Voting

health

Twitter Reacts To Melania Trump Voting With No Mask After Contracting COVID-19: ‘Disrespectful’

KEY POINTS

  • Melania Trump did not wear a face mask when she voted in person in Palm Beach, Florida
  • Twitter users criticized Trump for stepping out without a mask despite having contracted COVID-19
  • Some netizens came to Trump’s defense and said the first lady was no longer contagious

Melania Trump has been criticized on Twitter after ditching her face mask when she went to the polls to cast her ballot on Tuesday.

Trump voted in person in Palm Beach, Florida, sporting an outfit that reportedly cost $22,000 but didn’t include a face covering. This didn’t sit well with some netizens, who said that the 50-year-old first lady didn’t learn her lesson after testing positive for COVID-19 last month.

“She doesn’t really care. Especially since she has already had C-19.  No one else matters to her,” one wrote.

“Irresponsible leadership – she needs a good fine.  Take back some of the tax payer money she spends,” another  Twitter user posted.

“Did not even learn one bit on what happened to his husband catching the CCP virus,” a third netizen commented.

Others, however, came to Trump’s defense, claiming that there was no need for her to wear a mask because she is no longer contagious. Some said they had no problem with her ditching a face covering since she is unlikely to come in contact with people.

“She’s surrounded by secret service and won’t get within hundreds of feet from anyone!! She’s the First Lady, no one can go near her. She doesn’t need a mask!” a Twitter user wrote.

“Why would someone who just had the virus, has antibodies, and is no longer contagious wear a mask?” another tweeted.

“Well she did have COVID, so currently unlikely to get infected or be infectious…” a third netizen wrote.

Some pointed out that Trump could be susceptible to getting infected again even after testing negative for the coronavirus.

“Having COVID already doesn’t stop you from being infectious again. If she came in contact with the virus again, is asymptomatic, or simply carrying it, she could infect others,” one Twitter user argued.

President Donald Trump announced via Twitter on Oct. 2 that he and Melania had tested positive for COVID-19 and would be going into quarantine.

Two weeks later, Melania penned an essay for the White House website about her battle with coronavirus, revealing that their 14-year-old son, Barron, also tested positive. Unlike the president and Barron, however, Melania said she exhibited symptoms of COVID-19, including body aches, fatigue, a cough and headaches.

All three have since tested negative for COVID-19.

In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine -- that he called fallen US Marines "losers" and "suckers" -- were false In a rare public statement, US first lady Melania Trump said the allegations about her husband published by The Atlantic magazine — that he called fallen US Marines “losers” and “suckers” — were false Photo: AFP / SAUL LOEB

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health

Op-Ed: Prescribing Voting for Patients? Prescribe It for Your Colleagues, Too

Healthcare providers are often regarded as some of the nation’s most trusted citizens, consistently rating higher in honesty and ethics than any other profession. We take oaths to serve our patients to the best of our abilities. But there’s one critical aspect of citizenship where we have historically failed: voting. A study published last week found that less than half of eligible physicians in three of our most populous states are registered to vote — 14 percentage points lower than the general population. Of those registered, 63% have not participated in elections since 2010.

We’re not surprised. Physician voter turnout has been embarrassingly low for decades. The most commonly cited reason is lack of time. Medical students and residents have specifically cited rigid schedules as a reason they didn’t vote in the 2016 and 2018 elections. The grueling time and energy demands of medical practice as well as a lack of institutional support impede providers’ ability to go to the polls. Some may feel their effort to overcome these institutional barriers isn’t worth the value of one vote. However, in states — the true authorities of healthcare policy-making — a single vote can turn the tide of an election.

Hundreds of companies across the U.S. in other industries, including Walmart, Starbucks, and Cisco, are giving their employees paid time off to vote, yet not one major healthcare system or hospital has publicly announced a similar pledge. Healthcare organizations, which employ 12% of American workers, must give providers and support staff staggered, protected time to vote. Hospitals and other health centers have the ability to empower hundreds of staff members to exercise their right to vote. Tangible ideas include informing staff about state voting guidelines, setting up stations to help employees request mail-in-ballots, and providing transportation to polling locations the day of the election.

Medical and health professions schools also play a key role in the development of our civic engagement and should similarly provide protected time to trainees without fear of negative evaluations. Designating time to vote creates an ethos and culture of civic engagement that will encourage community members to perform their civic duties. The importance of civic engagement needs to be taught early on in our careers. As we learn to practice medicine, we must also learn how to participate in community matters that impact the health of our patients.

Healthcare arguably hangs in the political balance now more than ever. 222,000 Americans have lost their lives due to failed national leadership, and 27 million lost their employer-sponsored insurance in March and April. Another 133 million risk losing their health insurance in the middle of the worst pandemic in recent history. Voting is key to taking care of our patients not only on an individual level but also on a societal level. We must acknowledge that political determinants of health often impact patients’ health more than the treatments we provide.

As providers who work on the frontlines — who see, sometimes harrowingly, the day-to-day effects of government policies

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medicine

Doctors need to lead by example at the voting booth

As the needle moves past 220,000 deaths from Covid-19 and the Supreme Court prepares to hear California v. Texas, which threatens to eliminate health insurance for almost 20 million Americans, it’s no surprise that health care remains one of the top issues for voters this election.

Historically, doctors vote less than other professionals. From 2006 to 2018, doctors were less likely to vote than the general public, particularly if they were not already registered to vote.

