COVID19 🦠 Newsbites
Dawn Wells, Mary Ann on 'Gilligan's Island,' dies of Covid-19 complications at 82
She was 82.

Tina Louise portrayed movie star Ginger Grant on "Gilligan's Island" and said in a statement to CNN, "I was sad to learn of Dawn's passing, I will always remember her kindness to me."

"We shared in creating a cultural landmark that has continued to bring comfort and smiles to people during this difficult time," the statement read. "I hope that people will remember her the way that I do -- always with a smile on her face."

Born in Reno, Nevada, Wells represented her home state in the Miss America pageant in 1959.

That opened the door for her to start a career in Hollywood where she appeared in a multitude of television shows, including "77 Sunset Strip," "Maverick," "Bonanza," "The Joey Bishop Show" and "Hawaiian Eye."

The multiple hypocrisies of officials who flout Covid precautions
Our politicians and appointed officials are certainly not parents, but they do serve as leaders and role models. And -- just like parents -- their language and messaging on Covid-19 matters. Their actions matter. What matters most of all is the concordance between the two.

Consistent disregard for public health principles has a negative effect, of course. The Covid-denying activities of Republican officials -- the super-spreader event at the White House that may have been where several party leaders got infected and the holiday parties at the White House -- are disappointing. But some Republican leaders have already proven that they don't believe the science about viral transmission, and those who watch Fox News or identify as Republican are already less likely to follow basic precautions.

But what is far worse are the activities of those who, on the one hand, plead with their constituents to stay home -- and then turn around and do the opposite. Because, as my daughter says to me when I bring my phone to the dinner table: "Mom, if you can do it, why can't I?"

... If one person uses poor judgment and goes to a wedding or a restaurant or a home get-together while sick, it may not hurt them -- but it has a ripple effect on their community. And when many of the hospitals in our country already report being overwhelmed, without intensive care unit beds or adequate staff, then the family who were in a car accident, the patient having a heart attack, or the person with a bleeding ulcer might not get the care they need. Every individual act has societal implications and ramifications. All the more so on the part of our politicians and public health leaders.

Our country is already rife with a distrust of science and evidence-based policy. Although I deeply disagree with those who assert that the public health rules are an attempt at totalitarian control, these experiments in hair-splitting provide easy ammunition to the anti-expertise crowd. These hypocrisies are an unnecessary and preventable distraction from the real issue at hand -- the virus, itself.

A pharmacist is arrested after he allegedly allowed more than 500 vaccine doses to spoil.
A pharmacist at a Wisconsin hospital has been arrested and accused of intentionally removing more than 500 doses of coronavirus vaccine from refrigeration last week, knowing that the vaccines would be rendered useless and that the people receiving them would think they were protected against the virus when they were not, the police department in Grafton, Wisconsin, said Thursday.

The hospital administered some of the doses before realizing that they had been spoiled, the hospital system said.

The pharmacist, a man whom the police did not name, was arrested on recommended charges of first degree recklessly endangering safety, adulterating a prescription drug and criminal damage to property, all felonies. He is being held in the Ozaukee County jail.

It was not clear what his motive may have been. The Grafton police department is investigating the incident along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Food and Drug Administration, the department said.

... First, it said the doses had been taken out accidentally. Then on Wednesday, it said that the pharmacist had admitted to intentionally removing the vials. On Thursday, in a video call with reporters, Jeff Bahr, the president of Aurora Health Care Medical Group, said that the pharmacist had admitted to removing the vials from refrigeration on two consecutive nights — Christmas Eve and Christmas Day — and that the hospital had administered 57 of the doses before realizing how long they had been at room temperature.

Dr. Bahr said there was no evidence that the pharmacist had tampered with the vaccine in any way other than removing it from refrigeration, and that the pharmacist was no longer employed by the hospital system.

Dr. Bahr said that the hospital had consulted with Moderna, the pharmaceutical company that made the vaccines, and had been reassured that the spoiled vaccines would not harm the individuals who received them. But because the mRNA molecules in the vaccine quickly fall apart at room temperature, the doses “were rendered less effective or ineffective,” Dr. Bahr said.

He said that the 57 people who received the vaccine had been notified. He did not say what the hospital planned to do about further doses for those people, who are probably employees of the health system, though Dr. Bahr did not say so specifically.

The hospital did not believe the incident resulted from any laxness or gaps in its protocols around managing the vaccine doses, Dr. Bahr said.

“It’s become clear that this was a situation involving a bad actor, as opposed to a bad process,” he said.

‘Covid, Covid, Covid’: In Trump’s Final Chapter, a Failure to Rise to the Moment
As the U.S. confronted a new wave of infection and death through the summer and fall, the president’s approach to the pandemic came down to a single question: What would it mean for him?

Throughout late summer and fall, in the heat of a re-election campaign that he would go on to lose, and in the face of mounting evidence of a surge in infections and deaths far worse than in the spring, Mr. Trump’s management of the crisis — unsteady, unscientific and colored by politics all year — was in effect reduced to a single question: What would it mean for him?

The result, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former administration officials and others in contact with the White House, was a lose-lose situation. Mr. Trump not only ended up soundly defeated by Joseph R. Biden Jr., but missed his chance to show that he could rise to the moment in the final chapter of his presidency and meet the defining challenge of his tenure.

Efforts by his aides to persuade him to promote mask wearing, among the simplest and most effective ways to curb the spread of the disease, were derailed by his conviction that his political base would rebel against anything that would smack of limiting their personal freedom. Even his own campaign’s polling data to the contrary could not sway him.

... Mr. Trump had always tolerated if not encouraged clashes among subordinates, a tendency that in this case led only to policy paralysis, confusion about who was in charge and a lack of a clear, consistent message about how to reduce the risks from the pandemic.

Keeping decision-making power close to him was another Trump trait, but in this case it also elevated the myriad choices facing the administration to the presidential level, bogging the process down in infighting, raising the political stakes and encouraging aides to jockey for favor with Mr. Trump.

The result at times was a systemwide failure that extended well beyond the president.