the number of N95 masks. The hospitals using them estimate that they have 10-20 times more usable masks than without the protocols. Further, knowing that there are ways to decontaminate masks means, ‘don’t throw out your old masks; hold them for decontamination.’

 This is critically important to medical professionals all over the world. Can you help by forwarding this and Dana’s website with (click here for Dana’s website) the protocols to friends and colleagues who are medical professionals?