That’s what we found in a study published this week in JAMA Internal Medicine. After reviewing voting histories for more than 100,000 doctors in California, New York, and Texas, we found that 37% of eligible physicians voted in elections over the last decade, compared to 51% of the general population. Half of doctors who were eligible to vote were not registered to vote in the first place.

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While this is troubling, it can be fixed. Programs like Vot-ER and VoteHealth 2020 are working to help doctors register to vote around the country. Some hospitals are also stepping up to the plate. These efforts are important, because we found that doctors who were registered to vote are more likely to show up to the polls than their fellow Americans.

It would help if registering to vote was a simple and secure process. Eleven states, including our home state of Texas, do not permit online voter registration and instead require voters to mail in a physical form. And the majority of states do not allow voters to register and vote on the same day.

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These rules, meant to suppress voting, make it challenging for doctors to maintain civic engagement over a decadelong professional training process. In a survey we published this week in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, we found that a majority of doctors in training — residents — cite long work hours as the most common barrier to voting in this election. Nearly one-quarter of doctors felt that their vote does not make much of an impact, and a smaller group were hindered by not knowing when and where to vote. This is the first study of its kind to analyze barriers to voting for the U.S.’s youngest physicians.

Hospital training programs can do more to facilitate voter engagement among doctors by giving them paid time off to vote early, helping them register to vote by mail where permitted, and even arranging for voting at the hospital. More than 1,600 companies have already joined the Time To Vote campaign, giving employees time off to make their voices heard at the ballot box. Some companies, such as Old Navy, Target, and Warby Parker, are even paying employees to serve as poll workers.

It’s time for hospitals and residency programs to address the culture of prioritizing working over voting, particularly among young doctors. They can help doctors easily register to vote and provide them with information about early voting or how to request absentee ballots. For doctors living in California, Colorado, Maryland,

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health

A pandemic didn’t deter this 102-year-old from voting

To maximize her safety, she submitted her absentee ballot at an in-person ballot box this month in Hampton, South Carolina.

Dr. Quentin Youmans was so inspired by his 102-year-old great aunt that he tweeted photos of her, bundled up in a trench coat and head scarf, with her absentee ballot in one hand and a disposable face mask in the other.

“If she can do it, you can too!” wrote Youmans, a cardiology fellow at Northwestern Medicine.

With this much on the line, Ora wouldn’t have missed it. And she was still able to vote with her health and safety in mind, Youmans said.

Ora says it’s an ‘enjoyment’ to vote

Ora told CNN it’s an “enjoyment to go vote,” but she voted absentee this year for her safety — older adults are more likely to become severely ill if they’re infected with Covid-19.
Not even a global pandemic could stop this 102-year-old from voting in this election

“Well, I think we need to change presidents, for one,” she said. “So I voted for this man (Biden). I hope he does a good job.”

A staunch supporter of former President Barack Obama, Ora said she doesn’t like the way President Donald Trump has led the country during his time in office.
“Things were pretty good until this other man got there,” she said. “It looks like he wants things to go back to Hoover times,” a reference to the Great Depression when millions of Americans struggled to find work and poverty was widespread.

“We don’t want that to come back to the generation coming now,” she said. “That’s why I’m so happy if this puts Trump out.”

Youmans said his great aunt is an inspiration

Youmans explained why Ora’s vote was especially significant: A lifelong resident of the Deep South, Ora’s grandmother had been enslaved.

Ora was in her late 40s when the Civil Rights Act finally passed and outlawed segregation, though she lived in a state where poll taxes and other tools of voter suppression attempted to keep Black voters out.

Worried about coronavirus? If your loved one is over 60, read this

Ora remained steadfast in her commitment to voting then as she does now, something Youmans said inspires him.

“To think she was born the year of the last pandemic, and now here we are going through another pandemic, and she still got up and made sure her voice was heard,” he said. “It was something I hoped to share with the world.”

The photos of Ora have already reached former residents of the White House. Since Youmans tweeted the photos on Wednesday, thousands of Twitter users have seen Ora pose with her ballot — including Obama, who quipped that “102 never looked better.”

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health

Flu Shots Will Be Given On Some Early Voting Days In Greenburgh

GREENBURGH, NY — Flu shots will be offered outdoors at the Greenburgh Town Hall during early voting.

Supervisor Paul Feiner said the Greenburgh Health Center will be administering the flu vaccines Monday through Friday next week.

“Many people are reluctant to get flu shots inside medical offices or pharmacies,” he said. “And, flu shots are so important during this pandemic.”

Feiner said offering the shots outdoors on some early voting days sends a message to the community that one can “participate in democracy and stay healthy so you can enjoy our democracy after election day.”

If interested, people can schedule getting the flu shot ahead of time and provide your insurance information and register online. Call the Greenburgh Health Center at 914-989-7600 or email.

Shots will be given during the following early voting times at the Greenburgh Town Hall:

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26

  • Noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28

  • Noon to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29

  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30

People wanting to get flu shots need to bring their insurance card, photo ID and completed consent form. Uninsured or self-pay will cost $30.

Patients will be required to wear face masks and answer COVID-19 screening questions. The immunization area will include physical distancing, and all nurses will be wearing masks, gloves and face shields.

Greenburgh Town Hall is at 177 Hillside Ave.

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This article originally appeared on the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch

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